Duke Robillard

Lesson >

Swingin' the Blues

Chords and Rhythm

Duke Robillard Lesson >

Swingin' the Blues > Chords and Rhythm

Swingin' the Blues Chords and Rhythm covers the basic rhythm form for jazzy blues / swing guitar using Duke's song Swingin' with Lucy may as the example. Duke then iterates on this form adding more interesting and melodic guitar chords with each example resulting in a great swinging jazzy blues guitar groove at the end. The lesson has a total of 5 practice example iterations.  It's the perfect first swing guitar lesson.

Topics and/or subjects covered in this lesson:
Duke Robillard
jazzy blues
Swing Guitar

Print Print Chords & Tab

Loop 2:30 Practice 1 and Practice 2 Examples


Download the Sheet Music PDF


Loop 4:00 Breakdown of Basic Rhythm

Loop 9:23 Practice 3 - Major 6th Chord on the I

Loop 9:56 Variations

Loop 10:57 Right Hand Technique

Loop 13:00 Practice 4 - Playing Up The Neck

Loop 13:36 Turnarounds

Loop 16:37 Practice 5

Loop 17:45 Bass Jam Track for Practice 5





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ramster Apr 12, 2015

Ok, I will hire you for my company Christmas party!

R Amster MD

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Apr 12, 2015

Ramster, I hoope to play California this year but no specific gigs yet. Duke

ramster Apr 10, 2015

Duke: Touring California soon?

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Apr 10, 2015

Thanks Tom, and best of luck with the lessons. Duke

Tom Mar 13, 2015

I'm working with this. I just want to get all of those Duke Robillard's chords under my fingers. This is the way to do it...! Thanx...! Duke...!

Doug Maryatt
Doug Maryatt Mar 05, 2015

So much fun! I loved it!


Long time player

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Apr 10, 2015

Thank you Doug, I am happy you are enjoying it! Duke

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Aug 30, 2014

Hi Jamie, As far as progressions there are thousands depending on the writer. It's a fact that many progressions are just slight variations of others and some have very different unique variations. So without actually learning many song progressions I can't really explain it better. It's kind of like putting the cart before the horse. That being said, i suggest starting with blues tunes then add in some that have 8 bar sections with bridges with like "In the Dark" which is one of my lessons. Then  try learning one of the swing lessons like "Lester Leaps in" which is based on "I Got Rhythm". Those are good places to start and also swing blues tunes which I also have several lessons of. As for 6 and 9ths, they are the notes added to a major triad that make them that specfic chord. Like in G the root is G the next note the 3rd is B and the 5 is D. That make a G chord. If you add in an E it becomes a sixth chord because the E is the 6th of the G chord. I you really want to understand this I suggest maybe getting a book on basic music therory and study it as you are working on my lessons. You don't need to know a lot about theory but a basic knowledge will speed up your learning. Duke 

Jamie J
Jamie J Aug 30, 2014

Thanks a bunch for a great explanation however I am still a little unclear.. What I don't understand is how you can have a 9th when it ends at eight (the upper tonic). Is it the tonic of the next octave? Also I understand how there is many variations on different progressions but in blues there is a "barebones" 8 bar, 12 bar ect. and then varitions that are written based on the "barebones"... like this lesson a 32 bar with a quick 4 the "barebones" is the 32 bar then the variation is the quick 4 amongst others like III-VI-II-V's and II-V's. Are the "barebones" the same in jazz and blues (8 bar, 16 bar, 12 bar and 24 bar) or are others jazz? 

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Aug 24, 2014

Hi David, I have to admit I'm not a "scale" player kind of guy. That being said, I am basically playing over the major scale interspersed with the minor pentatonic blues scale. I like to use a lot of 6ths and 9ths in my solos and also flat both the 6 and 9 to use as passing tones to the 4 chord. On the 2/5 change I usually play off of the 2 minor seventh to the 5 change in a simple 3 fret box pattern. At least that is a good place to start. Thanks, Duke 

David Luland
David Luland Aug 25, 2014

Thanks Duke, that was really helpful!

Jamie J
Jamie J Aug 30, 2014

Hi, Duke

How would you combine the major scale and the blues scale? Also what are 9ths and 6ths? I know about scale degrees but how can you have a 9? What I would do to combine the blues and the major scale (just my guess based on no knowledge) would be this: 








Also, I was just wondering what the progressions there are in jazz, are they the same as blues? I know some blues progressions such as 8 bar, 12 bar, 16 bar and 24 bar. Now I know 32 bar as well. Can you tell me what jazz progressions there are? 




David Luland
David Luland Aug 24, 2014

Hi Duke, 

What scale would you use to solo over the progression? By the way I love these lessons!


JIm Jul 16, 2014

video does not play right i hae win 8.1 i7 12 ram .

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Jul 13, 2014

Thanks you Scott, I appreciate the compliment 


Scott Forman
Scott Forman Jul 13, 2014

Fabulous! Duke at his best; playin and teachin. So many colorful variations and it teaches you underneath the chords how to play lead as well if you pay attention!

John Stewart
John Stewart Feb 26, 2014

I can not get the video and tab to show on the screen,  seems to be the same far all the swing lessons.  Is there a problem?

Mike Caren
Mike Caren Feb 26, 2014

Hi John --- all of the Swing lessons use Flash --- so they will not work on an iPad / iPhone in case that's the issue.  If not, can you please let me know what type of computer and browser you are using via the Contact Us page and I will work with you to solve it.  Thanks.

Tim Chafee
Tim Chafee Feb 06, 2014

Can't measure the value in this . Thanks Duke.


Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Jun 13, 2013

Hey Tom, Not that many at one time, LOL! Duke 

Tom Jun 13, 2013

How many guitars do you own...?!

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard May 22, 2013

Thank you Shawn, Glad it's working for you. Duke

Shawn Andrews
Shawn Andrews May 21, 2013

Great lesson, thankyou for this tid bit! "The 3 and 4 note chords are best in this context leaving plenty of room for the bass"

Really helped me with movement on the neck.

Looking forward to that gospel chord you mentioned in a future lesson.

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Apr 27, 2013
Hi William, starting with the chords is always the place to start. Also listening to a love of similar music to get the sound in your head if key to understanding the feel of the music. The rhythm guitar is essential to knowing what to play when soloing. Duke
william martin
william martin Apr 27, 2013

Hi Duke, How would a begginer start with your lessons? which would be the starting point? 

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