Learn To Play A Blues Song On Guitar Using Just One Finger!
When it comes to learning how to play the guitar, blues music is one of the most popular genres of music.
If you’re an aspiring blues guitar player the good news is that there are several ways we can get you playing along to a blues song on guitar relatively easily.
The first of which is using a special guitar hack I call the One Finger Blues Guitar Trick.
Even if you’re a total beginner guitar player and today is your first day of learning, you’ll be able to play along to a full blues song.
So Grab your guitar and warm up your index finger because we’re about to teach you the One Finger Blues on guitar!
How To Play A Blues On Guitar
The best thing about the blues is that 99% of blues songs are written using the exact same formula.
Sure there are variations but if we understand the formula used to write blues music we can see the underlying song structure and play along using very simple chords, even if we’re new to guitar and are just getting started.
The 12 Bar Blues Formula looks like this:
Chord 1 – Chord 4 – Chord 1 – Chord 1
Chord 4 – Chord 4 – Chord 1 – Chord 1
Chord 5 – Chord 4 – Chord 1 – Chord 5
While that might not make sense if you’re unfamiliar with music theory, what we are saying is that within any given key of music (the collection of notes and chords that work together), we will be using the 1st, 4th and 5th chords in that key.
If we are playing in the key of C Major, the notes of the scale are C D E F G A B C.
C is the 1st note, F is the 4th note and G is the 5th note, therefore we only need to plug the notes C, F & G into the template above. That looks like this:
C – F – C -C
F – F – C – C
G – F – C – G
If you know how to play a C, F & G chord, you can play along to the progression above to get a blues song. You’ll also notice that there are 12 bars of music, hence the name 12 Bar Blues.
Easy 12 Bar Blues Guitar Lesson
Just to make sure you understand the 12-bar blues formula, we’re going to map it out in the key of A which is one of the most popular keys to play a blues song on guitar.
The notes in the key of A are A B C# D E F# G# and A where A = 1, D = 4 and G = 5.
If we plug this into our 12 Bar Blues Formula you get the following:
A – D – A – A
D – D – A – A
E – D – A – E
Now if you’re new to learning guitar chances are it will take you around 3 months to get really comfortable with switching between your basic guitar chords smoothly. This is unfortunate because most people want to sound good right away and are likely to give up well before they invest enough time into becoming good at their chord changes.
To make things simpler we are going to use a special chord shape that can be played with one finger.
The Secret Chord That Will Let You Play Along To Any Blues Song On Guitar
The secret chord we can play is a movable minor triad in 1st inversion.
You don’t really have to understand what it means right now, you just need to know how to play it.
To play an A Minor triad in 1st inversion all you need to do is put your 1st finger flat across fret 5 on the first three strings (1-3).
Squeeze your guitar and strum and if you get it right all three strings should ring out.
This is the A minor chord because A is the note that is found at the 5th fret of the guitar.
Once you get the hang of this chord shape, try moving your finger to fret 10 to play a D Minor chord (in 1st inversion). Your 1st finger should be holding down fret 10 of the first three strings.
Finally, move your finger to fret 12 and bar it across all three strings to play and E Minor chord.
When you can play all three chords, practice switching between them so that you can move freely without having to think too much.
Applying The Secret Chord To The 12 Bar Blues Progression.
Now that you have a special way of playing each of the three chords it’s time to apply them to the 12 Bar Blues progression.
I’ve converted the progression from letter names to numbers. All you need to do is move your finger to the given fret, bar it across the first three strings and play the chords in time with the music and you will have a 12 bar blues song!
Here are the frets:
5 – 10 – 5 – 5
10 – 10 – 5 – 5
12 – 10 – 5 – 12
That’s it! It’s literally all you need to do to play the blues on guitar!
Blues Guitar Lessons In Melbourne
If you want to learn how to play blues music on guitar then taking guitar lessons with a professional guitar teacher is the best way to go.
If you live in Melbourne and are looking for Blues Guitar Lessons in Melbourne then I would love to help you learn how to play the guitar.
If you’re outside of Melbourne then don’t worry, you can get some great blues guitar lessons for free on my Youtube channel including a special video on this topic which you can watch below
More Easy Blues Guitar Lessons
You should practice today’s lesson on blues guitar until you can confidently play along in time within the key of A.
Once you get the hang of this you can try moving to new keys like I suggest and demonstrate in the video above.
Popular keys for blues music on guitar include A, E, C, D, F, Bb, Eb and Ab, but once you get the hang of the basic pattern it won’t be too hard to move to new keys.
Today we learned how to play an Easy Minor Blues On Guitar. Stay tuned because I’ll be posting another easy blues guitar lesson on how to play a Major Blues using a similar guitar hack.
In the meantime, if you found this guitar lesson valuable you can get my blues guitar online course with over 30 ways to play along to a 12 Bar Blues which will take you from zero to blues guitar hero in no time at all as part of my Guitar Dojo Online membership.