Charlie Patton Lessons

Banty Rooster Blues

Here's one of many landmark Patton tunes that would soon become a standard form of the blues! It's got the old, catscratch style slide and most of all, it's simple.

Shake It and Break It

One of Patton's well-known 'mainstream' tunes...well, mainstream for the time, that is! I found it easier to learn this song if I thought of it more like a Lead Belly tune than a normal Charlie Patton tune. Try thinking in that way, if it helps.


All you need for this tune is a some sort of slide, and a disciplined right hand! The alternating bass should become second nature. It just takes practice...unfortunately. Once you've got that down, you can just throw in melody lines as your hear fit, and have a really 'lazy' sounding slide.

High Water Everywhere Pt. 1

This might be my favorite Patton tune! The guitar theme sounds like thunder ripping a city apart...the technique itself is errily similar to what Larry Graham would come up with for the bass decades later - now known as 'slapping' the bass. This will always be one of the coolest songs to ever come out of the pre-war blues era.

Prayer of Death Pt. 1

Playing this one's difficult because you've got to be so delicate in order to get his sound/tone - particularly on the top string. It would probably be easier if it was played lap style with a knife, like he played it, but I'm thinking that most people, myself included, prefer the conventional posture.

I Shall Not Be Moved

Patton's rendition of I Shall Not Be Moved is good dampening btw. A fellow blues slider requested this one and it's a good one to know if you're a Charlie Patton fan.

Tom Rushen Blues

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