How to play old-school blues

Howlin' Wolf
(Image credit: Sandy Guy Schoenfeld/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

In this lesson, we're taking a look at the technique and style of 60s blues legends including Howlin’ Wolf, with sideman Hubert Sumlin. 

The example ‘solo’ is really a study on how such players would embellish a static chord – sometimes throughout a song. A tune such as Smokestack Lightning doesn’t have a chord progression as such, it just uses the repeated guitar figure as a ‘hook’.

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Richard Barrett

As well as a longtime contributor to Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, Richard is Tony Hadley’s longstanding guitarist, and has worked with everyone from Roger Daltrey to Ronan Keating.