How To Play 12 Bar Blues

How To Play 12 Bar Blues

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How To Play 12 Bar Blues - Guitar Tab


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The 12 bar blues is one of the most common blues chord progressions of all time. Learning to play a 12 bar blues is vital if you are going to jam with other musicians or play along to your favorite blues songs. Having this in your bag of blues rhythm guitar tricks will mean you will always be able to jump in at a blues jam and know exactly what to play!

While this is mainly a blues for beginners lesson, there is plenty of information for any level of guitar player. Blues guitar is the foundation for many other styles of music, so getting your blues guitar chops up is vital for all guitar players.

In this lesson I play a 12 bar blues progression, and then explain how the progression is constructed. I explain what a 1-4-5 chord progression is, and how you can use this knowledge to play blues rhythm guitar in any key. This isn't a guitar theory lesson, so I've kept it very simple.

The easiest way to get started with learning the 12-bar blues progression is to keep it simple. Start off by just doing basic strumming of the chords, not trying to get too fancy straight away! That way you can focus on the chords and the order they come up in. The strumming can be added on later.

To make this 12 bar blues chord progression sound a bit more bluesy, we will be playing 7th chords. In the video I show you the exact finger placements of how to play each chord.

As described in the video, the end of the 12 bar blues chord progression can include a turnaround. I have another video that shows you what a turnaround is, and gives you 3 great examples of blues turnarounds that you can use. Check out that video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKdrNBh8WNw

Blues guitar is all about feeling and emotion, even when you are playing rhythm guitar. So make sure you put feeling into every note and chord, make your guitar playing have something to say!


About the Author

Owen Vickers is a professional guitarist and online guitar teacher (exclusively for Guitar Mastery Method). Owen has played and taught guitar for over 25 years. He spends much of his spare time playing many different sports. He currently lives in his home country of New Zealand.