Guitar Tablature: “Chicago Shuffle”
B.B. King once said, “I have a right to sing the blues,” and if you’re ready to try playing a couple of authentic blues songs, you have that right too! As you first attempt to play the “Chicago Shuffle” on guitar, don’t try to rush the process. In blues, feel comes before technique, and the best way to develop a feel is to keep the tempo slow and manageable while you work your way up. Focus on your feel and let the technique catch up on its own.
The “Chicago Shuffle” is one the first songs with the shuffle feel. To play this song, you need to know how to play single-note blues lines; how to piece together separate blues moves into a cohesive whole; and how to boogie like your back ain’t got no bone.
The lead guitar in this piece uses several devices common to blues lead playing: short phrases with wide spaces between them, repetition, the blues scale, double-stops, and a turnaround at the end. Notice that this particular progression includes a quick IV.