BB King, Box 2, and the 4 Note Solo Box…

This is a video recorded from a Facebook Live session I did to try and clarify some differences and similarities between the so-called “BB King Box,” my “4 Note Solo” Pattern, and good old “Box 2” of the pentatonic scale.

Apologies for the lower quality than normal, it was captured from Facebook and I chose to do it live so that if there were any questions I would see them and could include them in the recording. Skip ahead to about 30 seconds in to get past my introduction to the real lesson.

Any questions? You know what to do…

41 Comments

  • Billyo

    Reply Reply May 11, 2017

    Totally with you on the limits creating creativity
    Age old rule …”No limits No art”

    limitations stimulate creativity

    great movies are almost always on a surprisingly low budget …when there’s a massive almost unlimited budget it’s usually a flop eg low budget success Blues brothers ……big budget flop Waterworld etc etc

    • Edd

      Reply Reply May 13, 2017

      Is this intermediate level

  • Mitch

    Reply Reply May 9, 2017

    I understand it,yea I will have to work on it but I understand it,

  • Billyo

    Reply Reply May 8, 2017

    DUDE
    I have been wrestling with this for the better part of 50 years
    and never found anyone to put it in terms that I can understand and answer the questions I’ve not been able to formulate
    You just nailed it in one
    outstanding
    thank you
    thank you
    thank you

    I shall be watching this many times

    all the best to you

    billyo

  • Biff Buttchuckle

    Reply Reply May 8, 2017

    GREAT observations. I played just this pattern for 36 bars in a jam session and the crowd LOVED it!

  • vic

    Reply Reply May 7, 2017

    another great lesson griff. always concise and well presented. i always feel that i have learned something even if i have to watch it over.
    i find it best if i don’t have my guitar whilst watching the first time as i then tend to miss things, but to pick up guitar immediately afterwards, then re-run if i feel that i am getting it wrong.works better. keep up the good work.

  • Great Teaching Griff.Thanks.You are the best teacher on the net.

  • Kevin Kohler

    Reply Reply May 5, 2017

    Griff, Didn’t see FB Live but just wanted to say thanks and I watched the ENTIRE video. Several years ago barely after waking I remember you talking about soloing in Maj or Min over the 1 and using Min over IV & V chords. Watching this video as it related to previous post from years ago was truly ENLIGHTENING. Description of other patterns also quite beneficial. Thank you much!!

  • Tom Hopsicker

    Reply Reply May 5, 2017

    Possibly your best lesson ever. A lot of great stuff in there. Thanks!

  • Ed

    Reply Reply May 5, 2017

    Great stuff, but I have to take issue with one thing… for me, NOTHING is foolproo! Just this week I was at a jam and using the 4-note solo pattern but it was sounding odd. Then I realized I was in the wrong key… I was thinking about the song I was going to play next. Or maybe I just have early onset. In any case, I have an amazing ability to screw up anything!!

  • mike tucker

    Reply Reply May 4, 2017

    Sweet – conversational, clear & importantly, clearly backed with years of experience playing & teaching. Thanks, Chief!

    • John

      Reply Reply May 5, 2017

      Thanks a lot Griff. Although I’ve used this box in couple of you lessons I never really understood it. The bit about bending the string for both major and minor sounds makes this seem so simple. I’ve been practicing all the boxes using the ‘Scale Trainer’ which is great but never really new where to start. This opens up a new dimension for me. At 73 I’ve been doing your courses for abour 3 years now. Who knows I might yet actually get enough courage to take a solo at the local blues club.

  • john newman

    Reply Reply May 4, 2017

    Thanks a million Griff! I finally understand what and where the BB Box i in relation to all the other boxes and patterns that are clogging up my feeble brain. I’m not sure why it’s taken so long for someone to simply point out that in the BB box the root is played with the first finger – it’s that simple and straight-forward. Wow. And it really amazed me how just switching from the third to the first finger brought out that instantly recognizable BB sound.
    When I first started playing guitar there was no internet, no video lessons no nothing…well, there was the Hal Leonard method (I’m sure it’s still gathering dust somewhere). Back then there was no information; now there’s almost too much. It’s easy to skip from one thing to another, to concentrate on a new thing every day and never really figure out how to put it all together. Which is why your courses are so important. Keep up the good work and thanks again for clearing up that whole BB Box thing for me.
    Cheers,
    John

  • jean dominique

    Reply Reply May 4, 2017

    It just takes some time to have the ability to differentiate between major or minor sounds, especially when you watch someone play. I am capable of playing major/minor sounds when practicing….anyway what about those great players who had no idea what major or minor sound like? They just play what sounds good to the ears, …Thank you for sharing.

