Better Blues Guitar Playing With This Music Theory

hi Friend,

I was just messing around with
some blues riffs today…

One thing that is really common
in blues guitar is using the
upper part of a Dominant 7 chord.

For example, let’s say you’re
playing a down-in-the-bucket
shuffle in E…

What you can do is play the high
E string 10th fret (D note) and
the B string 12th fret (B note).

You can slide into this from
a 1 fret below, and play it in
a triplet pattern (use all downstrokes).

Sorry I did not have time to explain
this in a video for you today!

But if you try it, you can recognize
a classic sound used by Robert Johnson
and other greats.

So, if you’re into music theory,
here’s why it works:

The notes B and D are actually
in the E7 chord (E G# B D).

Notice that B , D starts the B minor chord
(B D F#)… So those notes are all in common,
except the F#… however:

An E9 chord would be E G# B D F#.

So you see these chords are quite related.

(You can substitute a B minor for
an E7 sometimes.)

In jazz, the I chord is a technically major 7, but in blues,
we usually treat it as a dominant 7. And as we
just saw, there’s a minor triad substitution possible here.

If you think of E7 to B major as a bluesy type of I V, then
you can just play B minor to B major.

This gives you another classic sound. Actually,
John Lennon of the Beatles loved writing
tunes going from major to minor on the same chord name….

So many possibilities.

It should give you a lot of food for
thought for riffs or songs.

That’s my 2 cents for the day…

Keep playin, keep living 🙂

– Claude Johnson

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