More Lightnin' Licks (Guitar Lesson)

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Eric Madis

More Lightnin' Licks

Eric covers a few more essential licks in the style of Lightnin' Hopkins.

Taught by Eric Madis in Electric Blues with Eric seriesLength: 7:42Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (01:59) Introduction Welcome back to the Phase 2 Blues Series with Eric Madis! Eric is back in lesson 3 with some more of Lightnin' Hopkins' signature blues licks.

The first lick that Eric demonstrates is based on the beginning of the "Slide Lick" that he taught in the previous lessons. However the new lick concludes differently. Notes from the E minor pentatonic scale are used in the lick. Due to the inclusion of the minor third (G), the lick produces a very bluesy sound when played over the tonic E major chord in a 12 bar blues progression.

Pay careful attention to the left hand fingering that Eric uses. This is the most practical way to perform the lick. Use the index finger to barre the notes D and G at the 3rd fret.
Chapter 2: (04:40) Adding Vibrato and Finishing the Lick Vibrato can be added to the final tonic E note played in the lick. Remember the proper vibrato technique.
Similar to bending strings, performing a vibrato from the wrist requires that you bring the fret hand thumb up over the top of the neck. The strong thumb muscle combined with the wrist provide the leverage necessary to produce a strong vibrato. Shake the wrist back and forth like you are rapidly opening a doorknob to produce a vibrato. Let your ears guide you when developing your vibrato technique. Imitate the sound of your favorite players.

Lightnin' Hopkins' "Big Bend" Lick

The lick taught in the first scene is used as the initial setup for what Eric refers to as Lightnin' Hopkins' "big bend" lick. The bend is performed at the 5th fret of the first string. Bend this A note up a full step to the note B. Then, release the bend. The lick concludes with the notes G and E from the minor pentatonic scale.

Note: The following information about proper bending technique is taken from Lesson of David MacKenzie's Phase 1 Basic Electric Guitar Series. Refer to this lesson for more information about bending.

Bending Technique

A. Set-Up Tips for Comfortable Bending

The way in which your guitar is set up will have a profound impact on string bending. A guitar's set-up typically refers to the gauge of strings used, the tuning (standard tuning, down a half step, etc.), and the action height.

Most rock players prefer to play with lighter strings (usually 9 or 10 gauge) because they are easier to bend. The tone of smaller gauge strings is also more appropriate for this style. When it comes to blues, country, and jazz however, most professionals prefer a heavier gauge set (usually 11's or higher). Heavier strings are more effective for producing a biting, "twangy" sound.

The disadvantage to playing with heavy gauge strings is that they are much more difficult to bend. Most players recommend starting with a lower gauge string and gradually working your way up to a larger set. Also, it should be taken into consideration that some people simply have smaller, weaker hands than others. If bending the strings causes any discomfort or unnecessary fatigue, it's definitely a good idea to switch to a smaller set. Many players in the 80's injured their hands as a result of bending large strings. Stevie Ray Vaughn popularized using very large strings (13 gauge) to create his signature tone. What people didn't realize was that Stevie had absolutely massive hands and tuned his guitar down a half step.

Note: If you decide to change to a new string gauge, a new set-up must be performed. Some intonation, action, and minor truss rod adjustment may be necessary. Have this work done by a reliable professional.

B. Proper Technique for Bending

As a rule, it is always important to play with good classical technique. Solid left-hand technique is contingent upon several factors. First, the thumb must be perpendicular to the neck, resting approximately halfway up it. The rest of the left-hand fingers must be perpendicular to the fingerboard. They must be arched and bent at each individual finger joint.

Left-hand technique for bending is the only exception to this rule. In the context of the bend, it is highly beneficial to allow the thumb to come up over the neck. This enables you to have better leverage on the string. Using classical technique, you are relying solely on the strength of your fretting fingers to perform the bend. By bringing the thumb over the neck, you are combining its strength with your fretting fingers.

C. Bending Direction

The direction in which the string should be bent (towards the floor or towards your face) is dependent upon which string you are playing. Generally, the bass strings should be pulled downward, and the treble strings should be pushed upward. Otherwise, you run the risk of running out of room on the neck. There are some exceptions to this rule however. Due to the fingering of certain musical lines, there are some instances when it is easiest to pull the G string downwards. You might also find the need to push the D string upwards.

