Looking for blues licks to transcribe

Looking for blues tracks with some great licks to transcribe. I’m after things a bit more off the beaten track - I’ve done a lot of the three Kings, Peter Green and EC. Not that I’m finished with them (!) just looking for a change and some fresh ideas.

A bit of Hendrix may add something fresh….

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Thanks Dave - I’ve certainly done some Hendrix (and T bone, Muddy waters, Buddy guy, SVR etc) , I can always look at some more, but I’m really trying to find more obscure stuff - preferably someone I’ve not heard of - there must be so many great blues players out there who are off most people’s radar.

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Maybe try some hill country blues or sometimes called Mississippi hill country blues. The riffs are shorter and repeated. Its a super cool style and different than the Delta blues. RL Burnside and Fred Mcdowell are some names to cheakout. Very obscure. Good luck

Hubert Sumlin (Howlin’ Wolff’s guitar player) - has created some cool riffs, but also licks.

Charley Patton? As recommended by Derek Trucks.

Sounds like you need a blues total immersion course…

How could I forget: Lonnie Mack (he has recorded an instrumental version of my favourite Chuck Berry song “Memphis”). You might have come across him in the SVR context, there are some videos out there of them playing together.

lots of up and coming Blues player. If your looking for fresh look up some of these youngsters


Have you heard of David Wilcox?

Thanks Jason - I’ll give them a listen!

Cheers Molly - It’s a good shout I’ve listened to Mr Wolf but not tried to transcribe anything of Huberts.

Thanks Dave - Never heard of him, but with that recommendation it’s got to be good! Total Blues Immersion course … chomping at the bit!!

Thanks again Molly, never heard of Lonnie.

Cheers Rick - I will check these out.

Nope, new to me Richard, he goes on the list!


Son House and probably the better known Brownie McGhee, are a bit off the beaten track !

Interesting. I know Son House but not Brownie McGhee. I’ll check him out.

On this topic …

FAO everybody …

Are you aware of this module on the website?


I’ve done those - they are great!

One of my all-time favorite albums is Giant Step by Taj Mahal. It’s part of a two disk set, the other being De Ole Folks at Home.Some CDs mix these songs together, which is a mistake - they’re meant to be separated. Giant Step has some sweet licks by Jesse Ed Davis, some of which aren’t in the traditional blues vein, but sound amazing. It might not fit your transcription needs, but you’ll have some excellent music to listen to either way. Listen to Take a Giant Step (a great song to start your day with), Bacon Fat, and You’re Gonna Need Somebody on Your Bond to get a feel for the licks or just hear some great music.

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Thanks Stan - I’ll give it a whirl!


Have you checked out any Jonny Lang stuff? I know he’s quite modern but you must find something in there for you.

Cheers Stefan - nothing wrong with modern, big fan of Kingfish, Samantha Fish and other modern fishy named players. Jonny goes on the list!

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Hi @mathsjunky

Have you worked thru the list of Blues Standards? I’d expect these to be a treasure trove for you. These are on my list of songs to study.

You might think about looking at some bands that are full of riffs and licks. AC/DC is a great source of bluesy stuff even though the songs are played louder and with more energy than we’d see in blues. For instance, look at the solo for The Jack. It may be too simple for your experience level, but I am thinking of making this the first solo I try to learn and perform because it is slow enough and has some really enjoyable parts to it.

One I found challenging was the riff from (I know you were asking for riffs…). M&O Blues, Willie Brown. This is the opening riff and gets repeated with minor changes throughout the song. The challenges for me were the slide and trying to hear through the old recording that is bandwidth limited.

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Thanks Michael - I wasn’t aware of this list - wealth of stuff there. Lots I have looked at but plenty of new mining opportunities too!

I’ve certainly looked at a lot of rock too, but not The Jack, and I’m certainly an AC/DC fan.

I’ll definitely take a look at the Willie Brown track as well.

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