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Watch the Riff Based Shuffle Blues online guitar lesson by Jeff McErlain from Focus On: British Blues

One of the trademarks of British blues is a killer riff played into a cranked amp. For this concept we are going to take a look at something similar to what Eric Clapton plays on the tune "Lawdy Mama" from Cream. The riff defines the tune; much like when we hear Cream's version of "Crossroads," we know it immediately. On this tune, if you could imagine it played with a singer, you'd see that I am not playing the riff while the singing is happening. This would be too much in many cases and would overshadow the vocals. That's not something we want to do, unless the singer isn't very good. ;-) But seriously folks, it is important to let the vocals have space, we can fill in the holes, but there is nothing more annoying than a guitar player stepping on the vocalist. Or vice versa...