Dominant 7 Rock and Roll Riff in G
I first heard this riff as the foundation of Little Richard’s song Lucille. Since then, I’ve heard it used in many others, as well. This is a straight 8 Rock and Roll feel (not a shuffle) that simply outlines the G7 chord. It may be simple, but I can tell you that, played properly, it will fill the dance floor.
This video is a bit longer than most because of the tempo (130 bpm). As usual, the video opens with a demo of the riff at tempo. I then show you the notes one at a time, followed by demos starting at 80 bpm, and moving up ten bpm at a time until we reach normal speed. Near the end, I show you the standard turnaround used when playing this riff over a 12 bar Blues. The outro shows you the riff over a 12 bar Blues.
As I’ve mentioned before, the best way to work on this is to first learn the notes in sequence (but not in time). Once you know where you’re fingers are supposed to go, practice the riff at tempo that’s slow enough that you can play it perfectly ten times (or more!) in a row. Then increase your tempo by two beats per minute (bpm) until you’re playing it at normal speed. Next, practice going from one chord to another, in each combination required to play a 12 bar Blues. In this case, that would be G to C and back, G to D, and D to C.
Once you’ve mastered the changes, learn the turnaround in the same manner. Then, all that’s left is to put it all together into a 12 bar Blues. Next thing you know, you’re ready to play it with friends.
Here’s an idea, just for fun. Once you’ve learned to play this riff over a 12-bar Blues, go to You Tube and see if you can play along to this video. Fair warning – this version is in C, so you’ll want to start on the eighth fret of the E string so you’ll have room to do the changes in the same way as you did in G. Remember, it’s important to know how to play in all keys. Playing along with the video puts another key under your fingers. You’ll also want to pay attention to the “stop verses,” which are different in that there are some… well… stops.
Have fun, and remember:
Aim High – Play Low
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