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Robert Johnson's Thumb Bass Style

Jim Burger (4613) · [archive]
Style: Blues · Level: Intermediate · Tempo: 120
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Here's another one, the first 4 bars of the progression Robert used in "Little Queen of Spades". Note the "Quick Change" to D in the 2nd measure. Otherwise, there's not much different here, just working off of the A7 chord fingering on the 8th-9th fret, sliding down and then back up the neck...

This little segment brings to mind an important tidbit. When you're playing the blues, you can take big advantage of the same little tricks that Robert Johnson did. Check out the following chord fingerings on the top 3 strings:
Now forget about the third string and what do you get? You have the exact same fingering on the top 2 strings! You can cover your whole I-IV-V just by sliding up and down 1 fret from your A7 fingering. If you add a thumb bass played on open strings, you can play some decent sounding blues with real minimal effort!
Robert Johnson's Thumb Bass Style - Page 4
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