The direction in which you bend a string especially those located in the middle of the fretboard is mainly a matter of personal preference. If you watch JamPlay instructor Mark Brennan for example, he likes to bend many notes on the G string towards the floor. Dave MacKenzie typically bends notes on the first through the fourth strings in an upward motion (towards the ceiling). He prefers to bend notes on the sixth and fifth strings towards the floor.

D. Pitch Control

To ensure that your bends are in tune, first play the fretted note of the pitch you are bending up to. For example, if you want to bend the 7th fret of the G string up a whole step, first play the note "E" on the 9th fret. This will give your ears a reference as to what the bend should sound like. Be sure to practice bends of different intervals. Half step and whole step bends are the most common. However, bends of larger intervals such as a step and a half as well as 2 step bends are also common.

E. Fingering the Lick

When bending a string, several other strings are displaced. However, only one string is struck. When bending with the second, third, or fourth fingers, Use the other fingers as extra leverage when pushing the string upwards. When the bend is released back down to A, remove the index finger from the first string.
Chapter 3: (01:01) Lightnin's Sliding Chordal Lick This lick is one of the most common licks in the blues vocabulary. It features a repeating double stop from the E minor pentatonic scale. The double stops are played in a steady triplet rhythm. A slide from the fret below is performed on each beat of the measure.

Notice the picking pattern that Eric uses. To create a marcato feel, he picks the entire lick with downstrokes.

Typically, this lick is used as a set up for a variety of other licks in the key of E. As Eric demonstrates at 00:38, it can be combined with the pentatonic and minor blues licks taught in the previous lesson.

Preview of Next Lesson

Eric continues to teach staple blues licks in lesson 4. He covers some of the trademark licks played by John Lee Hooker.

Video Subtitles / Captions

Scene 1

00:00.000 --> 00:05.143
Welcome back.
I'm Eric Madis with

00:05.143 --> 00:15.568
We're working on Lightnin Hopkins licks to work over an E shuffle and last time we worked on seventh chord arpeggio's.

00:15.568 --> 00:24.252
This time we're going to go back to our sliding lick, the strategy of sliding up but we're going to come up with another lick all together.

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Remember, you might recall we started off with the sliding lick.

00:32.193 --> 00:37.232
Then from there we went into the seventh chord setup.

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Notice each time you're moving, sliding up with the second finger on the third string

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and using the index finger to hit the third fret on the second string.

00:53.555 --> 01:02.355
So what we're going to do now is we're going to slide up and we're going to lay the index finger across the first two strings

01:02.355 --> 01:06.117
and that's the only way it's going to vary from the last lick.

01:06.117 --> 01:18.492
So this time we're going to do that.
In other words, we're going to strike three, two, one.

01:18.492 --> 01:22.818
Then what we do is we follow through with our next two fingers.

01:22.818 --> 01:30.665
The second and the third fingers and they will fall down, you'll place them on the fourth and fifth frets of the second string.

01:30.665 --> 01:37.282
Like this…

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Before we add our vibrato I am going to let you practice that.

01:42.111 --> 01:56.752
So we're going to slide up, index finger across the first two strings and the other two fingers come down on the fourth and fifth frets .

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So why don't you try that now.

Scene 2

00:00.000 --> 00:06.011
Good. So what we're going to do now is add a vibrato to that .

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Remember how we were saying with the vibrato you've got to have the thumb somehow lodged against the side of the neck

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and then we're going to turn the doorknob backwards.

00:14.811 --> 00:19.896
So here's what we're going to do…

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Just like that.

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Now one of the things you want to avoid is starting the vibrato too early because then you end up with an out of tune note.

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So you want to try to avoid that.

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You want to relax, let the note be annunciated clearly and then vibrato.

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This is the way you sustain your note and add a vocal quality to it.

00:50.476 --> 00:52.658

00:52.658 --> 00:58.486
Now that's the beginning of Lightnin's big bend, that's what I call the setup.

00:58.486 --> 01:02.312
There's a second part to this lick and that's what we call the bend.

01:02.312 --> 01:21.166
After we play, we're going to take all three fingers or first, second, third fingers, transfer them to the first string and we're going to do a bend.

