david hamburger’s BluesArchitect
Albert Collins was known as the “Master of the Telecaster,” but
“Master of the Texas shuffle” fits just as well. With the swinging,
horn-punctuated sound of his band, the Icebreakers, his down-home vocal delivery and jumping instrumentals, Collins was a
direct descendent of earlier jazz-flavored Texas bluesmen like
T-Bone Walker and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown.
“Lone Star” is an up-tempo, 16-bar Texas shuffle in the key of E.
In this tune the development comes mostly from pentatonic scale
licks but features a heavy right hand attack and left hand muting
to spice things up. From there, it goes into using chord hits and
moves beyond using open position notes so we can effectively
add double stops, hammer-ons and pull-offs.
This tune is in E, so we’re going to play it around the 5th position,
based around the shape of an E7 chord. Most of the time we will
be strumming across all the strings, hitting hard to attain a percussive shuffle feel – be sure to mute unused strings with either
your left hand thumb or free fretting fingers.
The tune starts out with a double stop phrase that becomes the
theme for the remainder of the instrumental. Watch your picking
pattern to help get the timing right – try down, down, up, down,
up, down, down. It is followed by a swinging bass riff to help
set up a call and response pattern. Measure 8 starts with a rake
after the bass run, setting up the move to A7. Fret the E on the
B string with your first finger, then mute the G and D strings with
the underside of your ring finger on its way to fretting the octave
lower E on the A string. The next measure features a familiar lick
typically played in the first position before going to the A.
The A7 begins with a single note lick that echoes the main double
stop riff, rocks the same slide-up, slide-down riff, then repeats the
main theme with double stops. Fret the double stop riff with your
first and second fingers so you can grab the E on the seventh fret
with your pinky. The move to B7 in the following measure is outlined by a simple riff with a half-step bend up to the major third
for some added goodness.
Visit Albert Collins online at
Head to premierguitar.com
to learn more about his life and style.
to find video lesson segments, rhythm
tracks, notation and Power Tab - powered