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Acoustic Blues Chord-Solo Lesson

Are you getting tired of playing the 12-bar blues in the same way every time? Do you want to be able to put licks, riffs, walks, and chords all together to create a much more interesting 12-bar so that you can play on your own, without a band?

Guitar Soloing Like a Pro book cover

My book, Guitar Soloing Like a Pro, is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Improve your guitar solos with these easy to follow tips, exercises and creative ideas. You'll not only improve your soloing, you understand the guitar fretboard better.


By choosing in advance specific measures to play riffs, chords, or solo, you can train yourself to play self-accompaniment style blues. This lesson from my YouTube channel shows you how to train your ear to get used to hearing the changes so you won't miss a chord change.

This lesson is great for anyone who enjoys playing acoustic blues guitar, or wants to learn general chord-melody and accompaniment style guitar playing.

You can download the tab exercise in PDF format using the link below, or read along with the tab here.

Download PDF • 43KB

This tab shows the outline as demonstrated in the video. To practice this concept, use bars 3-4 for a simple, short solo in E minor pentatonic (open position). Then instead of playing the A boogie riff, play an A7 chord. The fact that you are now strumming, as opposed to playing a riff, makes it sound very different than bars 1-2.

Then play another little solo in bars 7-8. Notice the walk-up to the B7 chord at the end of bar 8.

acoustic blues chord solo guitar tab

Bars 9-12 uses a B7 chord, then an A7 chord, rather than riffs. Finally, you can play a common turnaround in the final two measures, which again, will sound markedly different than all the rest.

That's the general idea, keep changing what you do, but remember, the harmonic (chord) sequence must stay the same, and we should always establish each chord change as it happens so we don't lose our place, and so the audience can still hear the "song" or harmonic changes of the 12-bar blues.

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