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Watch the Ice Cream Blues online guitar lesson by Jeff McErlain from Essentials: Blues Rock Grooves Vol. 2

Basically what we have here is Van Halen's version of "Ice Cream Man." It's just a 12-bar blues in E with the unmistakable Van Halen shuffle beat supplied by Alex Van Halen. There is something about the way he plays that beat that is totally unique.

When we think of Eddie, we first think of his lead playing for good reason, but his rhythm guitar playing is cool, too! It's always loose yet totally locked in, and that's a difficult feat for any player. This tune is a great place to experiment with just that, keeping it loose while locking in. He makes it sound effortless and to him it is! For us mere mortals we need to practice it. By the way, Eddie practiced his butt off, talent goes only so far—Eddie would not have been Eddie had he not put in the hours.