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Rollin' & Tumblin': Introduction

 

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Rollin' & Tumblin'

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Hey there, this is Anders with Guitar Tricks, and today I'm going to teach you how to play the classic blues song "Rollin' and Tumblin'" as made famous by Eric Clapton. This song is a crucial part of the historic foundation of blues music and it's been covered by almost every blues artist to ever walk this earth. The version we'll be exploring today is driven by an acoustic resonator slide guitar in an open G tuning.

This guitar could carry the song completely by itself, and all the other instruments are only supporting what it's already doing. That's because this song comes from the Delta Blues tradition, which was typically played by a single guitarist and singer. So naturally this is the part you want to play, if you play this song with only one guitar. But with that said, there is actually a supporting rhythm guitar in the mix, strumming along with the progressions and adding some cool little fills here and there

The song fades in halfway through the 1st verse, which is a little confusing, but the form is based on an alternative version of a 12 bar form. Then in the spirit of the Delta Blues there are plenty of extra beats and bars, so it's never a strict number of bars between the changes. The whole band just follows the leader, which in this case is the slide guitar. On the actual recording you can even hear the band get confused a couple of times.

Apart from all the great rhythm and riff parts there are also two great instrumental slide sections.

We'll talk about how to get your guitar tones just right for this song, for both the rhythm and the lead slide guitar, how to use repetition to create a rise in intensity and much more. The song is in 4/4 with a solid 16thth note based groove, and the quarter note equals 123 BPM. So let's get right to it!