Groovy Blues Backing

Animated Groovy Blues Backing tab by ActionTab on guitar. So easy you'll be playing in minutes.

This exercise is from the Jamzone where we play a blues groove in D tuning:

Low D:G:C:F:A:D - This is just like standard tuning except each string is downtuned by 2 notes, giving a lower range.

The object here is to play simple groovy blues riffs. In the next ActionTab we shall do some soloing over the top.

There are only 2 main riffs to learn here. They are not difficult, but they are played tightly and quite fast. Once you've learned the riffs, loop the ActionTab and play along with it until you get it tight. Then loop the Normal Speed Audio and play along with that until you are consistent. Playing grooves is all about being consistent. Most 'grooves' are just simple basslines or melodies repeated constantly. Just like we have in this ActionTab...

Riff 1 - Actually this is the bass entrance...the guitar doesn't come in until here, but seeing as both instruments play exactly the same thing, we may as well show the riff right from the start of the ActionTab. Because the guitar precisely follows the bass guitar, we get a strong, groovy bass line. This becomes the core of the whole tune.

The notes for the bassline are based around the G minor Blues scale:

G blues scale: G - Bb - C - Db - D - F

The Bassline: G - D/F - G - Db - C - G - Bb

Riff 2 - As you can probably see, this is a D major chord shape. But because we are in a lower tuning, we are actually producing a C major chord instead. That's because C major is 2 frets lower than D major, and we've effectively tuned the whole guitar down by 2 frets.

As you can tell the riff is very simple indeed, just pick around the D chord shape and return to Riff 1 again afterwards. The next time we play Riff 2 it is extended, and there is a slight variation at the end. This is to lead you back into Riff 1 again (the tune is designed to loop a lot!)

By the Way - It's not massively important to know the names of each note in a different tuning, and we don't mean to give that impression. Most people don't think in terms of the notes they are tuned to - for example with Riff 2 (above) they tend to think 'D major' - even though they are really playing a C major. It's all relative to what you understand in standard tuning. As long as you understand that D tuning is the same as standard tuning, just 2 notes lower - that's the main thing. (That way you can always go back and work out the notes if you have to). So...Instead of worrying about tunings, for now just concentrate on getting the groove right and playing it consistently - next we'll look at some cool solo techniques! :)

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