Easy 12 Bar Blues Guitar Lesson

Whether you are a blues fan or not there is plenty to be learned from a 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

How to Solo over the Blues

The blues is a great place to start improvising and there are many fun options to create interesting solos.

  • Pentatonic Scales
  • Blues Scales
  • Arpeggios
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