How To Improve Blues Guitar Playing – Learn The Basic Elements

Hey guys! Gaby Soule here from, today I want to show you some interesting stuff you may find in a blues guitar tab.

The blues guitar is probably one of the most expressive forms of playing among all music styles and genres.

It is full of different kinds of melodic resources that bring a lot of variety to each solo, phrase or lick.

So let’s talk about some of the basic elements that are important when we try to improve our playing.
Every guitar player must incorporate the scales that are most commonly used in blues guitar and that you will find in any blues guitar tab or transcription.


The first scale is, of course, the pentatonic scale, which is made of five notes that basically rule the world of guitar soloing in blues, rock, and almost any other style related to the guitar.

The pentatonic scale is not the only scale you need to accomplish but it is a great starting point for anyone.
If you are trying to improve by learning new scales it is good for you to keep in mind that the structure of the pentatonic scale is going to be included inside most of the scales that you will learn later.

Just after the basic pentatonic scale you have the chance of acquiring a new element by adding one single note, the so called “Blue note”. This is a chromatic step between the perfect fourth and fifth of the scale that will bring an even more interesting bluesy sound to your playing. (Sample 1)


Once we are already moving inside the basic scales we can add some expressive elements like bends and slides. Both are very frequently used in guitar solos, phrases, licks and even in many famous riffs.

Bending a string is not only a matter of fingering, strength and technical ability which you will develop by practicing, it is also a matter of pitch in which your listening will be involved to hit the right note in tune.

Many aspects of the blues guitar can be reflected in a guitar tab such as harmonics, double stops, vibrato and tons of other things. Try to incorporate new resources by learning from other players and then start looking for your own way of using all this cool stuff.

Keep on playing! See you soon!

P.S If you want to go deeper with this style of music, I recommend you to check out our:


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