Get Killer Rhythm With This Doobie Brothers Riff

Get killer rhythm chops with this classic Doobie Brothers riff from Guitar Control instructor Darrin Goodman. Be sure to get the free tabs to go along with the step by step video instruction for this killer Doobie Brothers riff.

Doobie Brothers Riff


How’s it going everybody? This is Darrin with bringing you this video lesson. Today I want to show you how to play this cool Doobie Brothers riff from China Grove. So I did one a while back on the Doobie Brothers riff from Long Train Running because I just think that these are both really good riffs for working on your rhythm; especially where you got these muted notes and strums. I just think this is a really great riff to learn, it sounds cool, it’s fun to play and it’s just really overall just a good kind of like an exercise for your rhythm. So be sure to click on the link in the description for the tabs and let’s get close up and take a look at this Doobie Brothers riff.

Doobie Brothers Riff

All right so we start off this cool Doobie Brothers riff we just got this E major chord and I’m on the seventh fret of the A string with my first finger and then my third finger is barring the ninth fret of the D, G and B strings and I’m also playing the open low E string… So we start off with this with two punches of this that are quarter notes so it’s like one, two, and then you want to kind of slide out of it like so; one, two, and then starting on the downbeat for beat three we’re just going to bring my hand back to this position so I’m ready to drop onto that chord again and I’m just going to let my fingers lay across the strings not pressing down just letting them touch so the strings are muted. This is made up of eighth notes so it’s three and four and, and you’ve got one two three and four and… and that’s the first two measures… Okay and then starting on the third measure of this Doobie Brothers riff we’re going to take that E major shape and we’re going to switch it to a D so all we have to do is just move it down a whole step so now my first finger is picking up the fifth fret of the A string and my third finger is the seventh fret of the D, G and B strings and we’re going to hit that on the downbeat of one and then just release the pressure and I usually take my middle finger and so that way if I accidentally hit the low E string it’s muted and that’s gonna be and two; so 1 and 2 and then on the and of 2 we’ve got an A over C sharp (A/C#). So we’re going to come all the way down just your regular A major chord and if you’re one of these guys that plays like this you’re going to want to use your first finger; so take your first finger and just barre it at the second fret across the D, G and B strings so that would be A right because the A string but, what we’re going to do is we’re going to take my third finger I’m going to play the fourth fret of the A string which is a C sharp. So what we’re doing is A/C#… and we hit that on the and of two followed by two more three and and then regular A four and. So that measure we’ve got… and then starting on the fourth measure of this Doobie Brothers Riff it’s back up to the E, but we start off with the mutes; so one and, two three and then on the and of three we’re going to go to the seventh fret of the low E string and to the ninth fret four and then open for and. So that’s the first four measures of that riff… Now I just realized that that last thing there… I kind of did it backwards, I went open seven nine it’s seven nine open okay and then that brings us to the fifth measure. It’s the beginning of a repeat so it’s the same thing; one two three and four and one two three and four and. So at the beginning of measure five of this Doobie Brothers riff you see you’ve got the double line with the two dots so it’s like a double line with a colon and that’s the beginning of the repeat and then on measure eight it’s the end of the repeat and then if you see at the top there there’s a bracket that’s showing uh one and two so what it is this is going to be repeated three times and the first two times you’re just going to play those four measures… first repeat… second repeat… Okay so the second time through we’ve got the or excuse me the third time through… so now I have to go to the it’s on the next page, that third ending instead of doing… it’s almost the same but instead of… it just goes… so we do the D, two mutes, the A/C#, two mutes and then A, which is on the downbeat of four, four, one, two, three, four, one, two, three, four, and that’s tied to two measures of whole notes and then the whole thing kind of starts over again and that’s like where the verse is. So the whole Doobie Brothers riff… would be really hard to sing and play that song at the same time in my opinion, so I will spare you that, so that whole the whole thing that like I said is really good for an exercise you know you’re just moving around different chord shapes but it’s just getting those percussive strums in there and there’s lots and lots of songs that do stuff like that and sometimes we’ve done ones that I’ve even mentioned you know in those lessons that this probably isn’t the best thing to be the first thing you do to try to get that down, but this Doobie Brothers riff just works really well as kind of an exercise to help you get that skill and technique down.


All right so there you have it, a killer Doobie Brothers riff, like I said it’s a cool riff in general, but it’s just also really great exercise for you getting that you know those muted strums down. So if you like this lesson be sure to give me a thumbs up and leave a comment down below if you have any questions about this or other guitar related topics. If you’ve not already done so please subscribe to the channel and hit that notification bell so you don’t miss any of the content that we upload throughout the week. Well that is all I have for you today. Thanks for watching this killer Doobie Brothers riff lesson and have a great day.

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