This is a focused blues guitar lesson that I decided to post as a quick guide and reference for any guitarist who is getting started to play blues guitar.
What is covered in this lesson.
- Why playing the blues is very helpful to any guitar player?
- What do you need to play the blues on guitar?
- Most common Blues Chord Progression; 12 bar blues.
- Basic blues chords you need to play.
- Major & Minor Blues.
- Basic Blues Scales.
- Jam tracks to play along & practice
Why playing the blues is very helpful to any guitar player?
Let me start by a quick introduction on why as a guitarist you really don’t want to miss playing the blues.
Many guitar players start to pick the guitar and decide to play mainly to cover the music they love listening to by their favorite bands. Their favorite music genre could be anything from country to rock to R&B to jazz to hard rock and metal to fusion.
I did not mention the blues yet because it basically is the essence of all those music genres. Of course later they became something almost totally different and those genres and styles continue to change and evolve. However based on history since year 1900 when the seeds and roots of blues started to grow, blues ingredients deeply influenced all those music genres.
That was just a quick intro to show you how when you get to play the blues you get yourself open to many music genres that will keep your musical horizon filled with almost unlimited ideas and resources.
Now lets get to the lesson of today. The Easy Blues Guitar Starter.
What do you need to play the blues on guitar?
- You need a guitar that you can tune obviously. (Electric or Acoustic) does not matter at this stage.
- Basic knowledge of string names and fret numbers.
- Knowledge of how to use chords and scales neck diagrams
Most common Blues Chord Progression; 12 bar blues.
Blues, as a music genre, has many forms and styles. But today we will cover the most common style based on popular blues idol guitarists like BB King, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Stevie Ray Vaughan..
To play the blues you need to know about Rhythm and Melody
to play blues rhythm guitar you need to know the main blues chord progression that’s used in the majority of modern blues music.
The 12 Bar Blues Chord Progression
Here is an example
Basic Blues Chords You Need To Play.
To play the 12 bar chord progression you need to know 3 chords.
Chords 1 4 5 in our example today we will play 12 bar blues chord progression in A major and A minor.
Major & Minor Blues.
Most common usage of this chord progression is the Major and Minor chord progressions. So to play any of them you need to know those 3 chords
Here are the chords needed for each case
Below you will see all you need to play 12 bar blues chords in A Major and A Minor
You will find 2 positions for each chord. One position is the open position where chords will have open strings. 2 position is up on the fretboard. You don’t need to play both positions at once. Start with the open position since it is easier and fuller in sound, then once you have mastered it you can expand to play the other position of each chord. Open position chords are shown in the top row.
Basic Blues Scales.
You can use the minor pentatonic scale to play along with all 12 bar blues progressions. But if you like your playing to be more colorful you can mix both major and minor. More about this in a future lesson.
For now we have major pentatonic and minor pentatonic to be played respectively along with major and minor 12 bar blues chord progressions
Here is the scale charts
Jam Tracks To Play Along & Practice
Check the volumes below om Amazon for a variety of blues backing tracks in various styles and keys, or check the Spotify playlist below
In this Spotify playlist you will find a collection of blues jam tracks in A. Use these backing tracks to play along and practice both rhythm and melody. Practice the chords and the scales. In this playlist you will find both major and minor blues 12 bar chord progressions in a variety of styles and tempos.