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Mastering and Playing Blues Guitar Chords and Rhythm.

Apr 25, 2008
My favorite chords are blues chords. While some of them may be a little more complicated, you can really get a groove going with them. Here are five common blues chords:

O= Play string.

X= Don't play string.

Most common blues guitar chordsl have the same name tag of seven. These are known as dominant seventh chords. They sound great when played together and give you a great deal of possibilities. You can also play a G7 chord by moving your finger from the third fret to the first fret on the high E string. It will expect you to change your fingering. Strumming patterns for blues are usually fast in pace. To do this, we need to keep things simple and rhythmic. Here is a great strumming pattern to learn:

Down Down Up Up Down

Switch things up a bit and try switching the up and down strums. Keep practicing them and you'll be well on your way. You'll find that I used a lot of rest in-between chords. These little pauses can be done by moving your fingers slightly off the fretboard and discontinue strumming at the same time. You can stop strumming for that brief moment and pick right back up again without breaking the pattern.

This will be challenging at first but you will soon grow into it. In musical language, it can be described as a "shuffle" feel.

Soloing Strategies

When playing blues, you may encounter a problem where everything you play begins to sound the same. You may find that you continually revert back to what you know. In other words, you're playing in a box. Here are some helpful hints to help you avoid this problem.

First, go purchase some blues guitar backing tracks. You can get professional tracks from companies such as 50Blues. Start off with playing short bursts of music that last for roughly 10 seconds. These short "Bursts" should sound like a solo. Vary the tempo and the pause time in between these short rests.

Secondly, try key changes. Move into a new key and incorporate the techniques that you are already acquainted with. Use dynamics. Going from something soft to something hard really has a great effect and will develop your brain to think outside of the box. I also suggest that you learn how to play 16th notes and 32nd notes in quick succession so you will be as equally prepared to play the fast notes as you are the slow notes.

Focus in on your right hand and ensure that you give it a good blues workout exercise everyday by using alternative picking and rapid picking techniques. I urge you to focus in on that last tip. Stop looking at your left and right hand as two separate entities. Rather, look at them as one. You may notice that when you strum hard with your right hand, your left hand becomes tense even though it's just holding a simple chord.

A problem like that can lead to serious health problems in the future such as carpal tunnel syndrome. To avoid that, practice playing with your left hand relaxed while your right hand strums. This will also increase speed and help you to add texture to your blues solos.
About the Author
Zack R is the founder of 50 Blues Studios. If you are a blues musician, find out how blues guitar backing tracks will improve your blues guitar playing skills. Listen to the free blues backing tracks and start jamming right now.
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