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Free Jam Tracks Stack

Blues Guitar Jam Tracks

   

01 Slow Blues In A mp3 wma
Time/size: 2 mins 40 secs/3.7mb
Blues jam track: slow blues progression
Backing track instruments: electric rhythm guitar, bass and drums

Suggestions: Use the A Blues Scale. Below is the tab for the A blues scale starting at the 5th position. '5th position' simply means your index finger is at your 5th fret. We are starting on the Root note, the A, and playing 2 octaves of the blues scale as well as adding the flat third or b3 when we play the 8th fret on the high E or 1st string. This is the most common patter for the blues scale.

The A Blues Scale, 5th position.

E|------------------------------------------5--8--
B|-----------------------------------5--8---------
G|-------------------------5--7--8----------------
D|------------------5--7--------------------------
A|--------5--6--7---------------------------------
E|--5--8-------------------------------------------

You'll soon discover as I put up blues scales in more keys that we are using the same patterns just in different positions on the guitar neck. You really don't need to learn a lot of theory or scales to be able to play reasonably well. If you focus on learning the basic patterns you'll find you will be able to play along with a lot of music in a relatively short space of time.

Blues Licks for Slow Blues in A

Here are 4 simple blues licks that use only the notes from the A Blues Scale shown above. Try playing each lick over the entire progression. Notice that when you play the same notes over the different chords the licks sound very different. You can work out different rhythms to play for each lick and vary the notes used to make up your own blues licks.

That's what improvising is all about. Listening to others to get ideas, listening to the music you can sing in your head, emulating those ideas and sounds and then just playing around with them to come up with your own ideas. This is how you build your own sound. It's not a hard process to go through, you just need to spend time on it and be patient. Don't try and rush to get to the next level. Play, play more and play some more. Getting good will happen with practice. If you need to keep your hands on the neck getting good will take care of itself.

...nuff said, it's time to jam!

Blues Lick 1:

E|-------------------------
B|-------------------------
G|-------------------------
D|-------------------------
A|--------5--6--5---------
E|--5--8------------8--5--

Blues Lick 2:

E|--------------------------
B|--------------------------
G|--------------------------
D|----------------------7--
A|--------5--6--5---------
E|--5--8------------8-----

Blues Lick 3:

E|-------------------------
B|-------------------------
G|------------5------------
D|-----5--7------7--5--7--
A|--7----------------------
E|--------------------------

Blues Lick 4:

E|-----------------------5--8--5-----------5--
B|----------------5--8------------------8-----
G|-----5--7--8--------------------------------
D|--7-----------------------------------------
A|--------------------------------------------
E|---------------------------------------------

02 A Shuffle mp3 wma
Time/size: 3 mins 22 secs/4.66mb
Blues jam track: slow blues progression (90 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: hammond, bass and drums
Suggestions: start with an A blues scale with a hard sharp attack.

03 E Straight mp3 wma
Time/size: 3 mins 20 secs/4.61mb
Blues jam track: straight ahead progression (120 bpm)
Backing track instruments: hammond, bass and drums
Suggestions: start with an E blues scale and play around with some hammer ons.

04 Eb Slow Blues (E if you play guitar and tune down 1/2 a step) mp3 wma
Time/size: 7 minutes/9.66mb
Blues jam track: slow blues progression
Backing track instruments: hammond, bass and drums
Suggestions: start with an Eb blues scale and learn to bend hard like Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

05 Ab Shuffle (A if you play gutar and tune down 1/2 a step) mp3 wma
Time/size: 4 mins 30 secs/6.23mb
Blues jam track: mid tempo blues shuffle
Backing track instruments: hammond, bass and drums
Suggestions: start with an A blues scale and try some triads in the soloing.

06 G Medium Blues mp3 wma
Time/size: 3 mins 50 secs/5.29mb
Blues jam track: medium tempo blues progression (80 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: acoustic guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: G blues scale and pay attention to your note choice and phrasing.

07 E Fast Shuffle mp3 wma
Time/size: 3 mins 25 secs/4.72mb
Blues jam track: fast blues shuffle (160 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: Play along with the bass line and in and out of the E Blues scale.

