Spanky Alford solo on D'Angelo Live - "Feel Like Making Love" (Transcription/Analysis)

"Feel Like Making Love" - D'Angelo Live
Spanky Alford Solo

Chalmers (Spanky) Alford was perhaps the most influential quartet guitarist there's ever been. As someone who didn't come up playing quartet, when I listen to Spanky, I start connecting the dots in my head between quartet + contemporary gospel + jazz + R&B + NeoSoul. It's all there in Spanky's playing, and in his history.

This post is about a short and sweet solo of Spanky's from a live D'Angelo performance of "Feel Like Making Love". At the bottom of the page, I'll post a few more links to recordings and information about Spanky, including some words from one of his long-time collaborators, Questlove.

The Solo + Tabs

This solo comes from an hour-long Okayplayer mixtape of live D'Angelo recordings, and many of the tunes are off VooDoo. It's the best.

To download a PDF of the transcription click here. Otherwise, follow along with the tabs below.

Add to your bag

Zooming in on just a couple slick moves from Spanky's solo to bring to the shed.

 Idea #1

Idea #1

 Idea #2

Idea #2

Idea #1 - 0:01

This first line (key of D) plays above and below the 3rd of D, only teasing at the F# by slightly bending toward it. Spanky then walks down chromatically to the flat 7th ('g') of A7.



Idea #2 - 0:19

Right at the end of the solo, Spanky sends us to the moon with this chickin' pickin' diddy. The first part over the C9 walks down chromatically from the 3rd of the chord, and then down diatonically from the 3rd of B9.

More on Spanky

Shortly after he passed in 2008, Questlove wrote a post on the Okayplayer forums about his time working with Spanky. There's a great list of recordings on there was well as a few touching stories. On the right, you'll find a YouTube playlist with Quest's Spanky recommendations + a few others.

Cover photo from

Posted on August 8, 2018 .

"Ephemeral" (Tom Misch) recreation

I was inspired by the guitar layering on "Ephemeral", the first track of the new Tom Misch EP, and was compelled to recreate the groove. I utilized my brand-new Lakland Telecaster and Fractal AX-8.

I'd recommend opening the transcription to full screen and using the mixer (bottom right) to show/hide the various layered parts.

 "5 Day Mischon" -- Tom Misch

"5 Day Mischon" -- Tom Misch

Posted on April 13, 2017 and filed under Quick Lick.

Quick Lick: "Morning Motif"

This short motif is inspired by a recent collection of transcriptions I did for Todd Pritchard. Todd is a fantastic solo guitarist from Philly with a vocabulary that draws from soul, jazz and blues. I highly recommend subscribing to his Instagram account for a daily dose of creativity.

Soundslice page:

Posted on October 30, 2015 and filed under Quick Lick.