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Blues from John Lee Hooker

Jim Burger (4613) · [archive]
Style: Blues · Level: Intermediate · Tempo: 90
Pages: 1 2

Here's a run based on the intro to "Hobo Blues" that has some pretty simple standard Hooker stuff. Look at measure 1 -- the slides may look funky (I'm not even sure if JLH does slide, but it sounds more interesting that way, so I put it in), but this is just simple strumming on an A7 chord over and over again.

To play measures 3-4, you just want to hold your fretting fingers in a triangle -- index finger on 1st fret of 2nd string, middle finger on 2nd fret of 3rd string, ring finger on 3rd fret of 2nd string. The only tricky part is the occasional slide from the 4th fret of the 2nd string down to the third -- you've got to do that with your ring finger.
The "triangle"
Just for fun, try holding your hand this way and plucking on those strings at random, three times to a beat, while lifting your ring finger every once in a while. For good measure, also pluck on the high E string every now and then, either open or move your ring finger to the 3rd fret of that string. Sounds decent, doesn't it? It's all part of the A blues scale (this tune is in A).

Check out measure 6, this is something that Hooker does very often and it's part of his signature sound. All you need to do is two shots on the A7 chord, lift your finger from the 3rd fret of the 1st string and give two shots on the A chord and then put your finger back and hit the A7 one more time, this time sustain it a little longer. Ridiculously easy, but it sounds good when he does it!
Blues from John Lee Hooker - Page 2
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