Mastering Blues Guitar: Exploring Key Elements of Blues Guitar Playing
Many people set out to mastering Blues guitar once they realize that much of Rock music has its roots in the Blues. As Jack White — best known for his work with the White Stripes — put it in the recent guitar documentary “It Might Get Loud:”
The Blues is a musical style established by working people. In the American South, it evolved out of work marches. People would carry on working an eight-hour shift and then go to the bar or another restaurant where they would play work songs. Everyone would join in, and soon enough, people were up on stage singing, with audiences delighted.
Many people credit the Blues with the explosion of Rock n’ Roll.
Therefore, it’s not surprising that people would want to learn the Blues. Despite it being such an important part of music history, many people don’t do enough to really learn it.
However, one of the things that guitar players of all levels need to understand is the importance of understanding the chord structure of the Blues. Without this, it’s very hard to jam with other musicians, which is (as we observed earlier) important for beginners, as well as more advanced players.
Understanding the Blues Quickly:
Step 1. Have an understanding of the 12-bar blues, starting with the root chord and proceeding to the IV, V, and I progression.
Step 2. Pick a key to play in, and search for the I, IV, and V chords in that key.
Step 3. Isolate the tune, identify the chords, and listen to the rhythm if it’s a two-chord song, play the basic chords (I, IV, and V) and if it’s a four-chord song, add in the I, IV, and V chords.
Step 4. Invert the chord sequence, i.e. play I, IV, V in the key of F.
Tip: The first chord in any song is always the root chord. This is simply because it’s the easiest chord to form and improvise upon.
Step 5. extend the playing length of the I, IV, and V chords. This will allow more time for harmonic development and will result in a more interesting song.
The I, IV, and V chords set the tempo for the rest of the chords, and these are the fundamentals of an I, IV, V Blues progression.
The I, IV, and V chords set the tempo for the rest of the chords, and these are the fundamentals of an I, IV, V Blues progression. More discussion on this subject about the blues progression and the I, IV, and V chords are given in the DVD “The Blues Beats”.
Within the key of C, you can play the I, IV and V chords of the key of C with fingers. This is known as a CAGED method. Practice these chords quickly, practicing one chord change after another. This is the secret to playing great-sounding guitar. It will allow you to master the 12-bar blues, which is the basic progression of most blues songs.
With CAGED, you can form the chord progression for anything. This secret is easy to learn but will set you up for longevity.
Blues Chord Progressions:
1.Learn the I, IV and V chords of the key of C.
2.Know how to play all the different variations of a C chord.
3.Practice G, Em and D, the different chords that you can form from these.
4.By this point, you know that the Blues I, IV and V chords are all major chords.
5.Now you can form the blues I, IV and V chords from the major chords.
generated in C
intermediates and inversions of the C triads (C6, C7 and C11)
Blues I, IV and V chords progression:
C6 | C7 | C11 | F6 | F7
The structure of the blues I, IV and V chords is: I (I7), IV (IV7), I (I7), V (V7)
ol’ fashion ’til I die:
C6, C7 and C11 are the three blues I, IV and V chords. The other two are F6, F7 and C11. Practice changing between these chords.
Blues Guitar Licks: Why Blues Music Is Dark And Mean:
The meaning of Blues music and how it has impacted our culture can be various. One of the reasons why the Blues differs from the other is that it is more melancholic. This means that the Licks will reflect a certain mood of the Song, whether it is happy or sad.