Eric Clapton’s Essential Licks

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Eric ClaptonOf all the ’60s guitar heroes, Eric Clapton has had the most consistent and enduring career. What better way to celebrate solo guitar than to explore a few of his classic licks?

To experience some early Yardbirds energy try Ex. 1. Play it with a sharp, biting tone (a Tele cranked through a tube combo does the trick rather nicely). This lick-including the busy stuff-requires only two fingers. Clapton was never a fretboard gymnast. To this day, economy of motion, eloquent string bending, and fluid tone remain the hallmarks of his game. Notice the string skipping in the pickup notes (G-06). It’s a trademark Clapton maneuver, one you can use to kick off a variety of licks.

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Frank Vignola Play Along: “I’ll See You In My Dreams”

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by Frank Vignola

frank-vignolaThis classic jazz standard is a great tune with a very singable melody. Try to internalize the meoldy by playing the chords and singing the melody. Creating chord melodies is also a great way to learn and retain melodies. Be aware what scale degree the melody is when creating chord melodies and this information will be useful when transposing or superimposing melodic ideas into these chord changes.

The chord progression is pretty unique in that it starts on the IV chord which is B flat major, or in this case B flat major 6. The progression can be a bit challenging to solo over and may take some studying before feeling comfortable with it. Learn Frank’s solo and analyze what he plays to help you form your own ideas and help you understand how to play through the changes. Take your time with this one and have fun!

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The Voodoo Blues Scale

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by Steve Trovato

If there’s one fistful of notes that never gets old, it’s the blues scale. Once it finds its way into the hands of a young, inspired guitarist, it typically stays there for a lifetime. Though the blues scale is timeless, many players yearn for ways to import new melodic colors into their blues-based solos.

The simplest way to do this is to change one note of the blues scale, resulting in a soulful sound you may have heard in the playing of Hollywood Fats, Duke Robillard, Charlie Christian, and Larry Carlton—a sound often referred to as the “voodoo” blues scale. Listen to this audio guitar lesson and follow along below to learn how to play the voodoo blues scale.

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“Diddie Wa Diddie” Guitar Lesson

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More than 60 years after its recording, Blind Blake’s rambunctious “Diddie Wa Diddie”–a double-entendre ragtime-blues–still stands as a fingerpicking classic. Blake’s musical vocabulary is prodigious, and his improvisational flair has seldom been matched. Each of the tune’s stanzas features a distinctively different accompaniment, and each of the three instrumental breaks is a minor masterpiece in itself…

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Arpeggios – Crucial or What?

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by Steve Elliott, Acoustic Guitar Workshop

In this guitar lesson, we are looking at arpeggios from a fingerstyle point of view and how to play them smoothly on an acoustic, or even an electric guitar.

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