P REMIERCLINIC R OCK
Andy Aledort’s KingsofBluesandRockVol. 5
Badge Solo, Completed
Continuing last month’s exploration, our February lesson looks at
the last six measures of the solo, after the progression resolves to
Am and returns to the verse section. This excerpt begins in the B.B.
box, named for its close association and usage by B.B. King. In this
example, the B.B. box is located in the 15th position, with the index
finger functioning as the anchor.
Where last month’s lesson left us in the D minor pentatonic position,
this month we’ll be using the D major pentatonic scale, and relying
on Clapton’s use of repeating phrases.
In bar three, we explore Clapton’s practice of repeating a phrase
while changing its rhythmic placement. Here we are bouncing
between D and B notes while keeping a constant vibrato on the D.
This would be a good time to investigate Clapton’s unique vibrato
technique. He has a great, floating vibrato because he doesn’t
anchor his thumb at the back of the neck – instead, he simply uses
it to guide his hand up and down the neck. Also note that his palm
isn’t used as an anchor, either. Check out some videos to see what’s
In measure one, slide up on the G string from the 14th fret to the
16th with your index finger fretting the 15th fret on the B string to
get into position. While holding the note with your index finger,
bend the 17th fret of the E string. Reiterate the bend, then release
the B string after the E string is played. This position sets up the
whole step bend on the high E at the 17th fret with your ring finger
in the second measure. Use your index finger to bend the G up to
A on the high E string, then bend the B string at the 18th fret up a
half-step to F#. This is the position commonly referred to as the B.B.
box, and B.B. K ing was a n o bvious i nfluence on C lapton.
Bar four features a bend of F up to G on the 18th fret of the B string,
which is then repeated across the bar line, adding some rhythmic
interest. In the last full measure, we change positions from the 15th
to the 10th, hammering from the minor third, or F, to F#, a major
sound, creating a bittersweet feeling. Also note the use of hammer-
ons and pull-offs to create a nice, rolling quality to the solo – yet
another Clapton signature.
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