Corey Harris

Lesson >

Special Rider Blues

Brushes and Dynamics

Corey Harris Lesson >

Special Rider Blues > Brushes and Dynamics

In this lesson I review some basic riffs and try to smooth out what I have identified as some problem spots. Brushes and dynamics are also discussed. I also review the B section in order to make sure that we are playing it in tempo with the rest of the time. If you have any questions please let me know! Thanks.

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Delta Blues
Corey Harris
Skip James
Open E Minor Tuning
Special Rider Blues

Print Print Chords & Tab

Special Rider Blues background listening: Skip James

Note: open E minor tuning (E A E G A E). Click here to go to tuning video.

loop @ 0:54 chokes

loop @ 2:52 brushes

loop @ 5:06 transitions

loop @ 7:12 solo transition in time

loop @ 9:51 slow down of variations

loop @ 10:39 importance of drone notes on the B string & closing thoughts


Note:  please see previous lessons for tab / breakdown of the parts.  The focus of this lesson is on technique, phrasing and dynamics.



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Alex Barbera
Alex Barbera Apr 03, 2013

@Corey...I'm tryin here to find a more personal way to play  Special Rider

JD Krooks Crouhy
JD Krooks Crouhy Mar 22, 2013

@Alex thank you :) your video's good too ! I understand for the foot ;) i i have big carpet so it make no sound ! I like epiphone too they make good cheap guitar but the brand sign reminds us euro ! When we came too euro  everybody mades fun of my pickguard saying i was ready for euro. But my epiphones are good guitar :) 

Alex Barbera
Alex Barbera Mar 19, 2013

@Jd...nice!!!! I like the sound of your guitar!!! It's really warm but it's also merit of the player ;)....The only think I don't like of epiphone guitar (like mine) is that they put the brand on the neck and on top of the fact I removed it on top but I couldn't do it on the neck!!It's quite a new the old epiphone it wasn't there...and they looked nicer!!!


Alex Barbera
Alex Barbera Mar 19, 2013's mine....maybe I abused of brushes :) Chokes are still difficoult tu put into the variations..I need time..a lot...I've realized that it's not so bad to mute the 5th string when I'm on goin to the V on the 2nd strings...I would have put the beat with the foot louder but I don't want to abuse of the patience of my neighbours!!!!:DDDD

btw....really nice the guinee groove video on youtube!!! :DD

A presto. 




JD Krooks Crouhy
JD Krooks Crouhy Mar 19, 2013

Hello Corey,

here's my second attempt. It's also a workin progress version with a lot of mistakes... But i won't post this one lately like i i use to do. I start with the Choke to let your hear it. It's still hard ! I think i "rush" the Bridge because i was nervous to forget part, i haven't the song completly in my head...

I've also post a version of Kind Hearted Woman and "Keep your lamp" could you give me just an advice on "keep your lamp" ? I know you're really busy but i wish i had some advice for the slide. Sorry to ask you that like that, hope it's ok.

Thanks again for your lessons and patience :)



Corey Harris
Corey Harris Mar 17, 2013

@alex...ok I am glad to hear that the last video helped to clear things up.  I look forward to your post. 



Alex Barbera
Alex Barbera Mar 17, 2013

@Corey...thanks for the indication on chokes and everything else...I can see why it was so difficoult for me to get that sound...I was pickin the strings :) I'll post a video soon....



Corey Harris
Corey Harris Mar 16, 2013

@peterwolf...Glad that you are enjoying the lesson.  I see you have been working on this.  You have made a lot of progress.  I would suggest that you slow the tempo down.  It sounds a bit rushed.  Listen to my version and the Skip James version as much as you can.  Also pay close attention to the rhythm/time, especially on the transition from part A to part B.  Don't rush to sing until you feel comfortable with the guitar part.  Good luck.

Peter Wolf
Peter Wolf Mar 16, 2013

Hi Corey,

Many thanks for the wonderful lesson.  Here's where I am now:

I feel more comfortable singing and playing at the same time, and I think the basic rhythm is getting stronger.  I haven't started on any of the cool variations, chokes, brushes etc.  I'll keep working on those in the future.

Again thank you for the cool song.  The two Skip James lessons have been my favorites so far.


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