08 A Medium Blues Shuffle mp3 wma
Time/size: 3 mins 17 secs/4.54mb
Blues jam track: laid back shuffle (94 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: acoustic guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: A blues scale. Hammer ons and bends.

A Medium Blues Shuffle Guitar Tab

Below is the guitar tab for the rhythm guitar that is playing for Medium Blues Shuffle. It's fairly straight forward, 2 note chords that shuffle using the Root + 5, Root + 6 and Root + b7 chords.

At the end of each mini-section I'm playing open strings very lightly. I've put specific strings that I'm playing but the fact is I'm just lifting my left hand off the fretboard so it can move to the next chord. While my left hand off the fretboard I'm lightly playing any of the open strings I happen to hit, or brush past, with my pick or fingers. It's more for the rhythmic effect than the notes.

The notes that are being played don't make sense at all - in theory. But in the context of the music it fits a lot better than having a break as I change positions.

This technique keeps the pulse and groove going. I learnt it from Stevie Ray Vaughan and Lightnin' Hopkins. They were absolute masters of it but everyone uses is. Lightnin' Hopkins would use it in a more open dramatic way. Stevie did that too but he was more percussive and rhythmic the way he played it. It's a big part of why his grooves are so definite.

You need to play this really laid back if you want to capture the groove of it. And that non-chord at the end I'm taking about where I take my left hand off the neck is vital if you want to get the whole thing happening. It's all about the feel. Play it laid back but with a solid groove.

It took me a long time to be able to play this type of thing where I was happy with the sound and feel of it. Too many players think it's simple and don't spend time on really getting it down. They seem to think that because they are using basic two-note chords they don't need to work on it. But there is so much more about it than the simplicity of the chords.

It's all about feel. You can't beat feel and groove. It has to come from within and it takes time and soul to get it happening.

Bars 1-2
E|----------------------------------------------------0--
B|----------------------------------------------------0--
G|----------------------------------------------------0--
D|--2--2--4--4--2--2--4--4--2--2--4--4--5--5--4--0--
A|--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--X--
E|----------------------------------------------------X--
Chords
|---A----------------------------------------------------

Bars 3-4 (same as above)
E|----------------------------------------------------0--
B|----------------------------------------------------0--
G|----------------------------------------------------0--
D|--2--2--4--4--2--2--4--4--2--2--4--4--5--5--4--0--
A|--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--X--
E|----------------------------------------------------X--
Chords
|---A----------------------------------------------------

Bars 5-6
E|--------------------------0-------------------------0--
B|--------------------------0-------------------------0--
G|--2--2--4--4--5--5--4--0--2--2--4--4--5--5--4--0--
D|--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--
A|-------------------------X-------------------------X--
E|-------------------------X-------------------------X--
Chords
|---D-----------------------------------------------------

Bars 7-8
E|--------------------------0-------------------------0--
B|--------------------------0-------------------------0--
G|--------------------------0-------------------------0--
D|--2--2--4--4--5--5--4--0--2--2--4--4--5--5--4--0--
A|--0--0--0--0--0--5--0--X--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--X--
E|--------------------------X-------------------------X--
Chords
|---A-----------------------------------------------

Bars 9-10
E|-------------------------X-------------------------0--
B|-------------------------X-------------------------0--
G|-------------------------0--2--2--4--4--5--5--4--0--
D|-------------------------0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--
A|--2--2--4--4--2--2--4--0-------------------------X--
E|--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--X-------------------------X--
Chords
|---E----------------------D-----------------------------

Bars 11-12
E|--------------------------------X--0-----0--0--0--
B|--------------------------------1--0-----0--0--0--
G|--------------------------------2--1-----1--1--0--
D|--2--2--4--4--2--2--4--4--2--3--2-----2--2--0--
A|--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--0--3--2-----2--2--X--
E|-----------------------------X--1--0-----1--1--X--
Chords
|---A-----------------------------F--E--------------

Gregg Allman - Come And Go Blues

09 A Medium Blues Shuffle Quick Change mp3 wma
Time/size: 3 mins 47 secs/5.22mb
Blues jam track: laid back shuffle (94 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: acoustic guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: This is the same as the above track but with a quick change.
A quick change means the 2nd bar goes to the IV chord instead of staying on the I chord.
You should play the 2 progressions above back to back to get familiar with the quick change.

