Lick of the Week - January 6, 2016

Lightnin’ Hopkins — What’d I Say

After a holiday break, we’re back with the first lick of the new year. Sam “Lightnin’” Hopkins gives it to us in his rendition of the Ray Charles classic, “What’d I Say.” He tunes his guitar down a full step (2 frets) so what looks like an E minor pentatonic scale is in fact a D minor scale.

Lightnin plays the I-chord (D) lick in the first 2 bars of the tune, and repeats it in the next 2, with only a tiny variation. Then he moves the lick up to the IV chord (G) for 2 bars, before returning to D. Then, on the V chord (A7) in bar 9, he plays a different 2 bar lick. Moving down to the IV chord in bar 10, he plays a new lick before moving into the turnaround. The 2-bar turnaround lick is a common one that I’m sure you have heard many times before.

All of the licks come from pattern 1 of the D pentatonic minor scale. If you don’t want to tune your guitar down, I have provided an audio version, which has been digitally transposed up to E, so you can use pattern 1 of the E minor pentatonic.

The lick is taken from the very beginning of the video.


Mp3 Files for this lesson
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What'd I Say
What'd I Say in E