When guitar players think of blues chord progressions inevitably they often default to thinking about the typical 12-bar blues progression, however, there are a ton of other blues progressions that don’t get talked about as much. Today I want to share with you one of those progressions in this “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” guitar lesson.
“Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out” follows an 8-bar blues chord progression and has quite a different chord progression than just the typical I, IV, and V chord blues.
In this lesson, I’ll break down the chords, and different ways of strumming, fingerpicking, and even soloing over this blues classic. So get tuned up and let’s go!
"Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" has become a blues standard over the years but it was originally written by pianist Jimmie Cox in 1923. It was first performed in a...
Often when players begin learning to solo over blues progressions they start by learning the minor blues scale. Next, they’ll work out a few licks or make up some of their own and play them over some rhythm.
This rhythm backing could be a blues shuffle into a looper or maybe even along with a backing track.
In this post, I want to show you a simple way to take that information and get more from it by simply shifting how you think about licks on the neck.
So let’s say for example we were going to solo over a rhythm pattern like this:
This is a common blues rhythm used in countless tunes. Since this pattern is based on the A chord shape, we could use the A minor blues scale at the 5th fret like this:
These same strings and frets can be thought of like this as well:
6th string frets = 5, 8
5th string frets = 5, 6, 7
4th string frets = 5, 7
3rd string frets = 5, 7, 8
2nd string frets = 5, 8
1st string frets = 5, (8)
Here’s an example of a lick you can...
Eric Clapton is undoubtedly one of the greatest blues rock guitarists of all time, and his iconic rendition of “Little Wing” is a masterpiece that every guitarist should check out. But let's face it, mastering the song can be a daunting task, especially for beginners. Fortunately, with the right approach, anyone can learn to play “Little Wing” like a pro.
In this step-by-step guide, I'll break down everything you need to know to learn the song, from the basic chords to more intricate soloing examples. I'll also provide helpful tips and tricks along the way to help you perfect your technique and truly capture the essence of Clapton's style. Regardless of your level, this guide will help you see key insights into playing in the style of Eric Clapton and unpack one of the greatest rock guitar songs of all time.
So grab your guitar and let’s get started!
“Little Wing” was originally written by Jimi...
Want to play blues licks like B.B. King?
In this post, I'll be sharing 3 B.B. King licks that capture specific elements of his guitar style. I'll break down each lick and examine the chords they go over, as well as the scales that are used behind the notes.
These licks will sound great when played over blues progressions, but they are not strictly limited to the blues. As you become more comfortable with these phrases, you'll find many other places to use them.
King is often regarded as one of the most iconic blues guitarists of all time, known for his soulful playing and signature vibrato. King was able to create so much music with so few notes, establishing an instantly identifiable style. He was a true master of blues phrasing and had exquisite taste in his choice of licks.
Lick #1 can be used for a blues in the key of G. Here we are playing over a G7 chord, but the shape I associate with this lick looks like this:
This chord looks like a barred-up open position C...
If you’re a guitarist looking to improve your playing one of the best things you can do is learn Beatles songs.
Each one is jam-packed with golden nuggets that will help you level up your guitar playing and musicianship in so many ways.
In this post, I’ll break down the guitar style behind the classic tune “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away.” So grab your guitar and let’s get to it!
"You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" was written and sung by John Lennon although it is credited to Lennon and Paul McCartney. It was released in 1965 on the Beatles album Help! The song is a beautiful blend of folk and rock that has captured the hearts of many music lovers. Lennon described where he was with his writing in an interview about the song as “That's me in my Dylan period again. I am like a chameleon, influenced by whatever is going on. If Elvis can do it, I can do it. If the Everly Brothers can do...
Unlock this sliding 6ths riff used in countless slow blues tunes. This lesson is in the key of Bb.
This blues uses a power-chord-based rhythm part in the key of Bb.
If you’re looking to improve your 12-string blues guitar playing, look no further than this ‘Life By The Drop’ guitar lesson. In this post, I’ll share with you how to play the version of the song as recorded by Stevie Ray Vaughan. Vaughan’s recording was done on a 12-string acoustic guitar, and it is chock full of incredible blues guitar techniques, chords, scales, and concepts you can steal and add to your own guitar playing. Check out a longer lesson here.
Break out the...
See See Rider | The Animals
This blues is in the key of C but the tricky part is it stretches the form and plays everything double the length as a typical 12-bar blues.
Here’s a great exercise for your picking hand. The majority of the melody of the song is played using a lot of triplets.
This classic Willie Dixon tune being interpreted by Cream is chock full of great blues licks.
An uptempo blues instrumental featuring Clapton at a pivotal point in his career.
Steppin' Out | Solo Lesson | John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers
"Got My Mojo Working" was written by Preston "Red" Foster, and it was first recorded in 1956 by R&B singer Ann Cole. This version has a great upbeat groove to it. The lyrics of the song describe something called mojo, which has been associated with hoodoo, an African-American folk magic tradition.
Later in 1957, Muddy Waters put his own spin on the arrangement and changed the lyrics just slightly. His most famous version of the song was actually recorded live in 1960 and this version received several awards from various publications and organizations.
At this point, it is now a blues standard and is a great one to add to your repertoire for blues jams and playing with other musicians. Check out a longer lesson here.
"Green Onions" was first released on Stax Records in October...
Discover this iconic blues jam by John Lee Hooker. This one uses a capo and is in an open A tuning. Check out a longer post about it here.
Here’s a fun old-school blues in the key of E. The original riff was played on the piano in the key of F, but here is a great way to play it in the key E on guitar.
John Lee Hooker originally recorded this tune in 1961, and music critics called it "the greatest pop song he ever wrote".
The majority of this song is an 8-bar blues chord progression in the key of C#. It features biting leads and big string bends from the legend Albert King!
Here’s a classic Jimmy...
In the vast world of music, few genres capture the raw emotion, soulful melodies, and electrifying energy quite like the blues.
In this post, I’m going to share with you a journey through 101 epic blues songs to learn on guitar. Whether you're a beginner eager to dive into the world of blues or an experienced guitarist seeking new challenges, this curated list will guide you through essential tracks that define the genre's diverse landscape.
From the haunting melodies of Robert Johnson to the scorching solos of Stevie Ray Vaughan, we'll cover iconic and influential songs that have shaped the blues into what it is today.
You’ll get a video for each song and also a skill rating for each guitar lesson:
Each song on this list has been chosen for its significance, popularity, and unique guitar techniques that make it an excellent learning experience. However, they are not in any kind of order other than...
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