In this lesson, we'll look at the basic blues shuffle and some devices you can use to enhance your blues rhythm playing. Ideally, this type of playing works well when jamming with another guitarist or backing up a singer, but could also be used when playing with a band. If you're interested in more chordal ideas for blues rhythm guitar, check out Blues Rhythm Guitar II
The first step in learning the shuffle is getting familiar with the "swing" type of feel that is inherent to the shuffle. Instead of playing straight 8th notes in an even pattern, every second 8th note is delayed, giving it more of a triplet feel. The feel is more like:
ONE - two - THREE - ONE - two - THREE
Listen to the example below. The first two measures show the straight feel, while measures 3-5 have the shuffle feel.