A lot of blues music is played by adding one note to the regular pentatonic scale. This “blue note” is what makes the blues music sound the way it does.
Blues Guitar Lessons for Beginners
Blues music originated in the deep south of the United States at the end of the 19th century and is synonymous with guitar. It's a style of music with a very rigid form (12 bar scheme, 4/4 time signature), that also relies on a an emotional state of mind. As Eric Clapton once said, "You need to be a student for one, and a human being for the other, but those things alone don't do it." You either have the blues or you don't.
Then, do yourself a favor and check out all the great blues guitar lessons full of tips and information we have here. If you're a beginner, you might want to start out with the easy guitar song lesson Before You Accuse Me. That will get you caught up on the 12 bar blues form as well as the blues shuffle and playing lead guitar. Intermediate players might benefit most from another series of lessons on Turning Practice Into Play, featuring simple blues numbers that sound great and are easy to learn.
Nick Minnion provides a short video lesson to help beginners add riffs taken from the blues scale into their playing.
Knowing the basic structure of the twelve bar blues will help you immensely as both a guitarist and a musician, particularly if you want to play and jam with other musicians. Here’s a guide to explain how it works.
Here’s a very cool single-guitar finger style instrumental blues piece that will teach you about driving, single note bass lines and creating cool melody lines and fills.
Guitar Noise presents the first in a new series of songs written specifically for guitar studies. Here is a cool blues number, reminiscent of Taj Mahal’s “Fishing Blues” to help you develop your finger picking, hammer-on skills and use of syncopation and timing.
Welcome to the first of a new series of articles entitled Into the Blue, which will explore the style, sound and key players within the Blues genre. This series will be pitched at an intermediate level and will build on techniques and practices that many players will be well aware of. But, of course, we’ll still start off slowly, making sure we leave nothing to chance.
It’s always a pleasure to get a new lesson from Peter Simms! His latest piece involves putting a walking bass line underneath a standard jazz blues progression. When you put it all together, you’ll definitely think it was worth the extra practice!
This first lesson on improvisation introduces the form of the twelve bar blues, the minor pentatonic scale and the blues scale. There are exercises and even some MIDI backing tracks that you can practice along with!
Here’s a terrific introduction to the wonders of acoustic blues, using the Muddy Waters’ classic You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had. First time GN contributor Jim Arkuszewski will get you playing the blues in no time.