CIGAR BOX GUITAR VIDEO LESSON: “Back Door Man” by Howlin’ Wolf

In this video lesson, Shane Speal distills Howlin’ Wolf’s two-guitar attack in the song, “Back Door Man” into one easy riff for cigar box guitar. Speal is the author of Making Poor Man’s Guitars (Fox Chapel Publishing, 2018)

Shane Speal distills the double-guitar attack of Howlin’ Wolf’s 1960 classic, “Back Door Man” into a single 3-string cigar box guitar riff. You will need to tune your guitar to Open E (EBE), which is lower than standard Open G.

For reference, we present the original recording first…


“Back Door Man” was recorded in Chicago in June 1960 by Howlin’ Wolf (vocals), Otis Spann (piano), Hubert Sumlin and Freddy Robinson (guitars), Willie Dixon (double bass), and Fred Below (drums). 

Sumlin and Robinson’s guitars continue to weave in and out with Spann’s piano…making a very busy groove.

Speal takes the Low E string guitar groove and mixed it with a High E string part to create a simplified riff that incorporates much of the mojo.

Enjoy…


-Shane Speal

CIGAR BOX GUITAR VIDEO LESSON: “Smokestack Lightning” by Howlin Wolf

Video lesson for cigar box guitar. Shane Speal breaks down the iconic riff from Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightning” into an easy-to-play 3-string cigar box guitar riff. Speal is the author of Making Poor Man’s Guitars (Fox Chapel Publishing, 2018)

“Smokestack Lightning” is a one-chord drone blues song recorded by legendary singer, Howlin’ Wolf in 1956.  In this video lesson, Shane Speal breaks down the guitar lines, originally played by Hubert Sumlin and turns them into an accessible 3-string cigar box guitar riff. 

For reference, we present the original recording.  Scroll down for the lesson.

Tune your cigar box guitar to Open G to start the first lesson:


Official Shane Speal: http://shanespeal.com

Strings & tuner from the video at http://cbgitty.com

 

CIGAR BOX GUITAR VIDEO LESSON: Howlin’ Wolf “Asked Her for Water”

Shane Speal explores the classic Howlin’ Wolf song, “I Asked Her for Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)” and arranges the riff for a 3-string slide cigar box guitar. The classic blues song was first recorded by Howlin’ Wolf for Chess Records in 1956. Shane Speal is the author of Making Poor Man’s Guitars (Fox Chapel Publishing, 2018)

Shane Speal explores the classic Howlin’ Wolf song,  “I Asked Her for Water (She Gave Me Gasoline).”  The drone blues song was first recorded in 1956. Here is the original recording for reference.

In the lesson, Speal shows the riff in open G (GDG) and then explains how to re-tune the cigar box guitar to a rumblin’ Open E (EBE) tuning.


Official Shane Speal: http://shanespeal.com

Strings & tuner from the video at http://cbgitty.com

CIGAR BOX GUITAR VIDEO LESSON: Howlin’ Wolf “Little Red Rooster”

Musician and author, Shane Speal explores the classic Howlin’ Wolf song, “Little Red Rooster.” The song contains a deep blues riff that that has appeared in other great blues songs by Son House, RL Burnside and others. Speal distills the guitar parts down to an accessible riff for 3-string cigar box guitar. Speal is author of Making Poor Man’s Guitars (Fox Chapel Publishing, 2018)

Musician and author, Shane Speal explores the classic Howlin’ Wolf song, “Little Red Rooster.” The song contains a deep blues riff that that has appeared in other great blues songs by Son House, RL Burnside and others.   Speal distills the guitar parts down to an accessible riff for 3-string cigar box guitar.

First we present the original recording for reference.  Scroll down for Speal’s lesson. 

Here is Shane Speal’s full lesson on “Little Red Rooster.”

Strings & tuner from the video at http://cbgitty.com

CIGAR BOX GUITAR VIDEO LESSON: R. L. Burnside “Nine Days in Jail”

Shane Speal tackles an obscure R. L. Burnside blues song, “Nine Days In Jail” by inventing a brand new cigar box guitar tuning. This in-depth lesson explores RL’s riffs and the Missississippi fife-and-drum style rhythm involved. Essential blues lesson for 3-string cigar box guitar! Shane Speal is the author of Making Poor Man’s Guitars (Fox Chapel Publishing, 2018)

TUNING: C MINOR (IMPLIED) – A variation of the Open G tuning (GDG). To get this tuning, simply take an Open G cigar box guitar and raise the middle string to Eb.

The song, “Nine Days in Jail” is from R. L. Burnside’s album, My Black Name A-Ringin’.

For reference, we present the original song.

R. L. played the original version in the key of C#minor…or somewhere near that. (He probably didn’t use a tuner.) Shane Speal arranges the song for Cminor using a new tuning that is very similar to Open G: G Eb G.

Here’s the lesson. Enjoy!

Shane Speal

CIGAR BOX GUITAR VIDEO LESSON: “I Ain’t Superstitious” by Howlin’ Wolf

Shane Speal breaks down Howlin’ Wolf’s “I Ain’t Superstitious” into a version playable on 3-string cigar box guitar. Video lesson, step-by-step.

Shane Speal explores the deep blues of Howlin’ Wolf (aka Chester Burnett) by combining the three guitar parts of “I Ain’t Superstitious” into a 3-string cigar box guitar version.  Speal’s version utilizes an Open G tuning (GDG) for this blues song that is played in the key of D. Continue reading “CIGAR BOX GUITAR VIDEO LESSON: “I Ain’t Superstitious” by Howlin’ Wolf”

Video Lessons: Famous Blues Licks and Turnarounds for Cigar Box Guitar – by Shane Speal

If you have ever wanted to learn how to easily play some of the most famous and recognizable blues riffs and turnarounds on your cigar box guitar, this video series is for you! Shane Speal sits down with his video camera and a 3-string cigar box guitar (tuned to Open G GDG), and walks you through five of the best-known blues riffs that we’ve all heard hundreds of times. Each lesson is just a few minutes long – you’ll be belting out the blues in no time!

Lesson 1: The Classic Blues Lick

Lesson 2: Variations on the Classic Blues Lick

Lesson 3: The Peach Rundown

Lesson 4: The Nasty Pull-off Lick

Lesson 5: The Grinding Lick