How To Play the Blues on Guitar

At the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads, The Blues, a type of music originated from the African-American communities in the Deep South.It began as a musical form with guitars and voices.The basics of the blues are simple for anyone to learn.

Step 1: You can use the 12-bar blues progression as the backing for any blues song.

The form is just a guide for when to play.The melodic spine of most blues songs is formed by the “1,2,3,4, 1,2,3,4…” bars.You can make it by taking the first (I), fourth (IV), and fifth (V) chords of the major scale.You can easily transfer the song into any key you want once you know the form in one key.The key of E is E, A, and B.The following article uses easy to form power chords, but you can also use seventh, minor, and minor sevenths.You need to review the major and minor scales for guitar before you start.Almost all radio songs have the blues in simple 4/4 time.Rhythm and time signatures should be reviewed if this is a struggle.

Step 2: When strumming for a “shuffle” feel, alternate a big downstroke and a quick upstroke.

It can help to listen to early blues recordings like Robert Johnson’s “I Believe I’ll Dust My”Start with a strumming pattern that works for you until you get the progression down.

Step 3: For four measures, use an open E.

The key of the song is the first one you play.You will hold the E for four full bars if you start with an E.It’s important to practice with a metronome to make sure you play the correct number of times.

Step 4: Return to E for two measures after playing open A.

In a 12-bar blues, you play the start for two measures before returning to the beginning.In the major scale, A is three notes above an E and the IV is in the key of E.

Step 5: For each measure to end the progression, play B-A-E-B.

There are four bars left in a 12-bar blues.You can play the fifth, the fourth, and the start in the turn around.B is the fifth of E since it is one note above A, the fourth.

Step 6: Repeated ad nauseum.

Just play until the song’s over, and most 12-bars have a special ending that will vary from song to song.You should soon get the hang of this simple but important blues progression if you practice with a friend who is more experienced at guitar.Pick a different starting position and shift the fourth and fifth accordingly.If you want to play in the key of C, you’ll use the first, fourth, and fifth.Are you looking to make your progression better?You can check out Wikihow’s ways to make it better.

Step 7: Substitute 7 for a blues song.

Real blues musicians often use a “dominant 7th” to make the song sound a little “bluesier.”These are the same as major, but with a different note.Click here to learn how to finger the most common 7 chords.You can either change the fifth to a 7 or you can change every one of the 7’s in a 12-bar blues.Try to find the right way to play different songs.

Step 8: Use a modified version of the scale to solo.

This is an easy modification if you remember the scale.The rest of the article will continue even if you don’t know anything about it.The scale is for the E-minor blues and will fit the progression played earlier.

Step 9: As part of your scale, use all the open strings.

The beauty of playing in E is that you don’t have to fret six notes in the scale because you can use all of the open notes.This can make playing a lot of fun with less effort.

Step 10: On the sixth string, play the open note and 3rd fret.

The first two notes of your scale are these.Go down three frets and play the root note on the open sixth string.The majority of people play this second note with their ring finger.The scale is a shape.You can start with any note on the 6th string.The song’s key will be the first note of the scale.

Step 11: You can play the open note, the first fret, and the second fret on a string.

There are three notes where the blues scale differs from the pentatonic.It’s the “flat fifth” in music theory that makes a song sound different.The A string has three notes on it.The flat fifth is an accent and should be played quickly.

Step 12: The D string has an open string on it.

A box-like pattern is forming.The open strings form a constant line of notes in the scale, while your ring finger frets a box or two.You can play the open string and the second fret here.

Step 13: The open string, second fret and third fret are on the G string.

The flat fifth is the same as the note you played earlier.The 3rd fret is a bluesy accent note.

Step 14: The 3rd fret of the last two strings is where to play the open string.

The first string is the same as the last two strings.The box should be between the open string and the third fret of the high-E and B strings.

Step 15: To see how easy the form is to move, move the whole scale down to the 12th fret.

Since the 6th string 12th fret note is an E, you can play the scale the same way.Everything else is in place.In multiple locations across the fret board, practice getting up and down the scale as smoothly and quickly as possible.There are ways to use notes in a solo or improvised performance.