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Eldon Shamblin, Western Swing (Guitar Lesson)


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DJ Phillips

Eldon Shamblin, Western Swing

Lesson 8 continues to cover the western swing style of electric country. Eldon Shamblin and his musical efforts are discussed further.

Taught by DJ Phillips in Country Guitar seriesLength: 13:42Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (07:19) Twin Guitar Boogie Lesson 8 continues to showcase Eldon Shamblin's guitar style. In this lesson, DJ covers the rhythm guitar parts to the classic Bob Wills song "Twin Guitar Boogie."

Rhythm Guitar

Immediately after the introduction section that you learned in the previous lesson, Eldon Shamblin switches over to a rhythm guitar role. The main section of "Twin Guitar Boogie" features a 12 bar blues progression in the key of Bb major.

If you are unfamiliar with the 12 bar blues form, visit some of the Phase 2 blues series for some additional information. Electric blues is taught by DJ as well as Seattle native bluesman Eric Madis. Michael "Hawkeye" Herman teaches JamPlay's acoustic blues lessons.

Note: The following information about the 12 bar blues progression is taken from lesson of Hawkeye Herman's Phase 2 Blues Series.

Chord Changes

The most basic form of the 12 bar blues progression consists of the I, IV, and V chords. These chords can also be labeled by the way in which they function. Respectively, the I, IV, and V chords are referred to as the tonic, subdominant, and dominant chords. In a major or minor key, each chord carries out a specific function. Tonic is often compared to home base. This chord is very stable. The subdominant chord or IV chord tends to lead back to tonic or to the dominant chord. The dominant chord wants to resolve back to tonic or home.

"Twin Guitar Boogie" is played in the key of Bb major. The tonic or home chord in this key is Bb major. To find the subdominant chord, count up four notes in the Bb major scale. The subdominant chord is Eb major. The dominant chord is five notes up from Bb. Thus, the dominant chord in the key of Bb is F major.

Note: Often, dominant seventh chords are substituted for major chords in the 12 bar blues progression.

Applying Chords to the Form

The chord changes for the complete 12 bar form in the key of Bb are as follows:

Bars 1-4: Tonic (I) Bb
Bars 5-6: Subdominant (IV) Eb
Bars 7-8: Tonic (I) Bb
Bar 9: Dominant (V) F
Bar 10: Subdominant (IV) Eb*
Bars 11-12: Tonic (I)** Bb

*The V chord is often played for both measures 9 and 10.

**The V chord can be substituted for tonic in the final measure of the progression. This creates a much stronger resolution back to the tonic chord that occurs in the first measure of the form.

Rhythm

The chordal accompaniment to "Twin Guitar Boogie" is played with the Western Swing rhythm. Review this rhythm now if necessary. The basic Western Swing rhythm is combined with a bass line to add extra interest. The bass line utilizes notes from the Bb major pentatonic scale. This scale is commonly used to create boogie woogie, blues, and swing bass lines.

Watch and listen as DJ breaks down the bass line for the first several measures at 02:25.

Note: Tablature and standard notation to the Bb major pentatonic scale in fifth position can be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab.

Chord Voicings

Note:
Fretboard diagrams with proper left hand fingerings to all chords discussed in the lesson video can be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab.

-For the tonic chord, Bb, Shamblin uses a voicing based on the four string, first position F chord. In measure 4, Sheldin uses a Bb7 chord to create a stronger resolution to the IV chord. This Bb7 chord is played in third inversion. A chord is played in third inversion when the seventh is played as the lowest note.

-When playing the IV chord, Eb, Shamblin uses a common dominant ninth voicing. This voicing will definitely take some practice if you are new to it.
Chapter 2: (06:22) Improvising Measures 9-12

Eldon Shamblin improvises the accompaniment to "Twin Guitar Boogie." Consequently, the first repetition through the blues form should be played slightly different from subsequent repetitions.

The first time through the form, Shamblin plays inverted versions of the V and IV chords in bar 9. These chords are played in first inversion, meaning that the third is played as the lowest note.

In bar 10, the dominant voicing used for Eb9 in measure 5 is now used to play an F9 chord.

Practice measures 9-10 on your own. Then, return to the lesson video and play them along with DJ at 01:52.

Measures 11 and 12 feature material similar to measures 1 and 2. A Bb major chord is combined with a bass line derived from the Bb major pentatonic scale.

Practice Time

Pause the lesson video and work through the entire 12 bar form on your own with a metronome. Remember to set the metronome so that it clicks on beats 2 and 4. Then, return to the lesson video and play along with DJ when you feel ready. A play along example is provided at 02:49.

