Here’s a bluesy lead guitar lick from Jimi Hendrix that comes from the song “The Wind Cries Mary”.
During his guitar solo, Hendrix improvises over a set of chords that change keys every 4 beats. This lick is towards the end of the solo, and is played over a C# chord. The guitar lick comes mostly out of a C# minor pentatonic scale, but the last note lands on the 3rd of the C# chord. More on that later, here’s the lick.
The note on the first string is the one that you should use as your guide and centering point. That is a C# note, and this lick is in C#. If you wanted to play this guitar lick in A, you would need to shift the whole pattern down 4 frets so that the note on the 1st string would be an A note on the 5th fret.
As I mentioned, most of this like comes out of a C# Minor Pentatonic scale at the 9th fret. Here is the complete scale form in that position.
C# Minor Pentatonic Scale
The last note of the lick is not in the scale but is a note in a C# chord. Here is a basic C# major barre chord form at the 9th fret.
If you combine the notes of the C# minor pentatonic scale and the C# major chord, you get this. The notes in black are the ones that are in the C# minor pentatonic scale, but not the chord. The notes in red are the notes in the chord, but they are still part of the minor pentatonic scale. The note in blue is the only note of the chord that is not in the minor pentatonic scale.
C# Minor Pentatonic and C# Major Chord Together
That blue note is what is referred to in music theory as the 3rd of the C# chord.
In a nutshell this means the third note of a C# major scale. You don’t really need to fully understand this to make use of this lick. Just think of it as a note that’s in the C# chord, but not in the minor pentatonic scale. That just makes it a more interesting note to resolve to.
Notes in a C# Major Scale
Have fun with your new Jimi Hendrix blues guitar lick.