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The Bluesman’s Basics Series – Home Page


The Basic Blues Series introduces the beginning guitarist to the blues progression and shuffle (rhythm and chords) and offers a few ways to elaborate on it using a variety of tools such as fills, sliding chord inversions and putting chords together using voicings that are harmonically close together.  It builds to creating a “stand alone” blues solo that sounds good without accompaniment.

Part 1 – Learn the 12 bar blues progression, including rhythm.  Demonstrates the fingerings for E7, A7, and B& chords.

Part 2 – Use the chord fingerings learned in part 1 and slide them around between the lower frest to elaborate on the basic blues rhythm.

Part 3 – Learn hammer-on fills in the open position to embellish your progression.

Part 4 – Learn to use chord inversions in higher positions and slide into them to create a bigger sound for the progression.

Part 5 – Introduces the shuffle rhythm and how to play it with a few variations.

Part 6 – Learn the pentatonic minor scale in E, the scale which can be used to create solos over the blues progression.

Part 7 – Learn some traditional sliding pentatonic/blues scale licks in the lower regions of the fretboard.  These fit nicely as fills when working towards the goal of playing a “stand alone” solo (part 9).

Part 8 – Learn to use chords that are “voiced”, and usually played as far as fingerings go, together to create tension and resolution within the progression.

Part 9 – Put everything you have learned in the other 8 parts together to create your own blues solo composition.


Part 1
The Blues Progression

Part 2
Sliding 7th Chords

Part 3
Hammer-On Fills

Part 4
Sliding High Chords

Part 5
The Shuffle

Part 6
The Pentatonic Scale

Part 7
Cool Slide Licks

Part 8
Closely Voiced Chords

Part 9
Putting It All Together