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The Art of the Blues Shuffle - A Guitarist's Guide

Play a 12 bar blues in a blues shuffle rhythm & 100s of blues & rock tunes in just 6 easy, step-by-step lessons!
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6 students enrolled
Created by Scott Perry
Last updated 6/2016
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  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 15 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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The shuffle rhythm is the heartbeat of all American music and essential to playing the blues.

In just 6 video lessons, The Art of the Blues Shuffle has you:

  • playing a convincing 12 bar blues in a blues shuffle groove.
  • applying bass walks that make you sound like the real deal.
  • playing 3 different turnarounds.
  • playing Robert Johnson's Sweet Home Chicago, a veritable blues anthem.
  • playing Jimmy Reed's Big Boss Man & Bright Lights, Big City.
  • and much, much, more!

In short, you'll learn everything you need to play hundreds of your favorite blues and rock favorites - everything from Robert Johnson to the Rolling Stones!

But Wait, There's More! 

You'll also be able to share your performance vids and ask questons and get immediate feedback from your guide, Scott Perry - founder of!

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is for beginning and intermediate guitarists who want to learn to play tunes by legendary guitarists like Robert Johnson and Jimmy Reed.
  • Advancing guitarists taking this course will deepen their understanding of this style and improve their technique.
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What Will I Learn?
Play a 12 bar blues shuffle rhythm & 100s of blues & rock tunes in just 6 easy, step-by-step lessons!
View Curriculum
  • Students will need a guitar and pick. Mastering this material will require a practice schedule of 15 - 30 minutes daily.
Curriculum For This Course
Expand All 11 Lectures Collapse All 11 Lectures 01:17:29
Introduction To This Course & Your Guitar Guide
2 Lectures 05:08

This video discusses the importance of the blues shuffle and the instructor's credentials.

Preview 02:02

This video details what is taught in this course and what tunes the student will be able toplay by the end.

Preview 03:06
First Steps - Basic Concepts & Tool Kit
3 Lectures 23:33

A quick review of the basic 12 bar blues form and 3 common variations, including the typical chord changes and lyrical form.

This material was covered in The Art of the Rock Shuffle. If you've taken that class you can probably skip ahead to the next video.

Preview 06:51

In this lesson we learn the basic chord shapes: E5, A5 & B5. Then add the 6th to create the "happy" shuffle sound and then the 7th to add some "swagger."

The Chord Shapes

An easy to understand and execute approach to mastering this essential rhythm.

How To Play a "Swung" Shuffle
Next Steps - Right Hand Technique & Tunarounds
2 Lectures 21:07

Right hand muting, adding upstroke "hic ups" and stop time "drama." These techniques will help you personalize the way your shuffle sounds!

Right Hand Techniques

The "turnaround" gets us from the end of one chorus of the blues to the top of the next. In this lesson I'll teach you two super easy turnarounds and a third, not much harder, but really cool sounding one. I also show you how we can use everything we've learned so far to play in additional keys using a capo.

Our First Turnarounds
Putting It All Together - Our First Tune
1 Lecture 08:31

"Sweet Home Chicago" is a veritable blues anthem and a "must know" tune for any aspiring blues guitarist. In this lesson we'll put everything we've learned so far to good use and have a ton of fun playing this tune!

"Sweet Home Chicago"
PuttingBonus Lessons
3 Lectures 19:10

In this bonus lesson we look a common turnaround for a blues in E and the Robert Johnson turnaround from his recording of Sweet Home Chicago.

More Turnarounds

If you are a graduate of The Art of the Rock Shuffle, then you're ready to apply that rhythm to the key of E changes you've learned here. Big Boss Man is another "must know" tune and a jamming favorite.

Jimmy Reed's "Big Boss Man"

If you're a graduate of The Art of the Rock Shuffle, then you can apply the blues shuffle to the key of A changes to broaden your blues repertoire. This lesson teaches another Jimmy Reed classic, Bright Lights Big City, from his classic album, Jimmy Reed at Carnegie Hall.

Jimmy Reed's "Bright Lights, Big City"
About the Instructor
4.3 Average rating
45 Reviews
4,544 Students
4 Courses
Vintage Blues Guitarist & Teacher

I am a vintage blues guitarist and teacher from Floyd, VA.

I have been a professional musician all of my adult life and currently teach 45 students each week and perform as a solo and with various duos and bands in and around my hometown of Floyd, VA.

I believe that music is a language and, like everyone's first spoken language, it is best learned in a natural, instinctual and intuitive way and is used to communicate emotions, tell stories and exchange ideas. Music, at its best, is a collaborative effort, not a competition and it is best cultivated in that spirit.

I teach in the lesson studio and from the bandstand. Learning to play music and sharing it makes us all happier and healthier. It also builds community and encourages curiosity and tolerance, helping make the world a better place.

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