Blues Guitar Institute

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Fingerpicking Lesson for the E Chord

Lesson ID: TB010

This lesson is a continuation of Tuesday Blues Lesson #2 and Lesson #9.

You didn’t think I’d leave you hanging did you?


Before we get to the new stuff, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page with where we’ve been.

We started out with the A7 Chordy Lick. This is kind of a lick and kind of a chord movement centered around A7 – the I Chord. This piece is fun to play on it’s own, but after you loop this around a time or two, you’re probably feeling ready for a change.

That’s when the D7 chord comes in.

Since D is the IV chord in the Key of A and it is a natural chord change following the A7 Chordy Lick.

If you need a refresher on Roman Numeral Analysis to decipher this business about the I and IV Chord, check this lesson out: What Every Guitarist Should Know About Roman Numerals

In the lesson on D7, we explored an alternate way to play the D7 chord by fretting the bass note over the fretboard with your thumb. This way of playing the chord is well suited for fingerpickers since it allows the bass to stay nice and boomy. Plus, you free up your fingers for more action on the fretboard. Here’s the full lesson:

How to Make Your D Chord Sound Bluesy

Mix In a Little E Chord

Now it’s time for the V chord – E – and that brings us to the topic of this lesson. Watch the video below to see a simple melody over the E chord. Then, we will walk through an entire 12 bar blues progression in A, dropping these three chords in their proper spot.

Shake Things Up

Now that you have a couple of bars in each of the chords needed for a typical 12 bar blues, it’s time to explore things on your own. Try swapping out bar 2 for the D7 chord or add your own flare here and there. There are no rules! So, once you get the three chords down cold, start shaking things up a bit!

Let me know what you come up with, I’d love to hear about it!



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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