TrueFire's Guitar Blog

12 Free Texas Blues Rhythm Guitar Lessons

Grab your guitar and step inside the factory with Corey; you’ll find yourself in good company — inspiration from Stevie Ray Vaughan, Lightin’ Hopkins, Doyle Bramhall II, Jimmie Vaughan, Albert Collins, Freddie King, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Billy Gibbons, Chris Duarte, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown and many other giants of Texas Blues guitar are found within.

Corey guides you through a comprehensive vocabulary of Texas Blues rhythm patterns, riffs, fills, vamps, ornamentations and chord voicings. Next, Corey constructs full-blown Texas Blues progressions by assembling various elements of the vocabulary from the first section. Finally, Corey simulates a real-world jam where you solo over his rhythm parts and then comp under his solos. You’ve got it all and this series of lessons will kick things off.

Cryin’ Ain’t Bad: Shuffle Groove

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this blues lesson.

When it comes to Texas blues rhythm, most might start with the typical Pride And Joy type of groove. This groove is obviously similar but mimics the tune I’m Cryin’. This isn’t the riff verbatim, but it is reminiscent of the groove that has become the staple of Texas blues rhythm playing. Keep in mind that the most important technique here is the muting or chuck sound. I’ll explain the details of that in the video. Play this one with attitude!

Swampy: Boogie Groove

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this blues lesson.

Time for another self indulgent moment again. Swampy is a cool riff in E that can actually be translated to other keys. I got this from Jimmie Vaughan and I just thought it was aces! Perfecting a fingerstyle rhythm is not the focus here, capturing the swampy vibe is the thing. Play around with improvising while keeping the right hand rhythm moving. Don’t worry too much about the right hand fingering either. Do what feels and sounds good. You’ll notice that I’ve tabbed out the right and left hand movements in the chart. I think you’ll enjoy this one – I do!

King’s Court: Funky Groove

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this blues lesson.

This funky example is also inspired by Freddie King but I made it my own by throwing in some modernized Texas blues licks ala Kenny Wayne Shepherd. For the factory sense, I’d focus primarily on the first part of this rhythm, however the lick aspect is super cool and dripping with hot sauce!

Flooded: Slow Blues

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this blues lesson.

There are just some classic rhythm ideas that we can’t overlook. This one is derived from SRV’s Texas Flood. I’ve had countless students ask me to teach this to them and I always enjoy working on it. Again, what’s great about this idea is that you get a great little riff to put into your arsenal and the quintessential Stevie Ray slow blues riff.

Duarte Party: Minor Groove

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this blues lesson.

Chris Duarte is one of the more modern Texas blues players on the scene. I’ve checked him out a good bit and he does a great job of blending traditional playing with modern sounds and harmonic approach. I didn’t get this example directly from him but, it reminded me of something he would play. The star of this example is a Dm11. Yes, a Dm11 in Texas blues! We have to push the boundaries a bit, this example does just that.

Shuffle 12 Bar Variation 1: Performance

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this blues lesson.

In this first variation we’ll actually be pulling from three different examples. We’ll be using I’m Just Swingin’, Shuffle Stops, and Part Bass.

Shuffle 12 Bar Variation 1: Breakdown

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this blues lesson.

We’re in the key of A here and I believe that rhythm parts have a melody attached to them as well. To me, a melody is anything you can sing or hum to. Many of these rhythm parts will provide that. You don’t have to use all three examples here but, give it a shot and play them however you’d like to!

Funky 12 Bar Variation 2: Performance

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this blues lesson.

I’m merging a funky groove example with a shuffle example here. Take King’s Court and the shuffle groove Part Bass again for a cool SRV inspired rhythm.

Funky 12 Bar Variation 2: Breakdown

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this blues lesson.

We’re in the key of E here and the important thing is to be aggressive. You can’t play these examples with low energy. Swing for the fences here! Keep your notes muted properly and you should be able to achieve that Texas blues sound with this example.

Slow 12 Bar Variation 1: Performance

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this blues lesson.

Much of this example is centered around the groove Flooded. The turnaround comes from the example Pick Me Up. We’re in the key of G and this one shouldn’t be too tough to tackle.

Slow 12 Bar Variation 1: Breakdown

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this blues lesson.

We won’t be moving around too much in these slow examples because we don’t want to confuse the listener. Remember, keep your rhythm parts melodic too. Continuity is very important. Again, we’re changing the groove up in the turnaround but, otherwise we’re keeping it simple!

Boogie Play Along

Download the tab, notation, and jam track for this blues lesson.

It’ll be nice jamming over this track. Start out soloing or comping rhythm along with me. Keep your parts simple and concise. It’s your job to make me sound good with a great supportive rhythm part!


When you’re ready for more, head on over to the full course, where all together you’ll construct ten 12-bar progressions, two variations for each of the five styles (2 Shuffles, 2 Boogies, 2 Funky Blues, 2 Slow Blues and 2 Minor Blues). Check it out!