Tricky Picking and Bending

This lick is interesting because it really only uses two simple notes: the root, or 1st scale degree, and the fifth, or 5th scale degree. But it winds up sounding a lot more complicated because of all the guitaristic ornamentation we use to get those two notes played.

We start by bending the D on the G string up to the E (5th scale degree). Next, we play the E again, but over on the B string. Keep going and pick the A (1st scale degree or root) on the E string, then immediately back over to the E on the B string. This is tricky because you have to pick the B string, then the E string, then right back over to the B string.

Next, we bend the G on the B string up to A (1st scale degree or root). Bring it back down, then pick it and bend it back up. That's the basis of the lick! Now repeat.

Once you get the mechanics of it right, then it's time to play it right rhythmically. Start the lick on the triplet upbeat of beat 3. Then play all three 1/8th note triplets of beat 4, finally that will place you playing the first big bend up to A on the downbeat of beat 1.

Bread and Butter Blues Licks Series 1
Tricky Picking and Bending song notation

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Questions & Answers

7 months ago
is all downstrokes ok with this one? it seems like you did it differently a few times
Josh Workman 6 months ago

Hi Jason, no harm in trying! It probably depends on how fast you play the lick.