Guitarist Cameron Mizell

New York Guitarist & Composer

The website of New York Guitarist Cameron Mizell.

Lick of the Week 5: April 1

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I've been listening to a lot of Derek Trucks lately to steal some licks and hone my own slide playing. To me, Derek is one of the most expressive guitarists you'll here because he uses the slide to mimic the human voice. He has a very soulful approach to his solos, and of course is a very skilled guitarist.

Derek plays a lot of lines on one string, which creates an incredibly legato, singing tone. To be able to do this, it's a good idea to practice scales up and down each string.

Today's lick, however, crosses the strings and requires you to mute ringing strings as you pick the next string. Derek plays with his thumb and fingers, but I use a pick, and have been muting strings with either my middle or ring finger--for strings higher than the one I'm picking, or the side of my thumb--for strings lower than the one I'm picking. There are other techniques out there, but the key is stopping a ringing string as you attack another.

Also note that the notation is a lot scarier than reality. I did my best to notates the slides and semitones, but this is the blues, you really need to use your ears to truly understand the feel. The slide allows you to play in between the minor and major third. When you play that last E, try to slide up to Eb quickly, and then ease into the E natural.