The “BB Box” (I call it the House Pattern) tends to cause a lot of confusion, and today I thought we could look into it and why you want to use it…
It’s such a great, classic, blues sound, but you have to be very aware of your surroundings when you use it.
Because you control how “major” or “minor” it sounds based on your use of a bend. So bend control and awareness are the keys.

    25 replies to "[Live] BB King/House Pattern Shapes"

    • Davy

      Great lesson Griff. Thanks.

    • Jim

      What a useful lesson. I can’t wait to get home and start trying out what I just learned. Thanks Griff.

    • Frank

      great lesson Griff , that totally clears the BB box for me , thanks so much and I want one of those “more righter ” T-shirts when there ready . Love it

    • Tom Hopsicker

      Great explanation of that!!

    • Peter (South Coast UK)

      Really helpful! Many thanks, Griff.

    • MoreFreedom

      I agree, there’s a righter way to play! As they used to rhetorically ask “Do you want good grammar or good music?”

      And thanks for clearing up exactly what the BB box is. I’ve seen at least one guy on youtube refer to the “house pattern” (the five notes on the EB&G strings in position 2 of the minor pentatonic) as the BB box, which you clearly show isn’t, and is instead the 3 notes on the E&B strings in position 3 of the minor pentatonic plus the extra notes from the 2nd (the 2nd, the flatted third achieved by bending the 2nd up a half step for the minor sound, and the third achieved by bending the 2nd up a whole step).

      Thanks for the great example and setting this straight for me.

    • Silicon Valley Tom

      Nice info. BB King is my favorite Blues Guitarist, and I have collected a good deal of instructions from many sources as to how to use his techniques. Consider basic techniques – vibrato, bends, slides, and where are the notes of the guitar? If you like, you can use the concept all over the neck of the guitar. Change which strings and fret positions you use, to add a bit of variety to the sound. The second string is most often used, but why not use a few of the others when you feel like it? 🙂

    • Chaplain Ed

      Thanks Griff, I needed that!

    • Ken Tillotson

      Enjoyed the theory of the lesson. That’s looks like to me you could use box three and move around a bit more between minor and major your thoughts on that.

    • Francis Loncharic

      Another way to think of it,; isn’t it really box 2 of the b minor scale?

      • Griff

        You could, but then A, the key, wouldn’t be forefront of your mind. It’s an extra mental step that usually stops soloing dead in its tracks.

      • Hutcho

        The box you refer to doesn’t require a bend to remain in the key, the one Griff demonstrates, requires a bend to get to the 3rd (whole bend) and flatted 3rd (half bend) required for the Key.

    • James Nonnin

      Thanks so much for making it simple !
      Lots of times students will say , when do you change or when do you use this !
      Again Groove n Taste only comes with age
      Thanks , you’ve got a great course

    • Jon

      Thanks Griff for explaining the BB BOX and the the 4note solo pattern. I often wondered about the difference between the two Patterns also, because of their similarities. Thx.

    • Joe McCarthy

      When you explained the use of the 1 step bend (major) versus the 1/2 bend (minor) and then gave us the chance to use both bends over a I-IV-V chord sequence (sounded like A7-D7-E7), it drove the concept home. Thanks.

    • Interstate slim

      Thanks griff, really appreciate what you do to help us. Enjoy your day.

    • Brian

      Hey Griff, thanks for everything you’ve taught all of us Blues fundamentalists. I do agree with Richard as far as this being a modified 3rd position in the key of A. My former instructor referred to it as a blues block.

    • Mark d

      I worked on this with my brother for an hour yesterday. Also on mixing major and minor sounds. I used the key of g mainly because if I go to the 15th fret it’s easier to see (for me) where you are. If you use g at the 3rd fret you are dealing with open strings.( aka srv) he does it alot. I never understood this till griff explained it. I’m not talking about the 3 frets down idea but changing your fingering to key on the root notes. Thanks griff! Keep these jems coming. How about a refresher on major and minor mixing let’s say in key of a. I use the dots as navigation markers and mixing major minor I get visually confused🤪 ( maybe even talk about using the dots as navigation points) thanks again your the best instructor out there😎!

    • L'wood Wright

      This is the magic of learning blues guitar. The BB Box was the first thing I learned and it seemed so simple, except for that bending thing, which I can only do to C right now. But that wasn’t too important, right? Wrong! Every note counts and Griff explains why, the importance of Major 1, Minor 4, Minor 5. A year ago I would not have understood what Griff was talking about. Tonight, I am going to use this in my 12 bar solos. Many thanks.

    • Craig Wiggins

      Thanks much Griff! Never heard that before! Righter or gooder, it was sure helpfuller to me! Thanks again!

    • Anthony O Mahony

      Mystery solved. Many thanks

    • Richard

      I May be wrong but I would recognized it as as a modified 3rd box.

    • Mervyn Futter

      Lovely clear explanation many thanks.

    • tony

      a scale with no name . so its got a name . You did Your bestest . Happy You posted this one and made it totally understandable .

    • Robb Jones

      Thanks Griff, that was a mucho Gooder video I’ve seen using the BB Box the Righter way.

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