Most blues could be said to contain an element of Jazz, and this is particularly true of Robben Ford’s style, both in his rhythm and lead guitar parts. This week’s video features several common aspects of his playing, including scale choice, bending style, and use of Chromaticism.
The solo is played over a ‘swing’ backing track in G Major, and is based almost exclusively on the G Major Pentatonic scale. There are a few instances where the notes are from outside these boundaries and this is where Robben’s style really begins to shine through.
Case in point: the opening notes of the first bar slide from a Bb (implying a G Minor chord) to a B Natural (G Major). This musical device is called a ‘Passing Tone’, or a ‘Chromatic Link’. Halfway through bar 3, the Bb note is bent slightly sharp, implying a chord somewhere between major and minor. This sharpened minor third is sometimes called a ‘Blue Note’.
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!