Articles, Blog

How To Play Blues On Guitar – Blues Guitar Lesson #1

October 31, 2019

Hi! I’m Nate Savage and welcome to the Blues
Guitar Quick-Start Series. The Blues is an incredibly important style of music to learn
really well, especially if you’re a guitarist. It is important on its own and it’s an important
part of other styles of music like country, jazz, rock, metal, all of these different
kinds of music. Think about it, many of the most famous guitar
gods of all time were heavily influenced by the blues. Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Stevie
Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, you get the idea. The blues is kind of a hybrid between a major
tonality and a minor tonality. So, it’s really a tone little world and one of the
best things about the blues is you can learn just a couple of little things and jump in
and start expressing yourself. If you learn the blues really well, you’re
going to have a really awesome tool and a color to use in your playing and you can pull
it up in the other styles of music that you play whenever it’s appropriate.
There are some things that would be really good if you knew before you started this series.
And we’re going to be going through everything step by step detail, but it would be really
good if you knew your basic bar chords, your basic power cords, your shuffle rhythm, note
subdivisions and hammer-ons and pull-offs. If you need to get up to speed on any of those
things that I mentioned you can check out some of my other lessons. It doesn’t matter
if you’re playing acoustic or electric for this series. Everything that we’re going to
cover in this series is going to be equally important for both.
The goal of this series is going to be to get you familiar with the most important things
you’re going to need for both blues rhythm guitar and blues lead guitar. We’re going
to start off by going through the 12-bar blues progression, getting you familiar with that
and then we’re going to learn some dominant seventh chords and how to apply those dominant
seventh chords to the standard 12-bar blues progression. From there, we’re going to dress
things up a little bit, you’re going to learn a couple of riffs, rhythm blues riffs to apply
to your 12-bar blues progression too. With the things you’re going to learn in this
series a possibility is for your rhythm blues guitar are really going to be limited by the
amount of effort you put in and your own creativity. Once we get the basics for blues rhythm guitar
that we’re going to switch and focus on blues lead guitar. We’re going to start about learning
the blues scale, and if you know your minor pentatonic scales can be pretty easy for you.
All you have to do is add one extra note. Once you get familiar with the blues scale,
I’m going to teach you how to start choosing your notes a little bit better instead of
just randomly playing to the blues scale shape. After that, I’m going to teach you what turnaround
licks are and how you can incorporate them into your playing. And finally, we’re going
to start learning how to interject blues lead licks into your 12-bar blues riffs that you learned. And of course, just like all the other series I do, we’re going to have jam tracks for you along the way because it’s really important to apply everything we are working on to real music.
This is a lot of information and it’s really up to you to decide how far you want to take
it. The blues to me is probably the style of music that crosses the most musical boundaries.
So it’s really important for you to get down really well. And the better you get at
the blues, it’s going to be awesome because not only is your blues playing going to get
better, but all your other playing is going to get better too regardless of the style.
In the next lesson we’re going to get things started by learning the standard 12-bar blues
progression. If you have any questions, you can leave here in the comments, I’ll get back to you. Also, you can e-mail me [email protected] See you!


  • Reply Eliah Morris November 20, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    No freaking way! I've been scavenging the internet for a good blues series and then you come out with one! That's awesome! You= the best guitar teacher on YouTube 😀

  • Reply Gino Malapela-Vela November 21, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    hi nate really enjoyed the rhythm guitar series before this and looking forward to this one too!….u r a really awesome teacher and the jam tracks u supply blow my mind!!!!…..hope u will be able to do a series on fingerstyle as well!!

  • Reply DS. Kim May 16, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    Amazing! Great! very good! …Commet. please….Passing Notes Approach by Bass Line…Custom or Thumb Over? What do you think about this?

  • Reply Robin Hood October 14, 2015 at 8:09 pm


  • Reply Boris Huguenel May 11, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    I don't agree with Robin!! first of all it is non of our business if Nate wants to teach free lessons, I am a artist and teach free lessons of fine art painting and I had this in mind for the people who loves to paint but cannot afford a teacher!we leave in a world of self centered egotism with no respect for others and lover of money . my father once told me that if you give freely you will receive 10 time more and this is true it works!so thank you Nate for you awesome talent , your big hart and you time , may God bless you always. Boris

  • Reply Rahadyan Puspa June 30, 2016 at 4:03 am

    man you're a SAVAGE

  • Reply CIAK PROJECT October 2, 2016 at 9:53 am

    ngomong wungkul

  • Reply Eugenia Silverio October 6, 2016 at 10:16 am

    hi.. 😀 i hope you make more blues advance lesson 🙂

  • Reply lancelot wilson December 6, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    Hi Nate, please send me info on how I can order the DVDs for the "Blues Guitar Blueprint " course. I checked amazon but it's currently unavailable. Also let me know what the shipping cost is for a US address (Florida).

  • Reply Yuki Wada December 28, 2016 at 3:09 am

    You actually look like david gilmour

  • Reply D.J. Nassar December 29, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    Hi, I wanted to say you start off using all these terms words that a complete beginner hasn't the slightest. You should start of with the word term and what it means. Teach progressively one thing first like (riff – scales- pull off – hammer on – vibrato – sliding – strumming – cords types – phrasing – ETC. Show a first day beginner what each word means how to practice each term word . talking using all those words makes you feel confused what is he talking about no direction understanding.

  • Reply Brian Twiss March 31, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    "If you learn to Blues you're gonna have a really awesome color to use…"
    I actually kinda hope that was intentional

  • Reply Amanda S September 2, 2017 at 5:21 am

    clicked on this vid' bcuz the description picture thingy has u playing an acoustic guitar…. grrr

  • Reply Alok Dhan January 19, 2018 at 4:28 am

    why have you not shown the closeup of lead part

  • Reply vuzganje February 1, 2018 at 11:51 pm

    wow nice lesson I learned a lot I'm killing it now.. fucking douche

  • Reply Soulx 21 February 13, 2018 at 2:22 am

    Thanks. i'm a self learner i've been playung metal songs for around 8years and I realised how important blues is. That's why I'm here. And thanks again for your lessons.

  • Reply Tony Dinh April 17, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    You're the best instructor out there Nate! Thanks for everything

  • Reply Sibtain Abbas November 26, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    sir please please hoping for your reply. I am learning guitar from
    sir I'm having trouble in playing power chords and other bare chords. I can play them but my wrist pains very much. Maybe i can't place my hand in right way.

  • Leave a Reply