Improve your blues soloing now with 10 tasty B.B. King-inspired intro licks

B.B. King
(Image credit: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

In this month’s column, I’m showing you another set of licks from my book, 100 Essential Blues Guitar Intros. This month’s subject is blues legend B.B. King. King made every note count using his powerful vibrato trill to wring as much emotion from his playing as possible. Using space in his soloing made him highly melodic, and many of his intro licks are like perfectly composed solos within themselves. 

King’s taste and restraint meant he spent as long he saw fit on an intro phrase. One of his biggest mainstream hits, The Thrill Is Gone is the perfect example of this, as B.B. plays a melodic melodic intro solo all the way through the progression before the vocals come in. 

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Stuart Ryan

Stuart Ryan is best known for his acoustic guitar playing, from Celtic fingerpicking and traditional folk to modern percussive phrasing and fresh interpretations of popular pieces. He has released several solo albums, written pieces for UK examination boards and created nine tutorial books ranging from acoustic guitar arrangements to Americana styles.