STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN
Before tackling this course, you should be comfortable with all the material from Pride & Happiness

Soloing is only one aspect of SRV's monumental sound, the other being his aggressive and intense rhythm playing. We will take the Texas style track we learnt in the previous section, except this time tackle the rhythm side. For a lot of students, this aspect of SRV's playing can be trickier than the lead, but we will break it down nice and slowly and learn how to get that rich SRV tone.

Summary: 'Texas Shuffle'

The video above is a full play through of the Texas shuffle track, and our focus will be to not only get the notes correct, but also to learn how to get the style of the part right. When you watch SRV play through a blues shuffle like this, he will typically have his strumming hand making large circles to emphasise the swing of the track, which is exactly what we have tried to emulate here. Have a proper listen and then move onto the next video to start learning.

PART 1: E7 to A7

The first 8 bars of this track simply move from E7 to A7, but instead of playing chords, we use a cool Texas riff. If we use the E for example, the notes we are using stem from an E major arpeggio but we then add in the flattened third and the sixth from the major scale. This is basically a typical blues bass line that has been moved onto the guitar to create a riff! When we move to the A7 we simply do the A arpeggio with a flattened third and natural sixth. They look like this:

Materials: The Tab

To start with, we are only looking at those first 8 bars, so loop that section within the tab below.

Part 2: The 5 chord

When we move to the B (the five chord in theory terms), we use the same arpeggio idea, except this time we cannot use open strings. We then return to the A chord, and once again use the A riff instead of the chord. Finally we get to the turnaround where we play the E riff for 1 bar, followed by the chromatic run up to the B note on the A string. The quick pentatonic shape 1 lick at the end is a classic SRV style filler lick before starting the sequence all over again!

Materials: The Tab

It's now time to add the two sections together and start playing the whole tab. Use the slow down and looping functions of the tab viewer to really help you master those licks before moving on.

Audio: Backing Track & Audio

When you are ready, the backing track and full solo are here to play along to. It is worth trying to play with just the backing track, as you will not be 'hiding' behind the recorded guitar part; it's all up to you to make it sound awesome!

Sumary: The chord chart

Although each part is a riff, they are all based on simple dominant 7th chord shapes and this is important to remember. We will now start to put the piece together with a bit more rhythm, so here is the basic chord progression without any of the fancy stuff! Remember to add the swing with your right hand!

  • Verse
  • E7 /// //// A7 /// E7 /// B7 / A7 / E7 // B7
  • Loop this sequence till end

Summary: Adding the 'Texas' back in!

In the final part of this rhythm study, we will look at adding the grit and style back into the track. The key thing is developing 'chunky' sound. You should be aiming to strum all 6 strings but only hearing the note you are fretting; this gives you a much richer sound. On the up strokes, you are now looking to mute all the strings instead of pick the note. This will take some time to get together, so don't expect it to come overnight! Stick with it as the more you scrap through it, the better it will get.

Materials: The Tab

Here is the full tab, including all of the 'x' marks to signify this chunky sound we are trying to create. Take your time with this and use the slow down feature to help you along!

Audio: Backing Track & Audio

When you are ready, the backing track and full solo are here to play along to. It is worth trying to play with just the backing track, as you will not be 'hiding' behind the recorded guitar part; it's all up to you to make it sound awesome!

Ready to move on – remember to check out every lesson in this unit first – then try the next unit...

Slow Texas Blues

Now we've covered SRV's 100 mile an hour style tracks, let's take it back a notch and look at how the master works over a slow blues. We start by looking at the typical chords he would play over a 12 bar and how to play licks within those chords.