Get Killer Rhythm With This Doobie Brothers Riff

Get killer rhythm chops with this Doobie Brothers riff from Long Train Running from Guitar Control instructor Darrin Goodman. Be sure to get the free tabs to go along with this killer free guitar lesson on Long Train Running riff by The Doobie Brothers.


long train running


Hey everybody how’s it going? This is Darrin with bringing you this video lesson. Today I want to show you a fairly short riff, it’s really only kind of using two chords and technically that’s just kind of one chord; this will make more sense when we when we get into it, it’s from The Doobie Brothers song Long Train Running. So this isn’t a lesson on the entire song, this is just basically the main riff that’s kind of like the intro for the song and what I like about this is that I believe that this is just a really good riff to play to build up your skills for timing and just rhythm in general. So this is what you know I get asked a lot by people is what did I do to really help with my rhythm and stuff and it was learning this Long Train Running riff by The Doobie Brothers. I’ve been playing this forever and I just really feel like that it really helps, especially with your strumming hand getting that looseness in it so you can get the cool vibe that this riff has. So be sure to click on the link in the description for the tabs and let’s get close up and take a look Long Train Running riff by The Dooble Brothers.

Long Train Running Intro Riff – Fretting Hand

All right so the main chord that we’re going to be using for Long Train Running by The Doobie Brothers riff is G minor seven (GM7). So I’m barring at the tenth fret all the way across all the strings except the low E string. Now I also like to have my finger up just enough so the low E string is kind of resting on the tip so that way you’re not going to hear that because you don’t want to hear that note… you want it to be kind of muted the best that you can. All right so the riff starts off actually with two muted strums. So for these muted strums I’m keeping my fingers in place for the chord, but instead of pressing all the way down I’m just letting them rest on the string so that way it’s just this percussive sound. So the riff actually starts with you resting on one, two, three and then on four, these are 16th notes, but it’s the last two sixteenth notes of the fourth beat; so four e and ah so this is just and then it starts on the downbeat of one of the next measure, so just a quick down up is how I do it. Now let me go on to start the actual main part of the riff you’re going to want to put the pressure back down so you can strum the chord, but you’re going to remove your second and third finger so you’re just barring across like this and then you’re gonna have to bring both of these fingers back down, like you hammer them on. Now if you’re a beginner this will probably be kind of difficult to get both of these fingers to want to work at the same time and land in the right spot. So when you’re a beginner a lot of times what happens is that you lift your fingers up and then they just kind of go everywhere, they don’t maintain that shape and when you bring them back down they land on the wrong strings or the wrong frets or whatever the case may be. So what you’re going to want to do first then if you’re a beginner with this is practice just lifting those two fingers up and setting them back down in the right place and then work into hammering them down… So the rhythm for this is its kind of a funky rhythm. So we’ve got the two mutes so we strum just across the tenth fret and hammer in the chord and then three more strums… and then we’ve got the muting again and this is all 16th notes by the way. So we’ve got muting again and the first strum of the mute is the last strum of the full chord on the downbeat of two; so it would be two e and ah and it’s two e and ah,  three e and ah and then you put your pressure back down again. And then you’ve got three more strums and then it basically starts over again…

Long Train Running Intro Riff – Strumming

All right so for your strumming hand on Long Train Running riff by The Doobie Brothers you don’t want to try to do this all really stiff, you know where you’re where you’re using your whole arm, it’s too difficult to really get that kind of smooth, almost kind of like a funky vibe to it. So it’s usually like when I’ve talked before about strumming that you want to try to have it be more of your wrist and less of your arm and your elbow. Now with this you really want to kind of get loosey-goosey with your wrist and make the pick stroke kind of bigger than you think that it should be… So you see here I’ve got this kind of really big strum and this really helps to kind of get that that feeling and timing for it… Now this is going to be kind of the thing that you’re going to want to get to where you can feel it and you don’t want to be trying to count this all out while you’re playing and that being said when you play it unless you’re really trying to learn how to play all of Long Train Running by The Doobie Brothers, if you’re just kind of using it as a tool like I’m talking about here for working on your rhythm, then you don’t need to be too critical. On the tab it shows that there’s five mutes and you end up getting only four, just kind of keep it going and you want to be aiming to where you land on the A string and again that can be a fairly difficult thing if you’re a beginner, but just do the best you can. The thing is if you break this Long Train Running riff by the Doobie Brothers down and we first work on just your left hand getting where you can hammer into that chord pretty decently and then you can really put your focus on your on your strumming hand and just keep your eye on that A string; so that way you try to land there. Now if you overshoot your mark and you land on the D string it’s just not a big deal because the more you practice it and the more refined it gets you’ll be able to land more consistently in the right place and you will be able to master Long Train Running riff by The Doobie Brothers.


All right so there you have it. Long Train Running riff by The Doobie Brothers. Like I said not the whole song, just the that main riff and mostly just to kind use as an exercise without being an exercise, it’s more something that’s kind of fun and sounds good when you get it down. If you get this part down and then learning the rest of the song won’t be as nearly as difficult as it would be and after this if it’s a goal that you want to learn how to play the whole song Long Train Running by The Doobie Brothers you’ll already have the main difficult part of it out of the way and then the rest of it isn’t as nearly as tricky. 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 Long Train Running riff by The Doobie Brothers and have a great day.

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