This is a feel I really enjoy playing and I hope you like it too.

If you’ve been through Blues Guitar Unleashed you might recognize the riff as sort of “Tore Down in reverse.” It’s basically the same notes, just in a slightly different order.





    84 replies to "The Blues Mambo/Rumba Thing…"

    • Barry

      Thanks Griff,
      A cool lick to practice.

    • R. George

      hi Griff, Thanks it’s a great little riff we all should know or be reminded of .

    • TA Ratko


      I noticed in your closeup of the bridge of your Tele that you have replaced the traditional 3 saddle setup with 6 individual saddles, like a Strat. I did that with my Tele Highway One model because it’s hard to keep the intonation with the standard 3 saddles. Do you have any other reason for that?

    • kim

      To me its all about the phrasing/rhythm. If you don’t count or somehow keep the beat its not the same. That is why I finally decided to focus on counting and rhythm. It makes a world of difference.

    • Lee C

      Soon as I read rhumba/Mambo I quickly thought of BB and Eric playing “Help the Poor” from Riding with the King . One of my top CDs along with From the cradle and Bluesbreakers Beano. Maybe “All your Lovin” fits this beat also. LC

    • Alexander

      That was a cool riff Griff. That’s a fun lick to know. Keep them coming! I’m learning more from you than the teacher I was with for 6 months.👌

    • Kevin O'Sullivan

      Love it Griff – really funky. Thank you again & again.

    • Brendan

      What blacking track from your collection can use to play that to?

    • Rox

      Great Griff! Always learn something when I watch you.
      I have most of your courses.
      Again, I must ask is there any chance for a discount on the all access pass for those of us who have been keeping up with you for years and own most of the courses? I always have purchased the printed manuals, cds, and DVDs.
      I still feel the all access pass is a better deal for those who own just a few courses.
      Some kind of long term customer loyalty discount perhaps?
      Anyway, thank you for your consideration.

      • Freebyrd57

        Great point! I, too, have most of your courses and, been following you, for years. I feel, there should be, some sort of, entitlement, for guys\take like us?

        If you read this as, he being consided, well, your right…we were taught by the, great, Gruff Hamlin!

    • Michael Chappell

      Hey Griff,
      Great refresher from May 2015 and to see this again. Love the sound you get on your Tele, going to use my Tele as well.

      Keep them coming any chance of getting a Tab as it is easier to practice. I can’t follow you that fast!!

      All good.
      Michael-St Andrews – Australia June 2016

    • Alex Mowatt

      This shows why we all see you as the go to guy for guitar tuition. This has a nice feel to it. Certainly heard before and enjoyed it then too. Keep up the great work Griff, but have a week-end off occasionally. Take the boys and the dogs out for a long walk, or go swimming with them.

    • Joe Accardo

      Cool stuff, love it!!!

    • John

      Great feel, Griff, thanks.

    • roger

      Thanks that is quite funky, any chance of the tab?

    • Greg

      Thanks Griff for the freebie lessons and tips. They always inspire and re-inspire me, which I need now more than ever.

    • JesseRay

      Always excellent!

    • Julie Ferrari

      Griff. Interesting mambo exercise. You mentioned being able to solo over this. Can you show some solo exercises you would use. Thanks again. Always enjoy your videos.

    • Dean

      Possibly my favorite album is the John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton (the “Beano” album). Recently downloaded a deluxe version that has a live track they did called “It hurts to be in Love”. It has this feel going. In fact that album has several cool rhythm feels though it’s know more for the sound Clapton created with his solos on his Les Paul pushing through his Marshall amps.

    • Bruce

      lnteresting riff there Griff. A good workout riff too.

    • Michael Chappell

      Hey Griff,
      Just Love it can you provide the Tab Sheet.

      Keep them coming.

      Michael- St Andrews Australia

    • Alan

      Love it.
      Could you send the tab?

    • Jim (uk)

      Sounds awesome Griff.
      Just simple tricks that make all the difference.
      I’m off to give it a try – slow at first !!

      Cheers mate

    • chuck

      that was awesome….

    • Greg

      Griff, fun riff. cant always recall all the great stuff you send though. Some have tabs to print which is very helpful but this one like others you have sent dont.I keep a copy on paper to go back to at a later date when I practice, refreshing my memory. Including tabs with all your instructionals sure would be useful to many of us.

