His reign as King of the Blues has been as long as that of any monarch on earth. For more than half a century, Riley B. King – better known as B.B. King – has defined the blues for a worldwide audience. Since he started recording in the 1940s, he has released over fifty albums, many of them classics.

Lick of the Week

This week, we show you how B.B. King uses the 5th pentatonic mode in his song The Thrill is Gone.


B.B. King plays the beginning of the solo using the La pentatonic shape on the 7th fret. In the third measure, he plays the same note three times in a row. This contributes to the melody's firmness. Using a short melodic ascension B.B. balances the otherwise falling melody at the end of the lick.

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