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Play Blues Guitar 8: Advanced Rhythm Principles

Fire up your blues guitar rhythm chops with this Blues Learning Path core course.
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Overview

Welcome to Play Blues Guitar 8: Advanced Rhythm Principles for late intermediate to advanced students of blues guitar. This Blues Learning Path core course is presented by 5 top TrueFire educators: Robben Ford, Andy Timmons, Jeff Scheetz, David Blacker, and Brad Carlton. The Advanced Rhythm Principles curriculum is comprised of select blues guitar lessons from the educators' existing TrueFire course libraries.

Guitarists with advanced rhythm guitar skills write their own ticket with respect to paying or playing opportunities. Other musicians love to round out their rhythm section with solid, versatile rhythm guitarists. Pros will always get the most lucrative gigs, and amateurs will always get to play with the very best. The video guitar lessons in this core course will focus on strengthening and broadening your rhythm skills to an advanced level.

Play Blues Guitar 8: Advanced Rhythm Principles is organized into 2 sections. In the first section, you'll tackle concepts like Guide Tones, Comping Principles and Motivic Development. Jazzy Blues is the focus of the second section where you will learn to swing and add some more interesting chords to your arsenal.

When you've completed the lessons here in Advanced Rhythm Principles, you'll find more lessons focused on rhythm in Advanced Rhythm Approaches, also a Play Blues Guitar 8 core course.

The educators demonstrate all of the key examples over jam tracks (where and when applicable) to simulate a real-world application, in a musical context. Key examples are also tabbed and notated for your practice, reference and study purposes. Take as much time as you need to work through each video guitar lesson before moving on to the next lesson. If you want to dig deeper or wider into any of the topics covered in this core course, check out the rest of the courses in the Blues Learning Path where you'll find more examples, techniques and insight from top TrueFire educators. Grab your guitar and let's get started!

About

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Play Blues Guitar 8: Advanced Rhythm Principles - Introduction

01: Play Blues Guitar 8: Advanced Rhythm Principles - Introduction

Welcome to Play Blues Guitar 8: Advanced Rhythm Principles for late intermediate to advanced students of blues guitar. This Blues Learning Path core course is presented by 5 top TrueFire educators: Robben Ford, Andy Timmons, Jeff Scheetz, David Blacker, and Brad Carlton.

2 min
Concepts and Insight - SECTION 1: Overview

02: Concepts and Insight - SECTION 1: Overview

In this section you will work on comping principles, look at guide tones, and dig into motivic development. These concepts will take you deeper into rhythmic possibilities.

1 min
Meet Your New Best Friends of the Jam: Guide Tones - Introduction

03: Meet Your New Best Friends of the Jam: Guide Tones - Introduction

Meet Your New Best Friends of the Jam: Guide Tones - Introduction is a video guitar lesson presented by Jeff Scheetz and is sourced from Blues Jam Survival Guide. Guide tones are basically the 3rd and the 7th of the scale. That is because those are the most important notes of a chord, and will tell you what family the chord is from - Major, minor, or Dominant.

2 min
Guide Tones - Part 2 - Overview

04: Guide Tones - Part 2 - Overview

Guide Tones - Part 2 - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Jeff Scheetz and is sourced from Blues Jam Survival Guide. The real beauty of the guide tone theory is simplicity. If you play the 3rd and the flat 7th of any chord as your 1 chord, and move it down one fret, that is your 4 chord - then move it up above the 1 chord by one fret - that is your 5 chord.

7 min
Guide Tones - Part 3 - Performance

05: Guide Tones - Part 3 - Performance

Guide Tones - Part 3 - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Jeff Scheetz and is sourced from Blues Jam Survival Guide. You will hear a lot of "guide tone" sounding parts where there are horns. Many times a horn part will be a couple of horns playing "harmony" with one playing the 3rd and one the 7th - works great for those type of "stabs" in there because they don't conflict with the root, and they help to define the chord quality.