10 Eb Straight Ahead Blues (E if you play guitar and tune down 1/2 a step) mp3 wma
Time/size: 4 mins 22 secs/6.04mb
Blues jam track: laid back straight ahead boogie (80 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: acoustic guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: Eb blues scale. Play in and out with the rhythm of the track.

11 B Slow Blues (C if you play guitar and tune down 1/2 a step) mp3 wma
Time/size: 4 mins 54 secs/6.77mb
Blues jam track: slow blues (100 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: acoustic guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: Listen to Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan and the way they bent notes.

Play Guitar Blues 02

01 A Medium Shuffle mp3 wma
Time/size: 5 mins /6.9mb
Blues jam track: medium shuffle in A (108 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: This is a good laid back feel to concentrate on your note choice and phrasing.
Aim for quality (and not quantity) in both the note choice as well as the tone of the notes.

On track 01 on the Play Guitar Blues 01 page I put up the A blues scale in 5th position. Here's the A blues scale in open position:

The A Blues Scale in Open Position

E|------------------------------------------0--3--5--
B|--------------------------------1--3--4-----------
G|-------------------------0--2---------------------
D|---------------0--1--2----------------------------
A|--------0--3--------------------------------------
E|--0--3--------------------------------------------

Note that the Root note of the A blues scale in open position is on the 5th or the A string. The E string has the E note which is the 5th note of the A scale and the G (on the 3rd fret of the low E) which is the b7th (flat seventh) note of the A blues scale.

Blues Guitar Licks in A

Let's look at 2 simple blues licks with a variation on each lick that uses the b7th on the low E string. Lick 1a below is starting on the root note of the scale, the A, and playing up to the b3rd, which is the C on the 3rd fret of the A string.

In lick 1b instead of starting on the Root we are instead leading into the root by starting on the b7th which is the G at the 3rd fret of the E string.

Lick 2a and 2b are also similar. In lick 2a we play the notes of the A blues scale starting on the A and walking up to the b5th (flat fifth) of the A blues scale located at the 4th fret on the 2nd or B string.

In lick 2b when we are walking the notes back down from the b5th, instead of playing the b3rd located on the 1st fret of the B string we are playing the b7th. The flat 7th here is the open G string.

Blues Lick 1a

E|-------------------------
B|-------------------------
G|-------------------------
D|-------------------------
A|--0--0--3--3--0--3-----
E|-------------------------

Blues Lick 1b

E|--------------------------
B|--------------------------
G|--------------------------
D|-------------------------
A|-----0--0--3--3--0--3---
E|--3-------------------

Blues Lick 2a

E|-------------------------
B|-----1--3--4--3--1-----
G|--2------------------2--
D|------------------------
A|------------------------
E|-------------------------

Blues Lick 2b

E|-------------------------
B|-----1--3--4--3--------
G|--2---------------0--2--
D|------------------------
A|------------------------
E|-------------------------

Music Theory: The Flat Seventh (b7th) Note

Remember that the flat 7th of an A scale is the note G.

The 7th note of any Major scale is the note that is located one fret below the Root note of the scale you are playing. For the A Major scale, the 7th is G# (G sharp).

The Blues scale however uses the notes Root, b3rd, 4th, b5th, 5th and b7th notes relative to the Major scale in the same key. We know that the 7th note of the A Major scale is G#. So we flatten the note (lower it by one fret or one semi-tone) which gives us the note G.

That's how you can work out what the b7th is for any blues scale. It's simply one fret lower than the 7th of the Major scale off the same root note. Or you can just remember that the 7th note of the blues scale is one tone (two frets) below the root note of the scale you are playing in.

Notice that when I explain theory I'm saying the same things in a few different ways. There are several ways that music theory can be expressed. I repeat them because everyone has a different amount of knowledge. Some terms might be obvious and other terms you might not have heard before but hopefully now understand because I'm stating the same things just in a different way.

02 D Medium Fast Shuffle mp3 wma
Time/size: 4 mins 18 secs/5.94mb
Blues jam track: medium fast shuffle in D (126 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: This is based on the Allman Brothers version of Statesboro Blues.
Have a listen to that and pull out your slide.

