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Blues Guitar Chords and Rhythm.

My favorite chords are blues chords. While some of them may be a little more complicated, you can really get a groove going with them. Here are five common blues chords:

O= Play string.

X= Don't play string.

You may have noticed that all of them have the same name tag of seven. These are known as dominant seventh chords. They sound great when played together and give you plenty of possibilities. You can also play a G7 chord by moving your finger from the third fret to the first fret on the high E string. It will require you to change your fingering. Strumming patterns for blues are usually fast paced. In order to do this, we keep things simple and rhythmic. Here is a great strumming pattern to learn:

Down Down Up Up Down

Switch things up a bit and try switching the up and down strums. Keep practicing them and you'll be well on your way. You'll find that I used a lot of rest in-between chords. These little pauses can be done by moving your fingers slightly off the fretboard and discontinue strumming at the same time. You can stop strumming for that brief moment and pick right back up again without breaking the pattern.

This will be challenging at first but you will soon grow into it. In musical language, it can be described as a "shuffle" feel.


How to Play Blues Guitar Free Online Guitar Lessons : Blues Shuffle and Turnaround

Soloing Strategies

When playing blues, you may encounter a problem where everything you play begins to sound the same. You may find that you continually revert back to what you know. In other words, you're playing in a box. Here are some helpful hints to help you avoid this problem.

First things first, get yourself some blues backing tracks for guitar. You can get professional tracks from companies such as 50Blues. With the backing tracks, begin by playing short bursts of music that last for roughly 10 seconds. These short "bursts" should sound like a solo. Vary the tempo and the pause time in between these short rests.

Secondly, try key changes. Move into a new key and incorporate the techniques that you are already familiar with. Use dynamics. Going from something soft to something hard really has a great effect and will train your mind to think outside of the box. I also suggest that you learn how to play 16th notes and 32nd notes in rapid succession so you will be as equally equipped to play the fast notes as you are the slow notes.

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Focus in on your right hand and insure that you give it a good work out everyday by using alternative picking and rapid picking techniques. I urge you to focus in on that last tip. Stop looking at your left and right hand as two separate entities. Rather, look at them as one. You may notice that when you strum hard with your right hand, your left hand becomes tense even though it's just holding a simple chord.

A problem like that can lead to serious health problems in the future such as carpal tunnel syndrome. To avoid that, practice playing with your left hand relaxed while your right hand strums. This will also increase speed and help you to add texture to your blues solos.

Article Copyrighted to Zack Roberts - 50Blues . No part may be reprinted without permission.

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Easy Blues Guitar Scales for Blues Musicians

Come and join us as we take a look into what makes up a blues scale, and as we examine in depth the benefits of using blues backing tracks to perfect and hone our knowledge and skill for playing the blues.

One of the most passionate forms of music that is played on the guitar is blues music. Blues guitarists seem to bleed out their emotions through their fingertips, and weave a soul-bearing story using six strings. Many individuals who fall in love with playing the guitar soon fall in love with blues music, if they weren’t already infatuated with it before.

One of the key elements to learning how to play blues music is learning the scales and chords that make up the foundation of what blues music is. There are a lot of different kinds of blues music and different styles within that genre that you can learn, so it’s important to just start with the basic simple chords and scales and work your way up to the more complex ones.

 
Eric Clapton Blues Guitarist - Tears in Heaven Live Performance

The basic blues scale is a pentatonic minor scale, but it has one additional note than the regular pentatonic minor scale. It’s this additional note that gives the needed amount of tension to create the signature blues sound. The scale consists of six different note names, but when you actually play the blues scale you will play all the places for those note names within that specific position.

Once you learn that particular scale, you are now ready to master the timing, structure, and improvisational aspects of blues music. This is best accomplished by playing along with blues backing tracks. Practicing along to blues backing tracks is like practicing along with an entire blues band accompanying you. There are a lot of benefits that can come from using blues guitar backing tracks to improve your practice time.

One of the benefits to using blues backing tracks to perfect your skills is it helps you to understand structure and how the scale fits in with the rhythm section. By playing along with blues backing tracks, you’ll be able to combine the knowledge you have of the scale and apply what you’ve learned about music theory.

