Welcome to the 'Blues Like BB' course! In this set of lessons, we will be adding our second pentatonic shape, learning how to use the 'BB Box' and even tackling a BB King inspired blues solo. The solo will really push you to move those fingers a little faster, practise your vibrato even more and learn some amazing new licks. As always, take your time as you go through the course and have fun!
In a few lessons time, we will be learning how to play the cool solo at the beginning of this lesson, but first we need to learn two new concepts: how to play pentatonic shape 2 and how to link it to shape 1. Once we have that understood, we will tackle the solo!
At this point, you should be very familiar with the pentatonic shape one and be able to move it into different keys, both in major and minor. Now, to really get to grips with BB King and to progress, we need to learn shape 2! Have a look at the fretboard diagram below to see the shape and get it learnt. The top part of this shape is often called the ‘BB Box’ as BB King typically uses this part of the shape to create a lot of his solos!
If you would like to double check the notes and play along with the tab, click on the link below and get your guitars ready!
Now that we know the shape, we want to know how to find it in every key. The easiest way to do that is to join shape 2 to shape 1. Have a look at the fretboard below to see how the two shapes merge together when you put them back to back. The right side of shape one is the left side of shape two.
To help you learn how the shapes are joined, we have put together a cool exercise moving between the keys of G minor, A minor and D minor. The full tab is below together with a fretboard digram of all the shapes you are using in the exercise.
To help you understand how to use this new shape and notes alongside the pentatonic shape 1, we have written out a cool solo in the style of BB King! This is not only a test of your scale knowledge, but also a test of your speed, accuracy and ability to play 1/4 bends. The song is in the key of B minor and we are using the B minor pentatonic shape 1 & 2, as shown here:
The link to the full solo tab is below but remember to only tackle the licks we have looked at in the video. Use the looping and speed changing functions to get the first half of the solo learnt well.
We will now learn the second half of the solo and then put it all together. You can now use the full tab below to help.
When you are ready, you have the backing track and full solo here to play along to. It is worth trying to play with just the backing track as you will not be 'hiding' behind the recorded guitar part. It will be all up to you to make it sound awesome!