La Grange Solo

This post is a big thanks to Guitar Licks and Tabs for the first part of their two part lesson on how to play the ZZ Top “La Grange” guitar solo.

This song was one of the first really good bluesy/rocky rhythm parts I learned on the guitar, but I could never figure out the solo. Now I’m back and I’m inspired to learn it from start to finish! Thanks again!


2 thoughts on “La Grange Solo

  1. Cool, glad you are enjoying it. This was the first time I’ve spent the time to tell people how to play, rather than just have them read the tab after seeing the demonstration. When I check my youtube stats, most people are watching the entire solo, and only a couple minutes of the lick-by-lick demonstration.

    Along with that, I’ve received several emails from YouTube subscribers and blog followers that they preferred when I just played it a second time, but much slower, as I have a few times in the past.

    The second part is about the final 1/3 of the measures, and I think it would be easier for me to show it slowly, than to explain it, because it is the same lick for most of the final third, but with timing variations that could be difficult to explain, while easy to show.

    What are your thoughts in that regard?

    For other songs you are trying to figure out that I may not be doing, there are fairly cheap programs available that allow one to slow a lick down in 1% increments, while maintaining pitch, and you can loop the entire piece, or just a simple phrase. They really make it easier to figure out the way they were done on the original records.

    Like you, in the past, I figured them out to the degree possible by ear, but it wasn’t always clear what I was hearing, and tempo-shifts could be really tough in a fast lick/solo. The new software doesn’t solve all our problems, we still have to figure out where it is on the neck, hand/finger positions, etc., but it does help nail the tough parts.

    Once again, thanks for the love.

    • Thanks for the comment back!
      As for how you show the riff, I personally prefer when you break it down because I find I can’t follow it all the way through. I have to learn each individual part and then work on putting them together. Even then, it still is too fast sometimes for my skill level. The difficult thing about these types of lessons is that you have such a potentially wide array of capabilities and interests in your viewers. Someone like me who is still just learning how to play probably needs even more explanation and description. The tab helps a lot with that. But then other people with more experience and skill probably prefer you running through it all at once so they can get a better feel.
      I think the second part is fine with just playing through it slowly. If the fingering is pretty much the same, then it really is going to be up to me as the viewer to get the feel in the variations. That seems like something that only comes with practice and listening. A few tips on what the key differences are will always be helpful, but don’t worry to much about explaining things.
      I realize that probably sounds contradictory, but it made sense in my head when I wrote it!
      I need to check out some of the different practice tools out there. It’s one of those things that i can spend more time on looking around than actually practicing. Right now I’m trying to focus on practicing. Thanks again for the lessons and for checking out my blog!

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