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beginner

  • Are You Over Complicating the Guitar?

    Lesson ID: TB256

    Are you over complicating the guitar? I’m certainly guilty of this at times.  In this lesson, we’re going to cut through the distractions and build each the seven chords in a major key.  It’s easier than you think but it helps if you know the names of each note on the fretboard. The Mother Scale […]

  • Must Know Scale for the Guitarist That Hates Scales

    Lesson ID: TB096

    What one scale is responsible for launching more guitar music than any other? If you want to play guitar and hate scales, this is the one scale that you should know inside and out. Ask any guitar hero. The minor pentatonic scale just simply can’t be ignored. Entire careers have been built around the minor pentatonic scale. In blues […]

  • How to Play and Practice the A Blues Scale

    Lesson ID: TB092

    This is a sample lesson from one of BGI’s premium courses called “Sandpiper Stomp”. In this lesson, we’ll take a look at how to construct the A Blues Scale and where it lies on the neck.

  • Minor Chord Construction

    Lesson ID: TB088

    In this lesson, we’ll take what we learned in Tuesday Blues lesson 26 & 27 about constructing major chords and apply it to minor chords.

    With one small tweak to the major chord formula, we end up with a minor chord. Changing just one note of a chord can have dramatic results.

  • A Little Something for the A Chord

    Lesson ID: TB052

    Call and response licks don’t end on the I Chord.  This lesson will show you how to carry a call and response idea from the I chord to the IV chord in the key of A. Remember back to Tuesday Blues #20 and 21? Well for a quick refresher, in lesson 20 we talked about […]

  • Introduction to 7th Chords for Blues Players

    Lesson ID: TB042

    The importance of 7th chords for the blues cannot be understated. The very heart of the blues is rooted in these chords and any guitar player seeking the soul of the blues needs a deep understanding of these chords. Like many things here at Blues Guitar Institute, we start from the core concepts and build […]

  • Quick Tips to Improve Barre (Bar) Chords

    Lesson ID: TB039

    This lesson calls out the difficulties of playing good, clean sounding barre chords. This may in fact be a basic requirement for good guitar playing, but many of us cheat and don’t fully get each note sounding clearly. I used to be in that crowd so, I get to say that 🙂

    But, here’s a couple of tips to help you identify your weak spots and work around them.

  • Adding the Swing Rhythm to Get the Piedmont Sound

    Lesson ID: TB036

    Adding a Swing Rhythm to a straight count tune puts you in blues territory almost instantly. This can be seen pretty easily with the Piedmont Finger Picking Patterns from a previous lesson. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to put a little swing into your Piedmont Picking.

  • Piedmont Blues Fingerpicking Patterns

    Lesson ID: TB035

    Piedmont Blues can seem incredibly complex and of course, some of it is. Blind Blake anyone? But, so much of it is built on some rock solid fingerpicking patterns like the one dissected in this lesson.

  • Your First Blues Turnaround in E

    Lesson ID: TB034

    The most exciting part about learning blues for me was collecting a bag of turnarounds. The turnaround covered in this lesson should probably be your very first turnaround to work on.

  • Long Version of the Minor Pentatonic Scale

    Lesson ID: TB030

    Practice this long version of the minor pentatonic scale to help break out of the pentatonic box patterns and move more freely on the neck.

  • Call and Response in the Blues

    Lesson ID: TB020

    This lesson introduces one of the common threads in most blues: Call & Response. This musical technique/device/whatever is used as a way to connect musical ideas in a very lyrical or vocal way. This lesson gives you an introduction to how we apply this to the guitar.

  • Helpful Alternatives to a Tough Stretch (B5)

    Lesson ID: TB016

    One of the toughest pain points in learning the blues is getting past a few wide stretches. I recommend that you start slow and work up to tough stretches like the power chord shuffle shape. But, there’s no reason to let this stop you from playing some awesome blues!

    This lesson provides 3 solid workarounds to a tough stretch.

  • Finger Picking Exercise to Build Thumb Independence

    Lesson ID: TB003

    Finger picking is simple. It, however, is not easy. It’s really tough to get your thumb pumping out a good solid bass line while pushing through the chords. Oh yeah, on top of that, you have to pluck out the melody. This certainly seems complicated and for good reason. There’s quite a lot going on just to […]

  • Finger Picking Blues Over the A7 Chord

    Lesson ID: TB002

    What do you love about finger picking blues? For me, it’s because finger picking is self-sustaining. One guy, one guitar. Go. I love playing with others, don’t get me wrong. But, sitting down with an acoustic guitar and simply being able to play some music complete with rhythm, bass line and melody is incredibly fulfilling as […]

  • I Wish I learned All My Scales This Way

    Lesson ID:

    Scales confuse me. Well, they did for years. I understand the do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-do stuff. Mainly because of that silly song from that movie I was forced to watch in the 3rd grade. You’re singing it your head now aren’t you? Yep. I worked the Sound of Music into a blues lesson. Ha! Back to scales, there’s […]

  • Beginner Piedmont Finger Picking Tutorial Pt 4

    Lesson ID:

    Well, we’ve finally made it around to the final four bars of our Piedmont Blues finger picking tutorial. These first four bars are played identically to the first four bars. Have a quick look at this video to see the entire piece put back together into one flowing 16 bar progression. Plus some final thoughts… […]

  • Piedmont Blues Lesson | Part Three – The Breakdown

    Lesson ID:

    No one wants to be bored. Well, sometimes that sounds appealing to me. For a break. But no one wants to be bored listening to music. In every song, blues or not, there’s a point where things need to be changed up a little. In songs, we have the bridge (or Middle 8 for my […]

  • A Beginner Guide to Finger Picking Piedmont Blues

    Lesson ID:

    How to Get Started with Piedmont Blues Start small. Then Build. Why Piedmont Blues? Piedmont is a special kind of blues. A kind that finger pickers in particular should note. It’s certainly not the most popular form of blues music. I suppose that because it has been nearly a hundred years since the great Piedmont […]

  • Continuing The Piedmont Blues Progression

    Lesson ID:

    The best way to learn something complicated is to break it into smaller (bite-sized) pieces. Since I view anything involving the coordination of all ten of my digits to be complicated, I like to approach finger picking the blues by stripping things down into their most basic elements. That’s exactly what we’re doing with our study […]

  • Beginner Piedmont Blues: Adding the Melody

    Lesson ID:

    Watch on YouTube | TAB PDF | Guitar Pro 6 TAB The rules to any board game or card game are a complete mystery to me. I’m the guy on game night that never fully understands the rules of the game until I play through it a few times. Frustrating for everyone else who’s already […]