Danny Gatton Style Blues Solo


A legend around Washington D.C. for years, Danny played a high-octane mix of Blues, Country, Jazz, Rockabilly, and Rock ‘n’ Roll. Unfortunately, his record label couldn’t really handle this eclecticism and his career drifted aimlessly even though word was spreading and he achieved cult status. Interesting fact: he was a guitar tutor for a very young Joe Bonamassa back in the 90s!

His playing style was virtuosic, but this week’s solo is an example of his more sedate Blues style and shouldn’t be too technical for y’all. It uses the A Minor Pentatonic and A Blues Scale along with Jazz lines from different Mixolydian Scales, so it’s what I’d call sophisticated Blues. Here’s what’s going on:

Bars 1-3

We start off with a country-influenced pick-up that ends on the repeated root notes of the A7 chord.

Bars 4 & 5

This is really two phrases – firstly an A Minor Pentatonic phrase which leads into a Jazz line from the Mixolydian Scale (with added Chromatic notes) finishing with an A7 arpeggio.

Bars 7-9

Again split into two phrases, this lick features an A Blues Scale opening phrase over the D9 chord, leading to the substituted DMaj7 lick over the A7. We then move into a rising line from the A Mixolydian Scale.

Bars 10-12

We finish off the solo with an F Major Pentatonic lick over the F9 chord, an A Minor Pentatonic over the E7#9, and finally a Mixolydian line.

As always, below the YouTube video you’ll find the backing track to play along with, and below that, the tablature. Aren’t I nice?!

Feel free to ask questions or just share your thoughts in the comments!

Watch the video:

Play along with the backing track:

Read the tab:

Danny Gatton Style Blues Solo

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