Buddy Emmons  At E's
This is a column that Buddy did for Tom Bradshaw's "Steel Guitarist" magazine.
I've split it up so that the fretboards go along with the article.
This should probably be in the FunStuff section, but I thought it more useful here.
The Pocket Corner
Have you ever painted yourself into a musical corner?  Every now and then I get involved in a playing situation with much enthusiasm, as well as abandon.  I paint myself into a corner somewhere in the heat of battle with single string runs.  Not to come out of this is to be left feeling somewhat akin to the village idiot.  Many people are not aware that I do this, believing that I always know what I am doing and have my approach to playing well planned.   This is just partly true, but, I, too, am human.  To explain further: I am frequently asked, after jamming on the C6th neck, "what do you think about during your solos?"  I usually answer, "Nothing in particular," which sounds as if my mind is completely blank.  Thatis not so.  I have my pet licks to cover many awkward situations, but my best refuge is areas on the fretboard I refer to as "pockets."  I know where they are.  I always try to approach them from different angles.  Otherwise I would never show much originality.
For the purpose of this first get together is to introduce and refer you to positions, or pockets, on the fretboard.  If a player knows the positions and sounds of a given chord, he will be able to escape a lot of "painted-in corners."
The Corner Of The Pockets

Consider a diagram of a fretboard (Fretboard 1).  Observe the intervals between the E and C notes of the C chord shown on the second, third, sixth, and seventh strings in the open position (C6th tuning).   The E and C notes are thereafter identified at the other string positions up the neck.  You must become familiar with these positions and be able to recall them when you hear them (in your mind) and need to use them.  Incidentally, the C and E are the root and third tones of the C major chord.  Try playing these notes in any pattern.   Practice is the only way to locate quickly the positions of these notes.

Fretboard 1

The second fretboard (Fretboard 2) shows the intervals of G and Bb, which, in this case, added to the C and E notes in the previous figure, complete the C7th chord (C E G Bb).  When you learn the sounds and positions of each set of intervals, put them together (I have only listed the C7th positions on various parts of the fretboard up to the 16th fret).  After learning the intervals of the notes on the two separate charts, mix them together.  Play them at any tempo and note value you wish.  This can result in any number of bluesy, single string riffs, runs, or routines.  Imagination is all you need.

Fretboard 2

Next, learn the intervals diagrammed in Fretboard 3 and 4 (separately).  The first interval routine (Fretboard 3) is another variation of E and G, as originally provided in Fretboard 1.  Fretboard 4 is the intervals of the 7th and 9th tones of the C chord.  Remember, it is important to learn the intervals separately, at first.  This is part of the "painting out" process that will be helpful when you get yourself "painted in!"   You must be able to "hear" mentally these tones in relation to the C chord (without having to play them).  When you accomplish this, you will be able to look at the fretboard and know where the root, third, fifth, sevent, and ninth tones are.

Fretboard 3
Fretboard 4
My "Pockets"

The circled groups of notes in Fretboard 5 are some of the pockets I work in, and out of, when soloing.   The tuning I use is C6th, but with a D on the top string, rather than the more common G.  In these pockets I have isolated (circled) are all different tones of the C chord.  There are 7th, 9th, and 6th tones, too, giving a good variety from which to draw.  After learning each set of pocket notes, tie the pockets together.  I do it this way in my mind (as in Fretboard 6, 7, 8, and 9).  I sort of knit the pockets together.

Fretboard 5
Fretboard 6

Fretboard 7, 8, and 9 are simply different "knittings," not meant to coincide with each other.  None of these is a lick per se, but can be used as such if started and stopped in different spots.  They are, for the most part, lines which can be used in the C7th chord.  Naturally, they can be transposed to other chords in which one might be playing, simply by "pocketing" them at different frets.
Until next time, just "play the blues" with these!

Fretboard 7
Fretboard 8
Fretboard 9

1980 Tom Bradshaw.  Used with permission, (from Tom and Buddy).

When I have some more time I'll add the second installment: "Minor Pockets."