I expect a lot of blues fans out there will loathe reggae with a passion. I’m not sure why this is, since the people that play it share their roots with Robert Johnson, Son House, BB King et al. And, most importantly in terms of this column, blues licks just love it.
If you think you hate reggae, try this month’s examples and I guarantee you’ll enjoy it! Think of Bob Marley tracks such as No Woman No Cry and Waiting In Vain; they both have great Peter Tosh solos that could just as easily have been played by Clapton (who strangely resisted the temptation to ‘wail’ on his cover of Marley’s I Shot The Sheriff).
In fact, over this month’s track not only can you use all your Eric, Peter, BB, Freddie and Albert licks, you can also go a little bit leftfield, as I did on occasion.
It’s such a malleable format – especially in this lovely, languid A minor to D minor sequence. There’s a lot of space, too, so it gives you ample opportunity to pace yourself – lots of slow bends, repetitive or geometric figures can give way to quicker passages that sit just as happily in the format.
Scale-wise it’s good old A minor pentatonic to D minor pentatonic (A C D E G to D F G A C) over the Am – although feel free to add in the sixth (F# and Bb ) and ninth (B and E) for a more Dorian feel. Or why not try A natural minor (A B C D E F G), which contains F – the b3 of D minor – so you can do some timely chord targeting too.
Click onwards for the free tab, examples and backing track.