Welcome back! Today I wanna give you the best blues guitar instruction you’ll get in a while.
A great way to play blues is by using simple triads. Triads have a great sound to them; they
don’t overpower the context, and if played correctly they sound so smooth. Of course since we
are playing blues, we are gonna have to modify these triads to bring the b7 which is a note that
must be in any blues progression.
For this example I wanna show you, I wanna use a 12bar blues in A an I also want it to be a special kind of shuffle; the jazz type of shuffle. We are gonna use nothing but our thumb to strum the chords, and right you strum them you are release the pressure from the strings (do not remove your fingers from the fret or the string) which will mute the sound and give it an staccato type of feeling.
Let’s check out the first example. The progression is A7x4, D7x2, A7x2, E7x1, D7x1, A7x1,
E7x1. Very easy:
Now this would just sound amazing with a jazz drummer and double bass player. Plus if you
own a hollow body guitar, you’d better use it to play this!
One way we could spice it up is by bringing in some movement. You could move the chord up
and down one semitone at the end of a bar like this:
You could anticipate a chord that is coming and play it at the end of the bar like this:
Now, if we combine all of that with the progression we originally had, we get a really good
sounding jazz shuffle thing:
One piece of advice I should is to learn how to control the dynamics of your thumb. If you hit it
too hard it’s not gonna be good. You have to learn how to play very smooth, barely touching the
strings. These type of rhythms I just showed you are supposed to be very pleasant to the ear.
Just imagine a really nice evening at a very nice restaurant. You are relaxed. That’s how you
should play this.
This is all for today! I hope you enjoyed and please remember to check out our entire collection of lessons at: