How to Play Shuffle Feel Rhythm on Guitar

Welcome back! It is time for our weekly online blues guitar lessons.

Blues sounds way better with a shuffle feel. A shuffle feel is basically a triplet thing; you grab a
quarter note and an eighth note, triplet them and you have a shuffle sound. To be more specific,
count “1, 2, 3” in every beat; play the quarter for the duration of “1, 2” and the eighth for the
duration of “3”. That’s a shuffle feel.

There many other elements that put together bring a more bluesy type of sound to a riff; for
instance, a pentatonic or blues scale combined with a mixolydian scale. These 2 scales put
together sound so much like a blues scale, that it’s just impossible to get the blues sound out of
them; if you use them together, your song will sound like a blues song.

I wanna show you a great example in which we replace a normal A7 chord with a shuffle rhythm
that uses the pentatonic scale and the mixolydian scale; let’s take a look:

Shuffle Feel Rhythm

Shuffle Feel Rhythm

Doing chromatic lines that move down while holding a higher note is also very common. As you
can see on the 2nd bar of the lick.

We can also transpose this lick up or down to another key:


My favorite one is in the key of E:


The key of E is my favorite key for Blues because of the open strings. It sounds so good when
you are playing something somewhere else and suddenly come back to the open string.

For this exercise I recommend you use a hybrid picking technique. If you try to use only a pick, it
will be a little bit soulless and maybe even harder. This type of riffs are definitely made for a
more crunchy sound and to use your fingers. Open strings love the sound of your fingers. For
the 2nd bar of each riff, I recommend a down stroke with the pick.

This is all for today. I hope you’ve enjoyed How to Play Shuffle Feel Rhythm on Guitar and please remember to check out our
entire database of videos here:

How to play your favorite songs from the 60's & 70's on the guitar


This free course expires in:


Get 2 hours of FREE Guitar Lesson.