If you’re a wilderness hiker, knowing how to make fire without matches is an essential survival skill. The 9 most popular methods include flints, rocks, magnifying glasses and rubbing sticks together. Our favorite method? Rub a chocolate bar on the bottom of a soda can to polish it into a sun-reflecting parabolic mirror. Respectively, if you’re a blues guitar player, knowing how to play solid rhythm guitar is likewise an essential survival skill especially on the bandstand at jams. Our favorite method? Eat a chocolate bar, drink a can of highly-caffeinated soda and then camp out in the shed for a fortnight with Jeff McErlain’s Blues Survival Guide: Rhythm Guitar.
If you had a dollar every time some poor soul is up on the local blues jam bandstand looking like a deer caught in the headlights because someone called for a 12/8 or a gospel or a jazz blues or even a little twist on a classic shuffle and they don’t have a clue what to do -- you’d be reading this on your yacht in Tahiti. Yet, there’s always that one cat who knows what to play and when to play it whatever is called out. Also note that that’s the player that everyone seems to want up on bandstand with them.
Jeff has invested the time on the front-end of this rhythm guitar edition of Blues Survival Guide: Rhythm to ensure that you have ample guidance to get up to speed on all of the essential blues rhythm guitar concepts and feels needed to ‘survive’ any situation on stage. All you have to do is invest the time on the back-end to work through the material and shed it until it permeates your DNA. Everything you really need to know is demonstrated and explained here in Blues Survival Guide: Rhythm Guitar.
In the first half of the course, Jeff presents 23 essential concepts and key insights that every blues rhythm guitarists absolutely must know: The Basic Blues Form, Alternate Blues Forms, Blues Feels, Call And Response, Blues Chord Voicings, Dominant Chords, Tritones, 6ths, Addressing The 3rd, Fills, Double-Stops, Picking, Turnarounds, Dynamics, The Four T's, Rig Setup, The Masters, Accenting Downbeats, Accenting Upbeats, Combining Accents, The Bo Diddley Beat, Stop-Time Blues and the Boogie Woogie Pattern.
In the second half of the course, Jeff has prepared 22 rhythm guitar studies -- two for each of the following feels: Boogie-Woogie Blues, Minor Blues, Rhumba Blues, Shuffle Blues, Riff-Based Blues, Gospel Blues, Straight Rock Blues, Jump Blues, 12/8 Blues, Jazz Blues and the Classic Shuffle. Add these feels and grooves to your blues bag and it won’t be you caught in those headlights ever again.
Jeff first presents an overview for each set of two rhythm studies and then performs them entirely for you to follow along with. All of the rhythm studies are performed over a rhythm track for context and each of those rhythm tracks are also provided for you to practice with on your own. Everything is tabbed and notated for you as well and Guitar Pro files are included as well.
Keep that chocolate bar and soda can skill up your sleeve should you ever get caught in the cold out in the woods. In the meantime, dig deep into the Blues Survival Guide: Rhythm Guitar.