01:21.166 --> 01:22.645
Let me show you how to do that.

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You take all three fingers on the first string and remember your backward turn of the doorknob

01:28.891 --> 01:37.504
but this time you have to make sure you really get your fingertips firmly holding that string.

01:37.504 --> 01:38.660
We bend up.

01:38.660 --> 01:44.442
Now remember with the bend you're basically moving several other strings.

01:44.442 --> 01:52.894
You are only bending one string that first string but you are moving several other strings along with it even though they're not sounding.

01:52.894 --> 01:58.280
So it takes a lot of strength to do that and that's why you need your wrist with that backward turn.

01:58.280 --> 02:08.357
So what we're going to do is get a firm downward pressure on those fingers, using the fingertips so it doesn't slip off

02:08.357 --> 02:12.746
and turn the doorknob backwards.

02:12.746 --> 02:20.896
Then when it relaxes bring the index finger up like this.

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Now it seems kind of odd I know but there is a reason for this.

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And we follow through with the G, A, the third fret on the first string, the fifth fret on the second string.

02:39.647 --> 02:44.870
Again, this is what we do, we have this setup.

02:44.870 --> 02:56.650
Vibrato, transfer the fingers, do the bend, on the relax of the bend bring the index finger up.

02:56.650 --> 03:05.728
So again, on the relax of the bend, bring the index finger up.

03:05.728 --> 03:13.646
Follow through with the G, E.
So. G, E.

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Now notice I'm vibrato-ing that last note.

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Once you annunciate a note then you can vibrato it.

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So let's look at the whole Lightnin Hopkins big bend lick.
We have the setup and the bend.

03:28.090 --> 03:31.443
The setup…

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Vibrato, transfer the fingers, bend.

03:36.801 --> 03:42.870
Don't forget to pull that index finger up.
And follow through with the two notes.

03:42.870 --> 03:53.266
Now I'm going to explain a little bit about the importance of that finger coming up because if you lock your finger down and you do this…

03:53.266 --> 03:58.550
You end up with a very anemic sounding lick and you can't get the four note definition that you need.

03:58.550 --> 04:03.357
One, two, three, four.

04:03.357 --> 04:07.048
As you speed this up…

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You can really hear the four notes even though you're doing it quickly and that all depends on the bringing up of that index finger.

04:16.785 --> 04:20.899
So if you want to train yourself well to get that, take your time at first.

04:20.899 --> 04:26.565
Bend, bring the index finger up.

04:26.565 --> 04:29.119
If you can do it slowly you can do it quickly.

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So let's take a little bit of time now and try the setup in the big bend.

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Go for it.

Scene 3

00:00.000 --> 00:03.912
Ok, so we're going to do another Lightnin Hopkins lick.

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This is called the Lightnin Hopkins chord lick.
You'll like this, this is going to be easy.

00:08.094 --> 00:14.779
This is very much like the sliding lick but it's done as a chordal idea.
In other words, it's done playing more than one note together.

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So instead of this, we're just going to play this as a dyad.
In other words, two notes.

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Notice I'm using all down strokes with my right hand.

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Ok, so this is a very common blues lick and you can combine it with other ideas to but for right now let's just look at that chordal.

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Ok, so we've done a bunch of Lightning Hopkins licks now already and it'll be time in the next lesson to move on to John Lee Hooker.

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Until the next time this is Eric Madis at

Supplemental Learning Material


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

bam711711bam711711 replied on February 16th, 2015

I have just started these lessons and they are great. Thank you

antl58antl58 replied on June 3rd, 2013

these lessons are awesome! ive learned the first series of licks but not really sure when to play them , when playing the basic bluses shuffle pretty much playing at the point of the turn around is that correct?

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on November 3rd, 2013

Well at first you may play these basic licks anywhere within the chord progression. But they are most effective when used over specific chord changes, or timed so they occur at the same time as the chord changes. Thanks for your question and kind words. - Eric

lucasflucasf replied on May 20th, 2013

When I release the bend, the G and B strings sound, sometimes VERY loudly. Is the angle of my finger wrong? By the way, I love the lessons!

