If you are a fan of soul music, it is not hard to notice how vital a part the guitar player has in the arrangement of most songs. Players like Johnny Watson, Wolfman Washington, Little Milton, Cornell Dupree, and Bobby Womack set the standard for the guitarist’s role in soul.
In the second edition of his course, Soul Guitar Guidebook, Jimmy Reiter gives you the rhythmic tools and licks you’ll need to jump head first into any soul groove.
Here are 6 free soul guitar lessons from the course. For the full course, check out Jimmy Reiter’s Soul Guitar Guidebook Vol. 2 on TrueFire!
Soul Guitar Lesson – Octave Double Stops
Now as you probably all know, soul guitar fills are full of double stop licks. The most common intervals for those licks are thirds, sixths and sometimes fourths. I’ve talked about these extensively in my first course, Soul Guitar Guidebook, and we’re going to come across a lot of thirds and sixths and so on in this course as well. But in this lesson, I want to talk about octave double stops, which simply means playing the same note twice, just an octave apart.
Soul Guitar Lesson – Guess I’ll Come Back: Performance
This example is a nice groove with a 4-bar chord progression in the key of G minor. There’s a song called “If You Want Me to Stay” by Sly & the Family Stone that has very similar chords, and also the verses in “Sunny” by Bobby Hebb are pretty close. Not identical, but the same idea I would say.
Soul Guitar Lesson – Guess I’ll Come Back: Breakdown 1
I’ll show you the rhythm guitar first. Let’s break this down!
Soul Guitar Lesson – Guess I’ll Come Back: Breakdown 2
Now let’s break down the solo. In this I use both chords and single note licks. They use some of the more interesting notes in those chords, like flat nines and sharp nines.
Soul Guitar Lesson – Here, Take This: Performance
This is a funky groove in the key of D. It’s actually two 8-bar segments. The first one — what I would call the verse part — is a 2-bar pattern with different D chord shapes that is repeated 4 times. This is followed by what I would call the bridge part.
Soul Guitar Lesson – Here, Take This: Breakdown
Let’s break this down. This takes us through an F–G–D chord progression. This is a III–IV–I progression, with some nice double stops, funky chord riffs using ninth chords and a short single note run before going back to the verse part.
Digging these free soul guitar lessons? Check out Jimmy Reiter’s Soul Guitar Guidebook Vol. 2.