Guitar Tablature: “Mississippi Mud”
“Mississippi Mud” is an old blues song that was first recorded by Bing Crosby back in 1927. This song features many acoustic blues concepts: E pentatonic minor scale in open position, steady bass notes, alternation (the bass plays alone in measure 2, for example), repetition of a lick at the same pitch even though the background chord changes (measure 5), fretted note/open string combination (measure 9), and a turnaround lick (measures 11–12).
To play this song, you need to know how to play an independent bass line with the thumb working against a melody that you play with the fingers; how to alternate textures smoothly; how to play a turnaround; and how to get your mojo workin’.
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 blues, 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.