top of page
  • Writer's pictureJay EuDaly

The Blues: Sandbag the Shuffle!

Recap: Last week I used the monthly newsletter to announce the launch of Unit 2 of my guitar method, Vertical Truth: Chordal Mechanisms for the Guitar. Unit 2 is on the Blues.

I talked about how the Blues is a seminal genre; it occurs in all forms of popular music. I gave you the Table of Contents as well as a short promo video - here's the promo again; check it out to see how this download looks:

This last Monday (May 15) I sent you an email with a free preview of the first lesson - The Shuffle. The Shuffle is the foundational rhythmic and chordal mechanism of the Blues. It consists of alternating 5ths and 6ths. To see that lesson, just click on the video below.

On Wednesday (May 17) I sent another email mentioning that students usually have some issues with being able to play a Shuffle consistently and that I have several technique tips that greatly enhance strength and stamina. Those techniques are: Optimal Placement, Minimal Force, Pinky Control and playing beats 1 and 3 Staccato.

Check out the video for a demonstration below of the those techniques:

Today I want to talk about one more technique that can make playing a Shuffle easier when switching from one chord to another without breaking time. I call it "Sandbagging a Shuffle."

Sandbagging a Shuffle entails hitting open strings on the "and" of beat 4 while you're moving to the next chord. You would think it would sound bad to do that but it usually doesn't. Most listeners don't realize it's happening. It can even enhance the rhythmic feel with a percussive drive to the next chord. It gives you more time to switch to the next chord thus reducing the potential of breaking time. Breaking time is the ultimate sin in music. When you break time the music goes away. So sandbag the shuffle and don't break time!

BTW: The "sandbagging" technique can be applied to anything; I use it all the time when switching from one chord to another. When applied generally we might call it, "sandbagging the 'and' of 4."

All the above is merely the first lesson in this series on playing the Blues. There are 12 lessons altogether.

This coming Monday, May 22, will be the launch opening. An email will go out at 5am CDT that will contain a link to the download page with all the info.

The Open Launch email will go to SITE MEMBERS ONLY!

Repeat - access to the launch of this Blues lesson series will be to Site Members only.

If you are not a Site Member and want access to these lessons sign up HERE.

Sign up is FREE.

To the rest of you who are already Site Members I will see you on Monday!



Sign up as a Master Guitar School site member - it's free! - and get access to dozens of free site-based lessons, a monthly newsletter that contains a brand-new free lesson, and DEEP discounts on lesson series downloads - plus more!

For more information on site membership see Why Become a Site Member?

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page