Blues Guitar Institute

Another Easy Acoustic Blues Lick in E

This may be the simplest acoustic blues lick ever.

This MICRO LICK in the key of E, consists of just 4 notes and is played with just one finger.  Hard to get much simpler than a one finger lick.

But remember ‘Simple’ doesn’t mean ‘Boring’.  Some of the coolest licks you will ever hear are actually quite easy to play…with a little practice, of course.


This lesson, MICRO LICK 3:  Easy Acoustic Blues Lick in E, is a continuation of a series of lessons on MICRO LICKS.

MICRO LICKS, like this one and the lick in the lessons for MICRO LICK 1 and MICRO LICK 2, are tiny lick fragments that become great building blocks for longer licks. But for the budding finger picking blues player, they work just fine on their own.

Consisting of only three or four notes, these little guys may be simple but they are tasty.

Micro Lick 3:  Zeros and Three

This lick gets its name from the fact that most of the lick is played with open strings and one fretted note on the third fret of the 2nd String.

Not only is the lick in this video super easy to nail (it’s only four notes) but, this lick is incredibly versatile.  I’m using this lick as a part of the classic blues shuffle pattern in E, but you can stick this lick into just about any groove.

Watch the video below to get this lick down:

Watch on YouTube | Grab the TAB

Performance Notes

The use of the open strings in this lick really add some nice overtones if you let them ring a bit like I do in the video.

The other cool thing about a lick like this that makes use of open strings is that it frees up your fret hand to move into the next position.  That’s one of the best reasons that this lick works so well to color your rhythm playing.

Practice moving in and out of the typical blues rhythm shuffle pattern and this lick.  If you need help, watch the video.  I do this multiple times during the lesson.

Where Do We Go From Here?

In the next MICRO LICK lesson, I’ll show you how to link these three licks together to build longer licks all while holding down the groove.

Remember, even though these licks are billed as “easy” or “simple” that doesn’t mean that you should get it down immediately.

It takes practice.

It takes time.

Some of you may nail this quickly, but some of us struggle a little more with licks and lead playing than others.  I was in that camp.  That’s why I love these MICRO LICKS, because they are the basic building blocks for some cool lead playing.

So remember, that this stuff will be easy AFTER a good bit of practice.

If you haven’t checked out the first two MICRO LICK lessons, now’s a great time to do so.  We’ll be building on all three very soon.

What’s your favorite?

When you are ready, there are two ways I can help you:

Back Porch Blues Course:  A proven system to fingerpicking the blues.  This step-by-step course guides you through building fundamental fingerpicking skills.  Plus, you’ll learn three levels of a delta blues style performance study to put your new skills into action.

Become a myBGI Member: Membership comes with access to Back Porch Blues plus over 70 step-by-step courses.  Get proven results with one of myBGI’s structured Roadmaps.

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