Teanna RaeTeanna Rae replied on July 7th, 2013

I have the same problem, only mine is mostly the G string. I've tried several times to bend the high E without hitting it but it's difficult, could it be the way my guitar is built or is it just me? Lol

Teanna RaeTeanna Rae replied on July 7th, 2013

I have the same problem, only mine is mostly the G string. I've tried several times to bend the high E without hitting it but it's difficult, could it be the way my guitar is built or is it just me? Lol

roger stacyroger stacy replied on February 11th, 2013

I am really having fun with this set of lessons. Finally, we get to use what we've learned about scales!

rkm62rkm62 replied on December 8th, 2012

once again eric, fantastic!

tinkotinko replied on June 14th, 2012

Great stuff. getting back to basics and doing it properly has been great fun. cheers Eric.

tinkotinko replied on June 14th, 2012

Great stuff. getting back to basics and doing it properly has been great fun. cheers Eric.

tinkotinko replied on June 14th, 2012

Great stuff. getting back to basics and doing it properly has been great fun. cheers Eric.

fuchsfuchs replied on December 12th, 2010

Now I have lerned the basic shuffle and some licks. Both are working fine, but when are these licks played? It would be nice when it is shown in the lesson videos how these licks are used in the context of a song.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on January 25th, 2011

Thanks for your kind words and question. Each lick fills a period of time over a particular chord or section of a song. Most of the licks are taught in a particular key, or actually designed for use over a specific chord. Therefore, they will have to be moved linearly (up and down the fretboard) to apply to different chords and keys. I discuss this as you go along. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to write. - Eric

foxboyfoxboy replied on October 22nd, 2010

Hi Eric, thank you very much for all your great lessons - i am getting so much milage out of them. However, there's one thing i am really struggling with: Often when i do a bend like the one describe in this lesson, my fingers (especially the nails) tend to make the next string along the way sound, too. They often hook up the nextmost string, even if i shorten them as much as possible (I noticed you have very, very short nails on your left hand). Or sometimes i grab the nextmost string with my fingertips, and with the downward motion of the bend, the string is plucked like in a pull off. What are your strategies to get the bend so that only the bended string sounds and not it's neighbor string? Fox

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on December 6th, 2010

You also need to get the action on your guitar set so your fingers do not go under the strings (that you are not bending), because basically, you will need to move more than one string in most cases. As I bend, I take the other strings with my bend, although I have not struck them with the picking hand. They stay quiet that way. - Eric

beeho15beeho15 replied on October 12th, 2010

Hi eric, I look so forward to your lessons. I am learning so much. thank you terry

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on October 18th, 2010

Thanks very much, Terry. - Eric

praetorianpraetorian replied on April 11th, 2010

And here I thought I had already found all my favourite instructors on this site. I was wrong. Great series so far, I can't wait to master it!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on September 7th, 2010

Thank you very much!! Good luck and stay tuned! - Eric

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on April 21st, 2010

Thanks, Michael! - Eric

smitty jamessmitty james replied on June 26th, 2010

Hey Eric! I am really picking up and learning a lot of great blues licks from your lessons. There is one technique I have been struggling with though and wondered if you might be able to help me with it. Trying to get a decent vibrato outta my left hand feels unnatural and foreign. I really like your comparison of the "backward doorknob turn." It's helped out a lot, but it's something I've always struggled with. I was wondering if there is a lesson I might have missed or if you might have some training techniques I could practice to strengthen my vibrato in my left wrist. You make it look so easy of course and watching musicians like B.B. King - I swear it looks like his left hand is gonna fly off his arm sometimes. Thanks again!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on September 7th, 2010

Hey Smitty, Thanks for the kind words. Just take your time and turn that doorknob nice and slowly. Just playing will develop that technique. You don't need any special exercises. - Eric

justusfranzjustusfranz replied on March 23rd, 2010

Hi Eric, I`ve started last week your series and enjoy it so much , thank you!

mjosiasmjosias replied on January 20th, 2010

Hi Eric, just wanted to let you know how much I'm enjoying this lesson set, can't wait to get to it each day!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on February 5th, 2010

Thank you, Mike! Good luck and stay in touch. - Eric

blackriderblackrider replied on August 19th, 2009

Ok, so the beend thing doesn't work to well for me. You have your thumb way over the fret board, but my hands must be much smaller than yours because if my thumb is there then I have no strength to bend! Any suggestions?

