I HAVE BEEN GETTING QUITE A
few requests for rockabilly lately. I decided
to put together a fun rockabilly solo using
some typical stylistic ideas. This solo is
played over a 12-bar blues shuffle progression
in the key of E. Pay close attention to
the fretting-hand fingerings. Although I
use a hybrid picking style, the solo may be
played using only a pick. Make sure you keep
the solo swinging. Don’t let yourself drift
with a slide
on the third
open E and
open strings to ring against the slide and
you’ll hear a classic rockabilly sound. Measures
3 and 4 are played by sliding from a
half-step below into an E triad on the top
three strings. For measures 7, 8, and 9
you’ll need to jump up to the twelfth position
to play the double-stops. Jump back
down to the open position to play measures
10, 11, and 12. Repeat the solo with
the second ending.
For a totally authentic tone, add about
125 to 135 ms of delay. Set the delay’s feedback
control so you hear only one repeat.
Set the mix at about 40%. I like to use the
bridge pickup for twang, and reverb always
sounds great in this style.
For more ideas, listen to rockabilly greats
Gene Vincent featuring Cliff Gallup, Carl
Perkins, Scotty Moore, and Brian Setzer. Jeff
Beck also recorded a rockabilly CD called
Crazy Legs, which is a classic. Have fun!
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