Published On: Thu, May 21st, 2009

Albert Lee Guitar tab and techniques

Learn to play electric guitar like Albert Lee – lessons in the techniques that made Country Boy such a classic – with tab and chords

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Learn to play electric guitar like Albert Lee – lessons in the techniques that made Country Boy such a classic – with tab and chords

Although Albert Lee is not as well known as many of the artists he has worked with, he’s not short of accolades. Clapton once called him the greatest guitarist in the world, and after Lee replaced James Burton in Emmylou Harris’ band, she described him as a brilliant player. ‘His sound is unmistakable — often emulated, never equalled,’ she said. ‘When St Peter asks me to chronicle my time down here on earth, I’ll be able – with pride, if allowed – to say that for a while I played rhythm guitar in a band with Albert Lee.’
Despite sporting formidable technical prowess – which he always utilises musically – Lee is not too hung up on the mechanics of playing. ‘People get very narrow-minded about their views on technique, good and bad. But that’s as wrong as being hung up on the nature of “pure country” and “pure blues”,’ he says.
‘I’m more likely to use the little finger on the right hand than I am on the left. On the left hand most of the fingering comes from the first three, then the little finger pops in for the odd reach. But with my right, doing the fingerstyle things with the pick and fingers, I use my little finger quite a lot. Not a lot of people do that… I just fell into it. Playing the piano as a boy really helped, it dictated the way I was going to play.’
In addition to his fluent technique, Lee is also a gifted improviser and is able to play his way out of tricky situations. ‘It’s all improvised, and I get stuck fairly often! I’m lucky enough to have a technique that enables me to quickly take it somewhere else and pull myself out of the hole. Every now and again you’ll hit on something that takes you in another direction, and those moments give me the most satisfaction. I try to create an environment where those magic things happen. If it feels good to me, I enjoy it more and it shows.’
The following exercises break down some of the essential parts of Lee’s techniques into easily digestible chunks. When playing in the studio or live, Lee usually mixes two or more of these techniques together.

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