2 min
Comping In G - Overview

06: Comping In G - Overview

Comping In G - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Andy Timmons and is sourced from Electric Expression: Blues. In this first performance study we'll be comping in the key of G. We're going to focus on outlining the harmony as well as providing support for potential soloists and singers.

1 min
Comping In G - Performance

07: Comping In G - Performance

Comping In G - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Andy Timmons and is sourced from Electric Expression: Blues. In this first performance study we'll be comping in the key of G. We're going to focus on outlining the harmony as well as providing support for potential soloists and singers.

1 min
Comping In G - Breakdown

08: Comping In G - Breakdown

Comping In G - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by Andy Timmons and is sourced from Electric Expression: Blues. In this video, I'll demonstrate and break down some of the comping techniques that I used.

8 min
Comping Principles - Rhythm: Insight

09: Comping Principles - Rhythm: Insight

Comping Principles - Rhythm: Insight is a video guitar lesson presented by Robben Ford and is sourced from Blues Revolution. Robben shares key insights for becoming a solid rhythm section player - a strong rhythm player is always in demand. Robben discusses the importance of using repetition and creating consistency for the soloist or singer to perform over comfortably.

2 min
Comping the Shuffle - Rhythm: Performance

10: Comping the Shuffle - Rhythm: Performance

Comping the Shuffle - Rhythm: Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Robben Ford and is sourced from Blues Revolution. While playing the same chord and rhythm pattern is a recipe for boredom, playing too much is just as bad. In this playing example, Robben demonstrates how to balance variation with consistency by varying the rhythm guitar figure for each 12-bar section.

3 min
Comping Breakdown - Rhythm: Demo

11: Comping Breakdown - Rhythm: Demo

Comping Breakdown - Rhythm: Demo is a video guitar lesson presented by Robben Ford and is sourced from Blues Revolution. Robben breaks down his previous rhythm guitar performance. He demonstrates voicings as well as how to craft fills to keep the rhythm part interesting without becoming intrusive.

7 min
Chords Are Everything - Chords: Insight

12: Chords Are Everything - Chords: Insight

Chords Are Everything - Chords: Insight is a video guitar lesson presented by Robben Ford and is sourced from Blues Revolution. Chords are everything to Robben and he stresses how important it is to possess a large and versatile vocabulary of voicings. In this section of the course, Robben covers the chords and voicings that he uses in a blues setting, most of which are generally referred to as jazz chords.

3 min
Jazzed Blues Chords - Chords: Demo

13: Jazzed Blues Chords - Chords: Demo

Jazzed Blues Chords - Chords: Demo is a video guitar lesson presented by Robben Ford and is sourced from Blues Revolution. Robben continues his presentation of "jazz" chords and voicings that he uses when playing the blues. Demonstrating various voicings and alternate fingerings.

12 min
12-Bar Blues in A - Chords: Performance

14: 12-Bar Blues in A - Chords: Performance

12-Bar Blues in A - Chords: Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by Robben Ford and is sourced from Blues Revolution. Working over a 12-bar form in the Texas blues tradition, Robben demonstrates applications and rhythmic ideas for many of the chords discussed thus far.

5 min
More Chord Applications - Chords: Demo

15: More Chord Applications - Chords: Demo

More Chord Applications - Chords: Demo is a video guitar lesson presented by Robben Ford and is sourced from Blues Revolution. Robben demonstrates how to use a diminished chord to move from the IV chord back to the I chord. In the key of A for example, he shows how to take the top 4 notes of the D9 chord, and lower the 9th (E) to Eb to arrive at the D# dim7 chord (F#-C-D#-A), which leads very smoothly back to the A chord.

9 min
Motivic Development - Rhythm 1: Overview

16: Motivic Development - Rhythm 1: Overview

Motivic Development - Rhythm 1: Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Robben Ford and is sourced from Blues Motif Revolution. This track is a basic up-tempo blues shuffle. We'll go through some of the things that I listen for when developing a motif, and then we'll work through some ideas for our rhythm part.

