Blues Guitar Lesson

Learn how to play an easy 12 bar blues

Ex. 1 (0:27 - 2:30) Measure 1, 2, 3 and 4 of our basic 12 bar blues.  Don't worry about reading music, the video and breakdown will have you playing this in no time!


Fretboard graph showing notes for measure 1 of blues lesson

Play Along Jam Tracks

Pause video and work on playing measure 1 along with the mp3 track below.  Don't worry about the full speed yet.  Focus on playing the half speed through until you feel comfortable and then move to Ex.2.  Come back to the full speed after you can play through the entire 12 bar blues at half speed.

Half Speed (Repeats 4 times on player)

Full Speed (Repeats 8 times on player)

Ex. 2 (2:31 - 3:30) - After playing the measure above 4 times we will play this measure twice for measure 5 and 6.

Half Speed (Repeats 4 times on player)

Full Speed (Repeats 8 times on player)

Ex. 3 (3:31 - 4:10) - this measure will only be played once in measure 9.  It could be played in measure 12 also but in the video I play triplets on my low E string for measure 12.

Ex. 4 (4:11 - 5:50) - Now let's put it all together to play a 12 bar blues.

12 bar blues in standard music notation

In the last measure the jam track and notation has us playing 1 measure of eighth note triplets on our low E.  Eighth note triplets will put 3 evenly spaced notes in every beat.  So you will play 12 all together.

Learn How To Improvise and Create Great Solos

Join Me for This Free 3 Part Series on Soloing Over the Blues

  • Part 1: What a Pentatonic Scale is and How to Use it
  • Part 2: Turning our Pentatonic Scale into a Blues Scale
  • Part 3: Outlining Chord Changes with Arpeggios
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