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T-Bone Walker Blues Guitar Lesson

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A Simple T-Bone Walker Blues Lick
t-bone walker blues guitar tab
T-Bone Walker (Aaron Thibeault Walker) approached blues from a slightly different angle than many of the other guitarists of his era. An associate of jazz guitar pioneer Charlie Christian, T-Bone began to include notes in his solos not often found in traditional blues music. T-Bone also tended to play long phrases of eighth notes, another custom more common amongst jazz musicians.

In recordings that date back as far as 1929, Walker can be heard working "color tones" like the 9th into his blues riffs; a technique that guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan explored extensively over 50 years later. The above short example of a T-Bone Walker riff, starting on bar 9 of a blues in G, should illustrate the guitarist's interest in color tones.

Notice Walker's use of the third - a B natural (often bent or hammered to from Bb) on the G7 chord. T-Bone correctly chooses to avoid the B natural over the C7 chord this would sound "wrong")instead switching to Bb. Walker highlights the A natural on the third bar of the phrase, and the note stands out as a nice contrast to the blues scale ideas that he played earlier.

Playing like T-Bone is a challenge - it takes a lot more than simply knowing your blues scale. A great ear, and a lot of patience and hard work is required.

Learn more about T-Bone Walker from the About.com blues guide

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