Watch the Magic Sam online guitar lesson by David Hamburger from Fingerstyle Blues Factory
I saw Pete Anderson play recently and asked him afterwards about how much playing he was doing with his bare fingers - with no pick at all, that is. He’d been channelling some Albert Collins on a honky-tonk shuffle, for instance, and as he talked about it more I realized how many of my favorite electric bluesmen played bare-handed: Collins, Gatemouth Brown, and yes, Magic Sam. I think of this lick as an elaboration on the fundamental John Lee Hooker boogie groove - in both cases, the constant offbeats on the third string provide the drive and momentum. And if you’re not down with Hooker yet, think Z.Z. Top’s “La Grange.” The boys from Texas didn’t limit their Hooker influence to the guitar playing, either. “How how how how,” indeed.