Additional Options

As mentioned earlier, the rhythm part to "Twin Guitar Boogie" is improvised. In subsequent repetitions of the form, Eldon Shamblin plays some slightly different material. DJ covers some of the additional rhythmic options that can be used in the form. For example, Shamblin chooses to play a slightly more active bass line over the tonic chord. DJ demonstrates this bass line at 03:55. A transcription to the rhythm part played during the second chorus of "Twin Guitar Boogie" can also be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab.

Over the IV chord in measure 5, a simple alternating bass line or tic tac rhythm is used.

In measures 9 and 10, Shamblin plays an F9 voicing in conjunction with notes from the Bb major scale. DJ provides a demonstration of these measures at 04:42.

Full Demonstration

At 05:29, DJ plays through the first two choruses as recorded by Eldon Shamblin. Feel free to listen or play along.

Preview of Next Lesson

DJ continues his discussion of Eldon Shamblin and "Twin Guitar Boogie" in the following lesson. He provides step by step instruction on the twin lead section of this song.

Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


Southern CashSouthern Cash replied on February 23rd, 2015

Not as good as usual. I found it difficult to keep up with which barr you were discussing. Please try to match your teaching with what measure we are working on. As a beginner, i must see what you are doing in the music to understand.

marty67marty67 replied on February 9th, 2012

I found the walking bass lines helped me get the timing just right. Great lesson DJ

adjohns3adjohns3 replied on November 11th, 2010

Would be helpful if you could PLAY the lesson (at least partially) first...then talk/analysis...makes it a lot easier to beginner if you can hear what we are trying to do

Country Guitar

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Having roots in Folk, Celtic, and Gospel music, Country and Country Western evolved rapidly in the 1920's. This genre of music has spawned two of the top selling solo artists of all time. Elvis Presley, and Garth Brooks.



Lesson 1

Introduction to Country

This short lesson will introduce you to the country style of playing and provide some necessary background information on how the genre got started.

Length: 2:04 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Western Swing

DJ gets to the roots of the country music genre with a lesson on Western Swing.

Length: 5:50 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Roly Poly

In lesson 3, DJ teaches a short song called "Roly Poly." If you ever find yourself jamming in a country circuit, you'll need this one in your repertoire.

Length: 5:22 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

Classic Country

DJ discusses the classic country style. He explains the rhythmic and structural differences between this style and western swing.

Length: 6:30 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

Chicken Pickin' and Modern Country

With lesson 5, DJ starts to discuss elements of the modern country style. This includes the technique known as "Chicken Pickin'."

Length: 12:59 Difficulty: 2.5 FREE
Lesson 6

Hybrid Picking

In this lesson, DJ discusses some of the finer points of the hybrid picking technique.

Length: 15:05 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 7

Electric Country, Western Swing

In this lesson, DJ begins to talk more in depth about modern electric country guitar. He starts with the western swing style.

Length: 11:11 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

Eldon Shamblin, Western Swing

Lesson 8 continues to cover the western swing style of electric country. Eldon Shamblin and his musical efforts are discussed further.

Length: 13:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Twin Guitar Boogie's Twin Lead

This lesson covers the twin lead section of the song "Twin Guitar Boogie."

Length: 17:59 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 10

Twin Lead Solo: Part 2

DJ breaks down the second part of the twin lead solo from "Twin Guitar Boogie."

Length: 14:57 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

Twin Guitar Boogie's Guitar Solo

Finalizing his teaching on the Twin Guitar Boogie with emphasis on Eldon Shamblin, DJ brings you this lesson on the guitar solo.

Length: 21:55 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Twin Guitar Boogie Techniques

Lesson 12 covers all the techniques involved in the previous lessons on the Twin Guitar Boogie.

Length: 7:21 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

Solo Building

DJ takes the techniques he discussed in lesson 12 and helps you create a solo over a standard country rhythm.

Length: 17:33 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

Fingerpicking

Lesson 14 delves into the realm of fingerpicking.

Length: 17:44 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 15

Solo and Improvisation

In lesson 15 DJ demonstrates the techniques used by Merle Travis to build a solo, and improvisation technique.

Length: 12:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 16

Guitar Boogie Pt. 1

Lesson 16 starts a 3 part series on Arthur Smith's "Guitar Boogie."

Length: 47:42 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 17

Guitar Boogie Pt. 2

In lesson 17, DJ completes his note for note demonstration of "Guitar Boogie."

