Kirk Fletcher introduces you to T-Bone Walker’s legendary blues model

T-Bone Walker

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Hey, and welcome to my contemporary Guitar World column! It’s an honor to be right here and to bear this alternative to portion some of my suggestions about guitar playing and song with you all.

Aaron Thibeaux “T-Bone” Walker is rightfully thought to be one in every of the most difficult and most influential blues guitarists of all time. He is a critical impact of mine and of every and each blues guitarist I’ve ever identified or listened to, from B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and former, and he’ll absolutely dwell a predominant blues impact for every and each generation to come. 

T-Bone Walker became once the epitome of class and excellence, in each and each his signature customary guitar playing model and his amazing singing verbalize. His playing incorporated aspects of jazz and swing whereas moreover expressing absolute authority in his feel and make contact with. The advance he acknowledged his phrasing and soloing suggestions became once revolutionary for the time, which started in the early 1940s. 

T-Bone’s most famed tune is the eternal blues masterpiece (Name It) Stormy Monday, a sluggish blues conducted in the foremost of G. Figure 1 represents a mature 12-bar blues acquire, along with T-Bone’s signature five-bar pickup that he frequently conducted sooner than entering into it. In bars 1 and 2, the chord development moves down in complete steps, from G9 to F9 to Eb9, then down one half of step, to D9.

For each and each of these chord voicings, as antagonistic to playing the root on the fifth string, I’m playing the fifth below it, on the sixth string, so the chord names are G9/D, F9/C, Eb9/Bb and D9/A. It’s possible you’ll per chance hear T-Bone the utilization of this signature intro on many a kind of sluggish blues songs too, similar to Glamour Lady and Mean Ragged World.

GWM550 Kirk Fletcher lesson

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For each and each of these chords, T-Bone provides the 13th on the excessive E string, fretted with the pinky, and uses this “upper extension” so that you might maybe add a straightforward melodic line to each and each chord. After spicy by this descending development twice, a D augmented chord is conducted on the dwell of bar 4, followed by a swinging line that items up the shift to a low voicing of G9 and the muse of the 12-bar acquire correct kind, in bar 6.

Concerning the single-roar phrase in bar 5: look for that the closing four notes are written as a neighborhood of 4 swing 8ths. You’ll look for this same rhythmic notation in bars 7, 9 11 and 12. In these cases, T-Bone is superimposing a 44 feel over the  128 meter, by playing four eighth notes across the beat as antagonistic to three. And, as indicated, the notes are phrased with a swing eighths feel (“long short long short”).

In bar 15, the rhythmic freedom is pushed reasonably of further on beat 2, with the incorporation of a “5 on 3” phrase, as five eighth notes are squeezed into the rental of three.

Another signature ingredient of T-Bone’s model is to play a diminished chord on the head four strings, similar to Gdim7, voiced G, Db, E, Bb, and fairly bend the head three strings up a half of step, so the chord tones sound nearer to G7 (G, D, F, B) nonetheless articulated with very frigid and bluesy sounding ascending bends.

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