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on December 20th, 2009

Perhaps I have a longer thumb than you....but I doubt it. The strongest part of the thumb is at the first joint itself; not on the tip of the thumb. Just do a thumb war with someone and you will notice that you can win, IF you have the joint over their thumb. Also and very important, don't grip the neck too closely to your palm. Leave as large a space as possible, so that you have room to do the bend. If your palm is against the guitar neck, you also will not have the strength to do a good bend or vibrato. Hope that helps> Eric

knievelknievel replied on September 19th, 2009

You've quickly become my favorite teacher here. You sound very much how I *want* to sound. Hawkeye has a way cooler blues name though. :)

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on December 20th, 2009

Thanks for the nice comments! That's true, but I do have a group named Blue Madness! - Eric

joenavyjoenavy replied on November 20th, 2009

Eric I have a problem with this video when you transfer your fingers to the high e and do the bend you say to remove the index finger and you have a tone. That is not happening for me. Are you playing both the high e and the b with the bend.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on December 20th, 2009

Hi Joe, Yes, you are bending the e, b and g strings. However, you are not striking them, only the e string. As for the lift off of the index finger; this is something to ensure that you get 4 notes of the lick (and not 3) and that the lick has that fluid, complete feel. The purpose of lifting off is to add that extra note without striking the string with the right hand. This lift-off aids whatever pull-off occurs with the ring finger on the left hand. Let me know if that does not make sense. - Eric

jdavissimojdavissimo replied on April 25th, 2009

Exactly what I was looking for here. What's next? When? The pace of your lessons is exactly right. Thanks.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on April 29th, 2009

Thank you! We continue on the country/city blues thing in E for a while, and then on to T.Bone Walker, BB King, Albert King, Freddy King, Buddy Guy, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Eric Clapton, SRV, Johnny Winter, and many more. Then we get into all kinds of more sofisticated blues stylings and approaches.

jdavissimojdavissimo replied on June 6th, 2009

Perfect! Can't wait.

CarolLBCarolLB replied on April 24th, 2009

Okay, I'm addicted. I need my next fix, I mean lesson, please! You're great, Eric. I'm so glad you're a part of the Jamplay family.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on April 29th, 2009

Thank you! We recorded a lot of lessons....this series could keep you busy for a while!

greenogreeno replied on April 25th, 2009

It's been quite a while since I pick up my electric. Good stuff Eric. Keep rm coming.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on April 29th, 2009


gone workingone workin replied on April 26th, 2009

Backward turn of the doorknob - That I get! Hah. I'm with the others. Great stuff. More more more.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on April 29th, 2009

Don't break that doorknob now!

Electric Blues with Eric

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

The blues is a distinctly American style of music. Many popular genres such as jazz, rock, and country music draw upon basic blues concepts. Consequently, it is advantageous for any guitarist to study the blues.

Lesson 1

Basic Blues Shuffle

In this lesson, Eric introduces himself and his Phase 2 lesson series. He also teaches a basic blues shuffle in the style of Jimmy Reed.

Length: 17:35 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 2

Licks by Lightnin' Hopkins

Eric teaches a few popular Lightnin' Hopkins licks. These licks can be played over the blues shuffle from the previous lesson.

Length: 11:46 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 3

More Lightnin' Licks

Eric covers a few more essential licks in the style of Lightnin' Hopkins.

Length: 7:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

John Lee Hooker Licks

Eric teaches a few licks inspired by the great John Lee Hooker.

Length: 7:43 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

Country Blues Lick

Eric Madis explains a country blues lick he calls the "Country Blues Double Wham."

Length: 6:35 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

Memphis Blues Lead

In this lesson Eric talks about playing basic lead in the Memphis Blues style.

Length: 10:37 Difficulty: 1.5 FREE
Lesson 7

Using the Memphis Blues

Eric demonstrates how the Memphis blues licks taught in the previous lesson can be used over various chords.

Length: 5:52 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

12 Bar Memphis Blues

Eric demonstrates how to construct a full 12 bar blues solo by using the Memphis blues licks he taught in previous lessons.

Length: 7:25 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Applying the Memphis Blues

In this lesson, Eric applies the Memphis Blues Lead to a practical blues context.

Length: 4:06 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 10

Learning A Licks

In this lesson, Eric Madis teaches two licks that can be used over an A chord.

