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Rock Me Baby: Introduction


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Rock Me Baby

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Whats up people! This is Henrik for Guitar Tricks, and today we're gonna take a look at how to play a real old blues classic, "Rock Me Baby" as made famous by B.B. King. This song is a classic blues jam that's a real treat for anyone that is in need of the blues. We'll be playing one guitar in this tutorial, looking at a very interesting rhythm part for the verses and the intro along with a blues solo that has a ton of signature B.B. King licks. We'll start out with our rhythm riffs and just sit in with the rhythm section; when it comes time for the solo, we simply leave the rhythm playing to the band and we take the lead.

This is a classic 12 bar blues that's in the key of C. We'll be starting out with 4 bars of the I chord, C. Then we switch to the IV chord F for 2 bars, then back to C for 2 bars. Next we'll go to the turnaround where we jump up to the V chord for a bar, down one whole step to the IV chord for a bar, then to C for one bar and the V chord G again for a bar before the progression starts over. Through these changes we'll be playing a rhythm part that is very reminiscent of what the piano is doing. We're going to play variations of this riff over all the chords; some changes are very slight but still a bit different.

We'll play the 12 bar form 3 times, once without vocals and twice before the solo. In the solo we're going to look at some essential blues licks. This is the type of solo that you should really sit down and learn note by note and phrase by phrase if you want to know how to play the blues. There are a lot of pentatonic licks that blend major and minor tonalities, which is another very common occurrence when you're playing blues style leads. But the most interesting thing with the solo is definitely the rhythmic phrasing and an exceptionally emotional use of bends.

After the solo we go into another verse and we go back to our rhythm riffs. And the song will end with a fade out but we'll simply play 4 bars of our riff in C and manage to get a few beats of the F in before the song is fully faded out. You'll know when we're in the outro because there are no more vocals at this point.

So we're playing a 12 bar blues and notice that most of the notes strung together are swung 8th note triplets. This is a huge part of playing swung blues phrases. We'll be in 4/4 time signature at a tempo of 89 beats per minute.