How to Play Blues – 12 Bar Blues Guitar
The blues is a great genre for guitarists to learn to play because it is easy to get started and you can end up playing great music. The blues has been around for hundreds of years and although it can be heard in the music of many different people and styles it is still a popular form of music so it’s a great idea to learn.
When you think about other forms of music, such as rock and jazz, they all start with a blues tune or phrase. The blues has also influenced many other genres of music, such as R&B and Hip Hop.
Here are some tips to get you started in the blues.
- Learn to play guitar – this sounds obvious but I still see people who don’t learn to play guitar when they’re first starting to learn. You need the guitar to play the blues and if you don’t want to wait to the point where you can play, get a guitar and get started.
- Play the blues scale – this is one of the starting points when you think about learning the blues. Most guitarists will tell you to learn the minor pentatonic scale to start because it has a blues feel to it. However, the blues is more complicated than a simple five note scale. To really get into the blues you need to learn the blues scale. Start by getting some tablature of the blues scale and practice it on the guitar.
- Learn some blues licks – you can get a lot of licks from famous guitarists because they’re great at playing the blues. You’ll find some guitarists who will teach you a few licks and you should make sure that you take your time with the playing. You can get a lot of practice from just listening to some licks.
- Listen to the blues – if you want to get into playing blues guitar, listening to the music will do a lot for you. Listen to some solos from figures such as BB King and Eric Clapton, Robert Cray and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and you should be able to get a feel for the playing and the phrasing. You’ll probably pick up a few riffs that you can use, knowing that they’re fairly basic because they’re based on the blues scale.
- Get some guitar tricks – the same thing that you learn from listening to and playing solos is another thing that you should get into. Techniques such as string skipping, vibrato and the Rolling Stones technique (the same thing goes for you guitar hero, your blues hero) are all great basic techniques that you should make use of. These are some of the most important things that you should learn when you’re learning how to play blues guitar, and will help you become a better player in the long run.
I hope this article has helped you understand what you need to do to learn how to play blues guitar. We discussed the importance of listening to blues music, the importance of guitar techniques, and the idea of getting as much practice as possible. Listening to music may seem like a boring practice, but you need to make sure you do it every day.
If you’re interested in learning how to play blues guitar, I recommend getting one of the leading online blues guitar courses. These courses are affordable and the best way to learn, mainly because you can choose what time you want to learn and what you want to learn at that time. You can get a beginner’s course for under $40, and you can progress at your own pace. However, most of these courses are geared towards intermediate and advanced players, so you could still benefit from a blues guitar course taught by an expert.
Remember that learning the blues isn’t just about guitar technique. Listening to the blues and learning their sound is very important, but you should also develop your own style. The basic techniques such as string bending and vibrato are all simple techniques that you should learn. These should be staples of your playing style.
However, getting help can sometimes feel like a chore, and some people feel like they’re progressing faster by themselves, without any instruction. This is normal, and in fact, you’ll probably notice a big difference in yourself by going the self-taught route. However, if you have some experience under your belt, it can help you smoothen your playing and learn to play the blues better.
Conversely, if you don’t have any training at all, don’t worry! Not having a guitar, guidance or musical theory can actually hinder your progress as a blues guitarist. These things can be overcome, though, through regular practice and following advice.
Playing blues guitar can be fun and rewarding! Remember that the simple act of playing a few guitar chords can build confidence and ultimate technique! Don’t let your first efforts be a disaster!
No matter what methods you choose, make sure you stick with it.