Rocking Some Acoustic Blues With Sean Daniel – Blues Guitar Exercise For Beginners

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What’s going on, everybody? Sean Daniel with Guitar Control here. Today, we’re going to do a little acoustic blues song that is also doubling as an exercise, where you can kind of learn different chord voicings all over the back, and then combine them with some cool blues licks, because I really am a big fan of combining chords and scales and licks into one fluid piece of music. I think that’s the best thing for your musicianship, your timing, the coordination between your fretting and strumming or picking hands, and it’s just kind of a fun thing that you can do by yourself, that you can also easily incorporate into playing with another musician. So make sure that you click the link below, because I’m going to tab out everything we’re doing here. Basically, the whole thing is going to sound like this.

So, really conceptually very easy exercise, where we’re just taking the one, the four, and the five in a key, but maybe playing them in a different way, that a lot of people haven’t really experimented with on acoustic guitar, okay? So now, essentially, the sound of the blues is the sound of dominant seven chords being put in a particular order, that is very familiar to your ear, okay? This is going to be something in G, so kind of like a blues in the key of G. Now, when I say the one, four, five, what that means is the first, fourth, and fifth notes of the G major scale, G, A, B, C, D, E, F#, G. G, A, B, C, D, E, F#, and G again. G, C, and D are going to be the three main chords, that we’re going to turn into dominant seven chords, to kind of make a blues kind of jam thing going on, right?

A lot of times, you might see like a G dominant seven, or whatever, like an A dominant seven, a B dominant seven, be like, “God, these are kind of hard chords to play as barre chords.” Well, there’s a very easy way that you can do this, where we just take the essence of what makes a dominant seven chord, and that’s a root note, a major third, and a flat seven, and kind of use this shape as our new home base for a shape, for really any kind of chord blues song playing, right? So instead of playing a barre chord G7 or an open G7, the disadvantages of barre chord are they can be kind of hard to play, especially on acoustic guitars, to really hold all six strings down, if you’re just starting or intermediate. It can be difficult. Also depending on the action of your guitar, the string gauge you use. All that stuff comes into play, and barre chords, no longer how long you’ve been plying, can be kind of difficult after playing for a while.

The thing about an open chord is it’s really easy to play, sounds great, but you can’t move it, right? The great thing about this chord voicing right here, my middle finger’s on the third fret of the low E string, my pointer finger’s on the second fret of the A string, and my ring finger’s on the third fret of the D string. This is giving us essentially the essence of a seven chord, a dominant seven chord. As an example, here’s a full barre chord G7, and here’s this kind of shell voicing, if you want to look at it that way. Has the same kind of sound, just a little bit different, not as many strings, easier to play, right? So now, instead of kind of moving barre chords around or having to think, “Where’s the one, where’s the four, where’s the five?” Let’s just take intervals, the space between two notes, and just move this shape from here, to here, to here.

This is a G dominant seven, third fret of the E string. I can move this to the eighth fret. There’s our four chord, the C chord. Same shape. I’m now rooted on the eighth fret of the E string, seven A, eight D, and then two frets higher from there, the 10th fret. So you can play the whole blues just by this one shape, and it sounds fine, right? This is just kind of one way that you can start switching out chords that might be a little more difficult into something that is super, super easy, right?

But the whole point of this lesson is to really combine stuff that maybe we haven’t combined before. So I want to make a connection between this chord and then this lick. All right, now what I’m doing here, I’m playing the same notes in the chord, but in like a lick pattern, okay? So this right here, what I’m doing is I’m sliding to the fourth fret of the G string, skipping to the third fret of the high E string, then going to the sixth fret of the B string, the fifth fret of the B string, the third fret of the B string, and then ending right where we started, on the fourth row of the G string.

