In this lesson, were taking a look at the first guitar solo (Duane Allman's solo) on "Blue Sky" from the Eat a Peach album.
Duane's solo (as well as Dickey's solo) are both great examples of using only a handful of notes to craft a very melodic and memorable solo. Unfortunately, this was one of the last songs Duane played on before his sudden and tragic death on October 29, 1971. His playing was spectacular on this recording, including effortlessly switching between whole step and step and a half bends with spot on accuracy.
Duane's solo is based mostly out of the E major pentatonic scale with the inclusion of the 4th (A) which can also be seen as a hexatonic scale, aptly named because it contains six notes. It's important to note that both Duane and Dickey favored the hexatonic scale approach for playing over this chord progression (E-A), purposefully leaving out the 7th scale degree.
Duane's solo begins in 9th position, and makes extensive use out of bending the 11th fret of the 3rd string (F#) up either a whole step (to G#) or a minor third (to A). His phrases are highly syncopated, often creating a swung sixteenth note feel, and are often played in two bar phrases.
Duane mixes up rhythms beautifully during this solo, including quarter notes, eighth notes, eighth note triplets, and sixteenth notes, to name a few. He even adds a few 32nd notes for a burst of speed during measures 50-51.
After Duane's solo, he repeats a composed phrase beginning at measure 56 that Bett's eventually joins in with a harmony line. After Dickey's solo, Duane joins in with another composed harmony section before returning to the 3rd and final verse.
Download a copy of the transcription below, and remember to work through this solo slowly, until you can play it accurately up to speed. The payoff is well worth it.
Download the transcription
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