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Listen to the Music: The Top Five Doobie Brothers Guitar Moments

Listen to the Music: The Top Five Doobie Brothers Guitar Moments

"China Grove"
From The Captain and Me (1973)

How many columns and lessons have you read (maybe even on this very website) that discuss the importance of creating "memorable" guitar parts?

Tom Johnson's "China Grove" guitar riff — which is propelled by a tasty delay trail — is exactly that, a simple yet catchy piece of guitar playing that sneaks in through your ears and eternally lodges itself in your frontal lobe. Quite honestly, this could be said about several songs on this list.

"I had this lick, and I was playing it on an acoustic," said guitarist/vocalist Tom Johnston, who wrote the song. "I went and grabbed the drummer and dragged him downstairs in the basement, where we rehearsed. I went from acoustic to electric, but I don’t think it was real late at night. I think it was probably around 10 or something like that. I said, 'Let’s try this,' and I started playing that lick. Then I figured out the chord structure, the rest of the chords that were in the song. Initially all I had was 'Bow, bow, bomp de bomp de bomp, chica bow bow.' They added the Echoplex when we got in the studio."

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