Duke Robillard

Lesson >

T-Bone Walker Style Shuffle

Rhythm & Head

Duke Robillard Lesson >

T-Bone Walker Style Shuffle > Rhythm & Head

Hello Friends, this weeks lesson is in the rhythm and chords to the classic T-Bone shuffle. We learn the proper chords and how to play the shuffle rhythm them work in the melody line to the head or theme the correct way which not many people play correctly. We also learn the cool Barney Kessel bass strings guitar riff from the 50s Atlantic records version.

Enjoy! Duke

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

Print Print Chords & Tab

loop @ 5:33 chord run-through


%3/2.X/X.2/1.4/4.3/3.X/X[G6] / / / / / / /


%3/2.X/X.2/1.4/4.3/3.X/X[G6] / / / / / / /
%3/2.X/X.2/1.4/4.3/3.X/X[G6] / / / / %3/1.X/X.3/2.4/4.3/3.X/X[G7] / /
%3/2.X/X.2/1.3/3.X/X.X/X[C7] / / / / / / /
%3/2.X/X.2/1.4/4.3/3.X/X[G6] / / / / / / /
%5/2.X/X.4/1.5/3.X/X.X/X[D7] / / / / / / /
%3/2.X/X.2/1.4/4.3/3.X/X[G6] / / / / / / /


loop @ 10:22 main riff


$4.5 $3.3 | h4 $4.5 $3.3 | h4 $2.3 $3.5 h4 $4.5 $3.3 | h4 $4.5 $3.3 | h4 $2.3 $3.5 h4 $4.5 $3.3 |
$3.3 $4.5 $3.3 | 3 $2.3 $3.5 3 $4.5 $3.3 | h4 $4.5 $3.3 | h4 $2.3 $3.5 h4 $4.5 $3.3 |
$3.h4 $4.5 $3.3 | h4 $2.3 $3.5 h4 $4.5 $3.3 | h4 $4.5 $3.3 | h4 $4.5 $3.3 h4 |


loop @ 12:30 barney kessel riff

loop @ 14:43 review





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Russell Pinto
Russell Pinto Feb 18, 2016

the original way is the best. thanks Duke 

Peter Wolf
Peter Wolf Aug 01, 2012

Yes Duke, you *are* the best!

And may I say this is the *best* way to learn.  Killer lessons, go at ones own pace, and personal attention from the likes of Duke, Corey and Jerry.. all for $20 a month.  I hope that this SJ succeeds because this is how *I* want to learn :-D

Here's my second attempt at the head of T-Bone Shuffle.  I am playing all the instruments except the drums.  I am having some trouble with latency in my audio device, but I think I have compensated.

If I gotten the head right, with the right notes at the right beats, then I'll start on a solo.

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Jul 29, 2012

Thanks Douglas, sounds like your getting it. Duke

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Jul 29, 2012

Hi Peter, Yes you have the right idea for the 1 change. You are a bit behoind the rhythm on the head so I would suggest slowing down the drum machine a bit. It was a little quick anyway. Then of course you would jump to the A string for the 4 chord pattern and on the lead line flat the 3rd note to go with the 4 chord change. This all should help. The song is a tad slower anyway. Good luck, Duke 

Peter Wolf
Peter Wolf Jul 28, 2012

Hey Duke,

Sorry I'm lagging way behind...

I'm still working my way through T-Bone.  Could you say something about where the beat falls in the T-Bone shuffle.

Here's me playing the Riff and the Kessel pattern.  The drum machine is hitting the Bell and Tom on beat 1.

Am I playing it correctly?




Peter Wolf
Peter Wolf Jul 24, 2012

Hi Duke, Excellent Lesson!  Been practicing the head all evening :-D 

Quick clarification on on the Kessel riff. 

In the video you said "starting on the third and going chromatically up".  Did you mean "the second" like this?

$1 3 $3 5 $2 2 3 4 5 |

Douglas Irwin
Douglas Irwin Jun 16, 2012


First I worked on the rythm, got it for the right hand, but the 1 to 4 with the g7th...I break in my rythm pattern.

It took me about 10 minutes, but I finally got the lead/melody down. Now I am going to work on it with the record and see how I do?? Either way, I feel like I have a head start. I love your lessons and ease in teaching. Thanks so much for a great lesson!!


daddyray (robbie)
daddyray (robbie) Jun 16, 2012

nice one..thanks 

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Jun 16, 2012

Hi Rob, Thanks man, unfourtunately it looks like we won't make it to California this year but definately next year. We usually tour there in august or September. All the best, Duke

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Jun 16, 2012

Thank you so much Mark! Duke

Duke Robillard
Duke Robillard Jun 16, 2012

Hi Bob, Great, Glad you are enjoying it and I helped correct the head issue everyone seems to make! Duke

ramster Jun 15, 2012

Another masterpiece lesson Duke! Please let me know when you plan to tour in California. You have lots of fans waiting to see/hear you. Rob Amster MD

Mark Hanna
Mark Hanna Jun 15, 2012

Duke these lessons are great! Thank you so much!


Bob Lane
Bob Lane Jun 15, 2012


As always, a superb lesson. It's one of my signature songs and I've been playing that head wrong . I've boung to the flatted 7th of the 5 chord instead of staying on the opening lick for the head. Now I'm corrected and glad of it.


Thanks again for a great lesson. Looking forward to catching your show next time you come to Maine.



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