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Lyle Ronglien >> Blues Guitar for Beginners >>



Blues Guitar For Beginners

Lesson 2

Lesson Sample

Lyle: Last lesson was a warm-up on playing the basic chords and rhythm for a "12 bar blues in A".

Lyle: Now you'll learn some simple blues riffs and then make them into a solo.

Lyle: Here's the chord progression and jam track:

12 bar chord progression


Jam Track - Blues in A

Lyle: The A Minor pentatonic scale is a real great choice of scales to use when improvising against a blues progression in A:

Am pentatonic


Lyle: This scale is used the most for playing blues riffs. Learn to play it ascending and descending.

Lyle: The next several blues riffs all have a few things in common. They all have a note that has a slight bend to it, and they all have a strong vibrato on a certain note. Here's your first riff:

blues riff 1

radica: I'm finally at least getting some of that nice vibrato of yours. Thanks again for that helpful video from last session

Lyle: Such a simple blues riff, yet very effective because of the slight bend and then vibrato. Watch the video clip of these techniques:

blues riff 1


Lyle: Any questions?

ZZ: I notice you bent it down, does it give a different sound then a up bend?

Lyle: No, same sound, but it's easier to pull /bend the string down. Gravity is a good tool when you're able to use it.

Lyle: You can try playing this riff over and over against the looping jam track so you can hear how well it works.

tommy: Do we play just the Am pent scale, do we switch during the changes of the jam track?

Lyle: Good question tommy. You can play the A Minor pentatonic scale over the whole jam track, no matter what chord is being played.

Jim: But you COULD change right?

Lyle: Yes, you could change to many different scales. I can think of about 20 different ones you could play against the jam track. But that's not where we are going in this lesson. This is level 1 for beginners, so they can learn to jam and play the blues!

Lyle: The next riff is just a variation of the first riff:

blues riff 2

blues riff 2

Lyle: The next riff is yet another variation. This riff will resolve on the root note, A.

blues riff 3

blues riff 3

Lyle: Notice all three riffs have the same slight bend and vibrato.

Lyle: Here's the next variation.

blues riff 4

blues riff 4

Jim: When you are playing the scale, how do you know which notes you can and can not bend? Only bend to other notes in the scale?

Lyle: That is a good rule.

Lyle: But in these riff you are bending the 5th fret, 3rd string only a 1/4 step, not even a full note worth. Something unique to the blues sound.

Lyle: Here's the next riff:

blues riff 5

michael: Practice bending them all.. the notes themselves will tell you "bend me"... sounds funny but true

blues riff 5

Lyle: I'll dig deeper into bending notes later. Remember this lesson is for beginners and sometimes bending strings is hard to do for the new guitarists. These slight bends is just enough to get you a cool blues sound.

Lyle: Here's the last riff:

blues riff 6

blues riff 6

Lyle: Now you should review all 6 riffs:

6 riff review

6 riff review


Lyle: You're about to learn a complete solo made from just these 6 simple blues riffs.

Paul: Is there a CD that has the scales to work on, such as this Am pentatonic?

Support: Paul, pretty much all of our CDs will contain scales to work on, just in the context of the topic (jazz, blues, SRV, BB King, etc)

Lyle: Ok, here's your solo made from these riffs, played against the Jam Track in A.

solo


solo

michael: You bend the C since that is the note that gets dropped a half tone in making the A major to minor pent scale. By bending it 1/4 your staying in the middle of what sounds natural / good to the ear. Is that close?

Lyle: michael, by bending the note up slightly it seems to tease the ear into thinking the note is going to resolve to the major third, which will fit the dominant A7 chord better. It's mostly just to tease the ear.

Lyle: I'm trying to teach just the little basics and a few cool riffs. I don't want to overload the typical beginner. Sometimes it's better to learn to play something, then learn the how and why later. Get hooked on the guitar then learn what and why you're playing what you're playing. If that makes sense.

radica: good advice.

Razor: Make good sense - great

Lyle: In the next lesson you'll learn another blues jam in a new key.

Lyle: Well that's all for this lesson. Thanks for being here tonight, you've been a good group. See you at the next jam!

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