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  • Writer's pictureBilly Jones

Stevie Ray Vaughan Makes The List

Stevie Ray Vaughan, also known as SRV, definitely makes our favorite guitarist list for his blues rock chops.

In the 1980’s, Vaughan merged the blues techniques of Albert King and Muddy Waters with the sounds of jazz greats like Django Reinhardt, and played with the power and finesse of 80’s hair band metal guitar.

You can hear his unique melding of genres in the slow jazzy song Lenny:

Arguably the most influential blues musician of modern times, here are the top three reasons we love Stevie Ray Vaughan.

1. Minor Pentatonic Scale

Pentatonic scales are the most common in rock and blues but we can’t help but admire the way SRV championed the use of the minor pentatonic scale. It’s the basis for nearly every one of his amazing licks and solos. Such a great reminder of how versatile and reliable it is for creating cool riffs.

Grab your guitar for this soloing lesson in the major pentatonic scale:

2. Rhythm

When a musician has impeccable rhythm we often say they are good at playing “in the pocket.” There’s no one for whom this is more true than Vaughan.

Listen to Pride and Joy for the circular strum pattern using muted notes that creates on of hi many unique rhythmic signature sounds:

Playing with other musicians is the best way to perfect your timing. This is one of the reasons we teach guitar lessons in small groups!

3. Speed

It’s not very common in blues music to find quick playing. Most blues riffs and solos have a slower, more laid back pace where the guitarist focuses on expression with their vibrato. Stevie Ray Vaughan is unique in the way he plays quickly AND precisely. His style is reminiscent of Jimmy Page in this way.

Rude Mood showcases SRV's incredible speed and accuracy:

If you are looking to increase your speed without sacrificing accuracy, this is the video lesson for you:

"Stevie is the ultimate guitar hero."

At SRV’s posthumous induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015, John Mayer said: “There is an intensity about Stevie’s guitar playing that only he could achieve, still to this day. It’s a rage without anger, it’s devotional, it’s religious. He seamlessly melded the supernatural vibe of Jimi Hendrix, the intensity of Albert King, the best of British, Texas and Chicago Blues and the class and sharp shooter precision of his older brother Jimmie. Stevie is the ultimate guitar hero.”

We couldn’t agree more!


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