Magazine article Guitar Player

Chet Atkins: Pull-Offs, Breau Style. (Classic Column)

Magazine article Guitar Player

Chet Atkins: Pull-Offs, Breau Style. (Classic Column)

Article excerpt

LENNY BREAU HAD the strongest lefthand pinky I ever saw--it was like my forefinger. He told me that he developed it during a time when he was playing lots of electric bass. Let's look at a several licks inspired by Lenny that rely on pull-offs and string crossing. These are great exercises for your pinky, and once you see them done, you'll probably invent a few similar ones of your own.

Ex. 1 goes from D7 to G, and I use it in an arrangement of "Kentucky" to get from an improvising section back to the tune. My guitarist, Paul Yandell, usually breaks at the beginning of the lick and comes back in on the G chord. In order to make the phrase feel right in 4/4 time, slightly emphasize the first note in each group of four. Notice that sometimes you are stressing a picked note, other times a pull-off. Work on it until you can play it smoothly at a metronome setting of [crotchet] = 120.

A basic idea can grow into many other things. …

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