Chris Eldridge

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Mean Mother Blues

Chords and Rhythm

Chris Eldridge Lesson >

Mean Mother Blues > Chords and Rhythm

Hello All!

This week we’ll be starting off a series on the Mean Mother Blues, a fun-to-play song that Julian Lage and I recorded on our album, Avalon. As per usual, this first lesson will introduce the chords and melody. Pretty straightforward. You’ll want to make sure that as you play rhythm that you maintain a sense of forward momentum. That leaning just a little bit forward on the beat is part of what makes bluegrass bluegrass!





Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:

Print Print Chords & Tab

Loop 0:00 Run-Through of Mean Mother Blues


Download the Sheet Music PDF


Loop 3:21 Breakdown of Chords and Rhythm

Loop 14:37 Practice Loop of Chords and Rhythm

Loop 15:37 Closing Thoughts and Outro





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Adam F
Adam F Apr 17, 2019

Hi Chris, and and good SJ folk.  This is my first attempt at letting non-immediate family hear me play, so I just thought I'd upload the most embarrasing combination of my playing combined with my singing so all future efforts will look dignified by comparison. For example, not singing will be an immediate and simple improvement.  It's just such a fun song I could not resist.

Thank you Chris for all the great lessons and music.  Adam.


Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Jun 19, 2019

Hey Adam, welcome here! You have such a great spirit in the way you are playing and singing this! It's very open and generous. The main thing I would suggest working on is making sure that you are playing bass notes in your rhythm guitar, rather than just strums. If you watch what I'm doing under my own vocals, you'll hear that there are strums happening sometimes, but they're usually at the ends of vocal phrases and their use is to fill up the space. There's a clear example of this at 0:36. But most of the rest of the time I'm playing alternating bass notes with only very light "brushes" on the high strings in between the bass notes. The reason that's a good thing is that it'll leave a little more space for your vocal and/or anyone you may be playing with. 

Great job on your first video, looking forward to hearing more!

jack Apr 06, 2019

Hello Chris, hello everybody. Great song, great version ! I hope you will show us those wonderful solos you do.

Great, great lessons you give, huge luck we have.

Very warm regards,




Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Jun 19, 2019

Thanks Jack!

James Macklin
James Macklin Apr 06, 2019

Seriously Chris, your improv chops are ludicrious. Talk about nailing and outlining the changes. 

Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Jun 19, 2019

Thanks James!

Kip Marchetti
Kip Marchetti Apr 05, 2019

I wish someone would drop a comment before me every once in awhile but in this case I couldn't help myself (again) because my face almost broke from the smile when I saw this lesson. When that record came out (Avalon) I literally listened to this 10 times a day ha ha. Love it dude ... I'm old but I'm not dead and this rocks and probably means Under the Double Eagle gets a little less work.

Asbjørn Apr 06, 2019

Haha! I was about to comment the joy I felt when I saw that Chris had posted "Mean mother blues"! :D 
I guess I just chickened out before falling asleep with a smile on my face thinking "can't wait untill tomorrow, waking up, make a cup of coffee and watch this lesson!"   Next time I'll try to post before you, Kip! ;) 

Have a great day! :)  

Chris Eldridge
Chris Eldridge Jun 19, 2019

Haha, you guys are the best!

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