Duke Robillard

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Blues After Hours

Lesson 1

Duke Robillard Lesson >

Blues After Hours > Lesson 1

In this series of lessons we are going to take a close look at Pee Wee Crayton's classic 1948 Blues guitar hit, "Blues Ater Hours."  We are going to dissect it note by note. My belief is that there are certain things you don't change because you can't improve on them and this is one of those examples. So we are going to learn this tune just the way Pee Wee recorded it way back in 48. I will teach you the way to make it sound like the original version with all the subtlety of the original! Then we are going to have my recording of my recording of it minus me for you to play along with or record onto.

Enjoy! Duke Robillard

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
texas blues

Print Print Chords & Tab

To get the song in your head, please listen to Pee Wee's version from 1948.


The first Riff for the I, IV and V chords is

$6.2 h3 $5. /2 $4. 2 $5.5 | $5.2 h3 $4. /2 $3. 2 $4.5 | $5.4 h5 $4. /4 $3. 4 $4.7 |

The sliding 6th chord forms for the I and IV chords are

%X/X.X/X.X/X.12/3.12/3.12/3[G6] %X/X.X/X.X/X.5/3.5/3.5/3[C6] %X/X.X/X.5/3.4/2.5/4.3/1[G6]

Finally, the Pee Wee version is this

$3./5.$2./5 $3. /5.$2./5 $3. /5.$2./5 $3. /5.$2./5 $3. /5.$2./5 $3. \3^.$2.\3^ |



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Scott Nowlan
Scott Nowlan Jan 27, 2016

Believe it or not, I found that CD at the library.  Haven't found anything like that performance.  Would love to.  Most probably not on CD I would think.  Loads of Best Hits CDs.  Nothing compares to those Blues.  I could make my way through a bottle of wine with those classics.  If you find more, let me know.  Heck, I'd start buying vinyl just for that.  

Big Joe Turner blows me away with his version of Cherry Red.  One of my favorite songs.  Found it on a CD called Evidence Blues Sampler '92.  Picks me right up!  YouTube for Duke's recording of the same.  I was thrilled when I found it.

Scott Nowlan
Scott Nowlan May 05, 2013

OK.  For everyone's benefit, pick up a copy of the CD by Big Joe Turner called "Everyday I Have the Blues".  All of the songs are with Pee Wee Crayton and Sonny Stitt. 

This one CD is one of my all time favorite Blues CDs ever.  Best experienced with a quiet room and a glass of wine.  It'll make you say "whoa", guaranteed.

Thomas Washington
Thomas Washington Jan 27, 2016

Scott, just came across this lesson a couple of weeks ago. Followed your suggestion and received the BJT LP today, vintage. Great suggestion--what an education-thank you. Let me know what else you'd recommend from Big Joe Turner. 

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard May 05, 2013

I agree Scott, Pee Wee's the man! Duke

Scott Nowlan
Scott Nowlan May 04, 2013

Just LOVE Pee Wee Crayton on Big Joe Turner's tunes!  Man, that's good.

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Jan 12, 2013

Hello Jean, Thanks, I am happy you are enjoying the lesson also. I am myself am a big Pee Wee fan and got to play for his wife Ester once! Duke 

jean-sebastien gauthier

Hi Duke, Im a big fan of Pee Wee Crayton and I listen a lot to is version and the Junior Watson verson but never really get what he do on the 4th chord so I always play just slidind 3rd or 6th chord, its very cool now know what he was really doing! Great lesoon Duke!

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard May 14, 2012

johnyurt, I will do a lesson on your request of rhythm patterns soon. Thanks, Duke 

daddyray (robbie)
daddyray (robbie) May 12, 2012

Bill Dec 20, 2011

johnyurt - I've lived in South Florida in the past for years. The Backroom in Delray is a great club. I saw Debbie Davies, James Cotton and others there. The open mike nights are great as well. Thanks for an excellent Blues club.

johnyurt Dec 20, 2011

Hi Duke, you have played at my club several times in the past. The Backroom Blues bar in Delray Beach Florida. You actually left one of your guitars here and I had to fedex it to you. Could you please give a rhythm lesson for players that dont have a band of they're own. In other words if you went to a blues jam at some bar with players of limited musicianship. What would you play if the songs were 145 or 1425 progressions only. In other words how would you play INTERESTING rhythms to basic bass lines at different tempos ( shuffles,swing,rumbas,tramp groove, USUAL BLUES JAM SONGS)  Thanks so much and I look forward to your next gig at the Backroom, John Yurt

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Dec 07, 2011

I sincerely hope you all enjoy Corey and my lessons her at Sonic-Junction. I am open to all suggestions as to what you would like to learn and I will do my best to give you the information you need to understand the styles I teach and improve as a guitar player. Enjoy and thanks for stopping by Sonic-Junction! Duke Robillard

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Nov 21, 2011

@ramster  i will consider taking about why i use each guitar for each lesson but so far I have picked the instruments on my lessons because they have hum canceling pickups. It seemed the hum from an actual single coil pickup was way too noisey for my lessons. If I can find a way around that soon I can actually pick the guitar that suits the lesson best. Thanks for the idea. When I get my ground problem fixed I may do that. But honestly I try to demonstrate that the sound comes more from the hands that the electronics. The instrument and type of amp or pedal help, but no amount of electronics can get the sound itself. The actual players technique is where that comes from.  

ramster Nov 14, 2011

Duke: Very interesting lesson and true to the original tune. Your vast knowledge of blues artists is uncanny. Your easy, enthusiastic, vibrant teaching style makes all of the lessons so enjoyable. Very organized and methodical. One suggestion: how about decribing the guitar you have chosen for the lesson and giving some information about your collection? There are many collectors out there, including myself, who are fascinated with vintage instruments, especially archtops, LP's, original Epiphones, etc. Those details would be so interesting.

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Nov 07, 2011

Thanks for your response Stevie. Glad you like it. 


steviespooner Nov 06, 2011

A fantastic lesson, Duke is a great teacher and provides clear explanation of the items covered. The background information on Pee Wee Crayton, a blues artist I know very little about, is also very welcome.

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