Another great benefit of blues backing tracks is the fact that it is a powerful weapon in mastering one of the trickiest parts of playing the blues, and that would be improvisation. With these guitar backing tracks you have the freedom to improvise a hot lead solo based on your knowledge of the scale and your own creativity. Improvisation is an important technique, one that is crucial for the blues guitarist to flourish in, especially during a live performance, which these tracks are also good for as well.

Article Copyrighted to Zack Roberts - 50Blues . No part may be reprinted without permission.

 

Mastering The Blues Scales - Slowhand Blues

The slowhand blues is the most prominent technique that makes blues music what it is today. Mastering the slowhand blues will require time, effort and focus and above all in-depth understanding of the different blues scales and the blues notes.

Defining blues is not the easiest of things and playing it is a different ball game. There are plenty of great players and people in the blues hall of fame to learn from. The fact of the matter is that if you are able to master slowhand blues then who knows you might be able to come out with a solo that will take you to the hall of fame too. But then that’s just a thought right now. The focus should be on mastering the blues scale and creating a blues backing track so that you can practice playing solo using that.

When we talk about blues, you need to first learn to differentiate between different guitar techniques. You may be able to do impossibly fast runs or stretch your fingers far on the fretboard to play multiple notes but that’s not what blues is all about. There is a degree of emotion and feeling that comes with the blues scale and has been well rendered by the likes of BB King, Albert King and Eric Clapton. Eric Clapton is one of the greats who is so versatile that he can play almost all the guitar styles including acoustic or unplugged, electric, slide, fingerpicking, open tunings, among many others but his real root lies in playing slowhand blues.

Starting with Slowhand Blues

Where do you actually start from especially for mastering the slowhand blues? Tough question really but it depends on quite a few elements like personal influences, the specific key, finger size and special patterns also called boxes. Each box has the notes of an octave in an arrangement that will be easy to play. Once you are comfortable with the boxes, it will help you to play with a blues backing track. The boxes or patterns mostly highlight the places where you can bend an important note with your index finger. One of the best ways of mastering the slowhand blues is by spending more time in researching various positions that will help you to play your strings better. Here is an example of a slowhand Blues scale: The A Blues note

I---8---10--I
I---8---10--I
I-7-8-9-----I
I-----------I
I-----------I
I-----------I

The E minor Blues scale will look like the following:

I-------------------------0-3-I
I---------------------0-3-----I
I---------------0-2-3---------I
I-----------0-2---------------I
I-----0-1-2-------------------I
I-0-3-------------------------I

The E minor pentatonic scale will be like:

I-------------------------------------12-15-I
I-------------------------------12-15-------I
I----------------------12-14-15-------------I
I----------------12-14----------------------I
I-------12-13-14----------------------------I
I-12-15-------------------------------------I

A I-----0-2-----------------I
E I-0-3---------------------I

You will have to start with an open E-string and when you reach the D-string, go onto the 2nd fret, which is also an E. You need to play both the notes simultaneously so that you can hear it. To make it easier, download some of the blues backing track for the same and practice with it. One more important thing: Never download any midis of blues backing track as it will not help you to understand the scales and the changes.

Article Copyrighted to Zack Roberts - 50Blues . No part may be reprinted without permission.

 

Stevie Ray Vaughan Blues Style Guitar Lesson - Playing a blues guitar lick in the style of SRV

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Using Blues Scales To Master Guitar Playing

Mastering the guitar is like taming a large bull but once you have understood it, you can play almost anything and play sensational blues riffs and licks.

The great thing about creating your own blues backing tracks is that when you need to reflect back and play a solo then, it will come in handy. On the lighter side of, it will save you the cost and the headache of arranging for a band meet up.

