In Deep: Tribute to the Musical Genius and Signature Lead Guitar Style of Duane Allman
Lesson with tab and video: Tribute to the signature lead guitar style of Duane Allman.
Now let’s focus on soloing over a 12-bar slow blues form along the lines of “Stormy Monday” and in the style of Duane Allman, as illustrated in FIGURE 9.
I begin in bars 1 and 2 with a melodic idea based on G major pentatonic, but in bar 3, I morph into G minor pentatonic by overbending the second, A, up and step and a half to the fourth, C. At the end of bar 4 into bar 5, I apply the overbending technique to E, the sixth, bending that note all the way up to the G root note, repeating the melodic motif into bar 6.
When performing these bends, line up additional fingers behind the fretting finger—for example, reinforcing the ring finger with the middle finger or both the middle and index—to help it push the string. Doing so will give you better pitch control and stability when bending. The same is true for bend vibratos.
Throughout the remainder of the example, I limit my movement to the eighth and 10th positions to demonstrate that a great amount of melodic invention can be found without moving up and down the fretboard. The intent here is to create lines that are expressive and vocal-like while also evoking a bit of the Duane-like focused intensity.
For his “Whipping Post” solo, Duane drew primarily from the A Dorian mode (A B C D E Fs G), two fretboard patterns of which are shown in FIGURES 10 and 11. Both patterns are very useful for soloing, so you’ll want to memorize them thoroughly.
FIGURE 12 offers an eight-bar solo along the lines of Duane’s “Whipping Post” solo. The song is played in 12/8 meter, which affords a lot of room for rhythmic creativity, and Duane made the most of the opportunity every time he played it. I begin this solo with a wholestep bend from the A root up to the second, B, followed by subtle movement down through the notes of the A Dorian mode.
In bar 2, I play a quick repeated hammer/pull phrase that emphasizes two notes of a G major triad (G and B) before moving into a line based on A minor pentatonic (A C D E G).
Bar 5 offers a unique rhythmic superimposition that Duane used often. Another classic Duane-ism is illustrated in bar 7, as quick pulloffs on the top three strings alternate back and forth in an ascending-and-descending manner.
Try using your index and ring fingers to execute this phrase as well as your index and middle fingers and index and pinkie, or a combination of any of these. The aim should be, as always, clarity in execution.
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