Podcast 8 – Dickey Betts Statesboro Blues Style

In this podcast I want to show you how to play a Dickey Betts Statesboro Blues Style Lick. This lesson is in the key of D.

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  1. Seems to me this is more of a Duane Allman style lick rather than Dickey Betts. Allman probably just showed Dickey how to play this for the song.

  2. Have a listen to the Fillmore and you’ll hear a few of these licks. 🙂 To me this is Classic Dickey not Duane.

  3. Live at the Fillmore East 1971 is my favorite album. Im not saying he doesn’t play these licks on that album, but this style to me is more Duane phrasing. Whenever Dickey goes off on his own, you get songs like Jessica which is totally his style and not like this song at all in my opinion. But hey, you’re the expert and I’d love to be able to play like you someday.


  4. I was backstage with Duane in Pittsburgh in ’71. He kept talking about how much Dickey needed to sound like him in order for the band to work. I’d say these are Duane licks.

  5. Thanks John…I really appreciate your insight into the this great Dickey Betts solo…one of my all time favorites.

  6. I’ve been studying, transcribing and playing the Allman Brothers first 4 albums for 20+ years and there’s nothing in this lesson that isn’t pure Dickey. Sure, when 2 talented players gig 300 times a year their playing is going to rub of on one another to a certain degree. Duane was an amazing musician but Dickey was equally strong and his personality infused his playing such that it isn’t that difficult to tell them apart. This is Dickey all the way and if there was one player who didn’t need “lessons” from Duane it’s Dickey.

  7. Hello Ethan,

    Thanks for your insight. So theoretically you’re saying that if Duane Allman never existed, Dickeys tone and playing style in this song would essentially be unscathed? No one is arguing that Dickey isn’t a strong player.

    How come when Dickey writes his own songs, they sound completely different for example Elizabeth Reed, Jessica and others.. The first time I listened to the Allman Brothers it was the Gold album in which the first disc is with Duane Allman and the second disk is without (minus one way out). I never liked the second disc and I had to look up on the internet what happened and why it was so different only to find out Duane had died.

    I trust my ear over transcribing, and what I hear is Dickey playing Duane’s style, tone for the good of the song.

  8. I think Dickey was the major scale picker of the two. The main riffs in Rambling Man and Jessica are both in the major scale. Those are two of the premier songs of Dickey. You might give Dickey the nod for the Mixolydian scale as well since he choice it for his In Memory of Elizabeth Reed creation. However Duane is my hero of the two.

  9. Hi Benny, Well, first of all, you need a pretty good ear to transcribe music. Ear training, sight singing and transcription were stressed in spades at Berklee College of Music from which I graduated. This translates into virtually hundreds of listening episodes to a single phrase, riff, lick, passage or whatever you want to call it. It never replaces the “live/aural” experience of the source material but is, rather, a documentation of the event and, to that extent, is as far as it can be trusted.

    That said, let’s consider the equipment Duane and Dickey used while playing on this live recording. Both players used Gibson Les Pauls on the Fillmore East recordings which vary in tone widely for reasons too intricate to discuss here. Duane used 50 & 100 watt Marshall BASS heads (the 50 watt heads mainly) whereas Dickey used 100 watt Marshall GUITAR heads. Dickey used JBL D120F speakers in half open backed 4×12 cabinets while Duane used Cerwin-Vega ER123 speakers in a closed back 4×12 cabinet. If you listen to the recordings, Duane essentially had a gainier, bassier tone than Dickey. This can be accounted for by the difference in guitar pickups and amps (the 50W used by Duane will compress and distort a little earlier, and is generally a little softer/smoother than a 100W. In purely guitaristic terms these are huge sonic differences. In layman’s terms: Duane = fat/rounded sound. Dickey = trebly/biting sound.

    As for the question of who’s licks are who’s? Even taking into account what I said earlier re: playing styles influencing co-guitarists in a band, this solo is pure Dickey all the way. Knowing and having memorized every Allman Brothers solo from every Duane era Allman Brothers recording, I can absolutely attest to the fact that the mannerisms contained within Bett’s Statesboro Blues solo are present before, during and after Fillmore East was recorded and any similarity to Duane is purely due to the idiosyncrasies of the scales used by both players. In fact they are present before, during and after the Allman Brothers Band. Don’t get me wrong, Duane is my hero. However, Duane’s influence on Dickey is not unlike Clapton’s influence on Duane during the Layla sessions. It’s not a question of who tells the other what to do, it’s a question of how do I best apply my style in order to complement that of another. On another note, Comparing Jessica to Statesboro Blues is like comparing I Feel Free to Lay Down Sally.

  10. Ethan,

    You can qualify yourself all day on here about how great you are because you graduated from ‘Music School’.
    I trust my ear. I am pretty sure the greats didn’t need a certificate hanging on their wall to prove anything.

    There is a reason the Allman Brothers announce Dickey as the writer of ‘Elizabeth Reed’ on F.E Album, because its so unlike the stuff Duane writes for anything else on that album. (Personal theory is Duane didn’t want people to think he wrote it).

    I still like the analysis on the music equipment is good to know.

    We can agree to disagree =]


    Benny King

  11. When you heard this recording from Tuggle, did you immediately thing Duane or Dickey?

  12. Great podcast, John. Thanks.
    As for the rest of this conversation, it seems that the internet was made for people to have pointless arguments. But since I have now read these comments, I must say that these are Dickey all the way. Duane and Dickey are both great guitarists, and two of my most favorites, but these licks are based on a solo that was definitely Dickey in the original recording. I’m not really concerned with where the influence came from…Dickey played the solo.

  13. Agreed. I don’t know where Benny is coming from and I shouldn’t have allowed myself to be baited by his nonsense.

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