Duke Robillard

Lesson >

3 Hours Past Midnight

Solo Lesson 1

Duke Robillard Lesson >

3 Hours Past Midnight > Solo Lesson 1

Hi Guitar friends, The next lesson is on the first half of the solo chorus on 3 Hours Past Midnight. The lesson starts off with a finger buster that is hard for me to play but I do show a great sounding alternative to the high octave stretch that sounds great for those who simply can't reach that far. I suggest you give it a good try though, it's good to learn to stretch that far. Next we learn many of Johnny Watson's riffs from the solo that sound great when you snap the strings as I demonstrate in the lesson. The riffs and are familiar but the technique is different giving it a whole new sound. Enjoy! Duke

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Chicago Blues
Duke Robillard
texas blues
Johnny 'Guitar' Watson

Print Print Chords & Tab

Background listening: Three Hours Past Midnight

loop @ 1:56 I chord breakdown

loop @ 5:10 I chord slow

Note: The best way to learn the the 2nd riff is to loop it and slow it down to 75%.  It's all in the phrasing / timing.

$3.0.$2./8.$1.3 $3.0.$2.8.$1.3 $3.0.$2.8.$1.3 $3.0.$2./8.$1.3 $3.0.$2.8.$1.3 $3.0.$2.8.$1.3 $3.0.$2./8.$1.3 $3.0.$2.8.$1.3 $3.0.$2.8.$1.3 $3.0.$2./8.$1.3 $3.0.$2.8.$1.3 $3.0.$2.8.$1.3 | $3.0.$2./8.$1.3 $3.0.$2.8.$1.3 $3.0.$2.8.$1.3 $3.0.$2./8.$1.3 $3.0.$2.8.$1.3 $3.0.$2.8.$1.3 $3.0.$2./8.$1.3 $3.0.$2.8.$1.3 $3.0.$2.8.$1.3 $3.0.$2./8.$1.3 $3.0.$2.8.$1.3 $3.0.$2.8.$1.3 |
$2.8 $1.6 8 8^ 8^ 8^v p6 8 6 | $2.8 p6\3 $1.3 $2.6 3 $3.5^v^ 5^v p3

loop @ 9:34 easier way to get the octaves

$3.0.$2./8 $3.0.$2.8 $3.0.$2.8 $3.0.$2./8 $3.0.$2.8 $3.0.$2.8 $3.0.$2./8 $3.0.$2.8 $3.0.$2.8 $3.0.$2./8 $3.0.$2.8 $3.0.$2.8 | $3.0.$2./8 $3.0.$2.8 $3.0.$2.8 $3.0.$2./8 $3.0.$2.8 $3.0.$2.8 $3.0.$2./8 $3.0.$2.8 $3.0.$2.8 $3.0.$2./8 $3.0.$2.8 $3.0.$2.8 |

loop @ 10:40 leading to the IV chord

loop @ 12:20 IV chord

loop @ 13:10 classic Johnny 'Guitar' Watson riff

$3.5^ $2.3 $1.3 $2.6 3 $3.5^ 3 5 $4.5 $3.3 |

loop @ 20:10 V chord, turnaroud and BIG riff

$5.5 4 3 7 $6.7 6 5 | $5.3 $4.2 5 $3./3.$2./3 $4.5 $3./3.$2./3 $4.5 5 |

Jam Track



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Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard May 26, 2014

Boyd, First of all you can play the open G string and a G on the B string and create the basic same effect. But if you keep trying I think you can get it, just have to stretch those fingers! Duke

Boyd R
Boyd R May 22, 2014

What if your fingers will not stretch that far

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard May 22, 2013

Hi Cesar, Good question. Since I never saw him live I can't honestly say. Maybe another player here knows the answer. Sorry, don't want to pass out wrong information! Duke 

cesar May 21, 2013

ok,here i go..it´s fun to play whitout the pick..you can do dirty sounds.One question?Watson plays it with a capo or not?


cesar May 21, 2013


Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Oct 10, 2012

Hi Antonio, Thanks, I'm glad it works for you! Duke

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Oct 10, 2012

Hi Vince, You are correct sir, where theres a will, there's a way!Duke

Mike Caren
Mike Caren Oct 10, 2012

@Vince .. I like your spirit!  OK ... hand stretching here I come!

@Antonio .. I totally agree the tone is in the fingers.  I'm also tending to use a pick less.  I like the different kinds of sounds I can make, the control ... and it just feels right / more organic directly playing the strings.

Vince White
Vince White Oct 06, 2012

duke you are da man, i wish i saw this 25 years ago when i first learned that last johnny guitar watson lick off the 5, it took me an hour back then to figure it out lol, also for anyone out there with smaller hands like me and duke, you can do that stretch, where there's a will there's a way, if a mother can lift a car off a baby then a guitarist can defeat his anatomy and stretch his hand out over 5 or 6 frets lol, it sounds better that way without a capo, capos, we don't need no stinking capos lol

Antonio Delgado
Antonio Delgado Oct 05, 2012

Oh, by the way I really dig the axe Duke is playing. I've seen video and plenty of photos of guys like Hubert Sumlin playing guitars that were not considered high quality. It's the flesh of the fingers man! Grab whatever is close and play the heck out of it.


Antonio Delgado
Antonio Delgado Oct 05, 2012

What a cool lesson! Many thanks Duke. This is right up my alley since I don't use a pick as well. I really enjoyed that bit right at the end. Gems like that are why I am enjoying these lesson so much. I've been playing over twenty years and these lessons have definitley filled a few holes that were missing. I'll have no choice but follow with a video 0n this lesson very soon. Thanks again!

Mike Caren
Mike Caren Oct 05, 2012

Ha!  Yes, when Duke said he had small hands and then I looked at mine ... I knew I was in trouble.  I'm going to be doing it the easy way!

Love the bends and snaps Duke!  ... and the BIG Riff too!

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