How To Play Blues Guitar Licks

Blues guitar is a more complicated and stylistic portion of guitar playing. Its classic feel has caused it to fade into the background of modern things like pop and rock. Regardless, it is still used today by great guitarists all around the world. And it’s easy to see why: it has a vibe that makes you want to dance, and is always satisfying to play.

The most notable thing about the blues guitar is the licks. Because blues is very similar to jazz, the same methodology is used when teaching it (12-bar blues and whatnot). Once you understand proper chord progressions, there is so much room for people to add their own lib and improvisation. That is, essentially, what blues and jazz are about.

Blues isn’t without structure though, and while one could theoretically improvise throughout a whole song, learning famous (and non-famous) blues guitar licks are just as important. They teach you control, how the notes line up with the chords, and how to sound fat and funky! Here are some famous licks that will help you think bluesy, and are fun to play.

Sweet Home Chicago (Magic Sam)


Ah, good old, Sweet Home Chicago. Not only is this a popular tune for jazz players, but it’s also great for us blues guitarists. Magic Sam uses the technique of sliding to make his guitar sound like a bottleneck without actually having one. Just make sure to start this one slow, because it’s a fast one!

Woke Up This Morning (BB King)

This is about a classic as blues songs get. BB King’s use of triads demonstrates how effective they can be, and I’m sure that if you keep practicing this, you will too.

More Blues Guitar Licks


None of these licks are part of any particular song. They are, however, good examples of how vast blues guitar can really be. With the proper chords, you could even improvise with just these rhythms. They offer a good foundation to build your blues on, so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t!

I also recommend you to check out this lesson on BLUES LICKS

I hope you found these riffs helpful, and stay tuned to for more on blues guitar. Stay cool, readers!

I also want to suggest that you check out one of our:


How to play your favorite songs from the 60's & 70's on the guitar


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