Length: 12:16 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

IC Blues

In this lesson, Eric Madis teaches a type of blues shuffle that he calls the "IC Blues."

Length: 12:45 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 12

Simple Blues Lead

In this lesson, Eric talks about playing blues lead using licks you already know.

Length: 8:58 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 13

Play Like T-Bone Walker

Eric Madis begins to explain T-Bone Walker's style of playing the blues.

Length: 7:48 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

T-Bone Walker Lick

Eric Madis teaches a classic T-Bone Walker lick and talks about several different variations you can play.

Length: 10:56 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 15

Exploring T-Bone Walker Licks

Eric Madis introduces several new T-Bone Walker licks and explains the ways they can be used.

Length: 10:21 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 16

T-Bone Walker Licks Continued

Eric continues his exploration of T-Bone Walker licks and techniques.

Length: 9:22 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 17

T-Bone Walker Licks Wrap-Up

Eric wraps up his overview of T-Bone Walker licks and techniques in this lesson. You will be applying what you've learned in the next lesson, so be sure to practice.

Length: 10:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

Swing Blues in A

Eric teaches a swing blues progression. He teaches the progression in the key of A and explains how licks from previous lessons can be played over it.

Length: 14:17 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 19

Stormy Monday Blues

In this lesson, Eric Madis teaches the blues progression to "Stormy Monday Blues." This progression is played in the style of T-Bone Walker and Earl "Fatha" Hines.

Length: 9:49 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 20

Stormy Monday Blues Introduction

In this lesson, Eric returns to the world of "Stormy Monday Blues" to teach an amazing introduction segment.

Length: 7:21 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 21

Transition Licks

Eric Madis teaches a series of licks that can be used to transition from one pentatonic pattern to another.

Length: 9:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 22

Second Position Licks

In this lesson, Eric Madis demonstrates popular blues licks within the second pattern of the minor pentatonic scale.

Length: 16:50 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 23

The Thrill is Gone

In this lesson Eric talks about one of the classic blues tunes, "The Thrill is Gone," by B.B. King.

Length: 10:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 24

Third Position Playing

In this lesson, Eric Madis introduces the third pattern of the minor pentatonic scale. This pattern is used frequently by the likes of B.B. King.

Length: 11:27 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 25

Using Third Position

Eric Madis once again talks about third position and how it can be used. He also introduces a slew of new licks.

Length: 12:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 26

The Fourth Position

In this lesson Eric Madis talks about the fourth position of blues playing.

Length: 10:04 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 27

Playing Strategy

In this lesson Eric talks about "strategies" to use while playing and improvising.

Length: 7:11 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 28

Alternative Blues Shuffle

Eric Madis introduces the alternative blues shuffle, which is particularly useful on guitars featuring humbucker pickups.

Length: 14:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 29

Freddie King Style Licks

In this lesson Eric Madis teaches licks in the style of Freddie King.

Length: 9:38 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 30

Aeolian Mode

In this lesson Eric talks about the differences between the minor blues and the "dominant" blues. He also introduces the modes, beginning with the Aeolian mode.

Length: 10:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 31

Locrian Mode

In this lesson Eric Madis introduces the Locrian mode and talks about how it can be used in blues.

Length: 6:58 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 32

Dorian Mode

Eric continues his series on modes. This time he covers the Dorian mode and its relation to the blues.

Length: 7:16 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 33

Modes & Minor Key Blues

Eric continues his discussion on modes in relation to the minor key blues.

Length: 9:31 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 34

Minor 7th Arpeggios

Eric Madis teaches a handful of minor 7th arpeggios in this lesson.

Length: 10:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 35

Dominant 7th Arpeggios

Eric demonstrates dominant 7th arpeggios in this lesson.

Length: 7:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 36

Applying Dominant 7th Arpeggios

Eric discusses dominant seventh arpeggios and how they can be used in blues licks.

Length: 6:58 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 37

Diminished 7th Arpeggios

Eric talks all about diminished 7th arpeggios and gives five exercises to practice.

Length: 10:20 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 38

Applying Diminished 7th Arpeggios

Learn how the diminished 7th arpeggios from the previous lesson can be applied to the blues.

Length: 12:13 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 39

You Don't Love Me

Eric teaches the catchy blues song "You Don't Love Me."

