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Play Guitar Blues 01

   

01 Slow Blues In A mp3 wma
Time/size: 2 mins 40 secs/3.7mb
Blues jam track: slow blues progression
Backing track instruments: electric rhythm guitar, bass and drums

Suggestions: Use the A Blues Scale. Below is the tab for the A blues scale starting at the 5th position. '5th position' simply means your index finger is at your 5th fret. We are starting on the Root note, the A, and playing 2 octaves of the blues scale as well as adding the flat third or b3 when we play the 8th fret on the high E or 1st string. This is the most common patter for the blues scale.

The A Blues Scale, 5th position.

E|------------------------------------------5--8--
B|-----------------------------------5--8---------
G|-------------------------5--7--8----------------
D|------------------5--7--------------------------
A|--------5--6--7---------------------------------
E|--5--8-------------------------------------------

You'll soon discover as I put up blues scales in more keys that we are using the same patterns just in different positions on the guitar neck. You really don't need to learn a lot of theory or scales to be able to play reasonably well. If you focus on learning the basic patterns you'll find you will be able to play along with a lot of music in a relatively short space of time.

Blues Licks for Slow Blues in A

Here are 4 simple blues licks that use only the notes from the A Blues Scale shown above. Try playing each lick over the entire progression. Notice that when you play the same notes over the different chords the licks sound very different. You can work out different rhythms to play for each lick and vary the notes used to make up your own blues licks.

That's what improvising is all about. Listening to others to get ideas, listening to the music you can sing in your head, emulating those ideas and sounds and then just playing around with them to come up with your own ideas. This is how you build your own sound. It's not a hard process to go through, you just need to spend time on it and be patient. Don't try and rush to get to the next level. Play, play more and play some more. Getting good will happen with practice. If you need to keep your hands on the neck getting good will take care of itself.

...nuff said, it's time to jam!

Blues Lick 1:

E|-------------------------
B|-------------------------
G|-------------------------
D|-------------------------
A|--------5--6--5---------
E|--5--8------------8--5--

Blues Lick 2:

E|--------------------------
B|--------------------------
G|--------------------------
D|----------------------7--
A|--------5--6--5---------
E|--5--8------------8-----

Blues Lick 3:

E|-------------------------
B|-------------------------
G|------------5------------
D|-----5--7------7--5--7--
A|--7----------------------
E|--------------------------

Blues Lick 4:

E|-----------------------5--8--5-----------5--
B|----------------5--8------------------8-----
G|-----5--7--8--------------------------------
D|--7-----------------------------------------
A|--------------------------------------------
E|---------------------------------------------

Albert King & Stevie Ray Vaughan In Session - Matchbox Blues

02 A Shuffle mp3 wma
Time/size: 3 mins 22 secs/4.66mb
Blues jam track: slow blues progression (90 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: hammond, bass and drums
Suggestions: start with an A blues scale with a hard sharp attack.

03 E Straight mp3 wma
Time/size: 3 mins 20 secs/4.61mb
Blues jam track: straight ahead progression (120 bpm)
Backing track instruments: hammond, bass and drums
Suggestions: start with an E blues scale and play around with some hammer ons.

04 Eb Slow Blues (E if you play guitar and tune down 1/2 a step) mp3 wma
Time/size: 7 minutes/9.66mb
Blues jam track: slow blues progression
Backing track instruments: hammond, bass and drums
Suggestions: start with an Eb blues scale and learn to bend hard like Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

05 Ab Shuffle (A if you play gutar and tune down 1/2 a step) mp3 wma
Time/size: 4 mins 30 secs/6.23mb
Blues jam track: mid tempo blues shuffle
Backing track instruments: hammond, bass and drums
Suggestions: start with an A blues scale and try some triads in the soloing.

06 G Medium Blues mp3 wma
Time/size: 3 mins 50 secs/5.29mb
Blues jam track: medium tempo blues progression (80 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: acoustic guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: G blues scale and pay attention to your note choice and phrasing.

07 E Fast Shuffle mp3 wma
Time/size: 3 mins 25 secs/4.72mb
Blues jam track: fast blues shuffle (160 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: Play along with the bass line and in and out of the E Blues scale.

08 A Medium Blues Shuffle mp3 wma
Time/size: 3 mins 17 secs/4.54mb
Blues jam track: laid back shuffle (94 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: acoustic guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: A blues scale. Hammer ons and bends.

A Medium Blues Shuffle Guitar Tab

Below is the guitar tab for the rhythm guitar that is playing for Medium Blues Shuffle. It's fairly straight forward, 2 note chords that shuffle using the Root + 5, Root + 6 and Root + b7 chords.

At the end of each mini-section I'm playing open strings very lightly. I've put specific strings that I'm playing but the fact is I'm just lifting my left hand off the fretboard so it can move to the next chord. While my left hand off the fretboard I'm lightly playing any of the open strings I happen to hit, or brush past, with my pick or fingers. It's more for the rhythmic effect than the notes.

The notes that are being played don't make sense at all - in theory. But in the context of the music it fits a lot better than having a break as I change positions.

This technique keeps the pulse and groove going. I learnt it from Stevie Ray Vaughan and Lightnin' Hopkins. They were absolute masters of it but everyone uses is. Lightnin' Hopkins would use it in a more open dramatic way. Stevie did that too but he was more percussive and rhythmic the way he played it. It's a big part of why his grooves are so definite.

You need to play this really laid back if you want to capture the groove of it. And that non-chord at the end I'm taking about where I take my left hand off the neck is vital if you want to get the whole thing happening. It's all about the feel. Play it laid back but with a solid groove.

It took me a long time to be able to play this type of thing where I was happy with the sound and feel of it. Too many players think it's simple and don't spend time on really getting it down. They seem to think that because they are using basic two-note chords they don't need to work on it. But there is so much more about it than the simplicity of the chords.

