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Blues Shuffle Guitar Lesson

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The Blues Shuffle Pattern
blues shuffle pattern on guitar

Hear this 12 bar blues played twice, with intro and outro (mp3)

The pattern outlined here is one of the most simple rhythm guitar parts you can play in a 12-bar blues. The diagram above illustrates what to play over each chord in the blues progression.

For each bar of A5, you'll play the appropriate tablature above. Play the note on the second fret with your first finger, and the note on the fourth fret with your third finger.

For each bar of D5, you'll play the appropriate tablature above. Play the note on the second fret with your first finger, and the note on the fourth fret with your third finger.

For each bar of E5, you'll play the appropriate tablature above. Play the note on the second fret with your first finger, and the note on the fourth fret with your third finger.

If you listen to the recording, you'll notice there's one small variation in the rhythm guitar part near the end of the blues progression. The first time the 12 bar blues is played through, on the 12th bar, there is an alternate pattern played on the E5 chord. This is often done at the end of each 12 bars, because it gives the listener and the band a solid way of knowing that we're at the end of the song form, and we're going back to the beginning again. See the E5 (alternate) pattern above for instruction how to play this variation.

Get comfortable playing the patterns above. You'll note that all the basic rhythm patterns are identical - they are simply played on adjacent strings. Pick up your guitar, and try playing through each pattern... they are rather easy to memorize.

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