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Play Blues Guitar 1: Quick-Start for Beginners

Learn blues guitar basics with this Blues Learning Path core course.
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Overview

Welcome to Play Blues Guitar 1: Quick-Start for Beginners—the first stop on your TrueFire Learning Path journey toward becoming a solid blues guitar player. If you already know several chords and strumming patterns, and can also play some songs and single note lines, then you're ready to take on this quick-start guitar course. Otherwise, please check out TrueFire's Learn Guitar courses to get a grip on those basic skills.

This Blues Learning Path core course is presented by 3 top TrueFire educators: Jeff McErlain, Corey Congilio, and Jeff Scheetz. They'll guide your development of the essential skills and get up and running quickly—no reading music, no boring exercises, no tedious theory to struggle through. In fact, you'll play your way through the entire course. You'll start off the course learning a classic blues shuffle in the key of A. You'll also learn a 12-bar blues in E that's used in thousands of blues songs. 7th Chords are a blues staple and you'll learn 6 of them and then use those 7th chords in 2 Blues songs. You'll wrap up the course learning a cool blues lick and your first blues turnaround.

The educators demonstrate all of the key examples over jam tracks (where and when applicable) to simulate a real-world application, in a musical context. Key examples are also tabbed and notated for your practice, reference and study purposes. Take as much time as you need to work through each video guitar lesson before moving on to the next lesson. If you want to dig deeper or wider into any of the topics covered in this core course, check out the rest of the courses in the Blues Learning Path where you'll find more examples, techniques and insight from top TrueFire educators. Grab your guitar and let's get started!

About

Learn how to play guitar with free online guitar lessons and interactive video guitar courses at TrueFire, the world's most comprehensive library of guitar video lessons.
Play Blues Guitar 1: Quick-Start for Beginners

01: Play Blues Guitar 1: Quick-Start for Beginners

Welcome to Play Blues Guitar 1: Quick-Start for Beginners - the first stop on your TrueFire Learning Path journey towards becoming a solid blues guitar player. This Blues Learning Path core course is presented by 3 top TrueFire educators: Jeff McErlain, Corey Congilio, and Jeff Scheetz.

2 min
Basic Blues Shuffle - Lesson 1: Demonstration

02: Basic Blues Shuffle - Lesson 1: Demonstration

The open string blues shuffle might be the most iconic "blues sound" there is. Learning this one will instantly give you a "bluesman" button to wear! Take your time with this and make sure you have the timing down.

3 min
Practice Session 1 - Playalong: Slow

03: Practice Session 1 - Playalong: Slow

This Practice Session is slow at 55 BPM. But make sure you can do it cleanly here before you move on.

2 min
Shuffle Variations - Lesson 2: Demonstration

04: Shuffle Variations - Lesson 2: Demonstration

There are several variations here that can be used to spice up the basic blues shuffle riff. Knowing some other ways to play it can help keep you from being bored as well as make it much more interesting for your audience!

3 min
Practice Session 2 - Playalong: Slow

05: Practice Session 2 - Playalong: Slow

In this Practice Session you will be playing along with the instructor. Take your time and don't rush through it. Practice this as many times as you need to before moving on.

1 min
12 Bar Blues Shuffle - Lesson 3: Demonstration

06: 12 Bar Blues Shuffle - Lesson 3: Demonstration

Putting your blues shuffle pattern together in an actual blues progression is the next step. Here you learn the Holy Grail of all blues progressions - the 12-bar blues. Playing this chord progression enough to get it down cold is one of the keys to mastering the blues.

5 min
Practice Session 3 - Playalong: Slow

07: Practice Session 3 - Playalong: Slow

Your instructor will guide you through this Practice Session. Don't move on until you feel like you are locked in with the tempo and are playing it cleanly.

3 min
Practice Session 4 - Playalong: Band

08: Practice Session 4 - Playalong: Band

Let's have some fun! In this Practice Session we jam with the band! Take your time, don't worry about doing it perfectly the first time, just keep going over it until you have it all down smooth. Then you are ready to move on.

3 min
Single Note Blues Riff - Lesson 4: Demonstration

09: Single Note Blues Riff - Lesson 4: Demonstration

Not all songs are built from chords. Some are built from riffs, or basically single note patterns. So the interesting thing is you have to make sure you are playing the notes cleanly and not being sloppy with it in order for it to sound right. Blues rhythm guitar is all about getting the changes smooth!

