This is definitely one of those “little secrets” that we guitar players like to keep to ourselves from time to time, but now thanks to Gibson.com, you’re getting it all!
What’s really cool about this lick is that it is totally unique to the key of B, and having discovered it around 28 years ago it’s gotten its share of use by me over those years. It’s gotten to the point where when I hear that the song is either going to be in the key of B, or will contain a B chord, a little bulb goes off in my head, knowing that there is a distinct possibility I may call upon this position for active duty.
When I first noticed this position, I made note of how its high timbre and open B-string octave “drop” gave it a nice, almost Appalachian “Dulcimer” kind of sound. Therefore, it naturally lends itself to a semi-brushed type of strumming, very reminiscent of the dulcimer, or even the autoharp. This also accounts for its Appalachian roots type of tonality, and it lends itself to some of the more gentle types of tunes.
In this exercise you’ll not only see its original position but how it relates to similar positions for the IV and the V chords that are within close proximity. Hope you enjoy this “little secret” that makes a BIG impression!—Arlen Roth