Hey guys ive been playing for around 2 1/2 months and now and really enjoying it. Ive been playing whatever easy songs i could find but now im really wanting to learn how to play blues. Im still learining the basics of course but i was wondering if you had any suggestions for me to get into the blues?
I know the Am Blues scale and have tried improving to a blue back track. I really have no idea what im doing i just mess around. Thats about the extent of my blues experience.
Im really just trying to find out what i need to do to start playing blues.
Also if you could suggest some artists to get me into the blues that would be great.

Thanks for the Help
the one real way to learn the blues is if you listen to it and learn from the big guys. get some stevie ray vaughan, bb king, muddy waters, robert johnson, zz top. if you ever have any questions about the blues, feel free to pm me.
Although i believe that he plays a big role in the development not only in making jazz what it is today but blues as well, Miles Davis will be one of my favorite in years to come.

My dad has a CD he gave me 5 years ago when i started playing called, "Blues in all Keys". It was, blues in all keys haha. I just lay down some guitar on a recording program or have my buddy come over to play a 12-bar or something, then i just solo over that. Thinking on your feet and coming up with tasty licks is one thing i really enjoy hearing in blues players. Its easy to get stuck within a pattern, so practice constantly and listen to musicians a broad.

EDIT: Thinking of cool licks requires you to be able to learn by ear as well as looking at the blues scale differently. Learn to jump around, dont just ascend and descend. Chromatics play a big role in the shaping of the sound as well as bending notes. It's really simple to make whatever you are playing extremely boring or totally killer.

P.S. I learned most of my cool licks by listening to Billy Gibbons. That guy goes wonders with the scale and his chromatic work is impressive.
Last edited by dogismycopilot at May 1, 2008,
Cam I've been playing for over 40 years and I still can't play the blues. Ya I can kill all the pentatonics and blues scales. I can play the all the shuffles and 12 bar stuff but I still don't like the way it sounds when I play the blues. Just can't do it.
When you figure it out let me know ok? I'm not trying to be some elitest "blues prick" I just can't do it very well. I listen to all kinds of stuff from Kenny Neal to Sonny Landreth and every thing inbetween. And while I'm listening I'm always thinking "I can do that" and "I can play that" but I've never been able to make it sound the way I want.
Frustrating. Very frustrating.
So I just play the shit outta Rock and Roll.
But man I love listening to the blues.
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Thanks for the help so far.
Im having trouble finding some good backing tracks. Can someone point me in the right direction?
www.guitarbt.com - and go to "Jam Tracks". There are lots that are based on the styles of certain bluesmen.

Remember that most of the blues is feeling what you're playing. Anyone can play a blues scale, but what seperates the great players from those who are just alright is how much you can make the notes mean.

Something I hear from a lot of guitarists is "I love the blues!", but really they don't even listen to any... they just like pentatonic runs. Definitely check out some people like BB King, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson and Blind Lemon Jefferson for inspiration and to get a hold on what the blues is about.
Hey, I'm Mike.
Just listen to as much as you can to learn. Listen to as many types, as many players, as many singers, and learn as much as you can from everything. Howlin Wolf, Muddy Waters, BB King, John Lee Hooker, Earl Hooker, Otis Rush, Hendrix, EC, Bluesbreakers, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac; are the places to start for electric guitar.
I don't think I ever "learnt" to play blues, sure I had lessons, but it wasn't something I'd say I worked towards or trained for in anyway. I do just play. I think it's impossible to learn blues, you have to feel it. The only learning part of blues is your vibrato, tone, scales, chord progs, and bends. That's the only things you can really practice.

I feel like a prick posting this again... But I think this would help you out a lot! I wrote this for a certain thread, and I just keep using it

Ok, first it would be a very, very good idea to learn the basic theory of the blues. Then, once you have that down, try looking at certain songs and you will find that many of these songs use the exact same theory as you just learned.

So it would be really great if you learn the basic spread rhythm that goes I, IV, V. So if you were in E, the I chord would be E obviously, the IV chord would be A, and the V chord would be B. So a basic spread rhythm in E would be:




Now there are many different ways to play a 12 bar progression and this is just one of the ways. This way is Root for 1 bar, IV for 1 bar, root for 2 bars, IV for 2 bars, Root for 2 bars, V for 1 bar, IV for 1 bar, root for 1 bar, and then V for 1 bar.

You can also use this: root for 4 bars, IV for 2 bars, root for 2 bars, IV for 2 bars, than back to the root for 2 more bars. That makes 12 bars.

To get some good bass walking patterns try SRV's Pride And Joy, once you get the hang of this.

Then you should learn the blues scale and the pentatonic scale, this can be found here
and here Get this down! Know these scales by heart, it will help you out a lot when you jam with people or just improvising with a jam track.

Hope that helps you a little bit.

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