2 min
Practice Session 5 - Playalong: Slow

10: Practice Session 5 - Playalong: Slow

The key to moving on is repeating this Practice Session until you really have it down.

2 min
Single Note Blues 12 Bar - Lesson 5: Demonstration

11: Single Note Blues 12 Bar - Lesson 5: Demonstration

The cool thing about single note blues riffs is that they are actually "outlining" a chord in some way. Usually emphasizing the notes from the chord in order to be able to play a series of riffs where you could alternately play a chord progression. Here you will put the riffs together into a 12 bar progression.

3 min
Practice Session 6 - Playalong: Slow

12: Practice Session 6 - Playalong: Slow

In this Practice Session you should focus on playing in time, playing it cleanly, and getting all of the movements smooth. Play through it as many times as you need before you move on.

3 min
Practice Session 7 - Playalong: Band

13: Practice Session 7 - Playalong: Band

OK, let's bring the band in. Here is where all that practice pays off. In this Practice Session you just have to lock in with the other instruments and make sure you are staying in the groove.

3 min
E7, A7 & B7 Chords - Lesson 6: Demonstration

14: E7, A7 & B7 Chords - Lesson 6: Demonstration

Playing songs is what we all want to do! So putting together various chords and feels in song structures will help you build both a technique and song repertoire. This E7, A7, and B7 blues will be used many times in your career so get it down and have some fun with it!

5 min
Practice Session 8 - Playalong: Slow

15: Practice Session 8 - Playalong: Slow

This Session is at 60 BPM. Work it as many times as you need before you move on.

3 min
Practice Session 9 - Playalong: Band

16: Practice Session 9 - Playalong: Band

Time to jam with the band! This Practice Session is all about feeling the rhythm. Make sure you do this as many times as you need until you have it down. Then you can move on.

3 min
D7, G7 & A7 Chords - Lesson 7: Demonstration

17: D7, G7 & A7 Chords - Lesson 7: Demonstration

More 7th chords here. The G7 is one that can be a big stretch, but once you get used to it you will be ready for other chords that you will surely run into that will be similar. Pay attention to the feel and tempo of this song, don't get ahead of the beat.

3 min
Practice Session 10 - Playalong: Slow

18: Practice Session 10 - Playalong: Slow

Repetition is the key to getting this down. So do as many reps as you need to before you move on.

3 min
Practice Session 11 - Playalong: Band

19: Practice Session 11 - Playalong: Band

In this Practice Session we are going to play with the band! That is the goal, and here we get to put our playing to the test by keeping up with the band. Repeat this Practice Session as many times as you need to until you have it down.

3 min
Open String Lick - Lesson 8: Demonstration

20: Open String Lick - Lesson 8: Demonstration

Playing solos will cause you to start thinking about moving single note licks around. This lick is a great one to practice on since it uses some open strings like you are used to. Once you have worked on getting the overall lick down, you can go back and fine tune it and make sure it is clean.

3 min
Practice Session 12 - Playalong: Slow

21: Practice Session 12 - Playalong: Slow

Practice with precision. That is how you will get this down. Not rushing through it or losing your focus. Keep your focus on playing this perfectly and with the instructor.

1 min
Turnarounds & Variations - Lesson 9: Demonstration

22: Turnarounds & Variations - Lesson 9: Demonstration

Putting a whole 12-bar blues together with a turnaround and some variations will give you this complete tune. When you can do this you are truly ready to "jam" and can play this one with other musicians. Remember to keep it in time and listen to the jam track to make sure you are feeling the groove.

6 min
Practice Session 13 - Playalong: Slow

23: Practice Session 13 - Playalong: Slow

Remember, if you have trouble at this tempo - you can always go back to the previous Practice Session or Lesson to make sure you have it down.

3 min
Practice Session 14 - Playalong: Band

24: Practice Session 14 - Playalong: Band

Playing with a band is what the ultimate goal is. In this Practice Session you get to do just that! Work on syncing up with the other instruments, become one with the band. Play it as many times as you need and make sure you are in the pocket before you move on.

2 min
PLAY BLUES GUITAR 1 - Wrap Up & Next Steps

25: PLAY BLUES GUITAR 1 - Wrap Up & Next Steps

Congratulations on completing this core course in your learning path! When you're ready to advance your skills further, dive into the next core course in your TrueFire learning path. Practice smart. Play hard!

0 min