Tighten Up Your Blues: #7 Blues Rhythm Essentials

Tighten Up Your Blues is a weekly video guitar lesson series by longtime TrueFire educator Jeff McErlain. In this series, Jeff will focus on nuance and all the finer points of touch, feel, and inflection in blues guitar playing. Be sure to subscribe!

Video Guitar Lesson

I have found that people often overlook the basics. It’s so easy to get caught up in more glamorous aspects of guitar playing that we overlook the fundamentals. I see this all the time with students, they can solo well but when I ask them to play the rhythm behind me that’s where is falls apart! I was there as well, I remember those moments distinctly because they lead to some very embarrassing moments. We all need those moments to we see the holes in our playing. I am thankful for them, they make me better player.

Here is a basic blues in A with some very useful variations. I am sure you have heard all of these (or not) but the point of this lesson is to be able to play a blues by yourself with conviction. Pay close attention to time, feel and dynamics. I also suggest you record yourself playing this and listen back. Do you like what you hear? How is the time and feel? This is how we get it together. I can tell you without a doubt this is one of the single most important things you can practice! It will inform everything else you play.

Have fun and I’ll see you in the next installment of Tighten Up Your Blues where I will show you how to add in some fills to your basic blues by yourself.

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