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The Open E ‘Harmony Shuffle’ in 2 Positions
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The Open E ‘Harmony Shuffle’ in 2 Positions

This is a very rewarding and enjoyable riff to be able to play, and I find that as simple as it may be many students and players alike have never happened upon it. This is probably because most players are just happy and satisfied to know the standard shuffle patterns and never think to create them in a harmonized way.

The key to understanding these riffs physically as well as musically is that the third position of the lick is always the same exact “shape” as the first position we start in. This means that in actual practice, the three parts of the lick consist of the root chord, the IV chord, and then the root 7th chord. Then, in the case of this E-form shuffle, it’s the index finger that “stays on the track” and keeps moving with the lick up and down the fretboard as we play the lick both up and down.

The first part of the lick involves a split-string approach, where the A and G strings are involved, and then the higher inversion is on adjacent strings, using the G and B strings. You’ll also note the little hammer-on that starts the lick, which is a very important characteristic of this style, and adds to the bluesy effect.

Hope you enjoy!—Arlen Roth

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Arlen Roth
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Arlen Roth

Music lesson pioneer Arlen Roth is the quintessential guitarist. An accomplished and brilliant musician — and one of the very few who can honestly say he’s done it all — Roth has, over the course of his celebrated 35-year career, played on the world’s grandest stages, accompanied many of the greatest figures in modern music and revolutionized the concept of teaching guitar. Read More...

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