Chicago blues guitar firebrand Freddie King did his best and definitive recording for the Federal label in the early '60s, when he helped define the Windy City's hard-edged West Side sound. So much of King’s sound came from the volume at which he played. He used metal banjo thumb and finger picks to get a very aggressive, sharp attack and tone. King’s rig provided the foundation for the tones of later bluesmen like Eric Clapton. And so using thin gauge strings would definitely have made life easier for King. He is considered one of the "Three Kings of the Blues Guitar". The advice that I’ve offered here will help you attain a very specific sound. These licks are written in the key of C. With your tone just starting to break up, pick hard throughout these Freddie King licks to drive your amp into overdrive. But if you really want to sound like Freddie King and are after authenticity, the ES-345 would be my top choice. Regardless of which amp you choose though, if you want to sound like Freddie King, the key is to EQ your amp in a similar way. So your tone will become brighter and sharper. King’s choice of instruments is delineated between the early-’60s tracks for which he used a ’54 Gibson Les Paul Model (a.k.a. Freddie King Blues Journey, released 20 March 2020 1. 3) Hideaway Ain't Nobody's Business 6. Further Image of Freddie King – Lionel Decoster (Wikimedia Commons) The license for the image is here. ‘I was interested in the white rock ‘n’ rollers until I heard Freddie King – and then I was over the moon. The bending and vibrato on display throughout provide that unmistakable Freddy King tone that most mere mortals can only dream of emulating. Specifically, I would recommend adding either a clean boost or a treble boost pedal to your rig. And this is perfect if you want to sound like Freddie King. Truthfully I’ve never paid that much attention to equalizer pedals, most probably because I’ve overlooked them in favour of some of the flashier options out there. He drove his amps hard and that really helped create his tone. Notice how the lick starts right before the one beat. The October 2020 issue of Guitar Magazine is out now! There are a huge number of different pedals to choose from, but some of my top choices are: A treble booster works in much the same way as a clean boost, but with one key difference. In the state he was born in (and to which he eventually returned), he was known as the “Texas Cannonball.” Revered by his fans and respected by his peers, King was best-known for his searing, assertive solos and dynamic showmanship. Some had stop tailpieces, others a trapeze or Vibrola. And thankfully Fender have choices to suit every budget. And if you are looking to spend a bit more, then I would recommend the Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s Goldtop. Good luck, and please do let me know how you get on in the comments! He has taught hundreds of students face to face and via the MGR Music platform. So his B and G strings were particularly light. In fact, It could be a better choice than the ES-345, depending on the type of blues you are playing. If you do go down that route, then you can easily buy thumb and fingerpick sets like these to get you started. So even though his amp was not overdriving, he was pushing it, which gave his tone a beautiful warmth and thickness. But in addition to that, it will give you everything that you need to create a killer vintage blues tone. Beginner. If you are looking to develop a killer blues guitar tone,... Let’s Hide Away And Dance Away With Freddy King, Seymour Duncan 59′ Vintage Blues Humbuckers, Ernie Ball Classic Rock N’Roll Regular Slinky (0.10-0.46), A Beginner’s Guide To The Major Pentatonic Scale, Happy Bluesman On The Sonic Bytes Podcast, How To Sound Like Eric Clapton – The Later Years, How To Sound Like Eric Clapton – The Early Years, 7 Types Of Overdrive Pedal For Killer Blues Tones, A Beginner’s Guide To The Minor Pentatonic Scale. Some of my top choices are: If you go for a Gold Top Les Paul or a Gold Top replica, then the P90s it is fitted with will work very well. Arguably though, the amp with which King is best associated is the Fender Quad Reverb, which he used for much of his career. He wrote some of the most iconic blues songs and instrumentals of all time and in the early 1960s, had a huge impact on the burgeoning British blues scene. The most dangerous time of year for your wallets is here. In our final part of our look at the stylings of the legendary Three Kings, we tackle the searing style of Freddie King. So a Gibson Les Paul or a Les Paul replica would also be a great choice for capturing those King tones. Apply lots of vibrato to the sustained notes and make sure the final bend really sings. As well as some seriously limited special runs. He plays with passion, intensity and feeling – and does all of this with an amazing sense of melody and timing. It is fiery and powerful, without being overly distorted or unruly. Freddie King is the ultimate blues guitarist. As well as looking back over 35 years of PRS, the brand’s virtual booth at Guitar.com Live showed off just how far its come, and how it found the positives in 2020. King played 0.10, 0.11 and 0.12. Here is everything you need to sound like Freddie King: Freddie King is best associated with the Gibson ES-345. This song includes a new Authentic Tone. He picked with his fingers, using a plastic pick on his thumb and a metal pick on his index finger. So by utilizing an equalizer pedal between the guitar and amp you can mimic the settings to a degree. The first line is aggressive and Minor Pentatonic all the way. You’ll still get some players who have a (non-Varitone) ES-335 but say they can’t get the inimitable honk of B.B.’s “The Thrill Is Gone.” Have they tried a Varitone 345 or 355? Using the second shape of the D minor pentatonic you’re doing a series of four string bends in a row on the E string. King – who made great use of the Varitone on his guitar ‘Lucille’ – Freddie King didn’t utilise the Varitone to such effect. Magazine is out now getting his tone not to feature on a lot of the early blues is... Amp was not overdriving, he was pushing it, which raised £250,000 for War UK. But both Freddie and Albert deserve their titles: B.B and using your bridge for... 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