Lenny Guitar Lesson – Stevie Ray Vaughan
In this Lenny guitar lesson video series, I will take you note-for-note through this gorgeous instrumental by Stevie Ray Vaughan.
"Lenny" is a jazz-inflected Hendrix inspired instrumental that was the final track of Stevie Ray Vaughan's debut album Texas Flood.
"Lenny" is a perfect example of using dynamics and a blending of musical styles to create something 100% original. "Lenny" has remained a favorite of many S.R.V. fans for that very reason.
In the first Lenny guitar lesson video below, I will take a look at the opening main riff. It isn't a very technically demanding riff to play, it is the dynamics and phrasing that you will want to concentrate on the most with this one. This first lesson was originally part of my "famous riff" series. So for those just wanting to learn the main riff of "Lenny" to impress your friends, this video is for you.
After that, I will begin a note-for-note breakdown of "Lenny" from beginning to end across four video tutorials.
For these more in-depth lessons, I will tune down one half-step to (Eb Ab Db Gb Bb Eb) just like S.R.V. did on the original recording. There is also liberal use of the tremolo bar throughout a lot of the song, so you will want to make sure your guitar can handle that.
In the first note-for-note tutorial below, I will take you through the entire opening section of the song up until the first solo starts. You will be playing lots of cool jazzy chords along with some highly emotionally charged blues soloing. "Lenny" truly is a perfect combination of these two styles of guitar playing.
In the second video we will cover S.R.V.'s first solo and the short section that follows it. It is during the solos where S.R.V. really ramps up the technical challenges. You will need to be able to quickly jump into some quick blues licks from time-to-time.
The soloing throughout the song uses the scales E minor pentatonic, E minor blues, and E major. It is a great study on how to combine these scales to create a stunning musical statement.
The third in-depth lesson will take a look at the more extended and technically challenging second solo.
I will then wrap up this lesson series showing you how to play the outro section of the song. All-in-all there are going to be a lot of notes to learn, so take your time and let all of the material for each lesson sink in before moving on to the next. You will be well rewarded for your efforts!
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Sure hoping this one gets to a grand. Such a great song. Thanks a lot for the work on this one so far.
Cool! SRV had such a great sound even when he covered someone else’s material. Thanks for the lesson.
Great camera work to see what your doing. Thanks again!
Wow! That’s a great lesson! Love to see anything else from SRV…
Also, any chance for a Tone Tutorial on SRV..? There’s a lot out there on his unique tone, and while I know that just “being SRV” accounts for much of the tone, it would be great to see how to at least get close for the rest of us!
I’m sure that would be VERY popular.
I love what Quincey Jones said about playing a musical instrument. Jones said to take your favorite players and copy their material note for note. He also said don’t worry, you won’t sound exactly like them and that’s cool because you want your personality to come out. My all time favorites are Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Reading tabs is great but your teaching style of video is the best in my opinion. There are some nuances that are impossible to get from reading the notes. I’m having a blast– please keep up this great work.
After all, this is what all of our predecessors have done. Carl has made this process so much easier. Years ago we used to throw on the vinyl and pick up the needle over and over for a couple of weeks/months and have the complete song– way too much work!
Carl! This is an amazing tutorial of a song I’ve longed to perfect. Any advice on how to hold the whammy bar when picking? I can’t seem to find the right position. Thanks!
Hey Kurt, a lot of guys that hold the whammy bar a lot while they are playing like to have the bar customized to how they hold the pick over the strings.
You can look into doing that, it shouldn’t cost that much to do.
Other than that, what I would recommend is trying to not alter your picking hand position too much in order to hold the bar. Make the bar adjust to you and not the other way around because it can mess up your technique.
Thanks Carl! It sounds like another case of practice, practice, and practice!
I discovered your Lenny lessons on YouTube and being a subscriber to your site I immediately logged in and found the lesson. However, I was hoping there would be Tabs to follow while watching the video.
Do you have Tabs for this lesson?
Hey James, unfortunately I am unable to provide TABS for the song lessons on the site due to international copyright restrictions. 🙁