Johnny Winter
Guitar Techniques|February 2022
This month Phil Short explores the virtuosic style of a Texas blues-rock firebrand with two uptempo, swinging 12-bars for you to learn.
Phil Short

My favourite guitar players all have one unifying attribute: attitude! Whether that be the high-energy tapping of Van Halen, the ferocious picking and vibrato of Yngwie, or the wild blues-rock phrasing of Pat Travers, all these players do what they do with passion, guts and fire. And Johnny Winter is definitely no exception. Johnny displays a wonderfully fluid rock technique alongside a sophisticated blues vocabulary. What makes his playing stand out is his sustain, fiery vibrato and rapid Pentatonic phrasing.

Johnny was influenced by many of the usual suspects, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, T-Bone Walker and BB King, but was also inspired by non guitarists. Little Walter was a sensational mouth organ or ‘blues harp’ player and Johnny, captivated by his sound, transferred many of his licks and phrases onto the guitar.

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