5 min
Motivic Development - Rhythm 1: Demonstration

17: Motivic Development - Rhythm 1: Demonstration

Motivic Development - Rhythm 1: Demonstration is a video guitar lesson presented by Robben Ford and is sourced from Blues Motif Revolution. Now, we'll apply some of the ideas we explored in the overview lesson over a full performance with the track.

4 min
Motivic Development - Rhythm 4: Overview

18: Motivic Development - Rhythm 4: Overview

Motivic Development - Rhythm 4: Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Robben Ford and is sourced from Blues Motif Revolution. Let's look at developing motifs for a new kind of track a minor blues in C minor.

8 min
Motivic Development - Rhythm 4: Demonstration

19: Motivic Development - Rhythm 4: Demonstration

Motivic Development - Rhythm 4: Demonstration is a video guitar lesson presented by Robben Ford and is sourced from Blues Motif Revolution. I'll put everything we just looked at together, performing over the minor blues track.

3 min
Jazzy Blues - SECTION 2: Overview

20: Jazzy Blues - SECTION 2: Overview

In this second section you will Jazz up your blues rhythms with some swing. You'll learn swing blues harmony and look at some chord substitution possibilities to add some new colors to your blues rhythm palette.

1 min
Be Quick About It - Overview

21: Be Quick About It - Overview

Be Quick About It - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Brad Carlton and is sourced from Chord Studies: Jazz Blues Progressions Vol. 1. This 12-bar dominant blues progression in the key of F features a quick change in the first couple of measures and several essential chord voicings that must be added to your jazz chord vocabulary; the 7/6 (also commonly referred to as a 13th), a Bb maj7b5 and the 7#9#5.

3 min
Be Quick About It - Playalong

22: Be Quick About It - Playalong

Be Quick About It - Playalong is a video guitar lesson presented by Brad Carlton and is sourced from Chord Studies: Jazz Blues Progressions Vol. 1. This 12-bar dominant blues progression in the key of F features a quick change in the first couple of measures and several essential chord voicings that must be added to your jazz chord vocabulary; the 7/6 (also commonly referred to as a 13th), a Bb maj7b5 and the 7#9#5.

3 min
Turn, Turn, Turn - Overview

23: Turn, Turn, Turn - Overview

Turn, Turn, Turn - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Brad Carlton and is sourced from Chord Studies: Jazz Blues Progressions Vol. 1. A killer turnaround that will also turn heads at the next jam is featured here in this 12-bar blues in the key of A.

1 min
Turn, Turn, Turn - Playalong

24: Turn, Turn, Turn - Playalong

Turn, Turn, Turn - Playalong is a video guitar lesson presented by Brad Carlton and is sourced from Chord Studies: Jazz Blues Progressions Vol. 1. A killer turnaround that will also turn heads at the next jam is featured here in this 12-bar blues in the key of A.

3 min
Basic Swing Blues Harmony - Demonstration

25: Basic Swing Blues Harmony - Demonstration

Basic Swing Blues Harmony - Demonstration is a video guitar lesson presented by David Blacker and is sourced from Swing Blues Survival Guide: Rhythm. In this exercise, we'll look at a four-to-the-bar comping pattern in the style of Freddie Green, the guitarist from the Count Basie orchestra.

6 min
Advanced Swing Blues Harmony - Demonstration

26: Advanced Swing Blues Harmony - Demonstration

Advanced Swing Blues Harmony - Demonstration is a video guitar lesson presented by David Blacker and is sourced from Swing Blues Survival Guide: Rhythm. In this one, we'll begin very much like the first exercise until we get to the 4th measure where we'll incorporate a dominant 7 chord (as opposed to major), setting up the change to the IV chord really nicely with voice leading.

10 min
Comping Study 1 - Demonstration

27: Comping Study 1 - Demonstration

Comping Study 1 - Demonstration is a video guitar lesson presented by David Blacker and is sourced from Swing Blues Survival Guide: Rhythm. In our first comping study, we'll look at some chord voicings that center around the D, G, & B strings. These voicings will typically be your "go to" shapes for louder, more electrified styles.

