Learn to Play the Classic Blues Tune “Things About Comin’ My Way”

Posted by Steve James

The single most influential slide guitarist in the history of the blues is certainly Tampa Red (né Hudson Whitaker 1904–81). His playing with pianist Thomas A. Dorsey on their 1928 smash “Tight Like That” revived the credibility of slide guitar in popular music. Subsequently, Red’s liquid tone, wide vibrato, laconic phrasing, and perfect pitch control directly influenced the playing of Robert Nighthawk, Muddy Waters, Earl Hooker, and Elmore James, plus a host to follow.

Things About Comin' My Way example
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This transcription is based on his 1934 recording of “Things About Comin’ My Way” (aka “Sittin’ on Top of the World”). Tampa tuned in Vastopol for this one—with the root note an F! Check the way he slides in and out of the third, fourth, and fifth degrees of the scale and uses the tritone (see measures 3 and 4).

Excerpted from Roots and Blues Fingerstyle Guitar

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