    • Joe

      Griff please continue to sent these clips I watch them every day. And they are so enjoyable!!

    • Ron Poagatchnik

      My pick is getting stuck!!

    • Bob K

      Makes a good bass run too.

    • Joe Merkler (aka - Nor White)

      B.B.King has died!

    • Colin Evans

      Hi Griff, Do you have a tab for a slow old beginner?
      Ta Colin

    • Colin Evans

      Hi, Does anyone have a tab for this?, I am a beginner and find Griff’s music a little fast for me to pick up
      Aussie – Go get Depp’s illegal dogs!

    • steve

      Hi Griff – that sound and “feel” is like what Junior Walker and the All Stars were popping out in the mid 60’s – except he fills with saxophone over the guitar riff. It has a nice feelgood beat.

    • Clifton Torrence


      Thought you raised an interesting point, so spent some quality time delving.
      Here is what i learned : mambo vs rumba (rhumba)

      They are closely associated.

      They are considered Latin Beats.

      Both are originating from the syncopation of timing known as ‘Clave’.

      There are literally dozens of clave beats (or ‘rhythms’ ).

      Rumba predates Mambo and Mambo predates Salsa.

      Rumba starts on the 1 beat and Mambo starts on the 2. Main difference.

      Rumba bass lines are often including a rest after the 1. Could look like:
      / //

      Use of term Mambo to describe a Rumba is probably geographical or regional in nature, a mere convention. I never heard it until heard it from you.

      Many ‘rumba’ beat blues numbers are not actually rumbas, rather an approximation of the New Orleans famous beat called ‘Second Line’.

      But that is another installment.

      BTW, I’m a bass player.

      Best Always,


      • PAUL


    • Bob

      I like it!! Keep the lessons coming, always look forward to see what you come up with each day..

    • Alex

      Great lesson Griff and thank you…Feel like I suddenly have two left arms but working on the rhythm and slowly getting there. Sometimes I get the right hand going but the left loses sync and then occasionally I manage to hit all the right notes at the right time-I wonder if it’s fluke or near guitar God status!

    • Alan

      Great . Could you send the tab?

    • Mark Arnold

      Kool riff thanks Griff as always I’m another guy that likes a little palm muting funk thing once in a while clean up the strat and go for it !

    • Jim Kubitza

      I posted a blues rhumba in the VJR once just for kicks and giggles. It made some of the guys really “stretch” to deal with its timing. Hee hee.

    • Dr. Paul

      Can you make the tab available?

    • Naq

      That’s frickin awesome. My humble opinion.

    • John

      Thanks. Was wondering how to incorporate a Latin feel into the mix.

    • Pete

      Hi Griff,
      Thank you and always appreciate what you share. I just love riffs like these that can be used in good top 40 “R’N’B. I’m in the UK so feel like ‘am missing out meeting up with our American friends who might even be writing their own stuff.

    • Paul Warner

      I like those kind of chordal riffs especially when they are muffled. A little different emphasis on time and you would have a cool funky riff too. I’m probably one the few that likes funk.
      Great little lesson and I am going to fool
      around with this one. Paul

    • jimmy peters

      great lesson for beginners and intermediate players–

      keep it up


    • Danny

      Very cool, gonna go play right now . Let you know what happens!

    • Tom

      Thanks for using the note names as well as the string/fret positions. Knowing the notes is as important as knowing the “timing” if we are going to learn what we’re playing in relation to the key we’re playing in.

    • Frank O'Connor

      Thanks Griff. Thanx for another cool video. I am very slow and very often misss the beat but trying. I try to practise every day.

    • Pete from philly

      Now I gotta work on the turn around for that song. I never dreamed of playing on of my old time favorites from the Blues Brothers! Thanks again Griff.

    • David

      I gave it a try and I like it thank you for sharing

    • C. Giordano

      Great video Griff,
      I played it like you showed it and started playing around with the notes, and before I knew it 5 minutes had gone by.
      There are so many videos out there that go nowhere for me because lots of other instructors arent doing what they are telling you to do.
      You explain and do the lesson right.I dont get confused and discouraged.

    • Cam.