Length: 30:39 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 18

Guitar Boogie Concepts

In this lesson, DJ takes a look at some of the country guitar concepts used in the song "Guitar Boogie."

Length: 16:13 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 19

Whistle Stop

In this lesson, DJ teaches the song "Whistle Stop" by legendary guitarist Jimmy Bryant.

Length: 19:41 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 20

Yodeling Guitar

DJ demonstrates the song "Yodeling Guitar" by Jimmy Bryant.

Length: 32:25 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 21

Joy Ride

DJ teaches the song "Joy Ride" as performed by Jimmy Bryant.

Length: 30:37 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 22

Jimmy Bryant Concepts

Now that DJ has covered "Whistle Stop" and "Joy Ride," he'll be looking at some of the concepts used to play these songs.

Length: 23:05 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 23

Got a Lot of Rhythm

This lesson covers the tune Got a Lot of Rhythm which features the playing of Hank Garland.

Length: 10:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 24

I Need Your Love Tonight

In lesson 24, DJ takes a look at an Elvis Presley song "I Need Your Love Tonight."

Length: 19:55 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 25

Sugarfoot Rag

In lesson 25, DJ continues his in depth look at Hank Garland's playing with a demonstration of Sugarfoot Rag.

Length: 32:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 26

Walkin' the Floor

DJ takes a look at "Walkin' the Floor" by classic country guitarist Leon Rhodes.

Length: 29:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 27

Honey Fingers Pt. 1

DJ Phillips teaches the progression, structure and melody of the song "Honey Fingers."

Length: 35:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 28

Honey Fingers Pt. 2

In lesson 28, DJ demonstrates the entire guitar solo for the song "Honey Fingers."

Length: 27:13 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 29

Applying Concepts and Skill Building

Looking back on the lessons on Leon Rhodes' playing, DJ offers up a lesson on applying the new concepts.

Length: 11:49 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 30

Luther Perkins

DJ discusses the tic-tac techniques used by Johnny Cash guitarist Luther Perkins.

Length: 18:53 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 31

Tic-Tac Rhythms Applied

Looking at guitarist Luther Perkins, DJ helps you to apply the tic-tac rhythms in your playing.

Length: 7:34 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 32

Style of James Burton #1: Open String Licks

DJ returns to his country lesson series to profile legendary country guitarist James Burton! In the first lesson of this mini-series, DJ takes a look at open string licks that are common in James' playing.

Length: 16:34 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 33

Style of James Burton #2: Chicken Pickin'

DJ is back with the second lesson in his James Burton mini series. For this one, DJ takes a look at how James Burton started the Tele sound with the use of hybrid picking and chicken pickin'.

Length: 13:21 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 34

Style of James Burton #3: Double Stops

In lesson 34 of his country series, DJ is expanding on his look at James Burton. In this lesson you'll be taking a look at double stop and partial chord concepts utilized by this country great!

Length: 12:40 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 35

Style of James Burton #4: Bends

To finalize the concepts and techniques portion of his mini-series on James Burton, DJ offers up a look at bending technique.

Length: 11:57 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 36

Style of James Burton #5: Combining Elements

Now that you have all the lick based elements and concepts under your belt, it's time to apply them. In lesson 36, DJ plays all of the licks you've learned with a backing track.

Length: 4:50 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only

About DJ Phillips View Full Biography Like many guitar players who began playing around the same time, DJ began plunking out Nirvana and Soundgarden tunes when he first picked up the guitar in the mid-nineties. While these grunge-y roots certainly have their merit, it wasn't until DJ's eldest sister took him to a Led Zeppelin laser light show that the full potential of the guitar began to come into focus.

With Jimmy Page's Les Paul pyrotechnics as his inspiration, DJ began fervently practicing for hours on end in the suburban jungle of Southwestern Ohio. This newfound passion (combined with his complete lack of athletic prowess and physical coordination thus completely ruling out all sports) led him to form rock bands in junior high and high school. He grew to love the performance aspect of music and soon decided on it as a career path.

College led him to Nashville, Tennessee where he began to pursue a degree in Commercial Music at Belmont University. He also started another band and got his first professional theater gig the following summer. Since that summer, DJ has spent nearly every waking hour finding ways to play music and avoiding a real contribution to society in any other way.

He moved to Minneapolis after college, rocking out between theater gigs with his current rock band Brother Big Bad. He has now convinced the band to move to Nashville where music flows like water.

DJ is elated to be a part of JamPlay and is thankful for everyone's warm welcome and says "Now, let's ROCK, people."

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