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Blues Intro And Outro Licks

 

- This week, I'm going to show you many different intro and outro licks used in the Blues community.  Some may sound note-for-note compared to a song, while others have that familiar feel.  I've added the drums so you can get the complete feel for the lick. -

 

  

 

FIGURE 1  LISTEN TO IT

  Let's get started with an intro in E maj, 3/4 time...

                                 (Bend 1 full)                          (Bend 1.5)    

e||---------------------|--------------------|--------------------|
B||---------------------|--------------------|--------------------|
G||--9~---9-9-7b-7------|--------------------|--------------------|
D||-----------------9-7-|--9--7--------------|--------------------|
A||---------------------|--------7b-7~-------|--7--------7--------|
E||---------------------|--------------(5)7--|-----7--6-----6--5--|



------------------|------------------|---------------|--0------------||
------------------|------------------|---------------|--8------------||
------------------|----------------0-|--1------------|--7------------||
------------------|----------------2-|--2------------|--6------------||
--7---------------|----------------2-|--2------------|--7------------||
-----5--4~-----4--|--5--6--7~------0-|--0------------|--0------------||

  

  Many times, a single guitar, piano, harmonica, bass, or even a voice begins the song.  After a few measures, everyone else comes in.  For added character, I've incorporated a couple bends, and many vibrato notes.  Those are common in Blues music.  B. B. King is famous for his vibrato style.

  In the FIG. 2, the first two measures are the intro, and the last two make up the outro.

  FIGURE 2  LISTEN TO IT

 

e||-----------0~----|------------|--------------------|------------------|
B||-----------8~----|------------|--------------------|------------------|
G||-----------------|----0--1----|--------------------|-----------1------|
D||--------6--------|----2--2----|-----------2--5--2--|-----------2------|
A||-----5-----------|----2--2----|--------2-----------|--2--0-----2------|
E||--0--------------|----0--0----|--3--4--------------|--------1b-0------|
  

  In the first measure, all the notes together make up an E9 chord.  In FIG 2b, The chord diagram shows E9 in the common position.  Looking at the tab you see that the first chord shape is shown how it is played in FIG 2.  The second chord shape is the common E9 in the open position.

FIGURE 2b

 

                   E9     E9  
     e||--0------3------||
     B||--8------5------||
     G||---------1------||
     D||--6------0------||
     A||--5-------------||
     E||--0------0------||

 

  Next, we'll go to the 12th fret and walk it all the way down.  It's nothing fancy, but it escapes many players.  "It seems like he can smoothly play the length of the fretboard, but I can't."  Ever said that?  Take a look at FIG 3a...

FIGURE 3a  LISTEN TO IT

 

e||--11b---10--------------------|--------------------|-----------------|
B||-----------12-10--------------|--------------------|-----------------|
G||-----------------10b-12~9-7---|--------------------|-------0--1------|
D||----------------------------9-|--7--3b-5--2~-------|-------2--2------|
A||------------------------------|--------------0--1--|--2----2--2------|
E||------------------------------|--------------------|-------0--0------|



------------------||
------------------||
-----------1------||
-----------2------||
--------2--2------||
--3--4-----0------||

 

FIGURE 3b 

 

e||--11b---10--------------------|----------------------|----------------|
B||-----------12-10--------------|----------------------|----------------|
G||-----------------10b-12~9-7---|----------------------|-------0--1-----|
D||----------------------------9-|----------------------|-------2--2-----|
A||------------------------------|--12--8b-10--7~-------|-------2--2-----|
E||------------------------------|----------------5--6--|--7----0--0-----|

  

  Fig 3b shows the same thing, only without walking down the neck.  You can play it with your hand staying in the same location.  How do you choose which one you should use?  That depends on a number of things:

  1)  Which one is easier to play?  You'll probably be able to play one way better than the other.

  2)  What do you have to play next?  The location of your next notes may be the key.  It's like setting up your next shot in pool.  

  3)  Which one sounds smoother?

  4)  Which looks cooler?  If you're trying to impress someone, it matters.  Everyone tries to impress someone at some time.

  You may have other reasons for playing a certain way.  Also, you can use the last measure for an outro, too!

FIGURE 4  LISTEN TO IT

 

e||--------------------|------------------|------------------||
B||--------------------|------------------|------------------||
G||--------------------|------0--1------1-|-----------1------||
D||--------------------|------2--2------2-|-----------2------||
A||-----2--2-3--3-4--4-|------2--2------2-|--------2--2------||
E||--------------------|--0---0--0------0-|--3--4-----0------||

  That sounds almost like country, doesn't it?  Well, if you move it up1.5 steps (or 3 semitones), and change measure 2 to a country lick, viola!  And you said you'd never play country.

FIGURE 5  LISTEN TO IT

 

e||--------------------|-------3--3------3--3-|----------3-------|
B||--------------------|-------3--3------3--3-|----------3-------|
G||--------------------|----------------------|----------0-------|
D||-----0--0-1--1-2--2-|----------------------|-------0--0-------|
A||--------------------|-----2---------2------|--1--2------------|
E||--------------------|--3---------3---------|----------3-------|

  Well, that'll wrap it up for another week.  I hope it's been helpful to see a few intro and outro licks.  If you have any that you'd like to share, send them to meSend this lesson to friend.

 

 

 

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