Length: 14:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 40

Freddie King Variation

Eric teaches Freddie King variations on T-Bone Walker licks.

Length: 7:53 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 41

Lick Exercise

Eric provides an exercise that uses previously learned licks from the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th patterns of the minor pentatonic scale.

Length: 12:45 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 42

Introduction to Modes

Eric starts you off on the right foot with an introduction to modes.

Length: 28:09 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 43

Mode Application

In this lesson, Eric explains some common blues applications for the modes of the major scale.

Length: 12:43 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 44

Mode Application Continued

Eric Madis continues his discussion on mode application concepts.

Length: 18:30 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 45

Major Pentatonic Scale Ideas

Eric Madis discusses major pentatonic scale ideas.

Length: 6:09 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 46

More Lick Ideas

Eric shares some more great lick ideas that you can incorporate into your playing.

Length: 10:25 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 47

Ending Licks

Eric shares ideas on ending licks, turnarounds, and tags in this lesson.

Length: 12:41 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 48

Fill-in Licks

Eric Madis teaches some great filler licks for your bag of tricks.

Length: 14:13 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 49

Bass Lines

Eric Madis talks about some common blues bass lines that will spice up your playing.

Length: 13:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 50

More Ending Licks

Eric Madis teaches some classic ending licks.

Length: 16:01 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 51

Swing Blues

Eric Madis introduces the swing style of the 12 bar blues.

Length: 8:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 52

Classic Minor Blues

Eric Madis introduces the basics of the classic minor blues and talks about how this progression can be spiced up using simple blues techniques.

Length: 18:35 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 53

A Minor Blues in 8/8 Time

In this lesson, Eric Madis teaches a popular blues progression in 8/8 time. This rhythmic feel gives the progression a funkier or more rock-like feel than the traditional blues.

Length: 7:04 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 54

Descending Minor Blues

Eric teaches a classic blues progression he calls the "Descending Minor Blues."

Length: 11:15 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 55

Modern Block Chord Minor Key Blues

Eric Madis teaches an interesting minor blues progression he calls the "Modern Block Chord Minor Key Blues."

Length: 7:40 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 56

Detroit Chicago Funky Blues

Eric Madis teaches an amazing blues progression he calls "The Detroit Chicago Funky Blues."

Length: 9:49 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 57

Jimmy Nolen's Funky Groove

Eric Madis moves on and teaches an astonishing blues progression he dubs "Jimmy Nolen's Funky Groove."

Length: 8:41 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 58

The Bump Shuffle

Eric Madis introduces a blues style called "The Bump Shuffle."

Length: 7:27 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 59

The Bump Shuffle #2

In this lesson Eric Madis teaches a second way to play the classic blues progression "The Bump Shuffle."

Length: 4:41 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 60

Chicago Bass Groove

Eric Madis teaches a bass oriented blues progression entitled the "Chicago Bass Groove."

Length: 6:50 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 61

Blues Bass Groove

Eric Madis teaches another powerful bass groove he has extracted from the world of blues.

Length: 3:55 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 62

Blues Bass Groove #3

Eric Madis teaches another useful bass groove for blues guitar.

Length: 5:47 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 63

Blues Bass Groove #4

Eric Madis teaches another valuable blues bass groove.

Length: 4:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 64

Wolf's Groove

In this lesson, Eric Madis teaches a blues bass groove inspired by Howlin' Wolf.

Length: 4:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 65

Minor Progression Major Chords

In this lesson, Eric Madis teaches a valuable blues chord progression that he calls "Minor Progression Major Chords."

Length: 11:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 66

Sliding Ninth Groove

Eric enthusiastically presents a new chord progression he calls the "Sliding Ninth Groove."

Length: 5:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 67

Tribute Blues Shuffle

Eric pays tribute to Memphis Slim and Jimmy Reed in something he likes to call the "Tribute Blues Shuffle."

Length: 8:48 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 68

Chicago Style Funky Blues

Eric Madis teaches a blues chord progression inspired by the Chicago style of blues playing. This progression has a funky rhythmic feel.

