Today, friends, family, and fans said goodbye to blues legend B.B. King, and I’d like to take a moment to do the same.
Mr. King’s musical influence cannot be overstated. His playing has served as a stylistic touchstone for generations of guitarists.
Listen to that biting attack! Check out those wailing bends! And that singing vibrato! That man wasn’t just playing the guitar. It was an extension of his voice.
B.B. King was a true master of the craft. He may not have been the flashiest guitarist to ever take the stage, but he had so… much… style. He knew that each note could mean something. He knew that the notes left out were just as important as the ones played.
King was also an innovator. He was that rare breed of artist who could present his music to new audiences and experiment with different styles, all while remaining ever-true to his roots. When you hear a B.B. King guitar lick, you know exactly whose fingers are doing the talking, regardless of what the band is playing.
But as legendary as King was, it seems he never let it go to his head, saying things like,
“I call myself a blues singer, but you ain’t never heard me call myself a blues guitar man. Well, that’s because there’s been so many can do it better’n I can, play the blues better’n me.”
King was never content to rest on his laurels, either. He was always eager to propel his playing forward, to find new ways to express himself.
“There are so many sounds I still want to make, so many things I haven’t yet done.”
B.B. King was one of the hardest-working men in music. At one point in his career, he played an average of more than 300 shows per year. And while many aging players step away from the stage to live out their golden years in peace and quiet, B.B. King kept his relentless performance schedule going well into his 70s and 80s.
Let’s have a moment of silence for B.B. King.
OK. Now go practice that vibrato!
Thanks For Reading!
If you’re looking for guitar lessons in Portland, I’d love to teach you. Get in touch for a FREE INTRO LESSON today.