The Best Advice Billy Gibbons Received From B.B. King

ZZ Top was regarded as one of the most important blues-rock bands of the 1970s due to Billy Gibbons’ exceptional blues guitar technique. His interest in blues, which would later turn him into one of the genre’s legends, started at a very early age. Their maid, who listened to blues radio day and night, had a share in this. His mother and father also impacted Gibbons’ musical taste, as his mother introduced him to Elvis and his father to B.B. King.

The musician, who has repeatedly shared that the latter is among his major influences, was inspired by him even while deciding on the name of his band. However, B.B. King was not only a source of inspiration for Billy Gibbons but also taught him special techniques on the blues guitar. Gibbons, who often praises B.B. King, revealed in 2017 that the best advice he has received so far also came from him.

What Did B.B. King Suggest Billy Gibbons Do?

There is a special relationship between B.B. King and Billy Gibbons. When Billy Gibbons was desperate for a guitar, B.B. King rushed to his aid and taught him the cut-to-the-bone phrase and two or three-note technique he thought he would never learn. Undoubtedly, the sound inspired by these techniques played an important role in Gibbons’s transformation into a blues-rock t.

In an interview with Rolling Stone in 2017, it became more apparent how special the relationship was between the two. During the conversation, Gibbons was asked for the best advice he’s ever received. He replied by saying that a very simple but very effective one came from B.B. King. The musician told Gibbons to ‘learn to play what he wants to hear.’

According to Gibbons, King explained that while learning to play an instrument, the teacher has an idea of what the student should play and learn. However, according to B.B. King, if the learner themself knows what they want to hear when learning to play, they will always be one step ahead.

The best advice Billy Gibbons received from B.B. King follows:

“B.B. King laid quite a simplistic statement on me: Learn to play what you want to hear. When you’re trying to learn an instrument, chances are you find yourself at the feet of a teacher who may have an idea of what you should learn. But if you learn to play what you want to hear in your head, you are steps ahead.”

It’s not hard to see that this advice has played an important role in Billy Gibbons’ career. Gibbons knows what he wants to hear and has written his name on guitar riffs that people will enjoy listening to for years to come.