Length: 9:51 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only

About Eric Madis View Full Biography Eric Madis is a guitarist, singer and composer, a versatile artist whose playing and compositions reflect his diverse and thorough background in American music. Whether performing in an ensemble or as a soloist, he exudes a love and a mastery of the blues that have been refined by years of experience in jazz, country, rock, and even Hawaiian music. What results are performances that include authentic renderings of old rural blues, personal interpretations of modern urban blues and jazz standards, and original music that defies strict categorization, but that draws heavily from these traditions.

Eric lives in Seattle where he leads his own ensemble, performs as a solo act and performs in the Seattle Swing Trio. He has released four CDs on Luna Records, and is currently working on a fifth. He is on the faculty of the National Guitar Workshop and Dusty Strings Music and teaches guitar privately.

Eric lived his formative years in Colorado with a family that was musical (his mother was an accomplished opera singer), and began his music study on the piano at the age of nine. He began performing shortly after picking up a guitar at ten years of age. By the age of sixteen, he was performing in Chicago-area coffeehouses. He has accompanied artists as diverse as bluesmen Big Walter Horton, Sunnyland Slim, Deacon Jones, Hawaiian luminaries Irmgaard Aluli, Kekua Fernandez, Emma Sharpe and author/poet Nikki Grimes.

He has led bands in Illinois, Texas, Colorado and Washington. He has opened shows for Robben Ford, James Cotton, Little Charlie and the Nightcats, Mem Shannon, Hawkeye Herman and author Sherman Alexie. Eric's four albums have received critical acclaim, including regional airplay and nominations from NAMA and Washington Blues Society (WBS). He has received 16 Best Blues nominations from WBS, was a finalist in the New Folk Awards at the 1981 Kerrville National Folk Festival, a finalist in the 1991 Seattle Guitar Starz competition, and has music featured on five film soundtracks. Eric has taught guitar classes at Denver Free University, University of Washington's Experimental College, Northwest Folklife Festival, National Guitar Workshop, and Canada's Guitar Workshop Plus.

Whether performing in a group or as a soloist, at a concert or a small club, teaching privately or a large workshop, Eric is a dedicated professional, with commitment to the quality of his art and to his audience.

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

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Calum Graham Calum Graham

Award winning, Canadian fingerstyle guitarist Calum Graham introduces his Jamplay Artist Series, which aims to transform...

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Marcelo Berestovoy Marcelo Berestovoy

Marcelo teaches the eight basic right hand moves for the Rumba Flamenca strum pattern. He then shows you how to apply it...

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Nick Amodeo Nick Amodeo

Nick explains how to play some of the most commonly used chords in the bluegrass genre.

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Jessica Baron Jessica Baron

Jessica kindly introduces herself, her background, and her approach to this series.

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Freebo Freebo

In this lesson, Freebo covers the basics of right hand technique. This lesson is essential for all up and coming bassists.

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Orville Johnson Orville Johnson

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Danny Voris Danny Voris

Lesson 7 is all about arpeggios. Danny provides discussion and exercises designed to build your right hand skills.

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New fingerstyle instructor Don Ross introduces himself, his background, and what you should expect in this series.

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Matt Brown Matt Brown

Matt Brown shows off some ways to add some creativity and originality to your rock chord voicings.

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Lisa Pursell Lisa Pursell

Lisa breaks into the very basics of the electric guitar. She starts by explaining the parts of the guitar. Then, she dives...

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Joel Kosche Joel Kosche

Joel Kosche talks about creating and composing a guitar solo. He uses his original song "Sunrise" as an example.

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Billy Sheehan Billy Sheehan

Billy starts his artist series off with a lesson on something he gets asked the most to explain: right hand 3 finger technique.

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David MacKenzie David MacKenzie

David MacKenzie introduces the tapping technique and teaches a fun exercise. This lesson includes a backing track.

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David Ellefson David Ellefson

David Ellefson, co-founding member of Megadeth, explains his overall approach to teaching and learning bass in this introductory...

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Bumblefoot Bumblefoot

Guns N' Roses guitarist Ron "Bumblefoot" Thal pulls out all the stops in his blistering artist series. Dive into the intense,...

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Tony MacAlpine Tony MacAlpine

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Prashant Aswani Prashant Aswani

Do you want to play more musical sounding solos? Do you want to play solos with more emotion behind them? Maybe you're the...

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Alex Scott Alex Scott

Find out what this series is all about.

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