rhythm guitar measure

This is the rhythm guitar part to Muddy Waters's "Got My Mojo Working". I would like to know what beats the chords land on for this measure. I only know that the first chord lands on the and of 1. Can someone please help me?

  • That's only part of your problem! See my comment under Aaron's answer for the rest.
    – Tim
    Apr 25 at 16:53

4 Answers 4


A graphical supplement to @HaveProblemsEveryday's answer with strumming pattern suggested by @Tim (see comments below).

Note that the chords occur on every third sixteenth note (semiquaver).

Question measure with sixteenths notated and counted

  • Anoter point relevant to the OP's problem then is - what strumming pattern works best? Personally, I'd be playing d,u,d,u, for each beat, to keep the arm moving rhythmically, then hit the strings on the appropriate places, as you indicate.
    – Tim
    Apr 25 at 16:52
  • @Tim By each beat, you mean each sixteenth? Please confirm, and I'll add that to the graphic.
    – Aaron
    Apr 25 at 16:58
  • Each semiquaver takes a strum, starting down, so 16 separate strums per bar. Others might 'stutter' their strum pattern, but that then means it will only work for that one pattern - and I don't believe that (or any) strum pattern would be used for the entirety of the (or any) song.
    – Tim
    Apr 25 at 17:03
  • 1
    Showing the underlying 16ths above the rhythm makes this rhythm much easier to understand, +1. @AndyBonner your count is a little off at the end, it should be: ||: 1231231231231231 :|| (with notes on all of the 3’s). Apr 25 at 21:54
  • 1
    @jamesrivers For a rhythm like this, practice it at slower, manageable tempos. Once the feel of it is internalized, it will come naturally, and you won't need to count every sixteenth note. At that point, you can just strum on each chord, alternating ups and downs.
    – Aaron
    May 1 at 17:34

Since we are dealing with sixteenth notes here, we can break the bar in to

1 e + a 2 e + a 3 e + a 4 e + a

The first chord is on the and of 1

The second chord is on the e of 2

The third chord is right on 3

The fourth chord is on the a of 3

The fifth chord is on the and of 4

Often, what I have found helps me when dealing with tricky rhythms is to count out the beats and write them under the bar to know where each note is played.


Start by finding the quarter note beats:

enter image description here

Since there are sixteenth note subdivisions here, you can count 1-e-and-a 2-e-and-a 3-e-and-a 4-e-and-a and so on. Now you can see which subdivisions the notes fall on: the "and" of 1, the "e" of 2, the 3, and the "and" of 4.

Something else you should notice: four of the five notes have a dot above them. These dots are articulation marks which mean that these notes should be played staccato.

  • Of course, the notes marked staccato are eighths, and the one not is a 16th; it's likely that the 8ths are to be played as short as 16ths, and it was all notated this way because making them all 16ths would be even busier. Apr 25 at 17:51
  • 1
    @AndyBonner -- I'm not sure that I agree that using 16ths would be busier; then all rests would be eighth rests, and in some ways this might communicate the syncopated rhythm more clearly. On the other hand, these are probably chord stabs which may be better thought of as staccato since they wouldn't be thought of as having precise duration. In any case, I didn't intend a critique of the posted notation, only an exposition of what is there.
    – user86545
    Apr 25 at 18:17

What you might want to do is either:

  1. Find a youtube video of Muddy playing it. You Tube allows you to slow down the playback without changing the pitch. Click on the settings icon and then on playback speed.

  2. If you have the song on your phone or iPad, you can get a music slowdown app for free and slow it down that way. This will also let you loop a small section of the song. I think you need to actually own the song to do this. I use an app called Music Speed and it works great.

Far better for this type of music than notation. I guarantee Muddy never notated it on sheet music.

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