Hey, guys. Claude Johnson here and today I want to talk
about how to play the blues.
The most important thing is the structure. So you need to
know the 12-bar blues structure. It’s four bars of your I
chord, two bars of your IV chord, two more bars of your I
chord and then V, IV, I, V usually is the turnaround.
If that doesn’t make sense, check-out some of my previous
videos on some of the basics of the blues.
Just to give you an example, let’s say in the key of E, that’s
my I chord. I could just do something as simple as an E7 open
chord. I’ll just kind of do the — this is kind of from the
“Pride and Joy” style, Stevie Ray Vaughan.
What I’m doing here is upstroke. It’s kind of like a shuffle
pattern like one, two, three; one, two, three; one. It’s like
an upstroke and I’m muting it with my palm. So you can just
stay on those basic chords. You can do walk-ups like… That’s
one way to do it. You can do shuffle. You’re still playing in
that E. Then you go up. The point is, all you’re doing is
staying in that chord and doing different ways to do it.
Here are just another couple of ways you can do this. Start
out with a shuffle. It’s kind of a Robert Johnson or
Elmore James lick. You could do kind of a walking bass line.
Notice I just took the whole pattern and moved it to the key
of A. So whatever riff you do just make sure you’re doing
it on the right chords.
That’s basically what I teach in my How to Play Blues course
at howtoplayblues.com. I give 240 examples on just different
ways you can do it. Really, the blues are simple. You can just
about follow the basic chord progression and you can try a lot
of different riffs and mix it up.
I’m going to do some more videos on this soon, but for now
just go to howtoplayblues.com and check-out what we’re doing.
I’ll catch you next time.