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Blues Guitar Legends Tab and Guitar Lessons
Part 4: B.B. King Lessons and Tab

B.B. King is surely the most famous of the living blues guitar legends. The fame hasn't come easily; at over 75 years of age (born September 16, 1925) King still stays on the road constantly, playing as many as 250 shows a year.
King's signature aggressive vibrato and his minimalistic approach make the guitarist's music immediately identifiable. A few short details will give you great insight into how B.B. King sounds like he does. Many guitarists, if they were to play a blues in G, would tend to think of riffs around the 3rd fret on the guitar. B.B. King approaches this differently; the guitarist works around the note G on the second string, which is at the 8th fret. He plays the G with his first finger, and plays ideas off that (try, for example, playing the 10th fret with your third finger, and bending it up to the 12th fret).
The following is a classic example of B.B. King. It is the first four bars of a blues in Bb. It includes a short introduction, which you'll want to learn in all keys.

tab tabs transcription

tab tabs transcription

Listen to clip in RealAudio

Capturing B.B.'s exact style can be tough; replicating his very indivual-sounding vibrato takes some practice. Don't give up, though! Once you master this, you'll find learning other B.B. solos will be much easier.

Read the full B.B. King lesson on Guitar at About.com to learn much more about how to play like the "King of the Blues".

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