From its early beginnings in the 60s, blues-rock has influenced generations of guitarists, across a vast range of styles. Hard rock, Southern rock, metal, punk, indie, jam band, and even jazz fusion, all have proud roots tracing back to the extended jams and heavier, riff-oriented sounds of the early blues-rock pioneers.
Having command of a blues-rock vocabulary, along with the requisite skills and techniques, is mandatory for any guitarist playing contemporary music, be it covers or originals. No one is better qualified than Gary Hoey to impart that vocabulary and skill set, which is why Blues Rock Reactor is a must-have for your course library.
As writer, producer, and guitar player extraordinaire, Gary Hoeyâ??s pedigree is miles long. In addition to touring as a headline act, Hoey has toured and played with Brian May of Queen, Ted Nugent, Foreigner, Joe Satriani, The Doobie Brothers, Kenny Wayne Shepard, Eric Johnson, Steve Vai, Jeff Beck, Peter Frampton, Rick Derringer, Deep Purple, and Lita Ford. Weâ??re excited and very proud to welcome Gary to the family with his first TrueFire course, Blues Rock Reactor.
“Blues-rock is the foundation of my style and the toolbox that I draw on whether Iâ??m playing the blues, contemporary rock, country, or even metal. Its influence has helped me find my own personal voice and individuality, which is really what Blues Rock Reactor is all about — helping you find your own voice and individuality!”
Gary organized the course into three sections. In the first section, he passes on 10 of his favorite blues-rock licks. Youâ??ll start with the simplest, a Chuck-Berry-type riff, and then move on to more complex material that will help get your speed going and refine your technique.
All of the licks are first demonstrated over jam tracks and then Gary breaks them down emphasizing the key techniques youâ??ll need command of: Berry Riff, Fourth Riff, King Style Bends, Vibrato Shake, Screaminâ?? Bends, Sixth & Fourth, Fast Fourths, Rake To The Shake, Up & Back Again, and Steady Trips.
In the second section, Gary steps you through 11 key concepts and approaches that you can employ to power your rhythm, improvisations, and blues-rock tone: Vibrato & Bending, Pinch & Tap Harmonics, Trill Drill, May The 4th’s Be With You, Picking Exercises, Other Right Hand Techniques, Timing & Phrasing, Hit The Sweet Notes, Finding & Targeting Notes, Chord & Scale Relationships, and Eb Tuning
In the third and final section, Gary presents 6 Performances Studies featuring both rhythm and lead approaches. Gary will overview each study, demonstrate the rhythm and lead parts over a jam track, and then break the performances down for you emphasizing the key techniques and concepts being applied from the first two sections.
Boot Mill Blues - “Boot Mill Blues is one of my tunes — a really fun boogie-woogie a la Brian Setzer, pedal to the metal, four on the floor kind of tune. For the rhythm performance, I dropped my low string to match the D string, for that open D sound. We’ll also work through a lead performance where weâ??ll use double-stops in the pentatonic scale, mixing a little bit of the minor and major, and go for a harmonica type sound. I had James Montgomery playing harmonica on this song, and he said we needed a riff in the beginning, so I made something that has a harmonica type feel to it in the phrasing. When playing these double-stops, slide into them to get the harmonica feel going.”
Boss You Around - “Boss You Around is from my album, Deja Blues. This is a fun Texas shuffle with a really cool swing feel. This performance study is going to include both the rhythm riff and the lead fills as one complete performance. We’ll be in the key of A here, but don’t forget that we’re still tuned down to Eb.”
Almost Over You - “This is a slow blues in the key of B and weâ??ll get some 9th and 13th chords going here as well as some of the major 3rd and minor 3rd riffs that we’ve covered in the previous sections. This song starts on the turnaround (the V chord), which is something I love in a slow blues song. For the lead parts, weâ??re going to use the pentatonic scale with the 4th interval move that weâ??ve covered as well as the major 3rd to minor 3rd half-step.”
Stranger - “Weâ??re still a half-step down with our tuning for this tune in C# minor, which has a funky, almost Latin feel, with a lot of atmospheric sound and space between the phrases. We’ll utilize our 4th intervals again here, looking for the targeting note of the I, IV, and V chords. We’re using a lot of space in the phrasing with reverb and delay to give it some ambience. As the chords are changing, I’m trying to hit the target notes of the I, IV, and V chords.”
Deja Blues - “Deja Blues is the title track of my album, Deja Blues, and it has a great, haunting melody. It’s in D minor, tuned down a half-step again, using a phaser, reverb, and some delay to give me my guitar tone. We’re going to play a bridge melody that sounds a little like something Jeff Beck would play, and I’ll show you a couple chord voice that you haven’t played before as well. For the soloing parts, weâ??re using the D minor pentatonic, some 4th intervals, triplets, and heavily utilizing our vibrato and bending techniques to draw out the atmospheric qualities of the notes.”
She’s Walking - “This performance study is a shuffle in E ala Stevie Ray Vaughan. We’ll be using some interesting techniques in this track, playing a classic blues intro with a really cool turnaround that you’ll be able to use in any song in the key of E. You’ll be playing the open low E string and the A string held at the second fret, chugging along, adding the third finger onto the 4th fret of the A string. We’ll also look at some open string riffs and leave some space in the phrasing to play some blues motifs.”
All of the licks and performance studies are tabbed and notated for your practice, reference, and study purposes. You’ll also get Guitar Pro files so that you can play, loop and/or slow down the tab and notation as you work through the video guitar lessons. Plus, Gary generously includes all of the rhythm tracks for you to work with on your own.
Grab your guitar and let’s stoke up your reactor with Gary Hoey!