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Arlen Roth Lessons
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The guitar lick in the classic song “Green Onions” is a very oft-imitated and quoted riff that was originally played by Steve Cropper of Booker T. and the MGs. It is truly one of the real “foundational” licks of rock guitar, and has been the kick-off riff in countless jams ever since it was first heard. It’s also like a backwards version of the “I’m a Man” Muddy Waters lick, which is another archetypical riff that is used over and over again.
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We all know how useful the “5th fret is equal to the next open string” thing is, but what about the open string being equal to the next string at the 7th fret? Well, that’s what this lesson is all about; those cool octaves that can be created in this way.
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The Harmony Shuffle requires quite a bit more left-hand dexterity and coordination to accomplish over ordinary shuffles, but once you master them they become a great tool. I have long been a fan of these types of positions, and you will find them to be quite invaluable in many applications as well.
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This is a classic variation on the kind of Blues guitar and bass unison lines that became so popular as the result of the great Chicago blues players. I’ve personally been playing this lick for years, even recording “Treat Her Right” on my second LP, Hot Pickups. If you listen carefully to the original recording by Roy Head and The Traits there are actually two guitars playing on this part. We’re going to be playing it as one part, homogenized together.
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This was one of the first blues chord “inflections” that I discovered in my formative years, listening to folks like Mike Bloomfield and T-Bone Walker. It’s very easy to imitate the sound, but it took me a while to actually discover that these slides came from 9th chords!!
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