Watch the Fishin' Blues
online guitar lesson by Jeff McErlain from Essentials: Blues Rock Grooves Vol. 1

Well, here it is, the riff that influenced generations—Muddy Waters' "Rollin' Stone Blues," also known as "Catfish Blues." Besides the countless covers of this tune and uses of this riff with different lyrics, it remains maybe the single most important riff to inspire the heavy blues genre, and as we work through this course we'll see how ubiquitous it is.

So let's talk about Muddy Waters for a minute; if you're not familiar with his body of work I cannot stress enough to dig into it. My personal favorite period of his work is his years with Chess Records—the songs, the playing, and the singing are all definitive to the electric blues. He was much more of a raw player in contrast to the refined elegance of the late great B.B. King, and that's where the charm lies. Be sure to check out Muddy's 1950 recording of this song, it's one of the greatest blues tunes and riffs of all time. I know the Rolling Stones agree; it's where they got their name.