Duke Robillard

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Little Wheel


Duke Robillard Lesson >

Little Wheel > Rhythm

Hi Folks,

This week we start on a new tune and I have chosen John Lee Hooker's "Little Wheel." On this tune, as on most JLH songs, there is a lot of 12 1/2 and 13 or 14 bar verses. The Hook didn't really make changes but subtlety held tight on the one chord making his own very special sound. This style, although primitive in some ways, is also highly developed and tough to make sound effective if you are trying to copy his style. It's a case of simple being much harder than following a repeated pattern that doesn't stray from the changes. Notice that the band on the original recording stays pretty close to the 12 bar format. I prefer to be a bit more free form about it. Our first lesson is getting down the basic feel and believe me, it take a lot of work to get the groove to sound correct. Good luck with it and you should listen to as much John Lee as you can to get the nuts and bolts of his sound engrained in your head while you are working on this.






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

Print Print Chords & Tab

Loop 0:00 Run-Through of Little Wheel


Download the Sheet Music PDF


Loop 2:53 Breakdown of Little Wheel Rhythm

Loop 14:04 Closing Thoughts





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Steve Lauder
Steve Lauder Oct 12, 2017


I just finished John Lee's bio. 

Boogie Man: The Adventures of John Lee Hooker in the American Twentieth Century, by Charles Shaar Murray. 



Jay Oct 10, 2017

real nice groove - blues hypnosis

Bruce Dumes
Bruce Dumes Oct 07, 2017

Hey Duke! Great tune, and as Stephen said, great to hear you singing it. So here's my first attempt at this style. I hope it's mostly sloppy in a good way. ;-) And a great excuse to pull out my 1960-ish Harmony Stratotone! Hope all is going well with the tour and recording, but nice to have you back! Thanks, Duke. I'd love to hear what you think of this. Bruce

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