Keep It Groovy: How to Play a B.B. King Shuffle

This Keep It Groovy lesson takes you through one of my favorite B.B. King shuffles, “Paying The Cost To Be The Boss.” This is known as a medium shuffle—not too fast and not too slow. It’s just right!

It features a basic walking pattern throughout the 12 bar blues form and digs into the classic shuffle feel with two attacks per note.

Fun fact: You can get tab/notation, backing tracks, and plenty more with my new “12 Bar Blues Survival Pack.” Available now at

Ryan Madora is a professional bass player, author, and educator living in Nashville, TN. In addition to touring and session work, she teaches private lessons and masterclasses to students of all levels. Visit her website to learn more!

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