  • tracyanne

    Reply Reply May 4, 2017

    @Bill Bain

    The video is downloadable, just install the Firefox Addon “Video Download Helper”, you can download pretty much any video you want.

  • Bob

    Reply Reply May 4, 2017

    If your confused by this lesson…all that means is your not quite up to this level…..go back a couple weeks and work your way back to this lesson….may i also add your attitude sucks…Griffs a great teacher and a very generous man and I for one appreciate all he does for us!!!

  • Bill Bain

    Reply Reply May 4, 2017

    Great post! Really helpful in showing how the 4 note solo fits in with the house pattern and ultimately the BB King pattern. Time to fire up the jam tracks from BGU and fool around with them To those who say that there is too much information, well, break it down and take it slow, trying out solos with each of them: 4 note pattern, then house, then BB King. One thing that I think will be really helpful is now knowing which notes to bend and how far.

    Minor point: I wish the video was downloadable so I could watch it offline, but that’s a minor quibble.

  • Neil Snow

    Reply Reply May 4, 2017

    I enjoy BBs playing so, I really enjoyed your ” BB Box Lesson” Good stuff.

    Neil

  • Chad Aicklen

    Reply Reply May 4, 2017

    Always enjoy your sessions. Just so you know, some of us out here are not Facebook users, so while I understand the great live potential of a live cast… I’m going to still look for your videos in email and if you start to use Skype or something else, I might go live.

  • Jim

    Reply Reply May 4, 2017

    So amazing that you dedicate the time and effort to giving this great stuff away for FREE!
    I thought I had finally figured out the “house(s)” until I read the posts on the BGU Forum! Man, guys can take theory to a whole other level that I don’t comprehend (yet?). Thanks for keeping it simple, clear, and non-modal!!!

  • Andre

    Reply Reply May 4, 2017

    Griff, this way of teaching is Great! It feels like you are talking to me and saying things that connect with the way people think. And man does it flow!

    Please do More live videos and continue to have them replayable.

    Great job on this one.

    BlindMan

    • Rob

      Reply Reply May 4, 2017

      Awesome!

      Thank you!

    • Jim Blake

      Reply Reply May 4, 2017

      Yo Griff, You discuss the BB Box often. It is time for you to invent a name for the single note that forms the “Peak” or “ridge” or “Apex” of the upside down “House” I am a residential architect and this note cries out for a name as it is so important in determining major or minor status of a riff. I suggest calling it the peak note. this note needs a name that is independent of music theory that relates directly to the “houseness” of the note pattern-diagram “Apex” is out because it has two syllables. “Peak” has the long “E” sound which makes it very intelligible. “Ridge” is a mushy sound. Let’s agree on “Peak” note.

  • Chris Scallon

    Reply Reply May 4, 2017

    Excellent Lesson Griff!! That cleared alot up for me- I always thought the BB box was part of a scale (box 2). And that is why it has always confused me…it is not a scale…and how to mix box 3 for minor sound and box 4 for major sound…gold nugget of info right there….THANKS and keep doing more lessons like this one!!!

  • Terry

    Reply Reply May 4, 2017

    Come on ya got to give it up too the Man.He breaks it down so simple you can’t help to be a better player by his teaching.Thks Griff.

  • peter

    Reply Reply May 4, 2017

    Thanks Griff……..I’ve watched and ‘known’ this for awhile and I believe it may be starting to make sense. The only way to ‘own’ it is to try it over a jam track many many times, I guess. Thank you

  • joe donofrio

    Reply Reply May 4, 2017

    This is one of your BEST discussions ever. It has added a new option for me. Less is definitely more. My personal impression of the house pattern is that it looks like “home plate” in baseball so I relate to it as a good place to start. Thanks for all your time and advice and keep up the great work.

  • JACK FLASH

    Reply Reply May 4, 2017

    That was great…maybe you would consider doing a live broadcast more often and let people know when it is going to be on…I practice the 4 note solo daily and also the penatonic boxes…I learned threw your major minor email that the root is either on the 3rd. or 4th string from the high E string even in the modes it is also there…I just got my new set of strings after breaking the high E string playing the 4 note solo in the zone….I have fret board note stickers on one of my guitars that really heps with learning the fret board and where you are in the scale or pattern…THAT WAS GREAT AND LOVE YOUR TREASURE CHEST WHICH NOW COVERS A COMPLETE SET OF WALLS IN MY BEDROOM….I do have a question though I am still figureing out what the symbles on the staff mean so if like in the How to Improvise course it has an A7 then tabs…do you play an A7 then the tab or what…would be great to actually watch your videos….I listen and watch to duplicate and I am still learning how to determine what the heck is all those different things onthe staff is and what you are suppose to do ..like which way to slide or what to do when you see 2 5 with a arch connecting them or even a 7 in the middle…so much to learn about how to read music….Still play by ear mostly in the zone….