The last stage of mastering the blues guitar is playing solo and it is probably one of the toughest stages. Having a great blues backing track to back you up helps immensely when you are practicing a solo. While playing a blues guitar solo, you need to always know the various notes that you can play and a set of notes is known as a scale. The most important thing about playing a solo in blues is that the scales had better fit into the song as well as the chords. There are several scales and different modes that you can start practising in order to mastering blues guitar. Scales and modes include major and minor scales; melodic/ natural/harmonic scales, lydian, dorian, mixolydian, phrygian and aeolian modes. A thorough understanding of the various scales and modes will assist you to not only master the blues playing technique but also help you to improvise licks and riffs over blues backing tracks.

The Pentatonic Scale

One of the scales that will help you to really master the blues guitar and help you to play a solo and define blues backing tracks is the pentatonic scale. The name pentatonic scale has been derived from the fact that it contains 5 different notes. You can start by playing the minor pentatonic scale in E instead of the major pentatonic scale, which is played mostly for rock. You need to start from the E Key as all the open strings are on this scale. Here’s an example:

E I---------------------0-3-I
B I-----------------0-3-----I
G I-------------0-2---------I
D I---------0-2-------------I

Once you practice this, you can move on to the next stage that involves getting the typical sound of the Blues using the Blue note also known as the diminished fifth. Some of the other blues notes that you can work on for mastering blues guitar and creating your own blues backing tracks are the diminished 7th and the 3rd. You can also play general notes at a much lower pitch than you would normally play a major scale. Another note that you need to focus on is the diminished (flat) third, which is more commonly played in classical music and in Blues music, this note is normally in a bend form of a minor note that can be converted into the major note.

The diminished (flat) seventh is also used extensively for creating blues backing tracks and is an essential part of the dominant 7th chord, which will take you back to the root note. These are some of the notes and scales that will help you in mastering blues guitar and also give a solo performance – on stage – absolutely live!!

Article Copyrighted to Zack Roberts - 50Blues . No part may be reprinted without permission.

 
B. B. King & Eric Clapton - The Thrill Is Gone Live Guitar Performance


Great Way To Play The Blues Guitar -
Blues You Can Use

Join me as I examine the joys of blues guitar and the major influence it has had on modern day music. Learn how to make your guitar sing out what you're feeling. Learn how to play with blues rhythm and try out some new chords and strumming patterns.

Blues - Soul Food

Blues guitar music is one of the most intriguing and fascinating music genre that is out there. It features a colourful history, interesting people and a way of expressing feelings unlike any other style of music. In essence, blues tells a story of one's life experiences and has diverse themes ranging from travel to modern day events.

Blues isn't as decorated as other genres of music. It is raw and uncensored and as far as the guitar is concerned, one of the finest venues to let your creativity soar. You will not be criticised for your technique here, instead, you will be complimented for your ingenuity. Within the realm of blues guitar, there are many different sub-specialties. There is delta blues and many more

A lot of blues guitarists fail to understand is that legendary players such as BB King, Albert King, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton were all blues players. Many of their songs were inspired by blues and produced a completely original and new generation of pumped up guitarists. Unfortunately, a lot people fail to arrive at that association and blues is oftentimes underrated by aspiring guitarists. The reality is that blues is only what you make it.

While I respect and understand those who decide not to play blues, I have little tolerance for ignorance. You have heard it said over and over again that blues has always been the cornerstone for many of your favourite styles that you love today. Blues lead guitar playing uses a multifaceted approach that is established upon smooth bends, hammer on's, pull off's and many other standard techniques. The way they are ultimately played and delivered is what sets blues apart. First off, blues rarely, if ever, follows a single one set rule.

However, there are numerous approach patterns that have made blues famous. You can branch out from these patterns into your own unique style. Ultimately, you can make anything sound bluesy with some simple scales. There are various kinds of blues scales. Many are derived from the pentatonic scale. However, a true blues scale has what is called a blue note. A blues note means a drop in pitch located on the 3rd, 5th, or 7th tone of the scale. If this flatted note isn't included in the key signature, an accidental will be used to tell you to play that note as a flat.

That scratches the tip of blues scales and there are many other variations. I encourage you to go to your local store to buy a scale book to hone your skills and see the other blues scales available. I will also encourage you to purchase professional blues guitar backing tracks to take your blues playing to the next level.


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