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Blues Guitar Licks : Robben Ford

Robben Ford is first and foremost known for his blues guitar playing and singing, but he has also explored other genres such as jazz and fusion during his long and successful career.

 

 

 

 

 

At that time he got discovered by Tom Scott who invited him to join his fusion band 'L.A. Express', the backing band for Joni Mitchell's Court and Spark tour.

Robben Ford eventually played on two of Joni's albums: Miles of Isles and The Hissing of Summer Lawns.

From 1977 to 1983 he played with The Yellowjackets from which he was a founding member. In 1986 Robben Ford toured with Miles Davis (The Complete Miles Davis at Montreux).

 

Recommended listening: Sunrise

 

Robben Ford Lick 1

This lick is a must-know bluesy lick that uses the A minor blues scale.

To help you get started with this pattern on the fretboard, here is the A minor blues scale shape used to build the phrase that you can work in 12 keys around the neck.

 

Guitar Tablature : Robben Ford : Lick 1

 

Try playing this Robben Ford lick over an A major or or A minor blues chord progression to hear it in a musical context.

 

Listen & Play

 

Guitar Tablature : Robben Ford : Lick 2

 

Robben Ford Lick 2

Here is a dominant lick that uses the G minor blues scale.

To help you get started with this pattern on the fretboard, here is the G minor blues scale (with natural 3rd added) shape used to build the phrase that you can work in 12 keys around the neck.

 

Guitar Tablature : Robben Ford : Lick 3

 

Notice the alteration between the flat and the natural third, as the b3 gives you a bluesy sound when applited to a dominant chord.

 

Listen & Play

 

Guitar Tablature : Robben Ford : Lick 4

 

Robben Ford Lick 3

Here is a short, G7 lick that uses the G6 arpeggio, G-B-D-E, leading to a blues bend at the end of the phrase.

As well, there are two triplet rhythms at the start of the line that is charateristic of Robben's approach to rhythms when soloing.

 

Listen & Play

 

Guitar Tablature : Robben Ford : Lick 5

 

Robben Ford Lick 4

As well as being a master single-note soloist, Robben also loves to use double-stops in his improvised lines and solos.

This line features double-stops that retain the root, G, on top while moving down the scale below this pedal note, giving it a cool-sounding texture over a G7 chord.

 

Listen & Play

 

Guitar Tablature : Robben Ford : Lick 6

 

Robben Ford Lick 5

This final Robben Ford lick is a longer, D7, line that uses triplets, the D6 and D7 arpeggio, blues notes and a large range of the guitar.

With all of these items in one phrase, this lick sums up nicely the various techniques you've learned in this lesson.

 

Listen & Play

 

Guitar Tablature : Robben Ford : Lick 7

 

Though not a traditional jazz guitarist, Robben Ford has a classic, bluesy feel to his playing that can help you explore the blues-fusion and blues-rock styles of guitar soloing.

 

 

 


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