12 Bar Blues Style (Guitar Lesson BC-183) Guitar for beginners Stage 8

Uploaded by JustinSandercoe on 11.09.2009

Hi, how you doin'? Justin here.
In this lesson today, we're going to be checking out a traditional 12 bar blues,
using a chunka chunka rhythm. Now a chunka chunka rhythm is just a word
that my teacher taught me to describe this shuffle which we talked about earlier,
where we talked about like strumming it, now we're doing like a proper
12 bar blues style. So let me just play it for you first once through.
I'll play it in a medium up tempo just so it doesn't take too long
but we're going to be taking through it nice and slowly. So this is what it sounds like.
3, 4,
. . .
That's it, straight ahead 12 bar blues. You can hear chunka chunka
chunka, chunka, is where you get that little rhythm from.
So it's pretty straight forward. The big thing that you have to deal with here
is that you're playing two strings at a time.
Now we're going to start off by going to a close up of this
in just a second, but we're just going to be using one finger. It's going to be on the note E,
and we're going to be playing two strings on this very first chord.
It's going to be an A chord. We're going to be playing the open A string, which is the 5th string.
Hopefully you know that by now, because you know your open string note names, don't you?
And also the 4th string, which is the one with the note E,
1st finger playing the 2nd fret of the 4th string.
and we're going to play those two notes (plays) then again (plays)
and then our 3rd finger is going to go down on the same string
as the 1st finger and your plucking the same two notes.
So remember while we're on the A chord, which is the first thing we're going to look at
in a second on the close up, you just want to be playing the 5th string
and the 4th string, and you're going to be using all
down picks for this whole exercise. OK, let's go to a close up.
So here we go, here's the 1st finger in the 2nd fret of the 4th string
and we're going to be playing the open A string and this note (plays)
and the 1st finger kind of lifts up a little bit to make sure those other strings
underneath it are a bit muted. It doesn't really matter so much on acoustic guitar
but maybe on electric guitar it will make a difference, so you might as well get in a habit of muting
those strings as well while you're at it. So you're going to do two picks on this
. . .
then your 3rd finger is going to go down two frets further
which is 4th fret on the same string that your 1st finger is on,
which is of course the fourth string.
. . .
Then we go back again, 1st finger (plays), 3rd finger (plays).
1st finger, 3rd finger down. (plays)
Now I just played one bar, so the count for that will be
1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and
So that will just be one bar.
If you look at the sheet music for this, you will probably notice
that we do 4 bars of A, maybe you will even remember
the sheet music for this, from playing the 12 bar blues
with a shuffle rhythm before, with the strumming.
Hopefully you remember at least the pattern, the order of the chords.
If not, you need to check out the sheet music on the web site, then get back to here.
So here we go. Now we're going to do this A chord for 4 bars. So we have
1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and
2nd bar and 2 and 3 and 4 and
3rd bar, and 2 and 3 and 4,
and 4th bar, and 2 and 3 and 4 and.
Now we go to the D. What we're going to do, is simply move our 1st finger over,
like toward the ground one string, and the note the 3rd finger will go on
will also move toward the ground one string.
But whenever we change strings,
we start with just the 1st finger on and that's it. And we do two bars now on the D.
Of course the strings that we pick have also changed.
We're now picking the middle two strings. Here we go for the D
(plays) 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and
1 and 2 and 3 and 4,
and back to A, and 2 and 3 and 4 and
1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and
1, now to E, we've moved 1st finger up toward the ceiling one string
so it's now on the 5th string and we're plucking the open E string
the lowest, fattest, thickest string and this note here
with the 1st finger. We do 1 bar on E,
1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and, big jump all the way to D,
1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and, 1, we're back on A now, 3, and,
then down to E again, 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and
Now it's really important here, that you keep that 1st finger back in that 2nd fret,
try to avoid going 1 and 2 and 3, this kind of thing.
That's really bad form. Try and get those fingers nicely spread out all of the way through.
So I'm going to play now, once through this whole thing
really slowly to let you have a go at playing along with it
Really try to get the feeling for this 'chunka chunka chunka chunka'-feeling; the shuffle.
Because it's an integral part of playing this style.
Also make sure you are picking just the right strings
It's kind of difficult sometimes to make sure you're picking the open string,
as well as the fretted note. And partly this is because your pick hand
has got quite used to playing where your finger is,
and suddenly you have to pick on the thick string above,
physically above the string your finger is on. So this hand is kind of,
if it's developing a sense of connection with the other hand,
you're having to break it for this exercise.
That's why it can be a little bit sticky sometimes. Here we go, nice and slow, 3, 4,
(plays) 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and
1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and,
here's the 3rd bar,
2 and 3 and 4 and the 4th bar,
and 2 and 3 and 4 and now over to D,
1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and the 2nd bar
and 2 and 3 and 4 and
back to A and 2 and 3 and 4 and again,
and 2 and 3 and 4, big jump over to E
and 2 and 3 and 4, right over to D, 2 and 3 and 4 and
back to A, and 2 and 3 and 4
and E and 2 and 3 and 4 and, A.
Always a good idea to finish this blues on an A, it kind of makes it sound finished.
If you just stop on E, it sounds weird. So the thing you're going for now,
really trying to make sure that you don't stop in between the chord changes,
trying to make sure that you pick the right strings, and that you get the groove really nice.
This 12 bar blues is in the key of A fits perfectly with the A minor pentatonic that we've been looking at.
If you have a jam buddy, someone you've been doing some practice with,
one guy can sit down and play the 12 bar blues, and the other guy can muck around
with the A minor pentatonic scale and make up a solo over the top.
That's how these two things kind of link together, very, very cool fun. We're going talk about that
a little bit more later on. For now what you want to do is really work on getting that
12 bar blues rhythm style properly solid.
So, I hope you enjoyed that look at the blues
and I'll see you for another lesson sometime real soon.