How To Play The Blues

author: TheOrgasmatron date: 05/30/2011 category: the basics
rating: 6.1 / votes: 7 
If you want to do a blues shred this lesson will be good, no matter if you're a beginner or an expert. First! Do the following! - Have your guitar tuned to E standard - Make sure you have a guitar Let's learn the A blues scale first! To do this, put your index/pointer finger on the fifth fret on the E string(the biggest string). That note is an A, you can play the 5th fret or just play the A string, the string below it. This would be the scale format on tab.
E------------------------------------------5---8-------------
B-----------------------------------5---8--------------------
G-----------------------------5-7-8--------------------------
D-------------------------5-7--------------------------------
A-------------------5-7-8------------------------------------
E-------------5---8------------------------------------------
The last note, the high 8th fret on the high e string, it isn't an A, normally I use the note for soloing, but my teacher taught me to use that in the scale, the note is optional. Practice going up and down the scale, try improving your speed too, and try doing the scale on different root notes, like the 3rd fret(G), 7th Fret(B), 9th Fret(C#). Now, let's learn the shuffle! Ever heard Van Halen's Ice Cream Man? The song is a basic blues shuffle in the key of A. It's also a basic shuffle exercise for blues beginners, from what my teacher taught me. It's really easy, don't worry!
G---------------------2-4-2-4-2-4-2-4-2-----------------------------------
D--2-4-2-4-2-4-2-4-2-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0----------------------------------
A-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0--------------------2-4-2-4-2-4-2-4-2----------------
E---------------------------------------0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0---------------
Practice that too. Time to get real,chord time! The easiest part of this lesson will be this section of the chords part, the simple A7, D7, E7 chord progression. It's like the shuffle, except in power chord form. This part is really easy! / - Slide Up \ - Slide Down
G-----------------4-2-2-4-4-2-2-4-------------------------------------
D-4-2-2-4-4-2-2-4-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-------------------------------------
A-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-----------------4-2-2-4-4-2-2-4---------------------
E---------------------------------0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-/12\----------------
Another Example:
G---------------------------------4-2-2-4-4-5-5-4-4-2-2-4-4-5-5-4
D-4-2-2-4-4-5-5-4-4-2-2-4-4-5-5-4-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0
A-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0--------------------------------
E----------------------------------------------------------------
 
G-------------------1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-----
D-------------------0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-----
A-4-2-2-4-4-5-5-4-4-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-2-----
E-------------------0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-----
The progression is actually good for blues soloing. It's also known as the 12 bar blues scale Now we're going to learn the full A7,D7,E7 blues chord progression. If you have freakishly long 3 and a half fingers like me you might finger it differently that others. Put your Middle finger on the 2nd fret of the D string, then put your Ring finger on the 2nd fret of the B string. You don't have to finger it like I do, as long as the notes ring out and you play it correctly, it's alright. The chord you just played was a full A7 chord. To play the D7 chord, place your middle finger on the 2 fret of the G string, then put your pointer finger on the first fret of the B string, and then put your ring finger on the 2nd fret of the high E string. To play the E7, place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the A string, then put your pointer finger on the first fret of the G string.
     A7           D7            E7
E|00-00-00-00|22-22-22-22|-00-00-00-00| For the E7, the open B and E are
B|22-22-22-22|11-11-11-11|-00-00-00-00| optional
G|00-00-00-00|22-22-22-22|-11-11-11-11|
D|22-22-22-22|00-00-00-00|-00-00-00-00|
A|00-00-00-00|-----------|-22-22-22-22|
E|-----------|-----------|-00-00-00-00|
Format for 12 bar blues A7 9x D7 8x A7 9x D7 8x A7 18x D7 16x E7 10x --Soloing-- Just improvise using the scale Quick Example / - Slide Up [ - Dive-bomb (If you have a whammy
E-/8-bend-8-8-5-----8-5-----8-5--------------------------------5t8t12t5t8t12
B---------------8-5-----8-5-----8-5-----------------------------------------
G---------------------------------------------------------------------------
D-----------------------------------------------5-7-bend-7777[7]------------
A-----------------------------------------5-7-8-----------------------------
E-------------------------------------5-8--------------------------------[0]
Now you know what there is to know about the blues, now I'm gonna show you a little song I made called, Big Cat, it uses the techniques showed in the lesson / - Slide Up \ - Slide Down h - Hammer-On p - Pull-Off t - Tap b - Bend x - Ghost Note * - Harmonic Note ^ - Scratch [] - Dive-bomb {} - Whammy Intro - Shuffle
G---------------------2-4-5-4-2-4-5-4-2------------------------------------
D--2-4-5-4-2-4-5-4-2-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0--2-4-5-4-2-4-5-4--------------------
A-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0------------------0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0--2-4-5-4-2-4-5-4-2
E--------------------------------------------------------0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-
Main Riff
G-----------------------------2224445554442224445554442
D----22244455544422244455544420000000000000000000000000
A----0000000000000000000000000-------------------------
E^-----------------------------------------------------
 
G---------------------------------------------------
D-2224445554442224445554442-------------------------
A-00000000000000000000000002224445554442224445554442
E--------------------------0000000000000000000000000
--Solo--
E-b8-8888888-12t8t5t3------------12t8t5t15t12t8t5---t5-----t7h8p5h7h8b8
B--------------------------5----------------------t7----t7-------------
G--------------------5-7-8---8-7-----------------5----5----------------
 
E---------------------------------------------------------------
B---------------------------------------------------------------
G---------------------------------------------------------------
D--------------5-7-----7p5h7p5h7p5h7----------------------------
A--------5-6-7-----7-6---------------p7p5h6p5h7p5h8p5h9p5h10t8t5
E-5-7-8---------------------------------------------------------
Play Main Riff Lyrics: There was a big cat His name was Dick Turner He chased rats And was a fast learner He dated a girl Yeah a girl Not A cat Her name was Earl Earl ain't a guy But a hot chick And little ole' Dick Took her to see a flick Is Dick gonna smash tonight? Did Dick ever do it right? The Big Cat strikes again Big Cat For The Win. Repeat the song, except improvise the solos. Chorus
D-4-2-2-4-4-5-5-4-4-2-2-4-4-5-5/12\5
A-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0--0
E-----------------------------------
I hope you learned a lot. Cheers!, TheOrgasmatron, but just call me Mike!
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