Tag Archives for " Blues Licks "


How To: Easy Campfire Blues

campfireToday I’ve been digging through all my camping stuff, as I’m planning on heading out of town for a couple days soon…

Unfortunately, there’s a fire ban in the area, but that’s not going to stop me from doing a little campfire blues all the same!

I picked up one of those propane firepits a while back – yeah I know – FAR from the real thing, but hey, at least you can still stare at a flame while you’re strumming, right?

On the upside, you never get smoke in your eyes with those things!

One of the things I like about jamming around the campfire is that it’s really low key.

I mean, no one ever cares if you make a mistake, because hey, its free entertainment, right?

Plus, most people I’ve camped with can’t play guitar worth a bean anyhow, so they end up loving the simplest things that you play…

Remember, its usually only us guitar players who critique ourselves on trying to play more complicated stuff.

The rest of the world just enjoys listening to good music – be it simple, or complicated.

Even blues riffs can be simple, and yet sound GREAT.

Most blues licks come straight out of the pentatonic minor scale – the simplest, best sounding scale we have – and yet they are the ones that really grab people’s attention.

In fact, Colin Daniel has packed 30 of those great sounding, easy to learn, pentatonic licks all into one place.

You can find them all here.

Every single one of these licks would sound great around a campfire… and I’m planning on putting them to good use shortly!

Laid Back Summer Blues Licks

Springsteen-Asleep W GuitarHave you ever had a guitar in your hand, and you were sorta half asleep, but playing some pretty cool stuff?

(I’m pretty sure I actually fell asleep with my guitar in hand one time – but that’s a different story). In the pic on the right, Bruce Springsteen clearly fell asleep…

Laid back blues – the cool thing is, you can basically use the exact same guitar licks you might normally use in a blues-rock solo, you know, faster, punchier licks… you can use those exact same licks, same fingering, same patterns, everything the same except how fast you play them.

And they’ll sound GREAT.

There’s no law that says you have to play a particular lick in any certain way.

So, if you want laid back blues, you play the lick that much slower, and voila presto, you’ve got it.

The great thing about blues licks like this is that for someone new to soloing, these kind of licks are exactly the right place to get started.

Once you’re comfortable playing them “laid back” style, then by all means, pick it up a little and rock it out a bit more…

But start with the slower, laid back ones, and you’ll not only learn quicker, you’ll have a ton of fun and sound great doing it.

Check it out – there are 30 great blues licks here.


E7 Blues With Thirds

Here’s a fun way to apply some thirds in a blues style format over an E7 chord.

There are two types of thirds: major and minor. The major third is four semitones, and a minor third is three semitones. On your guitar, if you play a G on the 3rd fret, 6th string, at the same time as a B on the 2nd fret of the 5th string, you get a major third. That kiddy-corner pattern you get will produce a major third anywhere in the lower four strings.

To get a minor third, simply drop the B to a Bb. That same pattern will give you a minor third anywhere on the lower four strings.

The “progression” we’re playing over here is actually just one chord – E dominant 7. I like playing it with the added D on the 3rd fret, 2nd string. The D is the flatted 7 (b7) that makes this chord sound so cool. Remember, E7 is neither major nor minor, and as such it can stand in like a body double for either one. In this particular case we’re treating it like a minor chord.

When you’re using thirds, think about what chords are in the key. If your I IV V chords are major, then the related thirds are going to be major as well. For instance, in the key of G, we have D major. Thus, when you’re looking for a third to play off a D, play the major third.

If you’re looking for a great way to apply the riff you learn in this lesson, I recommend working it over while playing along with these blues jam tracks. (There’s a free sample track available at that link)

Alrighty – ready to dig into this? Let’s get started.

Watch on Youtube


3 Cool Licks

This video lesson has a few cool guitar riffs that you can use. I always find it fun to learn new riffs, but sometimes you come across a particular riff on a song somewhere that you absolutely love. Ever try figuring out those riffs? It can be tricky.

Using a tool such as RiffMaster Pro can really help, because it lets you slow down the song while keeping the pitch constant. So even if the guy is shredding away like a wood chipper, you can still hear each note slowly and clearly with this software. If you’re into figuring out cover songs, this one is probably worth checking out. Additionally, once you get the hang of how to play the riff, there’s nothing like practicing it over some jam tracks to really lock it in.

Leave a comment below video and tell me which riff you liked best, and I’ll have more for you next time!

Video Problems? Watch it on YouTube

For More Riffs Like This One, Click Here

If you liked the style and difficulty level of these guitar riffs, you might like to check out my short course that contains a bunch more guitar riffs in G major.