So this is going to be kind of our lick right here, or with your pinky. You know, it can be kind of tricky skipping that string at first, but it’s really not that difficult to go from this chord into… Okay? It’s challenging, for sure, if you’ve never done this kind of thing before, but it’s cool, because you get out of a chord shape directly into a lick that is in the same area of the guitar, right? I think that’s a really important distinction to make, to start seeing certain areas, and all the possibilities of what you can do within this one kind of space, right?

Now, what we’re doing here is, if we talk about the scale degrees of the notes that are in a chord, which is something that you don’t even have to conceptually understand, you just have to trust me on this, that all the notes in a G7 chord, which happen to be a G, a B, a D, and an F, are represented in this lick. In fact, right here I’m sliding into this note. The fourth fret of the G string is a B note, to a G, the root note. This guy right here, which is the F, this is the dominant seven part of it, and then this note is also in the scale, walking us F, E, D, the fifth of the chord, so these notes make up all the notes in a G7 chord, but we’re doing it in kind of like a blues solo lick way.

This is going to work over any dominant seven chord. My tell right here is we rooted this shape on the third fret of the low E string, so the third fret of the high E string is also going to be a very pivotal thing, because I’m sliding into the fourth fret, but my mind has been thinking this third fret the whole time, even though I’m playing the fourth fret first. There’s my root note, and then back into that blues lick, right?

So now, we can take everything that we’ve just learned, from here, play it on the right fret, eh? And then we’re going to move the whole thing to this C, the four chord. Now, my root note is here on the eighth fret, so I know that I have to do that same lick and end up here on the high E string, so I’m just going to slide one fret higher, where my root note is. I’m going to slide into the ninth fret of the G string, then the same thing. I have my third, my root, my dominant seven. Connect the dots to the fifth, and then end where I started. So, nine G, eight E, 11, 12, eight on the B string, and then end up on the ninth fret of the G string, right? So, there’s my C chord, into the lick.

Then the exact same thing is going to happen on the D string, or the D chord I mean. The D chord, 10th fret of the low E string. There’s our D7, D dominant seven, same chord as maybe an open version D7 you’ve seen before, but we’re keeping it in the same shape, and then I’m going to do the same thing, by diagnosing that this is my root note, and then the 10th fret of the high E string is kind of my target, so one higher than 10 is 11, 11 G, to 10 E, then to the B string, 13, 12, 10, 11 G, okay? So, I’ve connected one shape and one lick together, to just make really something in G. This is a blues in G.

So I just have that G chord, the one chord, into the lick. You can play twice in a row. Maybe I can even kind of do something different. Really, as long as I slide, I can do anything. That’s the cool thing about the blues. There really aren’t rules. There’s a structure by which you can kind of do whatever you want. So again, what I did there was like the first time, I did the main lick. Then the second time, I’m just doing something different. Whatever. It almost doesn’t matter what notes are in the scale, as long as you’ve kind of set up the expectation that you know a little bit of what’s going on, right? Then maybe the second time around, just do whatever, or just kind of experiment, by maybe playing these notes in a different order. You could go like… Again, I avoided the root note. I just played… Any of these notes that make up that dominant seven chord. That’s why it’s great to kind of learn licks, and then see a chord within those, right?

So, again, first time is the main lick. Second time, I just get creative. Then to the four chord, the C. Maybe back to the one chord. The five chord. The four chord. The one chord. It’s really kind of conceptually very easy, plus you’re going all over the fret board. I mean, look at what you’re doing. You’re starting here. You’re playing up on the high E string. You’re moving it all the way down here. You can eventually start incorporating different scales and stuff, which we have tons of videos on scales, pentatonic licks. All this stuff is plug and play, mix and match. It’s just getting the structure of the blues together, and then using it to your advantage and impressing your friends and all of those around you.

So make sure you click that link below, because again, grab the tab, just to help you visualize what you have going on, and then just really rock it however you see fit. Make sure to click on other videos on the Guitar Control channel here, by myself, other great instructors, and let us know what you guys would like to see more of, and we’ll have it for you soon. Thanks a lot.

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