Blues Guitar Institute

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Funky Bass Lick for Acoustic Blues

Lesson ID: TB014

Every now and then you just need to get a little funky.  Here’s a little lick that does just that.

It’s a lick that is entirely in the A Blues scale. While most of the notes are straight out of the Box 1 pattern, there’s a clever shift down to some notes from the Box 5 pattern.

The shift down into Box 5 is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, playing notes below the root and then climbing back up to the root is ultra-bluesy. It’s just a very interesting sound and one that I hear in tons of ways in the blues. Second, this shows you one of the main pathways out of the venerable “Box 1” pentatonic/blues shape. This is probably my favorite way to get out of Box 1.

In addition to getting you out of ole Box 1 territory, there’s a bit of a challenge in the lick by way of some fancy fretwork. There’s a tricky part of the lick where you use a pull off/slide combination to shift positions. In fact, this is how you get from Box 1 to Box 5.

With any legato playing lick this (legato is fancy music nerd speak for slides, pull offs, hammer ons, etc) you really need to make sure that you are getting a good sound from the instrument. In other words, you don’t want to have the note fade out on you during the slide. The slide should ring true and clear just as if it were a picked note. This takes some practice. Have a look at the video to get a closer look at how I approach this part of the lick.

When you are ready, there are two ways I can help you:

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