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Jam Sessions - All Blues Styles

Lesson 6 - Slow Blues in C

Lesson Sample

Lyle: Let's get started with today's jam. This is a typical 12 bar blues jam in C.

Lyle: The tone settings for this jam in C can be almost anything from acoustic to overdrive. I suggest using the treble pickup and a slight overdrive setting on your amp.

Lyle: First I'm going to teach you a blues/rock rhythm for this using power chords. Here's the rhythm riff you'll use for the C chord:

C riff

C riff

Lyle: Use all down strokes accept for the final which is an up stroke. You'll do the same thing for the F and G chords:

F and G riff

Lyle: Here's a look at all three riffs:

C - F - G riffs

Lyle: Here's the whole 12 bar groove using this rhythm riff:

rhythm riff

rhythm riff

Lyle: Now try playing along to the band! Here's your chord chart and jam track:

chord chart

Slow Blues in C jam track

Lyle: If you wanted to play the rhythm riff that the acoustic guitar is doing in the jam track, you would have to tune down to open C tuning:

open C tuning

Lyle: Then you could play it like this with the open C tuning:

rhythm riff in open C tuning

Lyle: Let's all jam together, ready? 1, 2, 3, 4, ...

Lyle: Since this is a typical 12 bar blues jam in C. The best scale to use would be the C minor blues:

C minor blues scale

Lyle: This solo is built off a riff theme and should be obvious to you when you first listen. Sometimes when I need to do a solo and need a place to start or a riff to get me started, I'll come up with a melody or riff that sounds good when repeated several times.



Lyle: The second note of the solo is a E, the 9th fret 3rd string. This is the major 3rd degree of the C chord/scale. This gives the riff a happy? sound, compared to using the flatted 3rd degree (8th fret, 3rd string) found in the C minor pentatonic. The theme has a sassy, teasing quality to it, na, na-na, na-na, na...

Lyle: I'm using a wha-wha pedal.... for extra fun. Notice the use of heavy vibrato and the sliding around the neck at the end and beginning of the different phrases, kind of like taking a big gulp of air before the next riff.

cry baby - Thomas Organ Co

Lyle: Using arpeggios can sometimes be fun when improvising. Here's three arpeggios, one for each chord in the jam:


Lyle: This isn't much of a solo but it is a good example of using the arpeggios with the jam. Notice each arpeggio is matched with the chord that is being played at the time.

solo 2

Lyle: Here's another solo I tabbed out. It is like a rhythm riff in the style of Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top:

solo 3

solo 3

Lyle: This should be enough to keep you jammin' for awhile! See you at the next lesson!

* All the looping jam tracks from this series are available on a separate audio CD and also MP3 download. Go to Lyle's web site for more info.

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