Talkin' Blues: Anatomy of a Classic Solo — Billy Butler and "Honky Tonk"

The following content is related to the April 2013 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now, or in our online store.

Cool licks are everywhere, but truly great solos are rare. The missing link is structure—how ideas are joined together to create a whole that is bigger than the sum of its parts.

One such example of greatness is Billy Butler’s classic solo on Bill Doggett’s million-selling 1956 instrumental “Honky Tonk,” a recording that has been covered and cannibalized repeatedly for half a century. Let’s step inside and see how Butler turned a few cool ideas into a 36-bar masterpiece.

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