Shuffle Ping Pong
A few weeks ago I attended a local Blues jam for the first time. The house bassist, Paul, had great feel, and a very deep pocket. During the opening set, the band played an old shuffle with a new feel. Paul used a modified ping-pong concept to propel the song like a freight train. And that’s what this lesson is about.
As usual, the video opens with a demo of the riff over a 12-bar Blues pattern. I then show you the notes, one at a time, followed by exercises starting slowly and building speed. The video ends with another demo of the riff over a 12-bar.
I’ve recommended this before, but it’s worth repeating, because I never know which lesson a new visitor may start with: First, learn the sequence of notes, so you know exactly where you’re going to put your fingers. Don’t try to play in time; just learn where the notes are. Next, start at a very slow tempo so that you can play the riff perfectly, ten times in a row. Then work your speed up two beats per minute at a time. Once you can play it on A, and at a tempo that feels comfortable, but not necessarily normal tempo, you can practice it on D, then E. Chances are, you won’t have to start as slow as you did on A, but make certain you can play it perfectly ten times in a row before increasing speed.
Now, once you can play it over all three chords you’ll use in a A Major 12-bar Blues, practice going from A to D and back. Slow down if you have to, and play back and forth until you can do that change perfectly – yes, ten times in a row. Next, practice A to E and back in the same manner. Finally, practice E to D. Once you can change between those chords with accuracy, you’re ready to play the song.
Until next time, have fun, and…
Aim High – Play Low
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