Robben Ford Rock/Blues Guitar Player Extraordinaire.
The sensational guitarist Robben Ford was born in California Dec 16,1951.
He is an American jazz fusion,rock,blues, super guitar player. He's not as famous as some of the other players featured on this website. But,if you are familiar with names like Miles Davis, George Harrison, Kiss,Joni Mitchell,Barry Manilow etc...and many other eclectic players these are just a few of the famous musicians Robben has worked with.
The Robben Ford guitar sound is similar to other legendary guitar players such as Lee Ritenour,Larry Carlton,Gary Moore,etc...but Mr. Ford definitely has his own unique guitar style. Robben Ford blues licks are revered and copied by many aspiring guitarists. Why?...Because they sound so good and are well thought out and tasty.
If you want to hear Ford music and more of his spectacular blues guitar, he has many original CD's out as well as his Robben Ford Blues guitar instruction DVD's, tapes,seminars,etc...check out YouTube Robben Ford.
Here are a couple of very basic licks in the key of A in the style of hot blues guitar that Robben Ford plays. RH has a jazzy approach to playing blues. So try and give this guitar lick a jazzy feel when you play it. I play it with my thumb and 1st and 2nd fingers of the picking hand. You can use a pick if you want to.
Bar the 1st and 2nd strings at the 5th fret with the 1st finger play the E and A notes. Now on the 2nd string slide the 3rd finger up to the 10th fret play the A note give it a little vibrato, with the 1st finger reach over to the 1st string at the 8th fret play the C note and give it a ¼ bend up.
That is the 1st part of this jazzy blues lick. Its musically phrased like a question and answer or call and response. So the 1st part is the question and here is the 2nd part which is the answer.
Once again bar the 1st and 2nd strings at the 5th fret with the 1st finger play the E and A notes. Keep holding down the 2 string bar at the 5th fret. Reach down and with the 4th finger on the 2nd string at the 8th fret play the G note, then the E note on the 2nd string 5th fret which is being held down by your 1st finger 2 string bar. Then play the D note on the 3rd string at the 7th fret with your 3rd finger. Now while still on the D note at the 3rd string 7th fret go 1 fret higher and hammer on the Eb note, with the 4th finger pull off to the D,then hammer on to the C note with the 1st finger 3rd string at the 5th fret. Then play the A note with the 3rd finger 4th string at the 7th fret. Then play the D note with the 3rd finger, 3rd string at the 7th fret. Then the A note with the 3rd finger, 4th string at the 7th fret. Then the C note with the 1st finger on the 3rd string at the 5th fret give it a ¼ bend up.
Geez...that's a long guitar paragraph...take a deep breath before you read that one again.
Robben Ford really does have a magical guitar feel for his styles of music. If you want to hear some knock your socks off blues guitar get a hold of his “Playing The Blues” guitar instruction cassette tape. I've heard it and its fantastic.
Our next RF style lick is a guitar cliche blues turnaround lick that everybody has heard. Its played by jazz and blues guitarists.
It's in the key of A and used as a turnaround at the top of a 12 bar blues. Used over the backup chords of A7 and E7 1 bar for each chord 4/4 time. I'm playing it with my thumb and 1st finger of the picking hand. And plucking the notes one after another.
Put your 3rd finger on the G note at the 5th fret on the 4th string. At the same time put your 4th finger on the A note at the 5th fret on the 1st string. And keep it planted there on the A note at the 5th fret on the 1st string for the entire guitar lick.
All you have to do is drop the G note down a ½ step each time. And play the A note after each ½ step drop down on the 4th string.
Here's the lick...3rd finger on the G note at the 5th fret on the 4th string play the note then play the A note on the 1st string right after it. Now drop the G note down ½ step to the F# note played with your 2nd finger on the 4th string at the 4th fret followed by the A note on the 1st string. Now drop the the F# note down ½ step to the F note played with your 1st finger on the 4th string at the 3rd fret followed by the A note on the 1st string. Now drop the F note down ½ step to the E note played with your 1st finger on the 4th string 2nd fret, followed by the A note on the 1st string.
Robben Ford tab for the guitar has lots of his blues licks and blues turnarounds. He probably knows every standard blues turnaround as well as bunch he's invented himself.
As well as being a world class blues/rock/ fusion jazz/ guitarist he's also a great singer/songwriter. Listen to the Robben ford lyrics as a testament to that. And to hear some red hot blues/rock guitar playing get a hold of the Robben Ford “Talk To Your Daughter” CD.
RF first got into music as a saxophone player then switched to guitar. RF started playing guitar with his musical brothers in a band called “The Charles Ford Band” when he was about 13 yrs old. Brother Mark is a dynamite harmonica player,and brother Patrick plays the drums.
This band also backed up harmonica great “Charlie Musselwhite.
RF then got into playing jazz fusion when he joined the “L.A. Express” which had Tom Scott playing saxophone. Then he played with George Harrison and also Joni Mitchell so RF has had a lot of diverse and eclectic influences in his guitar playing. How cool is that to be able to say you hung out and had beers with and played guitar in a band with a Beatle?
So with all the important music people that RF knows, don't expect to see him with his fancy guitar case open playing for tip money and busking on your local street corner any time soon.
Now that RF is successful maybe he even transports his personal super expensive jazz guitars around in a classic Ford. We know for sure he isn't going to guitar gigs on the bus.
Musical gear that Robben Ford has used include “Dumble Amplifiers, “Fender Super Reverb Amplifiers. Fender also used to make a Robben
Ford Signature Model Guitar and RF also has played Les Paul and Telecaster guitars.