#83 – Scuttle Buttin’ – solo & tutorial

It’s been over two years since I published an entry in my 100 Greatest Guitar Solos lesson series, and I never stopped getting questions about when I’d get back around to it. I figured the new year is as good a time as any to jump back in. I actually learned this solo quite a while back. I’ve been coming back to it occasionally, slowly working it up to speed. I’m not quite there yet, but I’ll get there.

There’s lots of cool stuff going on in this solo. Not being a blues guy myself, it was interesting getting inside the mind of a legendary bluesman like SRV. He sticks entirely to the E blues scale for most of the first chorus. The exceptions being the B7#9 (well Bb7#9, since he’s tuned down) chord he bangs out and the descending 3rds near the end (which yield a b9 and b13 over the V chord)

The second chorus features a cool tritone lick that really exemplifies the blues tonality for me. Sliding between two tritones a half step apart, SRV gets the 3rd, b7th, #9th, and 13th. It’s something I’d never think to do, but I’m glad I’ve got that little trick in my bag now (in case I ever find myself in a surprise blues jam).

What fascinates me about these first two choruses is how SRV seems to really dislike the IV chord. He just sort of bullshits his way through those two bars both times, aggressively repeating the same notes as if he’s anxious for that moment to be over. It certainly works, but it’s still curious. The third chorus has a much more inspired lick over the IV chord, hitting a quick little b9 as well as a couple chromatic notes.

Probably the coolest thing about learning this solo is that you’re sort of learning the whole song when you do! The song is less than two minutes long, and the solo incorporates the main riff of the tune. I might just have to learn this whole thing!