Folsom Prison Blues Solo Guitar Lesson

Published on 15 February 2016
For more information from the source site of this video please visit: This is a sample from the Secret Guitar Teacher site (see link above). It is a fairly easy solo to play and can probably be tackled by beginners upwards. Please note that this is not the solo played on the original studio version of the song - it's from a live version (with the Highwaymen) Here’s the abridged transcript: This is a fine example of a solo constructed around the chords rather than using the blues scale. Simple but effective. Here’s the first phrase played over the E chord. Second phrase is similar.Third phrase repeats the first one, then the fourth phrase starts the same but then plays a descending E7th arpeggio to link to the A chord via the open A string.This takes a bit of practice. You have to play that open string as you move your hand down to the open position to form an open A chord ready for the next bit. Once that A chord is in place then the next bit is relatively easy on the fretting hand, but you may need to practice the picking across the strings to get the rhythm right. Notice that it finishes on a two-note chord played across both the top strings.Then a bend on the 3rd fret Bottom E string to link us back to the E chord. Again we play an open note (bottom E) as we form the chord shape. Now we come to the part that I find most people struggle with a bit – the trick is to use the E chord shape and practice it really slow like this. With the chord held down, pick the 6th string then the 4th string. Next lift the chord off a fraction while you hit the open A string, then hammer the chord back on and follow that with picking the D string again. Here it is again played slowly. Fretting hand view and…Picking hand view. Once you can do that repeatedly at slow speed then gradually speed it up until it becomes easy. This is repeated three times in the song then followed by a return to the open E bottom string followed by three quick notes on fret two on the A string as we link back to B7. For a slightly elongated version of the intro riff. Then it’s back into the rhythm, though on the record you’ll hear the lead guitar repeat the E riff as the vocals cut in again. Ok, so that’s all the bits and pieces – let’s just string that all together. The original solo is played around 104 bpm. I’m setting the metronome at 52bpm so we are at about half speed. See if you can play along with me. Hope you enjoyed that! Once you can play it with good timing at that speed, then you can gradually build it up to full speed. I have recorded a backing track for you at full speed so that you can test yourself. Just click on the Backing Track Tab on the Toolbox to the right of the screen. OK – that concludes this mini series on songs based on the 12-bar blues format. Do let me know if there are any other songs you’d like to see a lesson on. See you again soon.