Guitar Lesson Intermediate Players: Learn to Play Boom Boom by John Lee Hooker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello it has been a couple of weeks since my last blogentry and I am looking forward to introduce you to a lot of new exhiting lessons and ideas. Today is the first one of a session of Blues blogs. We will start today with John Lee Hooker’s Boom Boom. Before I dive in I would like you to listen to some different versions of this song.

Listen to this version, listen in particular to the organ and how the bassline moves the song along:

 

 

Now listen to the 1992 version of this song, listen in particular to the solos and the stabbs on the chords:

 

 

Now listen to the soloversion

 

 

 

 

Now listen to the version which we will be looking at for this lesson:

 

 

The song here is in the key of E, but for this lesson I will use the key of F!!

                        Here is the main Riff which holds the song together:

       E   ——————————————

       B   ————–4————————–

                  Slide
       G  — (3)—5———–5—3—————

       D ————————————-6–3–

       A  ——————————————

       E  ——————————————

Count: rest     2     and     3    and       4  and 

 

         Start on fret 3 of the G string, put your finger there and slide it along to fret 5 on the G. Get comfortable with the riff first before you move on to the next session of this lesson. Make sure you do not play on beat One!!

             Here are the Three Chords we will use:

       F       Bb5     C5  

       x         x        x
       x         x        x
       5         x        x
       3         3        5
       x         1        3
       x         x        x

  We will play those chords before the riff, this to create a fuller sound. The chords are played over two bars before the riff kicks in, play them on Beat 1  Beat 3 and Beat 1 of the next bar. This kind of rhythm you get is kind of a ZZ Top feel, or Boogiefeel.

 

 Here is the order of the sequence:

             Riff  F5    Riff  F5   Riff   Bb5

             Riff  F5   Riff  C5   Riff   F5

 

Practise the chords first on their own, play just the F5 chord make sure you play on  the One, the Three and the One of the next bar.  Groove along on just one chord until you feel the Two bar chord rhythm. Then go on to play the whole chordsequence before you put the riff infront of the chords.

 

         Playing Ideas:

~Blues is a great style for adopting it to almost anything you like, you could easily turn this John Lee Hooker into Reggea, Ska, Rock, Dance, Hip Hop or anything you like for that matter!  

~It may be more logical for you at this stage to try your hand at changing the riff from time to time, you could alternate the riff as it comes back Six times in the whole sequence. It may be possible for you to create a similar kind of riff, like a shadow- or question and answer riff. To create another riff it may be useful for you to know which scalepatterns the riff is based on.

               The song is based on F minor Pentatonic, here are Three Scale Patterns for F minor Penta:

    E————————————————–(1)—-4–

    B—————————————-1—4————–

    G——————————-1—3———————–

    D———————1—(3)——————————-

    A————–1—3—————————————-

    E—(1)—4————————————————-

    E————————————————–4—6—

    B—————————————4—(6)————-

    G—————————–3—5————————-

    D——————(3)—6———————————-

    A———–3—6——————————————-

    E—4—6—————————————————-

    

    E—————————————————-6—-8–

    B——————————————(6)—9———–

    G——————————–5—-8———————-

    D———————6—-8———————————

    A———–6—(8)——————————————-

    E—6—8——————————————————

                     N.B: (  )  indicates the Root note of the Scale

 

Listen to the different versions I have given you here, most of them will be in the Key of E which is different from the Key I have used for this lesson, just listen, get ideas and start experimenting with using different riffs and feels based on the different versions you have heard. Playing music is about expressing yourself and one way to do this is to become free with whatever you play, go on and experiment once you can play the material I have used for this lesson.

Enjoy and see you next time for some more Blues Fire.

Eddie