Gary Hoey Column Vol.3 “Blues Rhythm and lead in key of E”

Hi everyone I hope you are doing well. Good to be back for another Muse on Muse lesson, In this lesson I would like to show you a few ways to play a blues shuffle rhythm in the Key of E, I’m just finishing my first Blues CD “Deja Blues” so this is a good time to talk about the blues.

The Blues is the foundation of most rock music and has influenced the best guitarist in the world. I’m tuned to standard A-440 tuning, not down a half step like I usually am. It’s very important to be a good rhythm guitarist, you end up playing a lot more rhythm than lead guitar, and if you play good rhythm you will get more gigs. It’s fun to trade off playing lead and rhythm guitar with a friend. But it’s not fun when the other player does not keep a steady beat. Be a good rhythm player.

Example #1 Is a very basic E blues shuffle but you have to make sure you mute the strings and keep a steady beat by tapping your foot. It helps to build your internal metronome or groove. Many guitar players I see do not tap there feet when they play, it’s a good habit to get into. Try playing this rhythm until you can play it for 3 to 5 minutes with any mistakes. And then record your self and see if you can play a lead solo over the track you recorded. Only play the 2 strings for each chord, if you hit too many other strings it will get messy. Good luck and have fun.

Example #2 Is a variation on #1 with a note added to give it more movement. Remember to try to play it back by the bridge pickup open with the strings ringing, it’s a very Texas blues sound ala SRV.  And then try to mute it to hear the difference.  The stretch on the B chord might be hard so try the other way I show it. But keep trying to make the wide stretch it’s a good goal to set for your self.

Example #3 Is another variation on #1 with a minor third major third movement in the bass note added to give it more movement. This has a very Texas sound like a train coming down the tracks. Remember to try to play it back by the bridge pickup open with the strings ringing.

Example #4 Is a blues scale in the key of E using the open strings at the first position. This will go well with the rhythm tracks in this lesson. Notice how the top 2 strings the E and B play the 3rd fret and the other strings go to the 2nd fret and the low E string is back to the 3rd fret. Try going from a rhythm groove and then play a quick lead pattern using this scale.
Good luck with your blues groove.

See you next time my Japanese friends or Muse on Muse. 
Gary Hoey