I wanted to put together a tribute to Steve Cropper and that Stax / Memphis sound that came about in the late 50’s early 60’s, and so this is my attempt at a Steve Cropper style rhythm part. In a lot of styles of music, the rhythm guitar part can be overlooked or dismissed but that isn’t the case with the Memphis Soul sound – to me, the rhythm guitar defines the song. Steve Cropper was the guitar player for Booker T & the MG’s and that band became the house band for Stax Records and backed hundreds of artists including Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, and Wilson Picket to name a few. This style of rhythm playing is fun to listen to and twice and fun to play so hopefully this lesson will be helpful to those that are trying to figure it out.
Unfortunately due to the 10 minute time limit w/ YouTube I had to split this video into two parts. I’ve also included the MP3 jam tracks for you to download, one version with the rhythm and one without so that you can play along. This rhythm doesn’t come from any particular song, it’s just something I made up to demonstrate the style. Enjoy!