I first became acquainted with this style by listening to and admiring one of my earliest guitar heroes, Mike Bloomfield. His approach to blues runs utilizing an almost “cascading” and “rolling” style was what led me to this technique. I loved the way he liked to make the notes “blur” together a bit this way, and I have found that over the years, hybrid picking is really the way to play these – if not the only way – because they can only be accomplished with a flat pick.
In today’s lesson, I’ll show you a few closed runs, noting that often it’s the “passing” or sometimes “blue” notes that give these the most added character. The flatted 5ths and 3rds come most quickly to mind when thinking of this style, among other notes such as the 9ths and 6ths, as well.
Pay close attention to the notated and illustrated nuances such as the pull-offs and hammers-ons, as well as the proper combination of pick and finger, and you’ll really be able to “grab” these licks when you really feel them!
A true foundational style that introduces new kinds of phrasing to you!—Arlen Roth