Chuck Berry wrote and played some of the most iconic rock and roll guitar licks of all time. Today, we’re going to take a look at one of those Chuck Berry licks in detail so you can go to town with it!
This one comes out of the pentatonic minor 2 position scale; basically just the pentatonic minor scale with part of the adjacent pentatonic major scale tacked on. All riffs come out of a scale. You can kick, scream, and argue, but it will never change the cold hard facts. That’s why it is so important to learn your scales – it gives you a framework within which to quickly learn new riffs.
Today the curtain is starting to get pulled back on my latest project… and it might be a little different than you might expect! (video below)
Let me back up, oh… say about 15 years. I met Colin Daniel when I was in high school looking for a guitar teacher. He’s the guy that really got me started on the guitar, and taught me most of what I know about the instrument. In the years that I took lessons with him, I was amazed at his skill on the guitar, his depth of experience as a musician, and his skill as a teacher. I’ve seen Colin quite literally take the students that other guitar teachers had completely written off as being unteachable, and turn them into great musicians. It seems the harder the case, the harder Colin tries to find a way to connect with that student. Tone deaf? Not a problem; he’s fixed that too.
Colin had a unique way of approaching the guitar that I’d not seen before, despite having learned music theory for several years in school. Colin’s lessons made it ‘click’ with me; turning theory into incredibly practical and useful applied knowledge – and I trust I’ve been able to pass that on to some of you as well, through my Unlocking The Guitar series of guitar lessons.
Over his 40+ years as a musician, Colin has personally trained well over 5000 musicians, some purely for their own personal pleasure, some like me have gone on to teach others, and some that have literally ‘gone pro’ and now live off their skill on the guitar.
Anyways, in recent years I’ve been back jamming with Colin on a regular basis, and I really wanted to find a way to bring him to you… thus the Riff Ninja project was born.
In the following video, I’ve interviewed Colin to introduce him to you a bit. We go back a long ways, and I can assure you he is a absolute treasure trove of musical knowledge, not to mention the craziest guy I’ve ever met. (I say that in a good way!)
As you’ll hear in the interview, Colin and I have put together a course on improvising, which is going to be our first offering under the Riff Ninja name. If you’d like to keep up with what’s happening with Riff Ninja (and I can assure you, there’s going to be a LOT happening there!), or if you’d advanced notice about the details on the improvising lesson, I encourage you to enter your name and email in the form directly below to join the Riff Ninja newsletter.