In this lesson we take a look at the intro solo to Soulshine by The Allman Brothers Band. We’ll analyze the chord progression, scales, and walk through the guitar tab to understand the theory behind the solo.
Soulshine is a classic song written by Warren Haynes, founding member of Gov’t Mule, who played in The Allman Brothers Band in the 1990’s and 2000’s.
It’s written in the key of B♭, but uses a borrowed chord, A♭ major, from its parallel minor key, B♭ minor. The chords used in the intro progression are highlighted in the table below.
|Key of B♭|
Soulshine Intro Chord Progression
The chord progression played behind the intro solo is I – V – vi – VII. From the key table above, you can see that chord names are as follows:
B♭ – F – Gm – A♭
When analyzing the solo below, pay close attention to the chords being played and note selection to see the relationship between the two.
Soulshine Intro Guitar Solo Scales
The Soulshine intro uses the B♭major scale, which is made up of the following notes:
The intro solo is played using positions 5 and 3 from the B♭ major scale. It also incorporates the blue note, ♭3 from the blues scale.
The scale diagrams are shown below. The top diagrams are the isolated scale shapes used, while on the full fretboard diagram I’ve highlighted only those notes used in the intro solo.
Before we get started in going through the tab, it’s always a good idea to listen to what you’re about to learn so it’s fresh in your mind.
You can listen to the intro here: The Allman Brothers Band – Soulshine
When listening, don’t just focus on the solo itself. Pay close attention to the rhythm and chord progression backing the solo as well. This will help connect the solo to the chord tones you’re hearing in the backing music.
Intro Solo Tab Breakdown
The first half of the intro solo uses the 5th position of the B♭ major scale. Notice it starts in the previous measure before the band comes in on the B♭ major chord.
With the bend at the 5th fret of the third string, he’s bending the C up to the D note, targeting the 3rd of the B♭ major chord.
On the chord change to the F in the next measure, notice he comes to rest on the 5th fret of the 3rd string, the C note. This note is the 5th of the F major chord, another example of targeting chord tones.
This first sequence comes to an end with a roll from the blue note on the 4th fret of the fifth string to the 5th fret and ending on the key center note of B♭.
The second part of the Soulshine intro solo mirrors the first, only it’s played using the 3rd position of the B♭ major scale. It targets the same chord tones as the previous part.
The only significant difference is the last sequence, beginning with the 1 1/2 step bend on the 13th fret of the 1st string. With this bend he’s targeting the root note of the borrowed A♭ chord. The phrase again ends on the key center, B♭.
Full Soulshine Intro Solo Tab
Below is the full tab for the Soulshine intro solo.
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