The Bluesy Side Of Joe Satriani – Part 1
For many, Joe Satriani is the ultimate modern guitar virtuoso. He combines finely crafted songs featuring vocal-like melodies with flawless technical execution and musical integrity.
Some may even refer to him as a ‘Shredder’ although he’d probably distance himself from that one-dimensional and inherently musically meaningless terminology.
While possessing great command over many modern playing techniques, from his signature legato phrasing to innovative two-handed tapping a la ‘Midnight’, Joe also has a deep connection with the Blues. In the following video I’ve put together five Joe Satriani Blues Licks and turned it into a short solo study.
Joe Satriani Blues Licks – Solo Study and Lick #1
Joe’s love for the Blues is evident in all of his work. The most prominent example of his blues playing can be found on the 1995 album ‘Joe Satriani’ as well as his work with his supergroup ‘Chickenfoot’ featuring Sammy Hager, Michael Anthony and Chad Smith.
Also check out his live work with Deep Purple. Joe was filling the guitar slot after Ritchie Blackmore quit the band in the early 90s.
In this series of articles I want to discuss a handful of Joe Satriani Blues Licks. I am going to start with the simple opening lick shown in Ex.1.
At the end of this series you will be able to play the entire solo study demonstrated in the video above and have a good understanding of how to incorporate these Joe Satriani Blues Licks into your own playing.
Joe Satriani Blues Licks – Lick #1
This triplet based lick is a great way to start a solo or a ‘call-and-response’ kind of improvisation.
It also shows the Jimi Hendrix influence as you could easily find it on any of his recordings
A good tip to get more out of this lick it to play it once as it’s written out and then repeat it but end on a different note – the note A for example, on the 5th fret of the e-string.
This technique is referred to as ‘call-and-response’ or ‘question-and-answer’ technique. The concept is simple: you play the first phrase, the ‘call’, and then repeat the same phrase but change it slightly, the ‘response’.
This is a powerful way of creating meaningful musical material and has a long tradition in the Blues and Blues-related music. And it beats mindless pentatonic noodling hands down.
If you ever found your playing to be without focus, try this approach. You’ll be amazed at how structured you solos will sound.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Joe Satriani Blues Licks, where we look at how Joe gives the old pentatonic a modern make-over.
Make sure you check out Joe Satriani’s latest album ‘Unstoppable Momentum’ – visit http://www.satriani.com for more