Watch the Stop-Time Blues online guitar lesson by Jeff McErlain from Blues Survival Guide: Rhythm Edition
One of the all time blues classics is Muddy Water's "Hoochie Coochie Man" released in 1954 on Chess Records. The original recording had the who's who of blues on it. Otis Spann on piano, Little Walter on harp, Jimmy Rogers and Muddy on guitar, and Fred Below in drums. Extra special note should go to Willie Dixon who not only wrote the song, played bass on it. Dixon wrote many of the blues classics such as "Little Red Rooster, "I Just Want To Make Love To You", "Spoonful", "Backdoor Man", I Ain't Superstitious", "Wang Dang Doodle", "Evil", and "Bring it on Home". Dixon's place in the blues cannot be overlooked. Can you imagine blues without this riff? Me either, so let's learn it. The riff isn't all that difficult but like all blues, it takes some time to play it well. I still aspire to play as cool as Muddy and his band. So this is whee the listening comes in, study these recordings. Have them on at home, in the car, on the subway, in the plane, soak it in. I'm not joking! The tough part here is when we go into stop time, that's the past where everyone stops playing then hits the riff in unison. Try that with your band, I smell trainwreck! I have seen and been apart of too many of those pileups to mention. The key here is to count, tap that foot, make eye contact with the other musicians (can't do that here)... I purposely left out the high hat counting time in this exercise because we need to feel it.