Anyone Can Play Guitar
Albert's House and BB's Box in the Key of A
Above in figure 1 you will find a simple pattern that you should memorize. It is easy to visualize this shape as a "house". This shape is named for Albert King, a very influential blues guitarist. It is really just a minor pentatonic scale. In this case, it is A minor pentatonic. (A, C, D, E, G, A).
Hint: Learn the names of the notes on the B string, and you will be able to play this shape in any key. The B string is string 2, the second thinnest string.
In figure 1 the note A falls on the 10th fret of the B string. Solid dot indicates root note.
Figure 2 Ascending Descending
The shape in figure 2 is associated with B.B. King. It has a different character. Like figure 1 it is easy to visualize and remember. BB's box has the notes A, B, C, D, Eb, E, and a note which can be thought of as F# or G flat.
Hint: Figure 1 is useful in blues and rock. Figure 2 is more specific to blues and jazz blues.
Once you are familiar with these shapes, experiment by adding and subtracting notes. Make these shapes part of your vocabulary. Using a combination of these 2 shapes you can create a lot of music within the space of 5 frets. Can you come up with some riffs of your own?
Bonus Theory: Compare the scales.
|Degree of Scale|
|Name of Scale||root/1||2||3||4||b5||5||b7||7||octave|
|1 A minor pentatonic||A||C||D||E||G||A|
|2 BB's box||A||B||C||D||Eb||E||Gb||A|
|Combine Figures 1 and 2||A||B||C||D||Eb||E||Gb||G||A|