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Style of B.B. King

Artist Series Guitar Course from Kenny Ray

This series will cover all the unique aspects of B.B. King and his style of playing.

6 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.

Multi-Camera

Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

92% Appoval

25 of 26 of our members have given this their approval.

Tabs & Info

Download tabs, helpers, JamTracks and docs included with lessons.

Included

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Full Course Breakdown

Kenny Blue Ray has got both talent and knowledge to open up the world of B.B King's style of Phrasing, Techniques, and overall approach to soloing.

1

Series Introduction & Phrasing

Welcome to a fantastic series presented by Kenny Blue Ray! This series will cover the phrasing, techniques, and creativity that B.B. King has brought to the guitar world. In this lesson, Kenny explains how to move around the guitar neck like B.B. himself.

10:02 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

View this Lesson
2

B.B. King Style Licks

B.B. King is widely known for his solos and his overall talent to throw licks together. Kenny taps into this subject and demonstrates a number of licks that can easily be associated with B.B.'s sound.

9:50 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty

3

Positions 1 & 2

For the majority of B.B. King's early career, he only played in 2 positions of the neck. Kenny demonstrates these two important scale patterns and some B.B. King style licks derived from them.

10:01 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

4

3rd Position

Kenny now describes how B.B. King utilizes a 3rd position and demonstrates how he connects all 3 positions together.

10:27 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

5

B.B. King's Favorite Chords

Kenny now covers some of B.B. King's favorite chords. Although B.B. is more of a soloist, he occasionally plays rhythm and full chord voicings.

11:22 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

6

The B.B. King Touch

Kenny dives into the techniques that define B.B. King.

9:22 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

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  • Mountain View, California
  • Playing since 1958
  • 71 lessons at JamPlay
Kenny is a blues veteran of 40 years whose pedigree includes recording and appearing with artists the caliber of William Clarke, Little Charlie and the Nightcats, Charlie Musselwhite, Smokey Wilson, Albert Collins, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Kenny Ray was born in Lodi, California on January 11, 1950. His interest in music was forged by his father, who played guitar, harmonica, accordion, piano and fiddle. Seeing Elvis perform on the Ed Sullivan show in 1956 sealed Kenny's passion to play guitar. His father bought Kenny his first guitar in 1958 for $7.00, His dad later bought Kenny his first real Electric guitar, a 1959 black Danelectro for $38.50, In Stockton, California.

Kenny's obsession with the blues was triggered by the infamous Wolfman Jack, when as an eleven year old, Kenny would lie in bed listening to the radio to the sounds of Jimmy Reed B.B. King and Howlin' Wolf on XERB-FM, from Chula Vista, California, and was inspired by music that Kenny claims "just totally blew my mind." Seeing his hero, Keith Richards in 1964 in Sacramento, also was a big decision in going professional, The Guitars in the Stones say a lot, and work well together, ala Jimmy Reed/Eddie Taylor, & Robert Jr & Luther Tucker (a Friend Kenny met in 1976). Kenny and his guitarist friends would skip school to learn Albert King's album, "Born Under A Bad Sign" and B.B. King's live album, "Blues Is King" in the mid 60's developing licks and vibrato from the masters.

Serving in the Air Force from 1969-72, Kenny was based in South Ruislip, London, England, and worked in RAF Hillingdon) where he hooked up with ex-Jr. Walker band member Ferdnand Jones in a nine piece soul review called El Jade, where they covered Al Green, Aretha Franklin and "lots of blues."

On his return to the States, Kenny spent two years touring California with the Paul Herman Band. In 1975 he joined Little Charlie and the Nightcats, which at the time was fronted by Charlie Baty on guitar, harp and vocals. Rick Estrin joined the band in 1976, It was a great sound, but Charlie could play so much, Kenny wasn't needed in the Night Cats and not long after, Kenny left and moved to Los Angeles where he became a member of the houseband at Smokey Wilson's Pioneer club, backing artists like Big Joe Turner, Pee Wee Crayton, Lowell Fulson, and Big Mama Thornton.

The late 70's were a productive time for the blues in LA, and Kenny became immersed in the Watts scene and made his recording debut with William Clarke and Hollywood Fats ("Diggin' My Potatoes") and Finis Tasby (a set "Get drunk and be somebody" which remains unreleased) in 1978. William Clarke was a master on the blues harp, and it was a great experience with Bill.

In 1980, Kenny moved to Austin, Texas, where he joined the Marcia Ball Band, touring with her for four years on the Crawfish Circuit and appearing on her 1984 Rounder release "Soulful Dress", which also featured, Stevie Ray Vaughan on Guitar with Kenny on the Title track. During this time Kenny met and became friends with Stevie Ray Vaughan. Further recording sessions followed with Greg "Fingers" Taylor ("Harpoon Man"), Marcia Ball on Varrick, Mitch Woods, Charlie Musselwhite, Ronnie Earl and the Roomful of Blue Horns on the Blind Pig release, ("Solid Gold Cadillac"), and sessions with Tommy Castro, Gary Smith, and others. Blues Harp is a favorite and Kenny had the great honor of working with James Cotton, Little Charlie & The Night Cats, William Clarke (Kenny's favorite), James Harman, Shakey Jake Harris, Rod Piazza and Gary Smith.

Kenny's biggest influences on guitar are Albert King, T-Bone Walker, John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Lockwood, Jr., B.B. King, Freddie King, Kenny Burrell, Wes Montgomrey, and Johnny "Guitar" Watson. Kenny also digs Jimmie Vaughan and Anson Funderburgh.
Reviews & Feedback 92/100 with 26 ratings
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