03 C Straight Ahead Blues mp3 wma
Time/size: 4 mins 02 secs/5.57mb
Blues jam track: straight ahead mid tempo blues C (100 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: Get into the rhythm of the track and go from there.

Stevie Ray Vaughan- Texas Flood

04 Eb Medium Texas Thang (E if you play guitar and tune down 1/2 a step) mp3 wma
Time/size: 3 mins 41 secs/5.10mb
Blues jam track: straight ahead blues in Eb (110 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: Dig dig hard into the notes and pull out some big fat texas tone.

05 Eb Voodoo Vamp (E if you play guitar and tune down 1/2 a step) mp3 wma
Time/size: 5 mins 51 secs/8.09mb
Blues jam track: Vamp on an Eb7 chord (86 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: Chop it down with the edge of your hands!
Pull out the wah and go from there.

06 Ab Midtown Shuffle (A if you play guitar and tune down 1/2 a step) mp3 wma
Time/size: 4 mins 06 secs/5.64mb
Blues jam track: medium shuffle in Ab (120 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: A few chromatic runs leading in and out of the chords wouldn't go astray on this one.

07 G6/9 I IV V Progression mp3 wma
Time/size: 4 mins 08 secs/5.72mb
Blues jam track: a I-IV-V progression using Sixth and Ninth Chords in G (120 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: Start with a G Major Pentatonic Scale.

08 C Slow Walk Down Blues mp3 wma
Time/size: 5 mins 31 secs/7.63mb
Blues jam track:slow blues progression in C (108 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: C blues scale - try this with a slide.

B.B. King - Blues Boys Tune

09 E Vamp in the key of Chill mp3 wma
Time/size: 4 mins 17 secs/5.92mb
Blues jam track: A vamp in E (120 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: The chord extensions used in this are E9-E6 and E-E7-E6.
Try both Major & minor pentatonic scales and use all chord and scale tones.

10 F Straight Ahead Blues mp3 wma
Time/size: 4 mins 32 secs/6.26mb
Blues jam track: Straight ahead blues progression in F (110 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: F blues scale and play with the riff.
Listen to Albert King's version of Killing Floor and borrow some of Albert's great licks.

11 Bb Rocket Blues mp3 wma
Time/size: 5 mins 54 secs/8.16mb
Blues jam track: Straight ahead blues progression in Bb (100 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: Bring out the wah!

Blues Guitar 03

01 A Cool Jazz Blues Shuffle mp3 wma
Time/size: 4 mins 15 secs/5.87mb
Blues jam track: Blues shuffle with a laid back jazz feel in A (106 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: Chords are A-A7-A6, D9-D6, E9-E6.
Use scales relative to the chords. A blues scale, D and E Mixolydian and experiment.

The A Blues Scale, 12th position.
Note that in 12th position the Root note for the A blues scale is on the A string at the 12th fret. The 12th fret of the E, or 6th string) is the E or 5th or the A blues scale. The 15th fret of the E string you are playing the G which is the flat 7th (b7th) of the A blues scale. If you don't know what note to start on, start on the Root note of the scale or the chord you are playing on. So here you can start by playing the 12th fret of the 5th or A string.

E|--------------------------------------------------------12--15--17--
B|------------------------------------------13--15--16----------------
G|---------------------------------10--12-----------------------------
D|--------------------10--11--12---------------------------------------------
A|-----------12--15---------------------------------------------------
E|--12--15-------------------------------------------------------------

Notice that on the 2nd or B string above, that the note on the 16th fret is the flat 5th (or b5th) note of the A blues scale. This is the 'blue note' which is an Eb (E flat) of an B blues scale. A great way to make your solo sound more bluesy is to bend the 4th note up to the blue note. Play the D (at the 15th fret of the 2nd string) and bend the note up to the tone of the Eb. Once you sound the Eb you can pick the note again and then bend it back to the D or just bend it back down to the D without picking the note at the tone of the Eb. You can also bend the note higher so it will sound the E note. This would be the equivalent sound of if you played the note on the 17th fret of the B string.

You need to be careful when you start bending notes that you pitch the notes correctly. It's good practice to start by playing play the note that you want to bend to (e.g. play the 17th fret) and then bend the note from the 15th fret to match the pitch that you just played on the 17th fret.

