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2020 Blues - a quick one in A.

Guitar Lesson by Kirk Lorange

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For this lesson, I will now be charging a small fee of US $3.95 for the Printable PDF of the TAB/Notation. Click here to order it.


Here's a neat little blues for you get under your fingers. I've been fiddling around with this kind of thing for a long time now and I figured it was time to pass it on. It sounds easier than it is.

It's in A and for once I'm in standard tuning.

The main riff -- if that's what it's called -- has a little twist in it. The double that opens and recurs throughout it is pure A7 (bar 2, at the 7 second mark). It consists of a 5 and a b7 and it's a pretty familiar sound. The twist is that momentary flat 5 that appears in the second double stop (which consists of a flat 7 and a flat 5). Now I know it only last for a fleeting fraction of a second, but it's an important detail. We know that the 'blues scale' is the pentatonic with a flat 5 thrown in, so here it is in a double stop. Getting your fingers around it in a nice slinky fashion is the tricky bit. You'll see that I switch from index-middle fingers for the first double stop to third-pinkie for the next one, and then I instantly slide down a fret, with the same fingers, into the next one. It's that instantaneous slide down that gives it the flavor we're after. Very bluesy. Then there's that bend-up note that soon follows. It's just a slight bend, not a semitone, probably a quarter tone. The initial note, which is C, is the flat 3 of the A7 chord that is in play, and we're bending up a smidgeon to imply the 3, the major third, but we're not going all the way. Again, very bluesy.

The little pick-up which opens the whole tune and appears between riffs also has that same bend-up, and again, it's from the flat 3 bending up just a tad toward the 3.

The full riff occurs twice, then there are three shortened riffs and another full riff. You'll see and hear that I play them slightly differently each time. Sometimes I add the open A string bass note on each down beat, sometimes I don't. None of it is intentional, it's just way it turned out.

I then move to the V chord, an E7#9 -- the famous Hendrix chord -- for a couple of bars -- and change the feel for that section to a sort of half time triplet feel, then I go to an ending, one of those traditional sounding endings.

All in all, a fun one to work out and a challenging one to play ... with feel. Keeping that all-important flow going is the challenge.

See you soon!

For this lesson, I will now be charging a small fee of US $3.95 for the Printable PDF of the TAB/Notation. Click here to order it.


Guitar Lesson by Kirk Lorange

Kirk LorangeAs well as putting together these fingerstyle guitar lessons, I am also the author of PlaneTalk - The Truly Totally Different Guitar Instruction Package, which teaches a mindset, a way of thinking about music and a way of tracking it all on the guitar fretboard. Yes, there IS a constant down there in the maze of strings and fret wire, a landmark that points to everything at all times. I call it The Easiest Yet Most Powerful Guitar Lesson You Will Ever Learn and many testimonials at my site will back up that rather superlative description. If your goal as a guitar player is to be able to truly PLAY the guitar, not just learn by rote; to be able to invent on the fly, not memorize every note; to be able to see the WHOLE fretboard as friendly, familiar territory, not just the first 5 frets and to do it all without thinking about all those scales and modes, then you should read more here.