It's all about feel. You can't beat feel and groove. It has to come from within and it takes time and soul to get it happening.

Bars 1-2
E|----------------------------------------------------0--
B|----------------------------------------------------0--
G|----------------------------------------------------0--
D|--2--2--4--4--2--2--4--4--2--2--4--4--5--5--4--0--
A|--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--X--
E|----------------------------------------------------X--
Chords
|---A----------------------------------------------------

Bars 3-4 (same as above)
E|----------------------------------------------------0--
B|----------------------------------------------------0--
G|----------------------------------------------------0--
D|--2--2--4--4--2--2--4--4--2--2--4--4--5--5--4--0--
A|--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--X--
E|----------------------------------------------------X--
Chords
|---A----------------------------------------------------

Bars 5-6
E|--------------------------0-------------------------0--
B|--------------------------0-------------------------0--
G|--2--2--4--4--5--5--4--0--2--2--4--4--5--5--4--0--
D|--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--
A|-------------------------X-------------------------X--
E|-------------------------X-------------------------X--
Chords
|---D-----------------------------------------------------

Bars 7-8
E|--------------------------0-------------------------0--
B|--------------------------0-------------------------0--
G|--------------------------0-------------------------0--
D|--2--2--4--4--5--5--4--0--2--2--4--4--5--5--4--0--
A|--0--0--0--0--0--5--0--X--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--X--
E|--------------------------X-------------------------X--
Chords
|---A-----------------------------------------------

Bars 9-10
E|-------------------------X-------------------------0--
B|-------------------------X-------------------------0--
G|-------------------------0--2--2--4--4--5--5--4--0--
D|-------------------------0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--
A|--2--2--4--4--2--2--4--0-------------------------X--
E|--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--X-------------------------X--
Chords
|---E----------------------D-----------------------------

Bars 11-12
E|--------------------------------X--0-----0--0--0--
B|--------------------------------1--0-----0--0--0--
G|--------------------------------2--1-----1--1--0--
D|--2--2--4--4--2--2--4--4--2--3--2-----2--2--0--
A|--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--3--2-----2--2--X--
E|-----------------------------X--1--0-----1--1--X--
Chords
|---A-----------------------------F--E--------------

Gregg Allman - Come And Go Blues

09 A Medium Blues Shuffle Quick Change mp3 wma
Time/size: 3 mins 47 secs/5.22mb
Blues jam track: laid back shuffle (94 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: acoustic guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: This is the same as the above track but with a quick change.
A quick change means the 2nd bar goes to the IV chord instead of staying on the I chord.
You should play the 2 progressions above back to back to get familiar with the quick change.

10 Eb Straight Ahead Blues (E if you play guitar and tune down 1/2 a step) mp3 wma
Time/size: 4 mins 22 secs/6.04mb
Blues jam track: laid back straight ahead boogie (80 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: acoustic guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: Eb blues scale. Play in and out with the rhythm of the track.

11 B Slow Blues (C if you play guitar and tune down 1/2 a step) mp3 wma
Time/size: 4 mins 54 secs/6.77mb
Blues jam track: slow blues (100 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: acoustic guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: Listen to Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan and the way they bent notes.

 

Stevie Ray Vaughan - Interview with Rude Mood Played Solo and More

Rude Mood was recorded on Stevie's album Texas Flood. If you haven't really got into Stevie Ray Vaughan then go get a copy of Texas Flood, it will blow you away! The entire album is incredible, but Rude Mood take the cake. Note so much for the speed that it's being played, but the technique behind it that maintains soul, groove and feel. And then there is the track Lenny, which is an instrumental at the end of the album that uses beautifully 6th and 9th chords that SRV learned to play from listening to Hendrix. If you want to know what the blues is about then you need to listen to SRV and then find out who his influences were. Then you'll really start to delve deep into the spirit of blues guitar. Stevie Rave On!

Play Blues Guitar

The jam tracks on play guitar blues page are mostly made up of straight forward blues progressions in the more common blues keys. Some of the backing tracks have been recorded in Eb and Ab, mainly because so many blues guitar players tune their guitars down half a step. If you don't tune your guitar down half a step then just play them in the keys they are in. i.e. Eb and Ab.

When you are learning to play guitar you should play in as many different key signatures as possible. Even if you are an experienced guitar player, playing in keys you aren't familiar with will get you out of your comfort zone and make you play in different places on the neck. This will help you come up with new riffs and licks and will help make learning guitar fresh.

With each of the blues guitar tracks below you can start playing along with the standard blues scale for each key.

Over the coming weeks I'm going to start adding some tab to go along with the suggestions below and expand on each track with some guitar licks and some music theory.

Most importantly of all - this is the blues, it's about feeling. Listen to the music you can hear in your head and try and play that on the guitar. The real deal is to play the blues from your heart and soul.

...nuff said - it's time to jam!

More Guitar Jam Tracks

Below are the links to jam tracks in 7 different styles of music along with music theory, scales and more along the way.

Play Guitar Blues 01 Play Guitar Rock 01 Play Guitar Jazz 01
Play Guitar Blues 02 Play Guitar Rock 02 Play Guitar Reggae 01
Play Guitar Blues 03 Play Guitar Metal 01 Play Guitar Odd Meters
Play Guitar Blues 04 Play Guitar Funk 01 Play Guitar Modes
Play Guitar Blues 05 Play Guitar Funk 02  
Play Guitar Country 01    
All the backing tracks above on one page without the music theory:
83 Jam Tracks for Guitar    

There are also links to over 30 more jam tracks on the free jam tracks home page under the headings:

Solo Acoustic Jam Tracks
Pages of Guitar Insanity
Jam and Backing Tracks - All Instruments

Jam on!

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