How to become a good blues rhythm guitarist?

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How to become a good blues rhythm guitarist?

Postby alf » Mon Sep 26, 2011 9:36 am

Hi you all,

I have no ambitions in lead blues guitar but what I really wish is to become a good blues rhythm guitarist. It may
seem unusual but I wish to be a whole with bass and drum, building a strong "carpet" where some others (guitar,
vocals ...) can do their walks at the best.
I don't mind lights on me, for sure someone is better than me on lead. Oh yes, I would like to be on the spot but I
recognize to myself that this is not my attitude, so why be a frustrated lead when I could be an happy rhythm
guitarist? The important is to be part of the music, isn't it?

Now, I want to start this new way, let's say, from a beginner-intermediate level and I appreciate very much your
suggestions on:
- good listening (list of artist/groups/songs with blues rhythm guitar as reference)
- good practice (exercise, resource on the net on this topic)
- any good tip you have in mind

Sorry if other topics already covered these questions, I checked but I may have missed something...

Thanks in advance for you support!

Bye
Alf
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Re: How to become a good blues rhythm guitarist?

Postby s1120 » Mon Sep 26, 2011 12:24 pm

Nothing wrong with wanting to be a rhythm guy at all. As for what to lisen to... Anyone realy... I always belive your always bettter off listing to all kinds of players, and also styles.
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Re: How to become a good blues rhythm guitarist?

Postby allanlummox » Mon Sep 26, 2011 2:12 pm

A little Jimmy Reed might take you a long way in that direction.
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Re: How to become a good blues rhythm guitarist?

Postby alf » Mon Sep 26, 2011 3:04 pm

allanlummox wrote:A little Jimmy Reed might take you a long way in that direction.


Oh yes, Big Boss Man is one of my favorites!!!
The difficult with him is that guitar could seem easy to play, but there is more and more.
Sometimes I think there are two or three guitars and apart the basic shuffle the others play wonderful stuff that sound as I'd like to play.
Any good tabs is welcome, they are not so easy to figure out!
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Re: How to become a good blues rhythm guitarist?

Postby jeffl » Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:16 pm

The remark from s1120 about listening to different styles struck an immediate chord with me ( pun intended). In addition to straight blues players, I would listen to the R&B guys from the 60's, and there are some anthologies out there, listed as Rhythm & Blues Anthologies. Also the disco rhythm guys, believe it or not-- you'll learn some inversions & partial chord voicings from them.

Also, if you want to hear a great rhythm player, I've always thought that the guy from the Talking Heads was about as clean as you can get (Yeah, I know.. but check him out).

If you're aspiring to play blues, sooner or later you should learn how to go from chords to single note transitional licks & back to chords.

All this wonderful advice comes courtesy of a harp/keyboard player :) , but I learned alot playin' trumpet in a 10 piece soul band for a year when I was in high school (1968).... me & another white guy with a bunch of older inner city black guys from Milwaukee, Wi.
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Re: How to become a good blues rhythm guitarist?

Postby s1120 » Tue Sep 27, 2011 2:56 pm

jeffl wrote:If you're aspiring to play blues, sooner or later you should learn how to go from chords to single note transitional licks & back to chords.

, Wi.



And keep in time!!!!!!!!!!!!!

thats what Im fighting with now. :D
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Re: How to become a good blues rhythm guitarist?

Postby alf » Tue Sep 27, 2011 3:53 pm

jeffl wrote:The remark from s1120 about listening to different styles struck an immediate chord with me ( pun intended). In addition to straight blues players, I would listen to the R&B guys from the 60's, and there are some anthologies out there, listed as Rhythm & Blues Anthologies. Also the disco rhythm guys, believe it or not-- you'll learn some inversions & partial chord voicings from them.

You're right even if I've to reconsider some of my musical tastes :-)

jeffl wrote:If you're aspiring to play blues, sooner or later you should learn how to go from chords to single note transitional licks & back to chords.


You went straight to the point: this is exactly what I mean for "blues rhythm guitar" !!!


jeffl wrote:All this wonderful advice comes courtesy of a harp/keyboard player :) , but I learned alot playin' trumpet in a 10 piece soul band for a year when I was in high school (1968).... me & another white guy with a bunch of older inner city black guys from Milwaukee, Wi.

You should write a book about, it seems a very interesting story!

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Re: How to become a good blues rhythm guitarist?

Postby jeffl » Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:05 pm

I gotta wait until my mom dies to write that chapter, lol! As it was, she made me quit the band when they went to Indiana & Michigan for the summer to work the resort circuit. Best payin' music gig I ever had though... We were gettin' $1000-$1800/nite back then (I got a "junior" share) , playin' to clubs with 1000+ people goin' through in a night. Most of the old-timers like me will tell you that the money was better in the 60's in real dollars than it is today...by far, if you were in a good band.

But, the guy who ran the band was an old fashioned bandleader... he taught me alot about brass technique, showmanship, forcin' some bad habits into me that extended my range, choreography, etc. No drugs or booze on a gig nite though (at least BEFORE the gig). That's how I got the job: one of their trumpet players got stoned bad at a rehearsal again, and I got a phone call from my buddy who was playin' sax and went over to audition..; We wore blue jumpsuits with gold fringes on the sleeves & legs, and we stood on bandboxes. The Milwaukee Royals, for any of you guys that were around there then.
Bottom line: I've always thought the R&B guys and then the disco guys were some of the best rhythm players, and I hated disco at the time. If you listen to Talking Heads, you'll find some surprisingly disco-like licks in their rhythm playin'.
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Re: How to become a good blues rhythm guitarist?

Postby goldbrick » Tue Sep 27, 2011 10:25 pm

Look up Freddie Green -he is Rhythm be all and end all

In rock watch some early John Lennon and Pete Townsend anf Malcolm Young

R and B Steve Cropper

enuff to keep anyone busy for a while
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Re: How to become a good blues rhythm guitarist?

Postby alf » Wed Sep 28, 2011 9:56 am

I confirm jeff, fix these pieces of life before you forget them, then going to write the book as late as possible...
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Re: How to become a good blues rhythm guitarist?

Postby alf » Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:18 am

Thanks goldbrick, I have never explored jazz stuff, it's time now... I found http://www.freddiegreen.org very very interesting but I'm sure you already know.

Steve Cropper...he's "Colonel" in Blues Brother, isn't it? You're right...I've to check the whole work as guitarist, not as actor.

I appreciate very much your suggestions!

Bye
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Re: How to become a good blues rhythm guitarist?

Postby Disciple » Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:03 pm

I`d suggest checking into Keith Richards, maybe not the most flamboyant and perhaps even a bit scattered at times but this guy is for real in terms of rhythm and the guitars function within rhythm.

His ideas and techniques are very unique, come from a humble attitude about music and defy typical approaches.

And he`s got an almost limitless understanding of the Blues.
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Re: How to become a good blues rhythm guitarist?

Postby Stackabones » Thu Sep 29, 2011 3:25 pm

If you are going to get the Jimmy Reed rhythm down, you'll need to learn the Jimmy Reed V chord. It's an essential item, though somehow overlooked by too many blues guitarists.
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Re: How to become a good blues rhythm guitarist?

Postby goldbrick » Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:39 pm

which is just basically playing your 5-6 move with the low A string open ( so A open alternate on d string 4 fret 6 fret
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Re: How to become a good blues rhythm guitarist?

Postby TheDude » Tue Oct 04, 2011 9:42 am

Jimmy Nolen (guitarist for James Brown)
Eddie Van Halen (not blues and mostly known for his flashy leads, but a very fine rhythm player)
Earl Hooker
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