Before his untimely death in 1996, Sublime’s guitarist and front-man Brad Nowell was doing his part to fill the guitar void of the alternative rock scene of the time. In 1996 it was rare to hear a guitar solo in song that was being played on the radio. The song “What I Got” was Sublimes biggest hit of their short career, and features a small acoustic guitar solo that we will look at here. This solo has a bluesy feel, and is in the key of D major.
I have broken this solo up into 2 different parts, each in it’s own position on the neck.
What I Got Solo – Part 1
Sublime “What I Got” Solo – Part 1 Audio
6b means just a slight bend on the 6th fret 2nd string. This is called a “smear”.
The red number is the note that you should use as your guide when playing the lick in other keys. In this case the note is a D. If you wanted to play this lick in E, you would just move everything up 2 frets so that the number in red would be at the 9th fret (E).
For more information on how to read this, check out the lesson on Reading Internet Tablature.
The first part of the lick comes exclusively out of a D minor pentatonic scale in the 5th position. For more information on pentatonic scales, check out this lesson.
- Pentatonic Scales – Learn the construction of both major and minor pentatonic scales. A reference of all pentatonic scale forms and functions is included.
D minor pentatonic scale
The easiest way to think about the next part is that the double stops (2 notes played at one time) are parts of chords. They are parts of a D, C, and G chord. I have indicated the full barre chord forms below so that you can see how these notes are derived from those chord structures. The main chords in the song are D to G. So the D chord fragment is being played over the D chord, and the G fragment is being played over the G. The C chord fragment is really just heard as a passing chord between them.
What I Got Solo – Part 2
Sublime “What I Got” Solo – Part 2 Audio
The red number is again the note that you should use as your guide when playing the lick in other keys. In this case the note is a D.
Part 2 is a combination of notes from a D major pentatonic, and a D minor pentatonic scale.
D Major Pentatonic
D Minor Pentatonic