  • David Douglas

    Reply Reply May 4, 2017

    Top of the morning to you Griff,

    I don’t do Facebook at all so thanks mucho for posting this to the blog.

    I’m gonna get this down. Definitely has that BB sound, music to my ears Man!

    Totally agree with your tirade about the patterns. I’m finally starting to feel like there’s a method to my madness, especially since I’m starting to be able to move from one box to another and still stay in key, “LIKE WOW MAN” that’s progress! Thanks again Maestro!

    Dave in the Adirondacks

  • Rod Winterhalder

    Reply Reply May 4, 2017

    Brilliant! Really useful. I will watch this video lesson a few more times to try to get it clear in my head and then, like anything you want to learn on guitar, it needs practice. But this lesson opens the door to a whole lot of interesting practice with major and minor jam tracks. Thanks, Griff.

  • Al

    Reply Reply May 4, 2017

    Cheers Griff great video and easy to follow ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

  • Jeffrey Goblirsch

    Reply Reply May 4, 2017

    Griff
    Great video about the 4 note solo & the house pattern. Anybody should be able to solo if they get the timing down & the 12 bar blues format! You explained that the Majior house pattern is not a scale. It should clear up a lot of question about this house pattern for viewers. Nice way to prodcast BGU to the public! They see how great of teacher you really are!

    Thanks Griff

    Jeffrey

  • Bob L

    Reply Reply May 4, 2017

    Nice touch! Although I am a Email waiter. โ˜•๏ธ๐ŸŽธ

  • Rustie

    Reply Reply May 4, 2017

    One of the reasons I fell out of love with guitar lessons is this kind of thing. Too much to take in in one go, resulting in confusion, frustration and putting the guitar away feeling unable to cope with so much information.

    • Colin

      Reply Reply May 4, 2017

      Pretty much too much for me to take in all at once, 10yrs of the free views, then I might be ready to ‘go’. I’m having trouble with the speed of it all, but still love the sound of it, maybe one day I’ll get brave, or feel good enough to spend the money, though it’s not too much. Keep up the wondeful sound.

  • Anthony

    Reply Reply May 4, 2017

    I noticed that maybe why it works so well, especially for the 4 chord is because if you were to play a C chord (E shape) at the 8th fret you are actually playing chord notes and the major box in that area of the D chord. Would that work 2 fret up when the 5 chord came also? I’m going to give it a try.

    • Ray

      Reply Reply May 4, 2017

      I feel the samecway you do and to add mote fuel to the flame Griffs office staff double charged my credit card for an order.
      It made me so sick that i don’t even want to look at a guitar now.I had Charlie Wallace “Texas Blues Method.and Mastery 101. He goes so fast. If i wanted to watch someone perform on guitar i would just go to you tube and watch SRV.
      They try to impress you more than teach you just like Griff is doing here.

      • Jeffrey Goblirsch

        Reply Reply May 4, 2017

        They will fix that over charge! Give them a call! I haven’t had any problems problem ordering a course from BGU!

        Jeffrey

      • Mark Wales uk

        Reply Reply May 4, 2017

        Hi Ray
        Griff will sort it out just email support
        He’s not a rip off merchant like some on the net
        And he’s one of the best teachers on the net
        All the best ๐Ÿ˜Ž๐ŸŽถ

      • Gary HyltonI

        Reply Reply May 4, 2017

        Hey Ray,

        I’ve been with Griff since 2010, and he’s the best thing that ever happened to me in terms of expanding my understanding and knowledge of music and the guitar. By the way I started playing when I was 13 and now I’m 72.

        I have bought several courses, etc., from Griff and never have been disappointed! One time I actually got double charged and I believe it was Annette who corrected it. I think some way I made the mistake, but it doesn’t matter who made it. The important thing is that it was taken care of immediately!

        Stick with Griff and you’ll never be able to thank him enough!!!

        Old School & Still Rockin’

      • john newman

        Reply Reply May 4, 2017

        There are a lot of really bad ‘teachers’ out there, and yes, they do seem far more interested in showing off their skills than teaching you how to do it too. BUT Griff definitely does not fall into that category. A lot of what he talks about theory wise goes right over my head; that’s fine, I just take the bits that are useful to me right now and move on. This lesson was great, I learned how to play the BB Box and where it is in relation to box 2 of the minor pentatonic. When you take what you need and go at your own pace you’ll be amazed at how much progress you can make. A year from now maybe I’ll watch this same video and understand closer to 90% of it, who knows? I would really urge you to stick with Griff.

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