STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN
Before tackling this course, you should be comfortable with all the material from The Texas Shuffle

Now we've covered SRV's 100mph style tracks, let's take it back a notch and look at how the master works over a slow blues. We start by looking at the typical chords he would play over a 12 bar and how to play licks within those chords. Again, the focus here is the rhythm, and that includes the rhythm of the licks!

Summary: 'Slow Texas Blues'

We will now move into a 12/8 time signature, which can only mean one thing... slow blues! If you're into blues, then you've definitely heard these kind of blues tracks before - "Have You Ever Loved A Woman", "Sweet little Angel" and many, many more! Your first job here is to simply listen to the track and try a get a feel for it. Listen to the drums as well as the guitar as they will help you define the time signature.

Summary: The chords

We will begin by stripping the whole track down to just the basic chords. We are in the key of C Blues here, and therefore use the 1st, 4th and 5th of the key of C. This specifically works out as C7, F9 and G9. Wether you play a dominant 7th or dominant 9th doesn't really matter, as the 9th is simply adding an extra melody note. However, SRV would definitely use the 9th for the 4 and 5 chord, so we should too! Here are the chords:

Materials: The chord chart

Our first task is to play through the whole twelve bar sequence using the chords above. We will simply be strumming beat 1 and beat 4. On beat 4, we will attack the chord and stop it immediately to create the sound of the snare drum. Remember that in 12/8 time, we need to count "one two three four five six, one two three four five six" to play through one bar. Here is the chord chart:

  • 12 Bar blues
  • C7 ///// ////// F9 ///// ////// C7 ///// ////// C7 ///// //////
  • F9 ///// ////// F9 ///// ////// C7 ///// ////// C7 ///// //////
  • G9 ///// ////// F9 ///// ////// C7 ///// F9 ///// C7 ///// G9 /////
  • Loop this sequence till end of song

Materials: The Tab

We will get to all the wonderful licks and SRV style fills in the next lesson, but first you must be able to play through the 12 bar in this simplified way. Use the tab to make sure you full understand the timing.

Audio: Backing Track & Audio

It is worth trying to play with just the backing track, as you will not be 'hiding' behind the recorded guitar part; it's all up to you to make it sound awesome!

Summary: Adding the extras!

We will now take the simplified 12 bar and start adding the extra parts. These elements will really bring it to life and we'll kick off with the first two bars. In terms of scales, we are using the C Minor pentatonic shape 1 and the C Major pentatonic shape 2 combined, just as we have done in all the lesson up until now.

Materials: The Tab

In this lesson, we are only focusing on the first 2 bars of the tab, so use the looping function and slowing down facility to learn this section.

Summary: Bar 3 - 8

As we continue through the 12 bar, you start to get repeating sections. For example, bar 3 is identical to bar 1. As you advance this concept and learn more licks, you can easily add 'insert your own' lick to mix it up a bit, but for the purpose of this lesson, and to get the piece down, we will repeat licks. We are adding one new lick, which simply uses the C Minor pentatonic, just at a different point within the bar to change the rhythm a little.

Materials: The Tab

In this lesson we are only focusing on bar 3-8, so use the looping function and slowing down facility to learn this section.

Summary: The entire 12 bar

In the final 4 bars, we use the 9th chord slides to create more interest as well as a classic SRV sounding lick for the turnaround. This lick uses pentatonic shape 1 and 2 together in minor, and includes a quick 'throw away' blues lick to move between shape 2 and 1. The scales used are as shown here:

Materials: The Tab

It's now time to try and play through the whole tab. Once you have the basic pieces together, try to get your foot tapping and make it work rhythmically. Take your time with this and use the slow down feature to help you along!

Audio: Backing Track & Audio

When you are ready, the backing track and full solo are here to play along to. It is worth trying to play with just the backing track, as you will not be 'hiding' behind the recorded guitar part; it's all up to you to make it sound awesome!

Ready to move on – remember to check out every lesson in this unit first – then try the next unit...

Texas Storm

In our final section we take the slow 12 bar blues we learnt previously and tackle an awesome SRV style solo which will push you to the limit of your blues playing. The solo makes use of SRV's incredible dynamic playing.