Beginner Blues Guitar Lesson

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Hey, guys. Claude Johnson, and I want to
talk about the blues today.

Now, if you want to play the blues, first
you have to understand the blues structure.
The most common form is basically a 12-bar
blues, and there are different kinds of 12-bar
blues, but among those, the most common is four
bars of your 1 chord, two bars of your 4 chord,
two more bars of your 1 chord and then five,
four, one, five. So let me break that down for you.

In the key of A, our 1 chord is our A, or A-7.
So we’re going to play four bars of A-7 and then
two bars of our 4 chord, which is D-7, and then
back to A-7 for two bars and then E-7 for one bar,
D-7 for one bar, A-7 for one bar and then E-7 for one bar.

Also, the next thing you need to know is the basic rhythm.
Blues often uses what’s called a shuffle rhythm. If you
were to count out triplets like one, two, three; one, two,
three; one, two, three; one, two, three. Get that first.
Then you’re going to tie your one and two together. So
instead of one, two, three; one, two, three; it’s like,
one, three; one, three; one, three; one, three. Okay?
So get that down. Okay? So do that throughout the beats.

The next thing you can do is the shuffle riff. I’m going
to go on my low A string — and you can do this with open
strings, too. It could be a little easier. But what I’m
going to do here is put my first finger on the 5th fret
of the low E string, ring finger on the 7th fret of the
A string and then I’m going to use my pinkie to hit the
9th fret of the A string. So I’m going to start out like
this. So it’s one, two, three; one, two, three. And I’m
going to alternate between just this one and this one.

You can experiment by using palm muting for a different
sound or let it ring open. You can even pluck it, like
pick the low string with the pick and then pluck. My
middle finger is going to pluck the A string.

Play around with that. It’s very important to get a
sound that you’re comfortable with. Like Yngwie said,
if it sounds right, it’s right. So get the basics down
and next time I’ll show you how to throw in those little
single note licks with your rhythm playing.

That’s all I’ve got for today, but I will catch you next
time, so have a great day and rock on.

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