We went up to the 17th fret with the scale diagram above because the 17th fret of the E string is the A, which is the Root note of the A blues scale.

A Blues Scale Licks in 12th position.
Below are four blues licks using notes from the pattern above. As always, they rhythm is up to you. So have a play around with the notes below with a few different rhythms and come up with some phrases that sound bluesy.

Blues Lick 1:

E|-----------------------------------
B|-------13--15--16--15--13-------
G|--14--------------------------14--
D|-----------------------------------
A|-----------------------------------
E|-----------------------------------

Blues Lick 2:

E|----------------------------------
B|----------------------------------
G|--14--12------12--14--14--12--
D|-----------14--------------------
A|----------------------------------
E|----------------------------------

Blues Lick 3:

E|--------------------------
B|---------------------13--
G|-------14--12-----------
D|----------------14-------
A|--12---------------------
E|--------------------------

Blues Lick 4:

E|--12--12--12--15--15--17--17--15--
B|---------------------------------------
G|---------------------------------------
D|---------------------------------------
A|---------------------------------------
E|---------------------------------------

 

02 A Cream at the Crossroads mp3 wma
Time/size: 5 mins/6.91mb
Blues jam track: Rock blues in A (140 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: Listen to The Cream's version of Crossroads
and Clapton's use of both minor pentatonic/blues and Major pentatonic scales.
It's one of the greatest live recorded guitar solo's ever.

03 B Slow Blues mp3 wma
Time/size: 10 mins 47 secs/14.8mb
Blues jam track: Slow blues in B (100 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: B blues scale.
Listen to Stevie Ray Vaughan and Albert King and the way they bend and sustain notes.

04 G Roll & Tumble Blues mp3 wma
Time/size: 4 mins 03 secs/5.60mb
Blues jam track: Blues with a riff in G.(100 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: Put on a slide and explore the space.

05 A Her Sister Will Blues mp3 wma
Time/size: 4 mins 55 secs/6.80mb
Blues jam track: Slow blues in A.(60 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: Based on Hendrix's Red House (Red House is in B).
Stick with the A blues scale.

06 E Acoustic Harmony Blues mp3 wma
Time/size: 3 mins 37 secs/5.00mb
Blues jam track: Harmonizing the chords for a blues progression in E (112 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: acoustic guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: E blues scale and groove with the track.

07 E Acoustic Barrelhouse Shuffle mp3 wma
Time/size: 5 mins 30 secs/7.59mb
Blues jam track: Blues shuffle in E (100 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: acoustic guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: pay attention to your phrasing.
Work on making the turn around lead smoothly back to the start of the progression.

08 A Shufflin Along mp3 wma
Time/size: 4 mins 10 secs/5.77mb
Blues jam track: Mid tempo shuffle in A (120 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: Start with an A blues scale - ie A, C, D, Eb, E, G.
Which is the 1st, b3rd, 4th, b5th, 5th and b7th of an A Major scale.

09 G Stormy Allman Brothers mp3 wma
Time/size: 6 mins 50 secs/9.44mb
Blues jam track: Slow blues in G (58 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass and drums
Chords used are: G7, C7/9, G#7-G7, C7, G7, Ami7, Bmi7, Bbmi7, Bmi7, C7, G7, C7, G7, C7-C#7- D7. Sometimes I'm playing the C7 sometimes the C9 on the IV chord.
Suggestions: This is based on The Allman Brothers version of Stormy Monday Blues.
I highly recommend you buy the Allman's album Fillmore East.
This album is my biggest musical influence for so many reasons.

10 D Lay it Down Straight mp3 wma
Time/size: 5 mins 01 secs/6.93mb
Blues jam track: Laid back straight ahead jam in D (110 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: Chords are D, G & A. ie a I, IV, V progression.
Try using the D, G and A Pentatonic scales over the D, G and A chords.

11 A Straight Up Straight Down mp3 wma
Time/size: 6 mins 13 secs/8.57mb
Blues jam track: Straight tempo rock in A (90 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: Chords used are A and Asus4. (A sus4 chord means replacing the Major 3rd with the 4th). A Mixolydian scale: ie an A Major scale but lower the 7th (G# becomes G).

