Corey Harris

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Catfish Blues

Lesson 3

Corey Harris Lesson >

Catfish Blues > Lesson 3

In this video I wanted to slow down the basic grooves/licks to give you a better feel for what is happening. Make sure you put in extra work establishing the bass groove before you tackle the licks. Take your time! 

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Delta Blues

Print Print Chords & Tab

loop @ 1:30 to practice the first riff

$3./4 $2.3 3 $3./4 $2.3 3 $3./4 $2.3 $3.4 \2 0 $4.2 | $3.1p0h1
$3./4 $2.3h5.$1.0 $2. 3h5.$1.0 $2. 3h5.$1.0 $2. 3h5.$1.0 $2. 3.$1.0 $3.4 /2 0 $4.2 | $3.1p0h1 $6.0.$5.2.$4.2.$3.1.$2.3.$1.0 / / |

loop @ 2:40 to practice the next riff

$5.0h2 $4.0 0 $5.0h2 $4.0 0 $5.0h2 $4.0 $5.0 | $6.3 $4.2 $6.0
$5.2 $4.h2 h2 h2 h2 x $5.2 | $6.3 $4.2 $6.0

loop @ 4:45 to practice the melody riff

$3./4.$2.0 $3./4.$2.0 $3./4.$2.0 | $3./4 $2.3 $3.\2 0 $4.2 2p0h2 |
$3./4 $2.0 3 $1.0 3 0 $2./5.$1.0 | $2./5.$1.0 $2.3 $3.2^
$3./4 $2.0 $3./4 $2.0 3 0 $3.2/4\2 $4.2 | $3.1p0h1
$2.3 0 $3.2/4\2 $4.2 | $3.1p0h1
$2.3 0 $3.2 0 $4.2 | 0h2p0

with some variations on the last lick ... so listen carefully.


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Andy Jul 01, 2016

Having trouble recording. Learned this song from Corey some month ago and recorded today. Have to improve the recoding otherwise did i improvise a bit. Hope you like it. 

Corey Harris
Corey Harris Jul 29, 2016

Greetings Andy.  Its great that you have adapted the basic riffs of the song to your personal style.  Your tempo is steady here.  I would suggest that you lighten you touch on the guitar and add some dynamics to your playing.  For example, you can slightly lower the volume of your playing while you sing and the increase it a little for insrumental breaks.  Remember to use your palm/heel of your hand to mute the strings while you play and I think you will see you have a little more control over the performance.  Thanks for posting.

Andy Jul 29, 2016

Thanks a lot Corey! 

Emmanuel Jul 10, 2015

@Corey ,

Hi , I have difficulties to see and ear how is the bass during the verse and it doesn't appear on the tabs ...can you help me please ?

Corey Harris
Corey Harris Jul 14, 2015

The bass stays the same...dum dum / dum dum / dum dum / dum dum...that is the rhythm we are looking for here.  Do the best you can to rely on your ears and NOT the tabs.  The bass is very simple and consistent so if you listen to it over and over you will hear where it fits in.  Keep pushing on!

Tony Obroni
Tony Obroni Feb 22, 2014

Wow, that was nice... hope I'll get this far, too!

Steve H
Steve H Feb 22, 2014


I love this tune!  Still have a lot of work on the vocals. But thumb is starting to work most of the time...


Corey Harris
Corey Harris Nov 22, 2013

@Ian...nice tone on the guitar and you got the licks sounding real good.  Yes that is the downbeat you got it....

Ian Burns
Ian Burns Nov 19, 2013

Thanks! I owe the tone to my very old guitar. It's a 1955 (or therabouts) Hummingbird. Thing is like MILK. 



Alex Barbera
Alex Barbera Nov 19, 2013

ian....what a nice an warm sound you've got!!!...I've also watched your other got a beatifull voice too!!! Would be nice to see in the next videos your guitar and your hands workin on it!!!


Alex( Italy)

Ian Burns
Ian Burns Nov 18, 2013


Hello Corey,

Before I go any further with this tune I wanted to make sure I'm hearing the downbeat in the right place. I'm nodding my head goofily here to show where I think the downbeat is. If this is correct, should I be thinking of this as an 8 bar blues or am I overthinking the song?



Mike Caren
Mike Caren Jan 11, 2012

@Corey .. cool, thanks for the advice.  I will take it easier on the E string .. it's a habit, I alway like bending that G on the E string.

Corey Harris
Corey Harris Jan 11, 2012

@Jason...glad you dig the choke.  Yes it is funny how the little things make all the difference.  I think it's all about putting dynamics into your playing, using language when we play, just like when we talk.

Corey Harris
Corey Harris Jan 11, 2012 are getting it.  Try a lighter touch on the bass E string.  Sounds like you are getting the choke to me.  Keep on with it....

jasonbarker5 Jan 10, 2012

Oh man...I have known the basics of this song, but before going through these lessons tonight never played the hit that first D note on the B string in the main lick that Corey shows in the first lesson. Funny that one note is making such a difference in my satisfaction at playing this one. Then, I hit this lesson and pick up that choke! That thing is bad, bad, bad!

Mike Caren
Mike Caren Dec 29, 2011

Hi Corey .. I'm enjoying these riffs .. thanks.  One thing that a little tricky for me is the "choke" .. here's a video of me doing it .. any advice?


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