How To Play Blues Guitar
How To Play Blues Guitar
Videojug helps you learn how to play the blues guitar rather easily. Listen as Richie Burrell shows you the chords.
There are very many blues songs, and quite a lot of it use this structure. It's called the 12 bar structure, that's why you hear this phrase the 12 bar blues. The reason it's called the 12 bar structure is because it has 12 bars of music in it.
So, basically, what this means is you start with chord 1 with any given key and you play it for 4 bars, then you go to chord 4 for 2 bars, then back to 1 for 2. And you go to chord 5 of the key, chord 4, chord 1, and usually, you turn around at chord 5, see double bar lines every two dots, and go back to where you saw two dots and do it all again. The use of this is its simplicity, everybody recognizes the changes, basically, you know they're going to be repeated, so you know where the tune is going, and once you know the key of the tune, you can play, based on that key, with some blue notes in it, and whatever you do, you're going to sound good.
The other thing about the blues genres, despite the fact that they're on A chord all the time, they're not going to just go playing A, what they try to do is try to instill a sense of movement. So what that usually means is that you'll hear the root notes of the chord, and the fifth, and then they'll alternate between that and the sixth, so you'll get this sound. So we've got the fifth there and we're going to aim for the sixth.
We're going to go five, five, six, five, just like East Enders but we don't want to play that, so what we're going to do is this. Time for change, so we go to the next chord which is chord 4, so we got that major again, and found out where the fourth note is, so that's my root notes, I'm going to do a D chord. I'm going to do that same pattern fifth, and with the sixth, dump four bars of chord 1, dump two bars of chord 4 and now, we got back to chord 1 again.
Here's chord 1 again. Going up to chord 5 now, so I'll show you where that is on the scale. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 – we're going to use that as our root note.
Then we go down to chord 4 and then we go back to chord 1. And now, we're going to turn around, so we're going to get a start again, but we want to feel like we got some sort of juncture where everyone can tell that we've reached the end, so we use chord 5 for that. Chord 5 is our sort of sign post, if you'd like.
Sometimes, they call it a structural marker. So, now, I'll play the whole thing through once. Chord 1.
You can recognise that probably. The useful thing about that is that once you know what key you're in, and in this case, I started at an A, so that's my key, then you can use the following scale to play in a blue-like fashion. You use the root note as your starting point, you get a flattened third, a fourth, a fifth, a flattened seventh, and then the octave.
And from that, you can create through all those changes. Sometimes, I also put in a flattened fifth. So you're never going to play that scale in that fashion, you're going to mess it up and mess up the rhythm of it, and basically, you can do that all day long, and you're still going to sound good. And that's how to play the blues! .