Blues Play the blues

Scale to play the blues

Video guitar blues N°1 – The scale for beginners alternating notes.
Note N°1 on the 8th fret (E string).

Video guitar blues N°2 – Another position of the C scale:
first C starting on 5th string 3rd fret (A string) with a small rif.

Video guitar blues N°3 – Blues tricks in D scale !

REMINDER : the first string is the thinnest = Mid,
the 6th is the largest E (bottom of the diagram).

Two ways to play the note N°4:
– with the index without effect (red),
– with the major pulling the note on fret 3 (green),
to rise the note one semitone = sound of the note N°4.
Two ways to play the note N°10:
– with the little finger : no effect (yellow),
– with the ring finger by pulling the note on fret 9 (blue),
to rise the note one semitone = sound of the note N°10.

video guitar blues scale
Important: to play with the VIDEO guitar blues: Rock me Baby ► note N°1 starts with the 8th fret (E string BIG).

Playing without the video?

Rock Me Baby

Learning the twelve bar blues

A simple framework for understanding its structure,
each chord is a measure of 4 beats (counted one, two, three, four).

Chord 1Chord 1Chord 1Chord 1
Chord 2chord 2Chord 1Chord 1
Chord 3chord 2Chord 1Chord 3

Note: These twelve measures are grouped into four measures 3 times.

The high line = four measures of the first chord.
The middle line = two measures of the second , then the first two measures.
The bottom line = a summary of closure: it begins with the second and third chord and the first chord, the twelfth measure calls the third and final chord.

And then ? … It starts again!

Exercise begining with E : 1st chord = E  |  2nd chord = A | 3rd chord = B7
Exercise beginning with C : 1st chord = C  | 2nd chord = F  | 3rd chord = G7


The two seventh chords most commonly used

accord de septième C7. We only play four notes (to use for the first chord) down 2 frets D7 we get (still down 2 frets = E7 etc … )

accord barré de septièmeF7. This bar chord starts at the top of the guitar neck F7 first fret down 2 frets we get G7 (in the third fret). You can play six notes (Use for the second and third chords in our example).
Both chords can be moved by keeping gaps frets: to play in all keys.


Let’s try to play  3 chords with this music!

video guitar blues C7 chord 1st = C7 chordvideo guitar blues F7 chord  2nd chord = F7 video guitar blues G7 chord 3rd chord = G7

Need more chords? ► click Here

Which chords to play the blues ?

The chords are seventh e.g. C7 – F7 – G7,
chord between the first and the second chord is an interval of fourth,
chord between the first and third is an interval of fifth.
NB: intervals always follow the progression: A B C D E F G etc …
and this starting any note of the scale.

If your chord is A your second chord is D = fourth (starting from A).
Example: A(1) B(2) C(3) D(4). D = fourth.
If your chord is A your third chord is E = fifth (starting from A).
Example: A(1) B(2) C(3) D(4) E(5). E = fifth.

Conclusion :
The three chords of blues are always:
A7 D7 E7 if the first chord is A.
B7 E7 F#7 if the first chord is B
C7 F7 G7 if the first chord is C (see the example)
D7 G7 A7 if the first chord is D .
E7 A7 B7 if the first chord is E
F7 Bb7 C7 if the first chord is F
G7 C7 D7 if the first chord is G

Want to see other scales like Pentatonics? ►

Origin of the “blues”

The blues of Mali

Certainly the origin of the blues as we know it today. It also plays well as binary or ternary measures 2, 3 or 4 beats. The blues is based on pentatonic scale. Its particularity ? It is a tonal music, e.g. there is usually no chord or a single chord, neither major nor minor, consisting of tonic octaves and fifths notes…… READ MORE