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B Blues Rhythm & Lead Series 4

Plus 11,000 More Guitar Lessons.

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In this tutorial we will learn to play a basic 12 bar blues in B major in an early rock and roll style that was heavily influenced by the blues and that combines and alternates between power chords and basic, beginner lead fills.

The end goal is to play this riff and fill using eighth rhythm. But we'll start with quarter notes in order to ramp up. The form is a 12 bar blues. The chords we will use are actually diads; two note groupings. We will play B5 & B6 for the I chord. Then, we will play a lead fill, a "lick", that combines bending a note on the G string, then playing another B5 diad on the upper strings. This is very stereotypical of blues players and was adopted by early rock 'n' roll guitarists. Those early rock 'n' roll guitarists in turn influenced many others, such as The British Invasion bands. Rock bands to the present day still build a lot of tunes around these exact same riffs. These are very iconic licks that form the backbone of a great deal of blues and rock music from many eras.

These are great tools to have at your disposal! The main idea we are exploring in this tutorial is learning the mechanics of changing from strumming chords to single note lead lines. Switching between the two and remaining in time is the how you can take your playing to the next level.