16th Shuffle: Fusion Blues

by Guido Bungenstock

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  • Hi guys!

    In my new lesson we take a look at a blues influenced Solo over a 16th Shuffle. One of the most important things here, is that you have to shuffle (mostly) all 16th notes to get a relaxed swing feeling, this type of style is also called half-time shuffle. One of the popular example of a half-time shuffle is the drum groove of Toto's "Rosanna", played by the great Jeff Porcaro. Also the great drummer Bernard Purdie (Steely Dan) is known for his excellent 16th Shuffle. You can find this swinging groove in a lot of Fusion, Soul, Pop & motown songs too.

    My Solo has a lot of typical Blues licks inspired by Larry Carlton, Robben Ford, B.B. King and lots of others. But to spice it up a bit more I used some Major/Minor pentatonic, some chromatics, also the Half tone/whole tone scale, a lot of bending techniques a bit of tapping. Also beginners will have fun with the easy chord progression because it makes a lot of fun to jam with it!

    Let's go through the chords:

    CMaj7 Am7|Dm79 F/G|
    Note: Sometimes I substituted the Am7 for A7b9#5 , A7b913 , A7b513 and the F/G for G7b913 to get a more fusion touch!
    It's a really common progression (I VI II V) found in 1000s of songs in all kind of styles. I suggest to practice this in all keys to get used to it.

    This lesson is good example how easy blues licks can perfectly fit to any music style. I also used the typical question and answer phrasing technique (found in almost every blues song!). You'll see how easy it can be to play over a progression just by using only a handful of licks and by changing some articulation, the dynamics, the rhythm, some "little" notes etc.

    Final words:
    Don't forget to swing your guitar here, make it alive, tell a story! Also try to sing with your guitar, this way you find a better connection with your instrument. I tried to transcribe as close as possible. Specially in the Guitar Pro 5 you'll find all this little extras!

    Have fun with it! Cheers - Guido

    Technical specifications
    Guitar: Music Man Luke II
    Strings: D'Addario EXL 120
    Amp: Peavey JSX Top with Marshall 4x12" V30
    Effects: T.c. electronic G-Major
    Sound-deflection system by DEEFLEXX

    Mics: Shure SM57
    Audio Interface: Focusrite Saffire PRO 24
    Recording SW: Logic 9, several plugins

    Standard tuning: E, A, D, G, B, E

    Tempo: 90 BPM

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