Shuffle in A

 How to Play a Shuffle in the Key of A:
Level 0-1

This lesson contains:
• 2 pages of text
• 1 pages of TAB
• 2 mp3s
• 1 video

In this lesson designed for beginning to novice guitar players we will learn how to play a blues shuffle rhythm in the key of A. For those of you who know a few chords but would like to “jam” with others this is a good place to start. The rhythm is relatively simple and a lot of fun to play.
We will be playing “small” chords on two strings. The chords: A – D – E will be played as “open” chords, meaning that we will use an open string (non-fretted). This makes playing the rhythm easier. “Closed” chords (chords using only fretted strings), require more finger stretching for this type of rhythm and are therefore a bit tougher to play.

Let’s start out by playing shuffle rhythm on one string: “dah dadah dadah dadah dadah” is probably the best way in words to describe this. But listen to the mp3s and watch the video to get a more accurate understanding.

PRACTICE TIP: Listen, Listen, Listen. I can’t emphasize this enough. After fifteen years of teaching I still need to remind students that one of the most important parts of their practice is “informal” listening, i.e. listening for pleasure. As we listen our conscious and unconscious mind form connections. Struggling through a difficult passage of TAB is only as much fun as your ear dictates.

Once you have the feel of the shuffle, the rest is just telling your fingers which strings to fret and which strings to pluck. Speaking of plucking…we will be playing the 5th and 4th strings for our A chord. The A (5th) string will be played “open”. On the 4th string we will travel from the 2nd to the 4th, 5th, and back to the 4th fret.