Robben Ford Meets Eric Johnson Solo Improvisation - Peter C

Hey all,

In the spirit of treading into unfamiliar territory and uncomfortable routines, I’ve tried to fuse a style of Robben and EJ, improvising over “Nothing to Nobody” from the Supernatural album.

The backing track is a 3rd party interpretation of the piece, without guitars, so that I could play with the organ accompaniment. Cost all of 100 cents and probably the best buck I’ve spent all week.

I am a little ashamed to say I am not as familiar with Mr. Ford’s catalogue as I should be, but I’m working to change that. His music is always on rotation, but I admit I haven’t dissected him as I have EJ, and it shows.

Combining the EJ-isms, but staying true to the Robben Ford school of less gain, almost zero delay, and a lot of inflection/attack, it was a piece of work to get it feeling right under the fingers. Thankfully the man allows for a bit of reverb.

The gear more simple this time: a fender cs 57 strat - ts808 - fender princeton on 6 - suhr RL - two notes.

Thanks for reading and please enjoy,


Hi, Peter C. Great playing.

Troy had a look at Robben’s playing for me a few months ago, and although Troy found both double escape picking and one way escape picking from video I put on the blog , I think I found a video in which Robben is also playing two note per string pentatonics starting on an upstroke.

I first came across Robben from a tab in a guitar magazine of his studio version of Help the Poor. Below I’ve put two live versions from YouTube of the same song, which I’ve started at the solo, and they show, especially if you compare them to the studio version as well, how protean his playing is.

At 3 mintues 50 seconds on the first video, he plays the same lick that appears on the studio version; a downstroke plays the note on the 20th fret on the B string which is bent up a tone and while holding the bend four quick notes are then played on the 20th fret on the high E string, down, up, down, up, and on the fourth note you let the momentum from the upstroke take you back over the B string to start on the down stroke at the 20th fret on the B string and the pattern repeats.