The first thing you will hear when you learn blues guitar chords and about the 12 bar blues, 8 bar blues and 16 bar blues, though 12 bar blues is the most popular. This article reveals some important tools needed to conquer blues guitar.
All of them use three primary dominant seventh chords. 12-bar blues has 12 measures composed as follows: 1st measure = I chord; 2nd measure = I or IV chord; 3rd and 4th measure = I chord; 5th and 6th measure = IV chord; 7th and 8th measure = I chord; 9th measure = V chord; 10th measure = IV or V chord; 11th measure = I chord and the 12th measure is the V chord which takes you to the beginning of the next chorus. You need to know this theory to learn blues guitar chords.
When you learn blues guitar, the same tune can be played over and over in a variety of styles and sound great. Much of your creativity in doing this will depend on your ‘comping’ pattern and it is a good idea to stick to the one you feel comfortable with.
What Techniques Do You Need When You Learn Blues Guitar?
There are certain blues techniques that will help tremendously when you learn blues guitar. Some of these are vibrato, string bending, slides, hammer-on, pull-offs, slapping, etc. If you play the blues on an electric guitar, the techniques are very different from the classical method of playing. Unlike the blues, the classical method uses only one type of vibrato and plenty of barre chords without much string bending. Let us take a look at the important techniques you need to master when you learn blues guitar:
Of all the blues techniques, the vibrato is the most intense. You can actually play a short solo with a single note. Vibrato is a technique where you change the pitch of a note from lower to higher and back again controlling string tension.
Ah, one of my favourites and is also an essential technique for blues guitar. As the name implies, string bending involves bending the string up or down to get a different tone pitch. You can get quartertone, half tone, and full tone string bending. Getting the right one as you play is crucial.
A slide involves changing tone by pressing down the string, picking a tone and moving the finger upward or downward between two frets without picking the string.
If you play acoustic blues guitar, this technique sounds great. You lift the string with your thumb and index finger or a pick and allow it to slap the fretboard for a drum-like sound.
A pull off is when you pick a string at the first fret and move your finger up or down fast for the tone of the open string. This is especially useful when you learn blues guitar to play rhythm or solo. You have to be cautious when you play electric guitar and use this technique since your strings can ring even when you don’t pick them because of your amp.
Blues Guitar Scales
Blues guitar scales are easy to learn but very difficult to become an expert at. The minor blues guitar scale is like the minor pentatonic scale but with a flat fifth, which has a unique tone. This is also called the blue note and is used in all kinds of music. Blues guitar scales work very well when you use the bending or slide technique when you play. Combined with blues chords, and the techniques described above, you can learn blues guitar, experimenting with various melodies as you go.
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