      Hi Griff Great Lesson can you post the Tab. ?

    • Jean Dominique

      Man I just love this latin rhythm. Being from a latin country, I’d like to hear more Maybe some day you could play other rhythms like salsa, even regae?. As such I feel there is nothing like the blues .



    • FrankLombardi

      Griff cool

    • FrankLombardi

      Griff cool Thanks u always come up with great stuff

    • LouisVA

      Love this one but I have to play it like a SLOW Blues – VERY SLOW BLUES!

    • Ed

      Thanks Griff for these nuggets… fun to do and helps with counting and technique…

    • bobby

      You have become my favorite emailer.and friend ive yet to meet. Thanx teach.

    • Alexander Blue

      Hey Griff,
      Your way to good to us. Another great FREE-BEE … I urge any of y’all reading this to purchase some of Griff’s courses. He’s a fantastic teacher and his courses are top-notch. Thanks again Griff.

    • Sandra Mahony

      Thanks Griff thats a great good mood feeling piece plus a great exercise, thanks again for all the hard work you put into these lessons.

    • Ed

      Thank you Griff. A fun thing to learn. It would have made it quicker for me to learn if you had showed the tab but I realize that’s my fault.
      Don’t usually comment so I’d like to thank you for all of these little lessons over the years

      Ed Mintun

    • Paul Fenton.

      Definitely a straight 8 drum feel to go with this .No way would a shuffle work.

    • Ray

      Thanks Griff for all your help. I just have to many irons in the fire too keep up, but when I do get a moment it’s great fun.

    • Rock'n Ron

      Thanks Griff , another good one to make my fingers works .

    • Douglas

      Now that is a cool way to play,another way to learn the 1,4,5 and how to do tripalets,very nice and thanks for all your lessons.I’m not the fastest of learners but I’m enjoying what I learn and I brlieve that is what will make me a better guitar player.
      many thanks and rock on.

    • bill

      what’s in a name, but i’d say what the drums do behaind this is a kinda shuffle

    • Helen

      Excellent video! I have taught for many years, and this is such a great, “easy to digest,” catchy and fun 12 bar blues. I am always looking for those sorts of things to help and inspire my students and myself for that matter. Thank you!

    • Daniel

      Thank you for always sharing.

    • jim

      C00l little riff/lick/pattern…even cooler that you can actually SING while you’re playing it!!!

    • DaveyJoe

      Very cool!

    • Willy

      Thanks Gives me something to work with today

    • Art

      Agree with Greg who wrote: “Brilliant picking exercise and it sounds cool” and ditto on the Thanks. Always amazes me how many sounds one can get from a lick by changing the rhythm even though it is the same notes being played.

    • Greg

      Brilliant picking exercise and it sounds cool. Thanks!

    • Danny Carman

      Hey Griff, I really like this little lick.

    • Gary L.

      Thanks Griff! Great lesson!

    • Rob Johnson

      Nice little riff to learn – cheers Griff. As someone said similar idea to the Allman’s “One way Out” and also Junior Wells and Buddy Guy’s version of “Good Morning Little School Girl” (the paedophile song 🙂 ) off the album “Hoodoo Man Blues”. Love it!

    • Phill Robinson

      Nice one Griff. Think Im off to loop something up on that one.

    • whistler

      Similar tore down riff
      Another style cant spell the french

    • LosLunas

      That was a fun lesson…had a hard time keeping up, but I think I just need a faster guitar!

    • Ray

      Any tabs available?

    • tony

      This reminds of the song one way out by the Allman brothers band . start in a and dont use some many notes and you have it . You see everyone uses parts of other songs to create a tune . This is a good and diffrent style using basiclly the same notes but in a diffrent scale which Griff demonstrates . c ya in next video .

      • tony

        yeah saw this and now i think this is kinda a funk type tune . oE course it be better in A . LIKE I SAID ONCE THAT IT COULD B ONE WAY OUT THE CORDS YOU WILL HAVE TO FIGURE IT OUT . C YA X TIME

      • Pat

        I was taught the “One way out” riff with the same three notes played in three different but consecutive licks.
        GRIFF? Can you enlighten us ??

    • geoff

      Gday griff I am to slow, but still trying. Thanks for the video a very cool feel, , cheers have a good weekend.

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