Keith Richards is one of rock music’s most iconic guitar players. For decades his guitar work with the Rolling Stones has influenced aspiring guitar players all over the world. His rhythm guitar playing shares elements from both rock and blues music which creates a sound that is both edgy and rocking while still being based in traditional blues guitar playing. This Keith Richard guitar lesson will teach you how to play in the Rolling Stones rhythm guitar style over a blues rock backing track in D.

The first lick is a traditional shuffle rhythm guitar groove. Keith Richards plays this figure differently to most guitar players because he leaves out the low root. This can tighten up the sound because it leaves the low end for the bass player.

The second phrase uses a staple of Keith Richards guitar playing. This lick moves between a G triad and a C triad over the G note in the bass. This I-IV/I sound can be heard on just about every up tempo Rolling Stones song.

The third lick uses the same I – IV sound but this time does it over the D chord using a D triad and G triad. In the last bar, the D chord drops down an inversion and and shifts between that and an A triad. This gives a I – V sound and always reminds me of the guitar riff from Michael Jackson’s “Black or White”.

The fourth idea begins with a walking pattern similar to what bass players play during a bluesy shuffle. In the second bar, notice that the G chord again is not using any low root notes on any of the low strings.

The fifth and final rhythm guitar pattern in this Keith Richards guitar lesson combines the techniques and ideas from the earlier lick into an ending phrase.

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