Blues Guitar Institute

Fingerstyle Acoustic Blues – A7

Fingerstyle Acoustic Blues, Continued

After getting comfortable with the E major chord in a fingerstyle acoustic blues format, you will no doubt be chomping at the bit to apply this style to other chords and eventually learn songs in this style.

In keeping with the 12 bar blues format in the key of E, the next logical chord to work with is the A chord or its bluesy cousin, the A7 chord.

We will continue our study of acoustic blues using a tune of mine, Lowcountry Blues.  By breaking down this song, you should eventually become pretty comfortable with the three components of fingerstyle acoustic blues.  Don’t forget the magic of this style comes from playing these three parts simultaneously.

Remember the three main components of this style of blues?

  • the bass
  • the chords
  • the melody

Watch the performance of Lowcountry Blues to see these three parts working together even through the chord changes.

Make it Your Own

You will hopefully begin applying your own lead licks or chord rhythms to the 12 bar blues progression to come up with cool parts of your own.

Even if you don’t write songs of your own, its cool to be able to put your own spin things.

Please feel free to take the parts that I show you in the video and modify them to your own tastes.

Call and Response

As you log more hours working on an acoustic blues song, you will no doubt notice that some, if not most, of the melodies are fairly simple lines.

In Lowcountry Blues, the lead ‘licks’ have usually no more than four notes in them.  The simple lick along with the steady bass and occasional chord really add up to something big.  This is definitely a “whole is greater than the sum of the parts” kind of thing.

A simple melody really shines when the parts have a call and response feel.  Call and response is a real bluesy thing and these acoustic songs are no different.  Although there are plenty of great acoustic blues tunes without much call and response, much of the original delta blues is build around a call and response vocal or guitar melody.

What’s Next?

Next, we will round out the progression with the V chord, B major or in this case, B7.

Until then, keep pickin!

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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