Blues Guitar 04

01 F# Chiller Chill Chill mp3 wma
Time/size: 7 mins 16 secs/10mb
Blues jam track: Blues vamp in F# (82 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: Centered around an F#7 chord using the Root, 5th and 7th of the chord.
Use an F# Blues Scale - ie F#, A, Bb, B, C# & E and go listen to R.L. Burnside.

02 E Shake That Thang mp3 wma
Time/size: 4 mins 17 secs/5.90mb
Blues jam track:Mid tempo shuffle progression in E (130 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments:electric guitar, bass and drums
Progression: standard blues 12 bar: E7 x 4 bars, A7 x 2 bars, E7 x 2 bars, B7 x 1 bar, A7 x 1 bar, E7 x 1 bar, B7 x 1 bar.
Suggestions: Play an E blues scale over this progression. ie the notes E, G, A, Bb, B, D being the Root (or 1), b3, 4, b5, 5 & b7 notes of an E Major scale.

Music Theory - E Blues Scale

Any blues scale is the Root, flat 3rd, 4th, flat 5th, 5th and flat 7th of the Major scale with the same Root note. So to work out the notes of the E Blues scale you take those 6 notes from the E Major scale.

The E Major scale is: E, F#, G#, A, B, C#, D#. We can number the notes of any Major scale 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. (where 1 is the Root note, in this case E)

The Root of the E Major scale is E. So E is the first note of the E Blues scale.
The 3rd of the E Major scale is G#, thus the flat 3rd (or b3rd) of the E Major scale is G. So G is the second note of the E blues scale.
The 4th of the E Major scale is A. So A is the third note of the E blues scale.
The 5th of the E Major scale is B, thus the b5th of the E Major scale is Bb. So Bb is the fourth note of the E blues scale.
The 5th of the E Major scale is B. So B is the fifth note of the E blues scale.
The 7th of the E Major scale is D#, thus the b7th of the E Major scale is D. So D is the sixth and final note of the E blues scale.

And that's how you can work out the notes of any Blues scale. ie:
1. Take the Major Scale for the Key you want to work out the Blues scale (in the example above, E).
2. Then work out the six notes of the Blues scale which are the Root, b3rd, 4th, b5th, 5th and b7th of the Major scale.

So if you are going to jam with a blues progression in E, you work out the notes for the E blues scale. All of those six notes will sound good over the 3 chords of the E Blues Progression.
If you are going to jam with a D blues progression (like with the next jam track), then you work out the notes for the D blues scale.

One of the great things about playing the guitar though is that you don't actually need to work out the Blues scale for each key. No matter what key you are in the pattern(s) of the notes of the Blues scale on the neck is the same. So you can get away with learning the Blues scale pattern(s) in one key and then just moving the pattern(s) up & down the neck to play in any other key. I'll put more info on this in the Music Theory section soon.

If you played piano - you'd have to learn the Blues scale in 12 different keys, each with a different pattern. (You'd also need a large van and some very strong friends)!

On guitar, you can get away with just learning the one pattern for all 12 keys (and owning a small car or even just a bike)! It's one of the great things about playing the guitar - the blues scale is a great sounding scale that you can get great sounds out of.

Regardless of if you are Stevie Ray Vaughan or if you are just beginning to learn to improvise.
But it can also be a bit of a trap - a lot of guitar players become 'pattern' players. ie they play the same licks no matter what Key they are playing in because they just rely on knowing the patterns on the guitar neck and don't think about the actual notes they are playing. You can get your fingers and your ear in a rutt if you just rely on the patterns.

If you want to get the most out of playing, you really want to pay attention to both knowing the patterns on the guitar AND the notes you are playing. Most importantly, don't forget that music is about actual sounds. It's about feel, groove and soul. Notes, scales, patterns etc are just how I can explain music to you - you need to use that information to make it into something that goes beyond words.

Blues Guitar 05

03 D Burnt Steak Blues mp3 wma
Time/size: 6 mins 56 secs/9.53mb
Blues jam track: Laid back shuffle in D (86 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Progression: standard blues 12 bar: D7 x 4 bars, G7 x 2 bars, D7 x 2 bars, A7 x 1 bar, G7 x 1 bar
D7 x 2 beats G7 x 2 beats, D7 x 2 beats, A7 x 2 beats.
Notice the variation on the chords of the last 2 bars compared to track 02 above?
There are several variations of the standard blues progression.
Suggestions: Play a D blues scale over this progression.
Using the information given for track 02, write out the notes of the D Blues scale and find those notes on the guitar. Notice you are using the same pattern on the neck as for the E Blues scale - just that you are moving that pattern 2 frets up the neck.

