Howlin' Wolf's Killing Floor

Have a go with this standard. It’s deceptively difficult, and it’s a great finger exercise, and great example of the 12 bar Blues.

Here’s the tab. I think it’s closer than what you’ll find online.

g|----------------|----------------|
d|----------------|----------------|
a|----4-4-555-6-7-|----4-4-555-6-7-|
e|5-5-------------|5-5-------------|

g|----------------|----------------|
d|----------------|----------------|
a|----4-4-555-6-7-|----4-4-555-6-7-|
e|5-5-------------|5-5-------------|

g|----------------|----------------|
d|----4-4-555-6-7-|----4-4-555-6-7-|
a|5-5-------------|5-5-------------|
e|----------------|----------------|

g|----------------|----------------|
d|----------------|----------------|
a|----4-4-555-6-7-|----4-4-555-6-7-|
e|5-5-------------|5-5-------------|

g|----------------|----------------|
d|----6-6-777-8-9-|----4-4-555-6-7-|
a|7-7-------------|5-5-------------|
e|----------------|----------------|

g|----------------|----------------|
d|----------------|----------------|
a|----4-4-555-6-6-|7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-|
e|5-5-------------|----------------|

ASCII art is not an exact science lol. Listen to the song to get the rhythm. I generally end the song on an open A.

Listen closely, he varies it in the same spots. That double to start each bar can actually be a single, double, or triple. And when it’s a triple, the cadence varies.

Similarly, that triple 5 (triple 7 when you’re playing the 5th) can also vary it’s cadence.

Have fun!

3 Likes

I wonder if there is a way to get fixed width fonts on this forum. Sometimes “code” blocks work. Let’s try:

g|----------------|----------------|
d|----------------|----------------|
a|----4-4-555-6-6-|7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-|
e|5-5-------------|----------------|

Sweet. Looks like it sort of works. So you enter it like this in the editor, and just make sure each bar has 16 characters in it (numbers or -):

image

I’ve been wondering about this for a while, thanks for giving me the excuse to try and figure it out :slight_smile:

5 Likes

Sweet! Thanks! And edited now lol!

5 Likes

Sweet! Looks great.

2 Likes

That’s gold to me, thanks man, I love it to warm up. No way near the speed in a long mile… :rofl:

3 Likes

A little more fun with formatting… A lot of tunes are chunked into 4 bar bites

Root bar four times
The 4th twice, the root twice
The 5th once, the 4th once, long resolve for the last two bars

This is your basic 12 bar Blues structure

g|----------------|----------------|----------------|----------------|
d|----------------|----------------|----------------|----------------|
a|----4-4-555-6-7-|----4-4-555-6-7-|----4-4-555-6-7-|----4-4-555-6-7-|
e|5-5-------------|5-5-------------|5-5-------------|5-5-------------|

g|----------------|----------------|----------------|----------------|
d|----4-4-555-6-7-|----4-4-555-6-7-|----------------|----------------|
a|5-5-------------|5-5-------------|----4-4-555-6-7-|----4-4-555-6-7-|
e|----------------|----------------|5-5-------------|5-5-------------|

g|----------------|----------------|----------------|----------------|
d|----6-6-777-8-9-|----4-4-555-6-7-|----------------|----------------|
a|7-7-------------|5-5-------------|----4-4-555-6-6-|7-7-7-7-7-7-7-7-|
e|----------------|----------------|5-5-------------|----------------|
2 Likes

This is what the 12 bar blues looks like, without the crutch of tablature. It doesn’t matter what key you’re playing in, you just follow this progression.

For example, this is what it would look like in the key of A minor using half notes…

3 Likes

True… But there’s generally a turn around or some form of resolve on the last two bars.

For my taste, I usually have several related resolves available for a given 12 bar set. I’ll play one as part of the intro, another for the verse, another during guitar solos, and a different one at the finale.

3 Likes

Absolutely! There’s nothing that says you can’t add a little flavor to the 12 bar blues. This is just the structure of it. It’s nice because it gets players to get away from that “tab” mentality and more into the realm of progression.

2 Likes