8 min
Comping Study 2 - Demonstration

28: Comping Study 2 - Demonstration

Comping Study 2 - Demonstration is a video guitar lesson presented by David Blacker and is sourced from Swing Blues Survival Guide: Rhythm. In this study, we'll add the high E string into the mix to build some lush four note voicings. This piece incorporates a lot of half-step moves and great voice leading elements, opening up with a Bb 6/9 chord, which has a really sweet swingin' flavor.

11 min
Swingin With The Duke - Overview

29: Swingin With The Duke - Overview

Swingin With The Duke - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by David Blacker and is sourced from Swing Blues Survival Guide: Rhythm. Duke Robillard is a player that covers many shades of the swing blues sound. Aside from being able to mimic many of the classic swing blues guitarists to a tee, Duke mixes it all up into his own unique thing.

1 min
Swingin With The Duke - Performance

30: Swingin With The Duke - Performance

Swingin With The Duke - Performance is a video guitar lesson presented by David Blacker and is sourced from Swing Blues Survival Guide: Rhythm. This piece is an extension of the 4-to-the-bar comping ideas covered in the concepts section of this course. A key thing to keep in mind is to play these voicings with a soft touch as the chords are very bass heavy.

1 min
Swingin With The Duke - Breakdown

31: Swingin With The Duke - Breakdown

Swingin With The Duke - Breakdown is a video guitar lesson presented by David Blacker and is sourced from Swing Blues Survival Guide: Rhythm. When you're playing these types of voicings, it's all about the voice leading. Take note of the ascending line in the 3rd and 4th measures, going up perfectly into the IV chord change.

7 min
Subbin' - Overview

32: Subbin' - Overview

Subbin' - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Brad Carlton and is sourced from Chord Studies: Evolving Blues Vol. 1. Measure 4 gives us a "sub" chord - which is a "substitute" chord. Here we are using a b5 sub of the A7 chord, the Eb7b5.

3 min
Subbin' - Playalong

33: Subbin' - Playalong

Subbin' - Playalong is a video guitar lesson presented by Brad Carlton and is sourced from Chord Studies: Evolving Blues Vol. 1. Measure 4 gives us a "sub" chord - which is a "substitute" chord. Here we are using a b5 sub of the A7 chord, the Eb7b5.

3 min
Step Down - Overview

34: Step Down - Overview

Step Down - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Brad Carlton and is sourced from Chord Studies: Evolving Blues Vol. 1. Our next blues is still in the key of A, but incorporates some minor 7 chords. We also use a standard bluesy move in measure 12 as we approach the V chord from a half step above.

2 min
Step Down - Playalong

35: Step Down - Playalong

Step Down - Playalong is a video guitar lesson presented by Brad Carlton and is sourced from Chord Studies: Evolving Blues Vol. 1. Our next blues is still in the key of A, but incorporates some minor 7 chords. We also use a standard bluesy move in measure 12 as we approach the V chord from a half step above.

3 min
Funky Blues - Overview

36: Funky Blues - Overview

Funky Blues - Overview is a video guitar lesson presented by Brad Carlton and is sourced from Chord Studies: Evolving Blues Vol. 2. This is a blues tinged funk groove in the key of E.

1 min
Funky Blues - Playalong

37: Funky Blues - Playalong

Funky Blues - Playalong is a video guitar lesson presented by Brad Carlton and is sourced from Chord Studies: Evolving Blues Vol. 2. This is a blues tinged funk groove in the key of E.

4 min
Play Blues Guitar 8: Advanced Rhythm Principles - Conclusion

38: Play Blues Guitar 8: Advanced Rhythm Principles - Conclusion

Congratulations on completing this core course in your learning path! If you want to dig deeper or wider into the topics covered in this course, check out the recommended supplementary courses where you'll find more examples, techniques and insight from top TrueFire educators.

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