Blues is one of those universal music styles for guitar players. You can go just about anywhere in the world and say “Blues in A”…and a group of musicians who don’t speak the same language, or don’t know any of the same songs can instantly start jamming. Get any two guitar players together, and one can play some blues rhythm guitar while the other plays a lead guitar part.
In this video guitar lesson I’m going to show you an easy way to get started playing a rhythm guitar part for a blues in the key of A. Even if you have only been playing guitar for a short period of time, you will be able to play this. So it’s a cool fun thing that anyone can play. And great way to get started playing blues guitar.
How to Play Easy Blues Rhythm Guitar
- You can learn many other cool blues rhythm guitar patterns in my Rhythm Guitar Mastery Phase 2 course.
(Video Guitar Lesson)
(See Easy Blues Rhythm Guitar in A – Page 2 for MP3 jam tracks to practice with, and a printout page for this guitar lesson)
Easy Blues Rhythm Guitar Shuffle in A
Here is the guitar tablature for the entire 12 bar blues form in the key of A
Blues Rhythm Guitar Pattern – A Chord
This basic blues rhythm guitar part for a blues in the key of A is made up of only 3 different patterns. And really it’s the same pattern just on different sets of strings.
So the first pattern you will use when playing over an A or A7 chord is below. Try using your 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th string, and your 3rd finger on the 4th fret. And you will play the open 5th string along with those notes…which is an A note.
If you can, try and hold down your 1st finger as you stretch up to the 4th fret with your 3rd finger. If you keep your thumb lower on the back of the neck you will have an easier time doing this. That way your 1st finger is ready when you come back to the 2nd fret.
An easy way to keep track of this pattern is that it’s 2 sets of 2. You play the each set of notes 2 times, then repeat it. And that makes up one measure. There are times in the 12 bar blues form that you will play the pattern once, and other times you will play it twice. So 2×2 is an easy way for you to keep track of one measure.
Blues Rhythm Guitar Pattern – D Chord
For a D or D7 chord all you have to do is move your 1st and 3rd fingers to the 3rd string. Then you will play the open 4th string (D) with those notes.
Blues Rhythm Guitar Pattern – E Chord
Straight 8th & Swing 8th Feels for Blues Rhythm Guitar
In the video guitar lesson I demonstration 2 different feels you might play with these same notes.
The first is with a straight 8th note feel. An 8th note is a half a beat. And if you play all of the 8th notes evenly…that is straight 8th notes.
The other feel uses what are called swing 8th notes. Or with a shuffle feel. In a nutshell this is when the 8th notes are not even, but a little lopsided. If I was to count 1 & a 2 & a etc…and play the 8th notes on the “1” and the “a”….then you would have this long short long short feel.
So the 8th note on the beat would actually be 2/3 of a beat, and the other would be 1/3 of a beat. Instead of each being exactly 1/2 a beat for the straight 8th note feel.
I know this can be a little confusion at first, but if you watch the video, hearing what I am talking about makes all the difference.
If you really want to understand the ins and outs of rhythm including this swing feel, it’s all covered in my Rhythm Guitar Mastery Phase 1 course.
For MP3 Jam Tracks and a printout page, go to page 2 of this guitar lesson.
Guitar Lesson Navigation