Watch the Blues Feels online guitar lesson by Jeff McErlain from Blues Survival Guide: Rhythm Edition
Variation is what makes for a great night of blues, if everything becomes a mid tempo shuffle I start to loose my mind. A perfect example is on the classic recording BB King Live at The Regal. There are 10 tracks on the recording and they are all great and with different feels. BB knew how to switch it up. Key to the blues is what we call a swing eighth note as you can see in my demonstration it is very difficult to play the blues without them. Some basic feels are the slow 12/8 shuffle such as "Stormy Monday". What does 12/8 mean? It means we have 12 eighth notes per bar. That breaks up into 4 groups of triplets, 1-2-3, 4-5-6, 7-8-9, 10-11-12. Other feels is an up tempo shuffle like "You Upset Me Baby" from Live at the Regal, for us blues rockers Van Halen uses this feel in "Ice Cream Man". Other blues feels is New Orleans 2nd Line, Funk, Country, straight, swing, waltz, etc. I think you get the idea!