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  • 30 Days to Better Guitar Playing

  • 30 Days to Better Guitar Playing




  • ronnie earl

    4 Must Know Ronnie Earl Blues Turnarounds

    by Simon James




    Ronnie Earl was one of the finest guitarists to emerge during the 1980s. Primarily known for his work as a Blues guitarist he often crossed into Jazz whilst also incorporating elements of Soul and Rock. His versatility as a Blues musician made him one of the few guitarists capable of leading an all instrumental band.

    In this lesson we are going to look at a really simple and versatile turnaround as used by Ronnie Earl that lends itself to numerous variations.

    Turnaround Lick 1

    This lick is in A and involves a descending chromatic pattern of 6ths punctuated by a high root note on the 1st string. For the first two chords use your 2nd and 3rd fingers, so that you mute the 3rd string and play the root note with your 4th finger. For the last two chords use your first finger as a bar. When playing the descending Double Stops make sure that you use your pick and middle finger and your ring finger to play the high root note drone. This will enable you to attack the notes in the right way and play with real feeling.

    ronnie earl turnaround lick  

    Turnaround Lick 2

    The next example suggests many melodic variations. I have written it to be played with a flat pick but you can experiment with different hybrid picking patterns for more alternative effects

    . ronnie earl turnaround lick  

    Turnaround Lick 3

    To get more out of this lick I have moved it all up to the 2nd, 3rd and 5th strings. Although the fingering changes the notes remain the same. When you become accustomed to the syncopated rhythm in this example try it with the picking patterns from the previous exercises.

    ronnie earl turnaround lick  

    Turnaround 4

    As you become more comfortable with the turnaround in A, practice transposing it. Here I have written it in E but the principal is much the same, keeping the drone root note at the top. Again play around with different rhythm patterns.

    ronnie earl turnaround lick  

    These turnaround licks will work in any blues number so to ensure full mastery practice these variations in all 12 keys on the fretboard.

     
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