Stevie Ray Vaughan - Guitar Heroes A-Z

One of the most powerful guitarists ever to roam the earth, Stevie Ray Vaughan (1954-1990) pummeled his ax like a force of nature throughout his profoundly successful but all too short mission to bring the blues to the masses. In concert, shredded pieces of body—both guitar and human—would literally fly off the stage as testament to SRV’s heavy strings and even heavier pick attack. (You’ve heard the Krazy Glue skin patch story, right? SRV would apply the epoxy to his wounded fingertips and, legend has it, “borrow” skin from lesser-used areas. Yow!) Like Hendrix, Vaughan tuned down a half-step, which made his already massive Texas shuffle-based grooves (like the one in Ex. 1) sound even bigger. (Rumor has it that SRV often reversed picking directions on this one.) You can extend this riff by adding an E bass note on the fourth string at the 2nd fret, then playing the fretted notes in reverse order.
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Vaughan often played single-note lines, double-stops, octaves, and chords by flailing on all six strings, while muting unwanted ones with his fretting hand. Try this out on the signature “T-Bone-with-a-b9” lick, the Albert King-style overbend, and the Hendrix-y wrap-up that make up Ex. 2. Use the same approach for Ex. 3’s thumb-fretted bass notes, octaves, and double- and triple-stops, which are played over a straight-eighth groove.

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