Hey it’s Nate Savage here and welcome to
video #5 of the Blues Guitar Quick-Start Series. In the last lesson, we went over the most
basic blues riff that you’re going to learn. And in this lesson, I’m going to show you
how to dress that blues riff up a little more to make it a bit more interesting. And this
is a great example of what a little creativity could do for your rhythm blues guitar playing.
Ok, this riff has the same basic structure as the last basic riff that we went over.
But we’re going to add a few notes here and there and a little bit more motion to make
things again a little more interesting sounding. So, we had, again we’re starting off to the
12-bar blues progression so the first four bars are going to be over an E chord, right?
So, the last one we started with just the E power chord. This one’s going to be an E
power chord too but it’s going to be the three note version of an E power chord. So, you’re
going to grab the 2nd fret of the A and D strings with your first finger. And those
are going to be your first 2 eighth notes. With the muting in, remember from the last
lesson, we had the muting. So, do that twice and then you’re going to
keep your index finger where it is. Put your third finger on the 4th fret of the A string.
And play 2 more swung eighth notes with the muting in there, right? Now, leave those two
fingers where they are and come down on the 5th fret of the A string with your pinky and
play 2 more swung eighth notes. Now, take your pinky off, leave your third finger where
it is. And basically, that’s the foundation riff over your E chords so you have 1 and
2 and 3 and 4 and that’s the first measure. After that, you’re going to kind of start
off the same on the next measure. You have 1 and 2 and when you get to the 3rd beat of
measure 2 of the 2nd measure, you’re going to play just a regular E power chord. And
then we have a little tag riff that we’re going to learn here so you have…keep your
index finger on that B note right down the 2nd fret of the A. Play that note with the
upstroke. And then you’re going to come play the 3rd fret of the low E string with your
middle finger, with a downstroke then hammer-on to the 4th fret with your third finger. So,
so far you have… And to finish this little tagline off go back
to the B note on the 2nd fret of the A string with your first finger. So the whole little
tagline is…So up, downstroke, hammer-on, upstroke. So, that takes care of the 2 measures
of E the first 2 measures. So you have… From there, you’re just going to repeat that
entire thing. So, this is a 2 bar riff. So it takes up the first 2 bars of E, the next
2 bar is in this 12-bar blues progression are E too. So you’re just going to repeat
that whole thing. Play the entire riff twice. When we get to bar V, we have to switch to
our IV chord, in this case, it’s an A chord. So, we’re going to apply the exact same idea
but it’s going to be a tiny bit different. I’ll show you what I mean. First of all, you’re
going to play an A, open A chord but you’re going to make it with your index finger across
the D, G and B strings. And this time, we’re going to be strumming the inside four strings
on the guitar. And you’re going to leave both E strings out but for the first eighth note,
you’re going to just play that chord twice just the inside four strings of the guitar.
From there, the shape is a little bit harder but your middle finger is going to come down
on the 3rd fret of the B string and your third finger is going to come down on the 4th fret
of the D string. And that’s going to be your 2 and. So 2 more swung eighth notes here.
From there, leave all three of those fingers where they are come down on the 5th fret of
the D string with your pinky. And that’s going to be your 3 and.
For your 4 and, take your pinky off and play 2 more swung eighth notes. So, that’s
your whole first measure over the IV chord. For the second measure of the IV chord, it’s
going to start off the same way. 2 swung eighth notes for the A then put your second and third
fingers down for 2 and. And then on three, hit just the A. From there, you’re going to
play the little tag riff to finish off this measure of the A chord or the IV chord.
So, for the 2 measures over the IV chord, you’re going to have this. And that’s a lot of information; you’re going to want to take some time to get that under your fingers.
Don’t feel like you have to have it down all on this video but once you get to the next
2 measures you’re going to have your I chord again. So just repeat the same riff but this
time since it’s only 2 bars or 2 measures. You only have to play it once. Next in the 12-bar blues progression is the V chord. And for this riff, I just left this the same. It’s exact same thing as the standard or easy 12-bar blues riff. Just go to a B
power chord for 1 measure and play the riff. From From there, go to the same A chord shape. We have
a IV chord coming up, right? So play 1 measure or what will be the first measure of the riff
over the A chord or the IV chord. Now, we go back to the I chord. So play, just do the
first measure of the I chord riff. Now we’re going to end on the V chords, so go back to
your B power chord and we’re going to start off with the regular V riff or B riff in this
case. But that’s all we’re going to play, so you have 1 and 2 and 3, end on 3 on the
power chord. And then just play the little tag riff again to bring you back around to
the beginning of the progression. And then you start the entire progression over again.
Let me put that all together for you and let you hear what it sounds like over the jam
track. This riff is just a little example of what
you can do when you mess around with the basic blues riff that we learn in the last lesson.
Take some time and experiment with this riff. Once you get it down, you can play it over
the jam track. And see if you can just, you know change a few notes around. Change a few
rhythms up and come up with your own riff too. Pull up the jam track, whichever one
you think suits you best, 70 beats per minute or a 100 beats per minute. Concentrate on
getting this groove down. Concentrate on your timing. The slower one will probably a little
bit harder to fall on the groove with but it would be a little bit easier to keep up
with the notes. The faster one would be a little bit easier to keep up with the groove
but the notes are whizzing by so it would be a little bit of a challenge that way.
Thanks for watching this video. In the next lesson, what we’re going to do is switch our
focus from rhythm blues guitar to lead blues guitar. And you’re going to learn arguably
the most important scale of your guitar career and that’s the blues scale.
So, if you have any questions, you can leave them here in the comments or e-mail me [email protected] I’ll see you.