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How can you get started with playing the blues?

For a lot of people, playing the blues is a big mystery.


Today, I want to help you unravel this idea, and use it as a way to bond with other people, and even impress others.

For a lot of beginner guitar players, being asked to play the guitar for them is intimidating. You wonder what you should play, maybe you can’t remember the exact chords in a song or the lyrics. You worry about playing something that’s famous, it won’t sound like the actual song.

Playing the blues is a great way of getting around this. The blues is simple, easy to remember. And can be played very early on because it only involves a few chords!

For anyone who worries about playing guitar with other people, you can use this approach too. Suggest playing the blues, and you know exactly what will happen then. And even if you are at different levels of guitar playing. Playing the blues is an easy way for everyone to play together.

Let’s start with what chords you need

Playing the blues, you need 3 main chords. From then on, you can go as fancy as you would like. But for beginners, open chords will do just fine.

  1. The chords are:

  2. A major

  3. D major

  4. E major

The way you play them in blues is through a pattern that repeats over and over again. In general, you have 4 beats in each bar of blues.

| A | A | A | A |

| D | D | A | A |

| E | D | A | E |

Each bar is shown with lines in between  |  |. There are 12 bars, which is why this is commonly known as the 12 bar blues.

For beginners, having 4 beats in a bar, means you have to strum 4 times for each bar. So for example: | A | A | A | A | , there are 4 beats in each bar, and 4 bars altogether, so you would strum for 16 beats for A major.

When you learn the order of the chords, you can play through and keep repeating. If you are playing with someone who is more experienced than you, they can be more creative with chords and solos on top.

For you, it’s important to be good at rhythm and keeping time, because you will be the rhythm guitar player in this instance.

If you are purely playing for demonstration, it still sounds really great on your own. And as your guitar playing gets better, you can add more finesse into your blues. This is what makes playing the blues so great. You can do it as a complete beginner and even as a very advanced player, it’s still a tonne of fun.

I hope this helps you to feel more confident about playing with other people and also on your own as well. Keep practising and you will get it down in no time.

About The Author:


If you are looking for electric or acoustic guitar lessons in London, and wanting something that encourages you to improve your confidence, creativity while having fun. Look no further than Guitar Tuition East London, who helps guitar players from around London with their progress and challenges on the guitar.

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