Watch the Johnny Shines On Me online guitar lesson by Richard Van Bergen from 50 Down Home Blues Licks You MUST Know
For the next 8 licks we’re going to focus on slide guitar. This style has been traced to one-stringed African instruments. In the southern states of the U.S. many blues artists used a Diddley- bow as their first instrument. This home-made instrument consisted of a single piece of wire stretched between two screws or nails. The wall of the house acted as sound box. You plucked the wire and varied the pitch with a glass or metal slide. This same technique was adapted to the guitar. The famous Bo Diddley was named after this instrument. The first blues artist to be recorded in this style was Sylvester Weaver in 1926. He cut two songs in that session: 'Guitar Blues' and 'Guitar Rag'. Many followed and slide guitar playing became very popular among blues artists. It’s haunting and wailing sound fits this music like a glove. In my opinion Blind Willie Johnson’s 'Dark was The Night, Cold Was The Ground' is the most haunting piece of music ever recorded. If you’re not familiar with this song, check it out! The lick I’m going to show you is a groove in open G tuning. It is based on a song by Johnny Shines. Johnny came from Memphis. In 1935 he teamed up with Robert Johnson, who was his major influence. This lick is Johnny’s rendition of Johnson’s 'Walkin’Blues'. Shines recorded his best work for the J.O.B label in 1952, but never had the commercial success he deserved. I’m playing the intro. There are several percussive elements in this lick. The guitar is capoed to the third fret, so the key is actually B flat.