An Easy 12 Bar Blues Guitar Lesson For Beginners
Here is a 2 lesson series on how to play the 12 bar blues in the Key of A. My goal in this beginner blues guitar lesson is to show you how to play the 12 bar blues in the easiest way possible while still incorporating an intro an a turn-around. I do have another even easier way of playing the 12 bar blues here if you find this beginner guitar lesson too challenging. One very helpful resource that supporting members get is the Soundslice interactive video tab play-along for BOTH lessons 1 and 2. This is a foundational guitar lesson that you can build on as you improve and continue on you journey as a guitarist.
The 12 bar blues song structure is based off of the major scale. We are playing in the Key of A. The first note of the A Major Scale is, you guessed it, A. So when we play over A in key of A, we call it the “one chord”. The 4th note of the A major scale is D, or the “four chord”. The fifth note is E, or the “five chord”. When writing down song structures guitarists and other musicians often use roman numerals instead of writing “one chord”, “four chord”, and “five chord”. The one chord becomes the roman numeral “I”. The four chord becomes “IV”. And the five chord becomes “V”.
There are two very important things to memorize from this lesson.
- In the Key of A, I=A, IV=D, V=E
- The structure of the basic 12 bar blues is I/I/I/I/ IV/IV/I/I/ V/IV/I/V
When you combine these to items to memorize together logically, you can deduce that the 12 bar blues structure in the Key of A is A/A/A/A / D/D/A/A/ E/D/A/D. This is the structure of what we are playing in video one and in the free tab.
In video 2, I will show you how to play 3 new intros and turn-arounds, and I will show you how to play the 12 bar blues “quick change”.
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