Blues guitar riffs are a joy to play and the one covered in this lesson is pretty easy to learn but sounds awesome. Check out the video to hear it and watch me playing it.
Whose Riff is This?
I love blues guitar riffs because they are often so simple but are extremely effective. This lesson will teach you a great riff by Jimmy Ray Vaughan so by the end of it you’ll have added a really cool and versatile piece to your arsenal of riffs. I’ll show you the notes to play with some blues guitar tab that I’ve included below, give you some tips on how to play the riff and also provide a demonstration (in the video above) so that you can really get a proper understanding of it.
How to Play these Blues Guitar Riffs
The riff in this lesson follows a 12 bar blues progression and is based on a tune that my first guitar teacher showed me how to play, so it’s an old favorite of mine. I hope you enjoy it too. Let’s get started.
It’s in the key of G and the first section comprises the notes G, A, B and D.
The first note is G itself, which is played on the 3rd fret of the 6th string using your index finger. Then you play A on the 5th fret of the 6th string using your ring finger and slide up to B and finally play D using your index finger on the 5th fret of the 5th string. The next phrase is the same but with a slightly different rhythm. The rest of the piece repeats this opening section following a 12 bar blues progression.
Tab for these Blues Guitar Riffs
So there you have one of my favourite blues guitar riffs of all time – Walkin’ to my Baby by Jimmy Ray Vaughan. Practice it well and enjoy!
Try playing along with me in the video so that you get the rhythm right. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you can mix things up a little by altering the emphasis on different notes, or even changing the rhythm altogether and adding a couple of extra notes here and there. If you’re unsure which notes you can add that will sound good, check out the series I’ve written on blues guitar scales, which will explain the five different patterns of the pentatonic scale that this riff is based on.