How to Play the Riff From “Killing Floor” by Howlin´ Wolf – Blues Guitar Lesson w/ Jon Maclennan

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Hey, how’s it going guys this is Jon McLennan with Guitar Control, excited to bring you this video lesson, we’re looking at the song called “Killing Floor” by Howlin Wolf, and Hubert Sumlin was the guitar player for Helen Wolfe and this is just a legendary track. Howlin Wolf had such influence on early rock and roll players like Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton, and you know rock and roll really started with the blues so check out this riff.

Check the image above to follow the chords and tabs.

It’s based kind off sixth, in the interval of six and we’re going to start up here in the key of a, it’s a 12 bar blues; we’ve got an a7, a d7, and an e7 as our chords. The first riff starts out sliding into the ninth fret on both first and third strings like this. You can play the low string in between like this, and you know the low open a, and then what I did to walk down there, I played nine, and nine, and then I slid that down to seven and seven, the same shape just on different frets, and then I open it up to the fifth fret and sixth fret, this is basically the root and third of an a major triad.

And that right there, you know it’s just implying the chord and then you can slide in this chord, that I’m sliding into it’s an a7. I’m on the fifth fret, sixth fret, fifth fret, and you can play the high string if you want as well, and then just play that same kind of riff, but based off different chords. So for instance here it was a7, now I go up to the four chord d7 it’s going to be up here on the 14th fret, and then back down, if you want e which would be a whole step higher than d and then back down to a.

So let’s try the whole thing together one, two, three, and four. Back down to a, just got kind of a real ratty sound to it, but it’s just all vibe. Be sure to subscribe on our YouTube Channel and we’ll see you in our next lesson, thanks for watching.

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