In Depth Guitar Lessons and Expert Help


April 3, 2013

E Blues Shuffle Rhythm

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Written by: Mike Abbott

By learning swing eighth guitar notes and strums,
you will give the E Blues Rhythm an authentic blues
“feel”. Serious guitar players have to know
about the shuffle and about the blues!


  1. The shuffle rhythm is based on the eighth note
    triplet rhythm.
  2. FIG 1: There are 4 groups of
    eighth note triplets in a measure of 4/4 time.
    Each group equals 1 beat.
  3. Eighth note triplets are counted: 1-trip-let
    2-trip-let 3-trip-let 4-trip-let.
  4. FIG 2: An eighth note
    triplet with the first 2 notes tied together

    are swing eighth notes. This is the rhythm that
    you will be strumming. (Use all

Check out these songs that have a shuffle rhythm: Grateful Dead – Truckin, Led Zeppelin – You Shook Me

Play these guitar notes so you get a
feel for swing eighth notes:

Before playing the E Blues Shuffle Rhythm
(swing eighths), first get a feel for eighth note
triplets by playing them on the guitar with the 1st
string open

E Blues Shuffle Rhythm

Use only downstrums!

  • Fast shuffle – for easier switching, play
    the E5 guitar chord instead of the E6 for the
    last strum before B5
  • Practicing – after you’re
    comfortable playing the shuffle, try it with the
    practice tracks!

Try these licks using swing eighths!

Lick 1  

Lick 2


  • Go back to all of the other guitar licks you have
    created or played, and play them with swing

About the Author

Mike Abbott
Mike is a pro guitarist and music educator.  He has performed with such diverse acts as the Rolling Stones Horns, Sammy Davis Jr., and Burt Bacharach.   After spending much of his music career in New York City, He now is a very busy guitarist in the Denver area, performing and teaching extensively. Mike's latest work is a book, The Guitar and Amp Sourcebook, published by Harper Collins and released in December 2012.



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