- Blues Guitar: Learn BB King's Lucille Solo

Hello friends, I'm happy to meet you here for this little tutorial intro Lucille intro of the big BB king.

I really think it's the typical blues solo "roots." And those who want to do without the pentatonic scale will surely agree that when a guitarist like BB king or Stevie Ray Vaughn plays the pentatonic range it hurts a lot!

It's extremely hard limit to play! Why ? Because he plays the guitar as he sings and it's very difficult to find his groove and his instinct.

I did not want to capture the song so I played it myself and it was not easy.

Indeed, it was not long before I started blues. I was rocked by my father's records, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Santana, Police, Tears for Fears, Van Halen etc ...

After that I went straight to hard rock, then progressive metal and Guitar Heroes, then Jazz Fusion and Jazz without going through the blues box.

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It was very difficult to transcribe the solo in tablatures.

We are in the case of a lyricism foolproof and we have a sense of "rubato" so that the solo is interpreted with nuances.

We will then analyze the musical material used by BB King for this Lucille intro solo.

The full tablature of BB King's Lucille intro solo



Before we start, let's look at the chord grid

It's a traditional blues with 3 chords in Eb with the usual deges I IV V

Blues eb

What we are going to need

What is interesting in this solo is the mix of pentatonic scales of Eb major and Eb minor.

We will sift the solo line by line.

Here are your diagrams of the pentatonic scales.


Penta ebmineur

Penta ebmajeur

The first 4 measures



On peut constater que BB king comme par un motif construit sur la gamme pentatonique de Eb majeur.

Dans la deuxième mesure il passe sur la pentatonique de Eb mineur.

Dans la troisième mesure il crée cette fameuse ambiguité entre la tierce majeure et mineure en faisant des bends sur la 11 eme case.

Dans la quatrème mesure il revient sur la gamme pentatonique de Eb majeur et il finit par une phrase en utilisant la tierce mineure et la tierce majeure ( cases 11 & 12 )


Dans cette mesure on se rend compte du lyrisme extraordinaire de BB king.


The following 4 measurements


In the first measure of this line BB king bends on all the notes, plays the pentatonic scale of Eb minor and finishes his sentence by the sixth of Eb (or the third of Ab).

In the second measure he plays typical blues shots on the pentatonic scale of Eb minor and "piqued".

On the third measure he still plays with this major / minor ambiguity by making micro bends on the minor third (box 11 of the ground string).

On the fourth measure nothing special to report except the slip that goes on the ground (15 th box).


The last 4 measures


In the first measure of this line (on the Bb7) he plays a typical blues plan including the fourth of Eb (the note Ab which is also the minor minor of the Bb7 chord). Then he returns to the pentatonqiue range of Eb minor.

In the second measure of the line he clearly plays the range of pentatonic Eb minor. No particular difficulties.

In the third measure of the line he still plays the pentatonic scale of Eb minor and returns to the major third with the fourth, typical blues plane.

And finally we are on the pentatonic scale of Eb minor.


In conclusion

What a beautiful example of solo blues !!!

BB king inspires me a lot and I think his game comes in large part from the fact that he is a singer.

He plays as he sings and that should inspire us whatever the style of music we play.

I hope you have learned something through this post on the blues guitar. I will do others in the styles.

See you soon


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Comments (1)

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