Texas Boogie: Stevie Ray Vaughan and His "Pride and Joy" Shuffle

by Keith Wyatt
Posted Oct 3, 2015 at 11:44am

Stevie Ray Vaughan earned respect as a blues and rock player—a musician who could bridge the two worlds in a single solo.

As with all great guitarists, his rhythm playing was as strong as his leads. He excelled at a style of shuffle playing that has its roots in earlier players, yet he was able to turn it into a personal trademark.

This lesson is dedicated to Stevie's memory.

When you listen to a rhythm section playing a medium shuffle, it's quite common to hear the bass playing a walking line (moving quarter notes) while the guitar strums chords on the upbeats. When these two parts are combined on one instrument, the result is a complete shuffle groove.

This is easy for a piano player, but on guitar, it''s a different story. One exception is the key of E, where open strings make all (well, many) things possible. This is the key Stevie Ray used for his Texas Flood recording of "Pride and Joy."

FIGURE 1, below, is similar to the main riff pattern in "Pride and Joy" and includes a combined bass line and chord part. Once you know the style, you can, like Stevie, throw in more licks and variations. The best way to master this pattern is to separate the bass line from the chords and work on each part individually.

Here are a few things you need to know:

Bass Line: Learn the bass part first, playing one note on each downbeat. You can play it using just your first and third fingers (fret hand). Rather than fretting the notes with your fingertips, use the sides or "paws" of the fingers, as this will enable you to mute idle strings by lightly touching them with the extended fingers, almost as if you were barring.

Using all downstrokes, strum the strings with the pick as you would an acoustic guitar. If this fret-hand muting technique is done properly, you should be able to strike all six strings with the pick but hear only a single bass note.

Chords: Just strum the top two open strings, no matter what chord you're on (that's the beauty of playing in E). Practice the feel of playing the chords by strumming only upstrokes on the upbeats. Choke the notes on the downbeats, letting your fingers flop back loosely onto the strings.

Now put the whole thing together, bass notes on the downbeats, chords on the upbeats. Strum from the elbow and let your fret hand do all the muting work; stay loose and put your whole body into it. When you get the feel, you'll be surprised at how little effort it takes—just lay back and let Stevie Ray's spirit point you in the right direction.

BluesPower5.jpg

 
lessons-tab_header.jpg


Add a Comment
0 Comments

Similar Guitar News

Watch Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Pride and Joy” Played on a Walmart Toy Guitar — Video (6/8/2015)
This video dates to 2013, but we think it’s definitely worth a share, so here goes! While visiting an empty Walmart at 3 a.m. one day, musician Clay Shelburn and his buddy Zac Stokes performed this impromptu version of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Prid...
Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King and Albert Collins Play "Texas Flood" — Video (5/28/2015)
The recent passing of the great B.B. King has inspired a host of casual blues fans to dig deep into their record collections—or into the depths of their iTunes libraries—to take a quick refresher course on exactly what made King so special, so r...
Stevie Ray Vaughan's 10 Greatest Guitar Moments (8/19/2015)
For someone who spent a mere seven and a half years as a heavy player on the world stage, Texas guitar-slinger Stevie Ray Vaughan left behind a wealth of recorded material—and one hell of a legacy. In that blink of an eye between his incongruous...
Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Rude Mood" Played on Piano — Video (7/13/2015)
We've already seen Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" played on a sax ... why not Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Rude Mood" played on piano? Below, you can check out Joe Jeremiah's mesmerizing piano version of Vaughan's instrumental shred fest, "Rude Mo...
Stevie Ray Vaughan Plays Solo Acoustic Guitar in 1983 — Rare Video (10/12/2015)
Most videos of Stevie Ray Vaughan show him performing on the electric guitar. There are fewer examples of him playing acoustic, and the video shown here is certainly among the earliest in existence. In it, Stevie is playing alone on a battered v...
Stevie Ray Vaughan and Lonnie Mack Play "Oreo Cookie Blues" and "Wham!" in 1986 — Video (9/27/2015)
Stevie Ray Vaughan fans got a nice little bonus in 1985, when Alligator Records released Lonnie Mack's masterful Strike Like Lightning album. The album, which actually was co-produced by Vaughan and Mack, features Vaughan on several tracks, pla...
Stevie Ray Vaughan and Albert King Play "Pride and Joy," "Born Under a Bad Sign" and More in 1983 — Video (8/27/2015)
On December 6, 1983, up-and-coming guitar god Stevie Ray Vaughan got together with blues legend Albert King at CHCH-TV studios in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The result was one hell of a jam session—that almost didn't even happen. Initially, King...
Readers' Poll: The Best American Rock Band Ever — Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble Vs. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (9/21/2015)
When Labor Day came and went earlier this month, it reminded us of the American labor movement and the contributions American workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of the good ol' U.S. of A. However, since we're Guitar Wor...
New Book Explores Stevie Ray Vaughan's Final Years — 'Day by Day, Night by Night' (5/20/2015)
Stevie Ray Vaughan: Day by Day, Night After Night is available now at the Guitar World Online Store. Vaughan tightly grips a place in music history as an unmatched blues man and guitar legend. His unique style is unmistakable and has never been...
Lost Stevie Ray Vaughan Song: Check Out Doyle Bramhall's "Chateau Strut" (10/21/2015)
Assuming they read liner notes, even mildly devoted Stevie Ray Vaughan fans will be familiar with the name Doyle Bramhall. After all, Bramhall, an Austin-based singer and drummer who died in 2011, wrote several classic SRV tracks, including "Loo...
Ibanez TS-808 Tube Screamer "Owned by Stevie Ray Vaughan" Appears on Auction Site (10/8/2015)
Yesterday, an interesting green item appeared on Reverb.com. It's an Ibanez TS-808 Tube Screamer that was apparently owned, at some point, by the late Stevie Ray Vaughan. We're using the word "apparently" (and also using quotes in the headline) ...
Hitler Struggles to Nail Stevie Ray Vaughan's Guitar Tone — Video (8/19/2015)
Sometimes even the folks at Guitar World can't resist a good old-fashioned, tried-and-true internet meme. When we discovered that someone had taken the famous scene from the 2004 German historical drama Downfall and applied it to the complexiti...
Five Worthwhile Stevie Ray Vaughan Covers — Video (9/24/2015)
Although this story isn't about me—in fact, it has nothing to do with me—I will share one of my mottos, something that I live by: "If you can't do justice to a Stevie Ray Vaughan song, don't bother playing it." Several people might take offense ...
Five Essential Blues Licks from Jimi Hendrix, T-Bone Walker, Elmore James, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Johnny Winter (10/5/2015)
We all know a great lick when we hear one—Jimmy Page’s solo breaks in “Whole Lotta Love” and Mark Knopfler’s blistering triads in “Sultans of Swing,” for example. Moments like these grab your attention and aurally brand your ears forever. Or, ...
Essential Guitar Licks: Stevie Ray Vaughan's "The Sky Is Crying" Bends (9/25/2015)
We all know a great lick when we hear one—Jimmy Page’s solo breaks in “Whole Lotta Love” and Mark Knopfler’s blistering triads in “Sultans of Swing,” for example. Moments like these grab your attention and aurally brand your ears forever. Or, ...