04 E Stevie In The Crossfire mp3 wma
Time/size: 5 mins 20 secs/7.33mb
Blues jam track: Straight ahead groove E (110 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, acoustic guitar, bass and drums
Progression: this is a one riff track using the Root, 3rd, 5th and b7th notes of the E7 chord.
I have borrowed this riff from Stevie Ray Vaughan's song 'Crossfire' from Stevie's last studio album 'In Step'. Although the riff also reminds me of the song 'Pretty Woman' by Roy Orbison. You just need to add a Major 2nd to find that riff.
Suggestions: Get a copy of 'In Step' by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, go and find the biggest stereo system you can, turn the volume up to 10 and put the entire album on repeat. Like Jimi Hendrix, SRV played with his guitar tuned down 1/2 a step, so he played Crossfire in Eb. I recorded this riff in E, so start with an E blues scale. If you try and learn some of Stevie's licks (and I suggest that you do) tune your guitar down 1/2 a step.

05 Db The Train Just Kept Goin mp3 wma
Time/size: 5 mins 18 secs/7.29mb
Blues jam track: Blues in Db (140 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: This is a standard blues progression in Db. Start just with a Db blues scale and get used to the positions on the neck in this key. There aren't very many blues songs in Db. The great thing about playing in different keys is that you become more familiar with your the layout of the neck. Also, each different position has it's own special sweet spot that helps to give you fresh ideas and new licks that you can then use in the keys you usually play in. Variety is one of the keys to becoming a good musician.

06 Ab Electric Mud mp3 wma
Time/size: 6 mins 33 secs/9mb
Blues jam track: Blues vamp in Ab (92 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: Centered around an Ab7 chord. Start off with a Ab blues scale and then try adding other scale tones like the Bb (ie the 2nd) and the F (ie the 6th).

07 A Nothin But A Jam Again mp3 wma
Time/size: 6 mins 35 secs/9.04mb
Blues jam track: 6/8 blues riff in A (60 beats per minute/bpm)
Backing track instruments: electric guitar, bass and drums
Suggestions: This is simply a repeated riff in 12/8 time in the key of A. Instead of the A blues scale try playin the A Mixolydian scale over this riff.

2 Octaves of the A Mixolydian scale from the 4th position is:
E|------------------------------------------------5--
B|--------------------------------------5--7--8-----
G|----------------------------4--6--7---------------
D|------------------4--5--7-------------------------
A|--------4--5--7-----------------------------------
E|--5--7---------------------------------------------

There is only 1 chord used over the riff. It's an A chord used in 2 positions.

A Major open position
E|--x---
B|--2---
G|--2---
D|--2---
A|--0---
E|--x---

A Major 12th position
E|--x----
B|--14--
G|--14--
D|--14--
A|--0---
E|--x----

To play the A I'm just barring the chord with my index finger and then I'm sliding the shape from the 2nd fret up to the 14th fret (so you could say it's an A chord in 14th position). You can get some pretty good sounds when you slide chords up an octave. Especially with the standard E and A chord shapes.

Play Blues Guitar

The jam tracks on play guitar blues page are mostly made up of straight forward blues progressions in the more common blues keys. Some of the backing tracks have been recorded in Eb and Ab, mainly because so many blues guitar players tune their guitars down half a step. If you don't tune your guitar down half a step then just play them in the keys they are in. i.e. Eb and Ab.

When you are learning to play guitar you should play in as many different key signatures as possible. Even if you are an experienced guitar player, playing in keys you aren't familiar with will get you out of your comfort zone and make you play in different places on the neck. This will help you come up with new riffs and licks and will help make learning guitar fresh.

With each of the blues guitar tracks you can start playing along with the standard blues scale for each key.

Most importantly of all - this is the blues, it's about feeling. Listen to the music you can hear in your head and try and play that on the guitar. The real deal is to play the blues from your heart and soul.

...nuff said - it's time to jam!

Jam on!

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