How To Play Blues On The Guitar
Once you have finished reading this article, you will know how to play blues guitar. Yes, it is that simple. You just need a bare minimum of guitar technique, some time to practice and a room to play in.
Learning how to play blues on the guitar is often made too complex by guitarists trying to explain their approach to the blues to newbie guitar players. To learn how to play blues guitar is actually quite simple. Some bands have devised complicated arrangements of blues songs, others prefer to stay with the fairly simple way of presenting blues songs. To add to the mix there are also different kinds of blues coming from different parts of America.
Let's look at a blues guitar chord progression. It's a very common progression called the I IV V. The Roman numerals represent the chords of whatever key you are playing in. So if you are playing in the key of A you would be using the chords A, D and E. Just so you understand the process here, if you take the key as a simple octave with the root note, or first note as A, the fourth (IV) note will be D and the fifth note (V) will be E. In blues the seventh chords are used for the IV and V chords, so the chords you will be using will be A, D7 and E7. If you want to play in the key of E your chords will be E A7 and B7.
Next you will need a song to learn how to play blues on the guitar. The twelve bar blues is the most popular and most easily recognized form of blues song and it looks like:
I I I I IV IV I I V IV I I/V
which is just showing you how the music is divided up with the first four bars using the I chord, and so on. The I/V is where you split the last bar into two to serve as an introduction to the next verse.
You need to get the feel of the blues, so even if your chord changes are not up to scratch yet, you can still play the bass notes along with a song or a backing track, so if you are in the key of A you just play the notes: four bars of A, two bars of D, two bars of A, one bar of E, one bar of D, one bar of A and the final bar has two beats of A and two beats of E.
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