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Play Blues On Guitar In Any Key (with this riff)

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hey there Tony Policastro here from

Tony's acoustic challenge plain and

simple learning the blues is where many

guitar geeks start because it's fun

recognizable and that makes it super

rewarding which is why in this lesson

I'm gonna show you one blues lick that

is incredibly useful because you're

gonna be able to move it all over the

fingerboard and once you learn it you'll

be able to play the blues the 12 bar

blues in any key anywhere on the fret

board so without further ado let's get

started but before we do I just want to

make sure you know that whether you just

started guitar or you've been playing

for a while this lesson is gonna cause

some serious lightbulb moments so get

your guitar and get ready to have some

fun first things first we have to learn

this lick this is a super simple lick

and it only involves four notes ok

that's how simple and easy it is but I

can assure you it's super fun so let's

start by learning this lick first we're

gonna take our index finger and place it

on the 3rd fret of the low E string and

just do a simple down stroke there easy

enough then you're gonna take your ring

finger and move it to the 5th fret of

the d-string

another simple down stroke there from

there you're gonna drop your index

finger to the 3rd fret of the d-string

just a down stroke there

and then you're gonna raise your ring

finger to the fifth fret of the a string

and another simple down stroke there so

there's only four notes in this lick

it's all quarter notes so if you were to

count along with it it would be one two

three four okay so here's the lick in

context I'll go ahead again and count

along with it just so you can kind of

get the rhythmic feel of it so it goes

one two three all downstrokes and pretty

simple fretting pattern okay now I know

you're thinking okay this is really easy

how useful is this lick well it's

incredibly useful and let me explain why

this lick is a closed position lick well

what does that even mean because it's

closed position that means there's zero

open strings and because it doesn't have

any open strings we can move it all over

the fret board and get the same result

why is this useful to us well because we

can take that same lick the physical

execution of that lick and move it

around to create a twelve bar blues

check this out so your starting point

we'll just call it on the third fret

because that's where we learned it okay

so your starting point is there

we'll call that the first chunk for the

second chunk all we're gonna do is move

everything down towards the floor one

string so instead of starting on the low

e-string you're gonna start on the a

string go to that 5th fret of the G

third fret of the G and then the fifth

fret of the D okay we'll call that the

second chunk so that's gonna sound like

this and then the third chunk we're

gonna take that same pattern originating

on the a string and bump it towards the

guitar body two frets so now you're on

the fifth fret of the a string going to

the seventh fret of the g to the fifth

fret of the g and then ending up on the

seventh fret of the d okay so you've got

three chunks and just to do a quick

summary we've got the first chunk the

second chunk and then the third chunk

okay pretty cool now what I love about

this is it's the same exact thing your

fretting fingers are doing the same

motion your picking hand is doing the

same motion we're just moving in around

to play over different chords so what

are these different chords well remember

I said the first chunk the second chunk

and third chunk well let's just clarify

what those are and give them just subtly

different names the first chunk will go

over the one chord the second chunk will

go over the four chord 4 chord and the

third chunk will go over the 5 chord for

those of you who aren't sure what this

means don't worry it's totally okay it's

just a little bit of music music

dialogue to help people know what chord

is going on in a certain key so to wrap

this all together and make it a 12 bar

blues we're gonna take that first chunk

over the 1 chord play it four times in a

row then take that second chunk over the

four chord play it two times in a row go

back to the first chunk for two times

hit the third chunk over the five chord

once the second chunk over the four

chord once and then two more first

chunks okay I know that's a lot to take


but I'm gonna go ahead and play through

it right now so you can play along with

me and actually play a 12 bar blues and

for the sake of clarity this is in the

key of G so here we go we're starting on

the first chunk and I'll go ahead and

call out the chunks as we go so here we

go starting on the first chunk four

times four rounds of this one two three


two or two the second chalk back to the

first one to the third chalk one two

three four second Chuck so there you

have it that is a 12 bar blues using

this lick you just played it in the key

of G now let me just hopefully turn on

some lightbulbs and make some Minds blow

right now this pattern because it's

completely closed is totally movable so

let's say I want to play it in the key

of a well it's pretty simple to do I'll

do the exact same thing I just start on

an a no follow the same pattern first

chunk second chunk and then the third

jump and that same recipe I gave you

before so it's completely movable this

pattern literally allows you to play in

any key all you have to do is know that

starting note the note that you're

starting on with your index finger on

the low E string it's that simple I hope

this lesson gave you a ton of clarity I

hope this lesson allowed you to break

through and play the 12 bar blues and

know that hey man this this simple

little riff is actually quite useful so

in the comments below please let me know

how it went maybe this was your first

time playing at 12 bar blues

maybe you've played a while but you made

some connections on the fret board

please let me know in the comments I'd

love to hear how it went and if you're

ready to have more fun with the guitar

and experience progress day in and day

out you absolutely have to check out

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thanks so much