How To Play The Riff From “Mannish Boy” By Muddy Waters — Blues Guitar Lesson W/ Jon McLennan

Guitar Control
3 min readMar 13, 2021


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Hey, how’s it going guys this is Jon McLennan with Guitar Control, bringing you this video lesson, I’m just playing a little bit of Manish Boy by Muddy Waters, and man if we’re talking about the blues it doesn’t get any better than Muddy Waters he’s the man. An awesome tune that is rift based, meaning the guitar part just plays a riff over and over, and it almost becomes a sort of hypnotic.

Check the image above to follow the chords and tabs.

We’re in the key of A, going on the 5th fret, kind of 5th position. You can think of your A minor pentatonic and you’ve got basically a power chord you can play here and then, this turned into a big rock riff, but we’re going to play the 7th fret on the 4th string, and then I’m going to lay that finger down, and get 7, and 7, on the next two strings, and then go back to 7, and then I play 5, and 5, these are called double stops, where you’re playing two notes at a time.

That’s going to be on the 2nd string, and the 3rd string, you can bend those notes, lift them a little bit, then go back to 7 on the 4th string, so you’ve got 1, 2, 3, and in between. I’m just kind of chunking down there on a power chord which would be the 5th fret and 7th fret so it sounds like this. A 1, 2, 3, and like I was saying that riff kind of became a staple in rock and roll kind of sounds you’ll hear all the time, and remember Muddy Waters see he played with like a thumb pick like clips on your thumb and it’s kind of interesting thing.

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