Aug 08 2015
Gary Moore Blues Licks
By: Scott Gilliam
Posted in: Blues Guitar Lessons
The late Gary Moore (1952-2011) was one of the greatest guitarists of all time. As a young rock player, I had never heard anyone play the blues with such precision, passion, and such a robust tone. Gary’s music was soulful but still had the intensity of rock n roll that, to me, was the perfect combination. I have presented some of my favorite licks that Gary would use in his rock and blues based solos. All the examples are based on the minor pentatonic scale and can be played in a variety of tempos and keys.
Lick # 1 is a triplet based pattern in Em that has the addition of the 13th (C# ) added to it. A helpful tip to get this one going is to barre your first finger on the 12th fret on the 2nd & 3rd stg. Start slowly and gradually build up the speed. This lick works great in an up tempo shuffle.
Lick # 2 is a cool open string lick that can be played over an E blues or even Gmaj for a country or maj 6th type sound. Gary would play this quickly so I have it at 220 bpm – as always, start slowly and accurately. A metronome is a great way to increase your speed and to help keep the triplets even. The rhythm in these licks is of the utmost importance, it’s what makes them really stand out.
Lick # 3 is in Cm this time. It’s played at the 15th fret in the 4th pos of the Cm pentatonic scale. This is a nice variation of a typical blues line because after the bend to the 5th (G) and the unison G, the high note alternates between the b7 (Bb) and the tonic (C). There is a bit of a stretch to the 20th fret C, but playing it in the 15th pos makes it attainable.
Lick # 4 is one of my favorite Gary Moore licks – I have heard it in many of his solos. It’s a first position minor pentatonic pattern that utilizes the b5, this is called the blues scale by most people. It’s played at the 12th fret and it utilizes 16th triplets with hammer ons and pull offs for a smooth sound. Tag the end of the lick with a bend to the E at the 15th fret and use some wide vibrato to add some intensity.
Gary Moore was a true innovator in the guitar world. He was adored by millions of fans all over the globe for his beautiful lyrical solos and his stunning technique, as well as so many great songs. Like many of our heroes he left us too soon but we can keep his memory alive by sharing his wonderful music and playing.