Blues Rhythm Guitar


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08-31-2009, 01:54 PM
Most of the blues guitar lessons I find are all about pentatonic solos, etc.
But since I'm getting into a two-guitar duo with a friend, and I'd really like to be able to write some blues songs, something beyond the 12-bar blues shuffle da-da-da-da-daa-da-da-daa (that was clear, wasn't it? :p: )

I was listening to some SRV, and I would really like to learn what he's doing on Pride and Joy. I tried some older blues, John Lee Hooker, but realised I couldn't learn much from that, since it's just... one chord, and a hell of a talent. My Buddy Guy records are all pretty rocked-up. BB King is all horns and piano, no use.

So, a few questions for you guys:

-Do you know of any lessons on here?
-Any artists good for inspiration for simple, stripped-down blues rhythm guitar?
-Any tips/songs to learn?

08-31-2009, 01:57 PM
the rhythm part to red-house by hendrix - it's pretty basic blues shuffle, but there are some nice little bits in it - especially if you borrow some lead licks and put them into the rhythm section which is what i do :)

08-31-2009, 02:10 PM
Use 9th chords on the IV chord.

08-31-2009, 04:31 PM
check out versions of stormy monday, it has very cool chord choices and "in-between" chords in the progression.

08-31-2009, 08:02 PM
After playing a couple jam nights I've been trying to learn some more rhythm stuff so I don't get bored playing simple stuff, and can add in some variety and give the soloers something to work with.

There's a tonne of cool rhythm stuff in Muddy Waters & Little Walter songs, they usually have 2 guitars per song with one playing a shuffle or bass type run, and the other playing awesome rhythm stuff on top of it.

Learn bass lines, all the different chord inversions, common rhythm riffs, but mostly it just comes down to listening to a lot of different blues records and picking up their styles, then incorporating them into your own playing, mixing them up etc. Learn some nice rhythmic build ups that you can do behind the soloist to give them some power. Seriously, check out this - Otis Rush @ 3:02 - That's a good one to pocket for later use.. He does it again @ 3:20

-Listen to Stuff You Gotta Watch by Muddy Waters - the intro is another nice thing to use every now and then. It's got some other nice rhythm bits behind the shuffle and bass line type playing too

-Fort Days and Forty Nights by Muddy waters has some really nice chord/riffing stuff behind the harp solo to check out.

-All of Howling Wolfs songs have very distinctive guitar parts

-Rolling Stone & Still A Fool by Muddy Waters are both pretty cool rhythm parts to learn

- Little Walters songs such as - Last Night (in D, guitarist plays just 2 notes per chord, gives a very cool sound because the notes of each chord are so close together, sounds dissonant but right at the same time when you hear the bass aswell. Plays the 3rd/7th only on the I, IV, and V.
- Another good Little Walter one is My Babe - Pretty common trill type riff going on their which can be incorporated in pretty much any blues song as long as its in a major key.
- Can't Hold out Much Longer by Little Walter is also pretty good, as is Too Late, and especially Juke, which has perfect accompaniment over a harp solo, adds so much to the solo, they just lock in so well together

- Sad Hours by Little Walter also has a cool double stop thing going over it the whole time which you can use all over the show

Seriously.. pretty much all over Little Walters songs have some sort of cool guitar part in the rhythm

Over minor stuff, I like to mimic horn parts a little bit (like ones on a lot of B.B songs, or Fleetwood Mac's slow minor blues songs), or do the little sharp stacco chords, or picking out the chord, some riffing leading to the root or leading to the next chord always sounds good, or in a band situation with a bass/drums you can just lay back and accompany the singer with some small licks between vocal lines

It depends who you're accompanying, some people feed over others playing, while others may feel like you're encroaching on their solo if you try and add some flourishes in the background and change up the rhythm to try compliment their solo, the former being good players, the latter being egotistical ***s ;P

It's all about being tasteful though, rhythm is such a lost in to most players. You don't get a call back to play with people for doing a good solo. You do it for knowing how to play in a band situation, which 90% of the time is playing rhythm/accompaniment, so learn it good :]

Best way to learn is to just listen to A LOT of blues

09-01-2009, 05:11 AM
Thanks, man! I'll have to come back to this post again and again and again. And buy lots of records :(

09-01-2009, 08:09 AM
i wouldn't bother buying the records unless the blues artist is still alive :) i'm sure you can find another way to attain them, (lol) can i be more obvious

09-01-2009, 12:39 PM
That would feel dirty :(

Not that I don't download, but I'm trying to build a CD collection anyway. My policy is usually: download a few tracks, then buy the album when I have money. The other problem is my MP3 player is running low on memory :(

Blind In 1 Ear
09-01-2009, 01:36 PM
try learning some basic blues bass lines. use 9th and 7th chords as well. if you know some bass lines, you can lead into the chords in an interesting way. dont be afraid to add some little riffs here and there.

09-01-2009, 07:21 PM
There's tonnes of stuff on youtube, stay clear of the tutorials from recent guys though.. they're pretty average. Just watch the old players and pick up on what they're doing

09-10-2009, 05:34 PM
there is an old tune called "high heel sneekers" by tommy tucker.....check out the guitar work on that....very tasty chord work and solo riffs...

play well


09-10-2009, 07:45 PM
check out these guys youtube page, their guitarist has the robert lockwood jr rhythm PERFECT..

09-10-2009, 08:41 PM
hey, have a try at SRV's 'life by the drop'. it's an unusual but great chord progression.

pick up the tab from this website and go for it.

09-11-2009, 06:57 AM
T-Bone Walker.

Robert Lockwood Jr.

All the rythm guitar you'll ever need.

09-11-2009, 07:07 AM
Plenty of options, even within the 12-bar format. I like the variations possible, even on something as basic as Black Magic Woman.
The idea of listening to bass lines is also good for variation. Check out some of the things Willie Dixon did on Double Bass. Most adapt well to guitar.

09-11-2009, 07:28 AM
T-Bone Walker.

Robert Lockwood Jr.

All the rythm guitar you'll ever need.

fkn love lockwood man. his rhythm parts are SO good.

09-11-2009, 08:08 AM
fkn love lockwood man. his rhythm parts are SO good.

Mindblowing, to say the least.

Paired with Walters Harp?

Eargasm every time.