Hello, so I'm a beginner acoustic guitar player and have recently started looking at the 12- bar blues. This is probably a silly question; when playing do I keep my fingers positioned on one of the three chords,(let's say the song is in the key of G) at ALL TIMES even though the note(s) are not part of either of the three chords (in this case G, C or D)?

Let's say that I'm playing in the first position, in the key of G and just looking at the first half of the measure:

The first half of the measure consists of:
- 4 eighth notes... G(3rd string) G(3rd string) B(2nd string) B (2nd string) respectively

**** The G note(3rd string 2nd fret) is not part of the G chord, but would I position my hand position on the G chord EXCEPT for my 2nd finger as I would have it on the G note? And then once the first 4 measures are over and I switch to the C chord, would I the position my hand on the C chord?
I'm not too sure on what you're trying to get at here, but here's a few basic blues stuff that might help;

First of all, the common 12-bar blues is based around 3 chords, I IV V. This means that we take the first, fourth and fifth chord of a major scale, for example in G it would be G, C and D, or in C we would have C F and G. you can play these chords as they are or you can add on some notes on top and make them into Dominant 7th chords (if you wish)

A very common progression I teach to, beginners/intermediate players uses these chords;

A7 D7 E7


These are the 3 chords you can use in A blues for example.

Also you can play a sort of blues shuffles that you hear in loads of rock n roll, blues etc...

this uses power chords (Power 5th) with a 6th.


E---3--3---3---3---3---3 etc..---------------------
A---5--5---7---7---5---5 etc..--------------------
D----------------------------------3--3--3--3 etc.. --5--5--5--5 etc..
G----------------------------------5--5--7--7 etc.. --7--7--9--9 etc..

Put it into the format of a 12-bar which would be;

| I / / /| I / / /| I / / /| I / / /| IV / / /| IV / / /| I / / /| I / / /| V / / /| IV / / /| I / / /| V / / / /|

I hope that helps a bit
Last edited by JNBloomy at Apr 19, 2014,
Although the beginner may well just hold the chord position through each measure, soon you'll want to branch out a bit.
First, learn the very basic "color" techniques like hammer-ons and pull-offs, and little string bends.
Then, bass runs to move from chord to chord. When you get to feeling frisky, you'll start working in little single-note runs and "licks" in the middle of measures.
Blues playing is full of this sort of things; little rhythmic figures and "turnarounds" and such which add color to the tune.