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Blues Lead Guitar Basics - Part 1
Guest teacher series
Antony Reynaert

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Blues Lead Guitar Basics
Part 1
Shaping Your Pentatonic Scales into Blues Licks
By Antony Reynaert

In these article series I will give you insight on how you can learn to use the minor pentatonic scale over the entire neck of the guitar and learn useful licks while you do this. The advantage of having a vocabulary of licks is that you can make your own licks and develop your own style further. Especially if you're new to improvisation it is very helpful to start out with learning licks by other guitarists.

In this first article we will extract some very basic blues licks from the minor pentatonic scale. So let's gets started shaping your pentatonic scales into ideas that you can use in your playing.

For this first part we are going to stay in the pentatonic box position (and the blues scale). So if you haven't already memorized these scales (and the root notes of these scales), this is the first step to take.

This first scale is called the minor pentatonic in box position.

Minor Pentatonic Guitar Scale

Alternatively we can use the Blues Scale, which has one more note then our minor pentatonic scale; the blue note. You will find this blue note on the 5th string, 6th fret and 1 octave higher on the 3th string, 8th fret. Using this blue note will give the whole scale a more bluesy sound.

Guitar Blues Scale

Let's take take a look at some licks you can play using the notes of the minor pentatonic scale in box position.

In this first lick we'll use a doublestop. This is where you play two notes simultaneously giving a more thicker sound than one note played by itself. Here we are playing this doublestop on the 2nd and 3th string, 5th fret.

In the video you get to see how you can learn these blues licks: blues licks video.

Blues Guitar Lick 1

The next lick also uses a doublestop on the 7th fret. Use your 3th finger on both the 2nd and the 3th string to play this technique.

Blues Guitar Lick 2

This third lick is one of my personal favorites all time. It starts off with a little bend and ends with a slide to the A-note on the 2nd string (which is the root note).

Blues Guitar Lick 3

In the following licks we will use a combination of techniques like hammer-ons, pull-offs, doublestops and the blues bend.

The second note in this next lick has an arrow with the text “1/4” on top. This means we are playing a blues bend. Just push the string a bit upward (or pull it downwards), performing a small string bend. The exact pitch of the bend is not that important here. It is the effect of the bend that we are after.

Blues Guitar Solo 1
Blues Guitar Solo 2
Blues Guitar Solo 3
Blues Guitar Solo 4
Blues Guitar Solo 5

This last lick uses the second position of the minor pentatonic, which you will learn in part 2 of this article.

Blues Guitar Lick 4

Once you have learned these licks, try improvising with them so you'll develop your own ideas. Some people think that learning other people's licks will stop their own creativity. While it is true that it is a very good idea to practice improvising licks, it is still very helpful to build a vocabulary of licks.

On his website will find more usefull guitar resources to learn from including a free blues guitar ebook.

About Antony Reynaert

Antony Reynaert

Antony Reynaert is a blues guitarist and teacher based in Belguim.

He has studied with Trevor Darmody in Ireland, and is currently studying jazz-guitar, and being mentored by virtuoso Tom Hess.

He gives guitar lessons and workshops on both a national and international level.

Antony feels great joy in teaching others and helping them improve their abilities. As
founder of Guitar Training Studio, he is training students of all ages and backgrounds onthe guitar in his hometown Ostend.

He is currently working on his debut-album "Spirits in Revolution"

It is his goal in life to become the best musician he can be and to share his music with asmany people as possible!

Other guitar lessons by Antony

Blues Guitar - Variations in the Blues
Blues Lead Guitar Basics: Part 1

Blues Lead Guitar Basics: Part 2 - Using the diagonal positions


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