Blues Licks

I started this series because I great way to learn new Blues vocabulary is to learn a new Blues Lick every week and work it into your playing. So I picked my personal favourite 7 Blues Masters and did 8 licks from each - so over a years worth of material for a lick a week!



Stevie Ray Vaughan

SRV is for many people on of the finest blues players of all time and he has loads of awesome licks that are great to steal and work into your own playing.

Albert King

Albert King was one of the giants of Blues guitar. He had a MASSIVE influence on Stevie Ray Vaughan (there is much video of them jamming!), Eric Clapton and pretty much all that followed him.

He plays with the thinnest string on top and the big feature of his playing was massive and super cool string bending.

Total legend with loads of incredible albums that span traditional blues to super funk!


Freddie King

I love Freddie King, incredible power and fantastic time, just perfect, and he wrote loads of awesome instrumental guitar songs which are fun to play and very strong melodically!

He plays with Thumb on the bass strings (sometimes with a plastic thumbpick) and a metal fingerpick on the first finger which gives a very different sound.

There's loads of video around of him, so go explore!


T-Bone Walker

T-Bone was a West Coast blues man who started out in Texas. His best friend (and flatmate!) was jazz legend Charlie Christian and his playing has a jazz tinge to it.

As well as a great player he was a real showman, playing behind his head and doing the splits on stage!

Worth noting that most licks people attribute to Chuck Berry are really T-Bone licks! Chuck was a fine writer but much of his style and moves he stole from T-Bone!


Eric Clapton

Clapton took the blues of the 50's and 60's and found his own take on them to powerful effect. His breakthrough album with John Mayall is a top Blues album of all time and it's got loads of killer guitar playing on it.

He grew into a wonderful songwriter but his Blues guitar playing is top notch, as you probably know - if you don't go wrap your ears around some now!


B.B. King

Who doesn't love BB? Such a wonderful touch but he had them deep down blues that could really reach in... grew up the son of sharecroppers, he was the real deal and became one of the most influential blues guitarists ever.

BB is one of those guys that plays the perfect note at the perfect time with the perfect touch and learning the licks on the page won't do - you gotta be listening to it! Start with Live at The Regal - one of the finest blues albums of all time.


Robben Ford

Robben is an incredible modern Blues guitar player who mixes in jazz concepts and traditional blues. His early work with Jimmy Witherspoon is awesome and he reached out more with Miles Davis but also worked with Joni Mitchell and The Yellow Jackets.

He has many solo albums out and is still touring and well worth going to see if he's coming to a town near you.