Riffs in the Key of Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Sister Rosetta Tharpe's licks are timeless and still very much useful to younger players looking to expand their musical horizons. Learn some of them here.
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As we wrote a few years ago, you could be forgiven if you've never heard of Sister Rosetta Tharpe—or if you're surprised to hear that, to many people, she's considered "the Original Soul Sister" and even “the Godmother of Rock and Roll."

Sadly, the late Sister Rosetta still isn't quite a household name; however, as a young woman during the Thirties through the Sixties, her music—especially her live performances—played a major role in the creation of rock and roll, with Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Little Richard, Chuck Berry and many others citing her as an influence.

Like a lot of the early guitar masters (including Berry, Cliff Gallup, Scotty Moore, Danny Cedrone, Charlie Christian and more), Tharpe's licks are timeless and still very much "uselful" to younger players looking to expand their musical horizons and master different, perhaps even "off beat" genres.

In this lesson, Reverb.com's Joe Shadid demonstrates some of the licks Sister Rosetta used and how to apply them into a traditional gospel chord progression and beyond.

You can read more about Sister Rosetta, who died in 1973 at age 58, right here.

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