Duane Allman has been one of my biggest influences since I started playing guitar. Back when I first put Live at the Fillmore East on, I became immediately obsessed with trying to learn how to play like this blues guitar giant.
His style and sound were very different to me than other popular blues rock guitarists such as Clapton, SRV, Hendrix and Page. He seemed to be more of a melodic player that took from horn players and singers just as much as he did from blues guitarists.
A little know fact I just learned was that Duane was a lefty but played a right handed guitar. Could this have given him the extra strength to execute all those radical bends he used to play? Case in point is the Stormy Monday solo.
His phrasing was so different then any other player I had ever encountered before, and the rhythm in his solos seemed to always feel fresh and exciting. He also played an amazing slide guitar! In my opinion, he was the innovator of electric slide guitar as we know it today. Sure there were others that came before him, but he put his own stamp on it and took it to a level that had never been heard before.
Although he didn’t have much time on this earth to keep developing his craft, it is utterly amazing what he accomplished by the age of 24. Jimi Hendrix had 3 more years on him and SRV passed at the age of 35 with an entire decade more time. I’m not saying anything bad about either guitarist. I’m just want to show you that Duane had very little time in the spotlight as a guitar hero so to speak. We have all seen what his band mate from Derek and the Dominos (Eric Clapton) went on to accomplish. We’ll never know what Duane would of went on to do, but maybe some of that is heard these days through what Derek Trucks is doing.
When the Fillmore album was recorded Duane had only been playing slide a couple of years. This is unbelievable! At those shows he wrote the book on Open E Tuning blues rock slide guitar. Statesboro Blues, Trouble No More, One Way Out, and Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’ were all played on that infamous album. Those songs contain some of the best slide guitar work ever captured. If you want to play slide guitar, then it is imperative that you learn these songs.
With that said here are my top 5 Duane Allman Solos in no particular order
- Statesboro Blues – Probably the most known slide guitar intro in history. You can’t mention slide guitar without someone bringing up Statesboro Blues. It is the quintessential slide guitar blues jam. Snaky slides, impeccable tone and phrasing make this one of Duane’s best. A must know for the serious slider.
- Blue Sky – Totally different style on this one. Using the major scale mostly, many fans of the Allman Bros can sing this entire solo note for note. Isn’t that what a solo should strive for in a song?
- Stormy Monday – Radical bending, very unique phrasing, and a sense of melody that most guitar players would kill for. Yes it’s that good and it’s very hard to play due to the feeling and timing issues in this amazing solo.
- One Way Out – Short but sweet solo at the end of the song after the call and response between him and Dickey Betts. Most people can sing every note to this solo as well, but go ahead and try to play it. It’s harder than it sounds due to the unique vocal phrasing.
- You Don’t Love Me – An amazing solo during the song and also at the middle when it’s just guitar. He pulls out everything from BB King Licks to some Jimmy Page inspired speed runs, to some very nice country fried bends. It’s one of my all time favorites! Do you hear the tone he has on this?
Well those are my 5 favorite Duane Allman Solos. They might not be yours, so list your top 5 below if you want to share your opinion with the world.
For more information on learning how to play slide guitar like Duane Allman check out my open e tuning slide guitar course.
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