In Koko Taylor's Wang Dang Doodle, there's some kind of ringing arpeggio lead that almost makes you forget that the whole song has only one chord. How do you play that crazy lead?

Edit: This isn't the one I was thinking of, but the lead is similar. link

This is it: link the lick takes form at 0:20 and repeats a few times, punctuating the lyric.

Edit: The comments all refer to what I think is the bass, or maybe a low (baritone?) guitar riff. That's not what I'm talking about at all. I'm talking about that really high part. First few times I heard it, I thought they were plucking piano strings. If the song is pitched in D-minor, then the riff I'm talking about goes (I think) like

$3 17 $2 16 $3 17   $1 15 15 $2 16 $3 17

Not the one that goes like (E minor)

$6 0    5 7 $5 5   $6 7 $5 7     5    $6 3 4 0   | 0

Edit: Specifically, if it's sweep arpeggios, how do you do the reverse to the up-sweep (between the two 'A's)? Maybe I've been focusing on fingerstyle too long. I just can't seem to get this lick right.

  • It's more the technique I'm not clear on. Is it just sweep arpeggios, or is there a hammeron/pulloff in there? – luser droog Dec 28 '12 at 19:36
  • Deleted all my comments about the main riff. You confused me by calling this very quiet background sound a 'lead'. I can't hear anything new coming in at 0:20 - but I do hear a 'steam whistle' effect which may be a barre chord strummed upwards, with some heavy eq and loose tuning. – slim Dec 31 '12 at 11:23
  • It's there from the very beginning, but settles into the first 'theme' of the riff at 0:20. First dozen times I heard it was at Starbucks. The high bits were about all I could hear. To find out what song it is you have to go to the back room and read the screen before the next one comes on. – luser droog Dec 31 '12 at 11:28
  • This is how I maintain my musical skills while working at Starbucks. :/ – luser droog Jan 13 '14 at 6:22

To my ear, the notes sound like they've got a bit of sustain in them, so it might be simpler than you're making it out to be. No hammer-ons, pulloffs, or complicated sweep picking--just finger a concert Eb minor triad (in root inversion) high on the fretboard on the top three strings and do the rest of the work with your right hand.

From the recording you linked, it sounds like the chord is just held by the left hand, and the right either slowly strums from top to bottom, or does a repeated arpeggiation with three finger picking.

It's worth noting that I also hear some Fender Rhodes piano in the mix, which has a tone not unlike this guitar sound we're trying to decipher.

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Yes, after repeated listening, NReilingh is undoubtedly correct. The riff I was after is more like this:

$3.17 $2.16   $3.17 $2.16 $1.15  15 $2.16 $3.17

All sweeps. Or sweep-arpeggios.

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