Understanding how to craft great chord melodies is an essential skill for the blues guitarist. Playing great solos while simultaneously holding down the accompanying harmony is truly a sign of a sophisticated and seasoned player, both on the gig and at the jam.

These 3 free blues chord melody guitar lessons are from Jason Loughlin’s Take 5: Blues Chord Melody, which is an accelerated curriculum designed to help get your blues chord melody chops up to speed quickly without having to struggle through a lot of tedious theory and exercises.

Blues Chord Melody – Overview

For this etude, we’ll be using blues scale and harmonizing it different ways. No matter how we harmonize, we want to keep the blues scale as the highest note of the voicing. In the etude, the scale is supported by major 6th chords, 13th chords and stack 4ths. Using the augmented sound on V chords and V/V chords will help maintain the overall b3rd or bluesy sound for the etude.

Blues Chord Melody – Performance

Download the tab, notation and jam track for this blues chord melody lesson on TrueFire.

This etude is over a 12-bar blues in A. In the last four bars, we’re playing the V chord for the first two bars. There is no V|IV progression in the last four. The turnaround is I|bIII|II|bII. We’ll be harmonizing each of these chords with Dom 7th shapes. To recap, the last four bars will sound as V|V|I-bIII|II-bII.

Blues Chord Melody – Breakdown

In this breakdown, we’ll go through our study note-by-note looking at how to harmonize the blues scale with major 6th chords, dominant 13th chords, and stacked 4ths.

Dig these free blues chord melody guitar lessons? Check out Jason Loughlin’s full course, Take 5: Blues Chord Melody, for more including tab, notation, and jam tracks!