Lick No 1 in the Style of Buddy Guy

In this lesson, Charlie will show us how to play a couple of licks by one of his favourite Blues performers, Mr Buddy Guy.

The diagram below shows the position of the fingers on the strings to play the notes of the scales used in these lick series.

Play Video


Difficulty Rating

Try the Tab


In case you missed it ...

Hi there, we're going to have a look at a blues lick in the style of one of my all-time favourite blues players, Mr Buddy Guy. Hopefully, I'll be able to get you playing along with the backing track. We'll work on that together. So here we go. Let's get right into it.

Ok,so these licks are pretty much coming from two scale positions; the first one being our A minor pentatonic scale, and the second one being our C pentatonic scale. I'll run through both of those scale shapes first of all just so that you are familiar with them and then we'll work our way through the lick.

The first scale shape is the A minor pentatonic scale and we're starting up on the fifth fret with our first finger. The scale shape is going from 5 to 8, 5 to 7, 5 to 7, 5 to 7, 5 to 8 and 5 to 8. The second scale shape is the C pentatonic scale shape. I'm starting up here on the eighth fret of my E string using my second finger, and I'm playing 2, 4 or, if you like, going from the eighth to the tenth fret. Then from the 7th to the 10th, 7th, 10th, 7, 9, 8, 10, 8, 10. Now as I play through that scale shape, I'm using my second and fourth finger for 8, 10, 8, 10. We can also use 1 to 3, which means we shift up on those last couple of notes... Now slide up with my first finger onto the eighth fret, and my third finger on the tenth ...

Now we're just starting off in our tonic pentatonic scale and we're going to use our third finger on the G string, sliding up to the ninth fret, and our second finger on B string, and we'll be sliding up to the eighth fret. So, we're playing thirds there... get that little slide happening first off... and we're doing two lots of triplets; one-two-three, one-two-three ...

The second part of the lick, we are into that fifth pentatonic scale position. Third finger was going to be again on that G string on the seventh fret, and we're going to pull off to the fifth fret with our first finger ... followed by two As, which are third finger on the seventh fret of the D string... So the lick so far...

The third part of the lick, I'm back into the tonic position, the C pentatonic scale, the second finger in now on the ninth fret of the G string, and I'm going to slide into that note ... first finger on the eighth fret of the B string ... First finger again, on the eighth fret of the E string. Now we just kind of role that first finger right across ... finishing with our third finger on the tench fret of the B string. All of those notes are from our pentatonic scale, tonic position...

Part 1 ... part 2 ... part 3 ... Now that concludes the first lick.

Now, if I like to continue that lick on, I can work my way back into the sixth position, doing a little run that takes me back down into that sixth or A minor pentatonic scale, so we get ...

I'll just show you that second part... Now first finger on the B string on the eighth fret, second finger on the G string on the ninth fret. Swap to the third finger on the seventh fret of the G string, pull off to the first finger of the G string, and concluding that lick with the third finger on the D string, so we are back into our A minor pentatonic shape ...

First lick... second part ...

I'll just add a backing track, and I'll play lick one four times and then play lick two four times for you.

Ok, so let's try and play the track together. Alternating, I'll go first and then you
... now you
... now you
... away you go
... your turn

I'll now play the second part, or the extended part of the lick. Four times through. I'll play the line first, and then you'll follow.
... your turn
... your turn
... your turn
last time ... away you go...

That concludes our couple of licks in the style of Buddy Guy. You don't have to phrase them the way I have phrased them there. You can experiment with them, play them in different keys. Practice hard, and we'll see you next time.

Copyright © C. Pennell & J. Marco (