I thought this would be the best place to ask questions about blues guitar. I have tried the search button but so far can't find the answers to all of my questions. Some of you may have seen my posts around here lately .

Anyways here are my questions:

What licks should I learn first? I've been transcribing licks here and there from blues songs I like but I don't feel like I'm getting anywhere. Is there particular step by step approach I should use? Should I start with the three Kings of Blues?

I find that licks by early artists fairly easy to play yet I cannot incorporate them into my playing when improvising. I don't understand how to apply them. Do I focus on a lick and work in different keys with it? Furthermore, since these licks are easy to play I don't feel challenged enough in my playing but I am totally open to investing all of my time studying them if someone could explain to me how they work as a foundation for blues guitar?

EDIT: I do know my pentatonic and blues scales in all 5 positions. And I also know my basic twelve bar. I know basic music theory since I used to play piano. I'm sort of stuck in just how do you fit it all together. I guess what I'm really asking is how *should* you practice blues licks so they become natural and do the early artists lay a good foundation for understanding all blues or can one just start anywhere in the blues timeline (ex. Jimi and Stevie instead of Muddy Waters or B.B King).

I'm sorry if I'm not making myself clear!
Last edited by R0e at Mar 15, 2009,
Start off learning twelve-bar-blues progressions. They are the foundation of a lot of blues songs, particularly in 70's blues-rock. Also, learn a variety of scales. Major and minor scales are a given, as well as both the major pentatonic and the minor pentatonic. Learn the blues scale (which is, in essence, a minor pentatonic). Other than that (after you learn the theory behind the music) my best advice is study techniques/modes/chords used by blues guitarists. My whole harmonic and melodic musical outlook has changed after studying John Mayer's blues and jazz playing for a couple months. I learned how to think outside of the box and go beyond major and minor chords/pentatonic scales.
Only play what you hear. If you don’t hear anything, don’t play anything.
-Chick Corea
Last edited by food1010 at Mar 15, 2009,
learn to shuffle, and solo over the shuffle

freddie king's hideaway is a good thing to learn
Quote by AA00P
Listen to the man, he's Jewish.
Also learn and practice the minor pentatonic scale in the keys of E and A (for a start), you should recognise a lot of standard blues licks in that.

As said above, learn twelve bar progressions as well, you should find that sticking some of the minor pentatonic licks into these progressions sounds good.
I've been imitated so well I've heard people copy my mistakes.
- Jimi Hendrix