Before tackling this course, you should be comfortable with all the material from Episode 4 - Acoustic Special

Summary: Less notes, more style!

In this episode the guys talk all about the blues! We look at cool chords, lead lines and just the general mentality to get into the blues spirit and way of playing. There is also some unbelievably good playing from both Thomas and Andy... B.B.King eat your heart out!

Jam 1: 12 Bar Blues in A

First up, let's look at those 3 chords that we are using in the 12 bar blues in A. You can use all 7th chords or 9th chords as well, both of which are written out below.

Lead: Major to Minor 3rd

As Andy spoke about, you can get a lot out of the minor 2nd and major 3rd and the combination of the two. Andy simply takes the root note on the B string (in this case A on the 10th fret) and uses it as a pivot point to get to the minor 2nd note and the major 3rd. You can play this notes in two different places on the neck as well, as shown here. Once you get the notes together, have some fun playing along to the jam track!

Jam 2: Minor Blues

For our second jam we move into the key of G minor to play through a 'minor blues' track. This essentially means that some of the usual dominant chords are exchanged for minor chords, and we therefore have a few different options in terms of scale choice. Firstly, here are the chords Andy was using:

Lead: Scales & Arpeggios

For the lead parts Thomas was choosing a different scale or arpeggio for each chord, whilst keeping it all based around the shape 1 of the pentatonic scale. This is a great way to add new spice to your soloing, and over a relatively slow track, not too hard to do! Over the root chord (Gm) he used a G Dorian scale, then switched to G minor scale of the Cm, as this helped to target the minor 3rd in C (which is the Eb, whilst the G Dorian scale highlighted the E note). Finally, for the Eb7 and D7 Thomas used an arpeggio of the two shapes, which works a treat! Here are those shapes, as well as the backing track to practice with!

Jam 3: Soul Blues Jam

For our final jam we are playing over a much more Peter Green style track, which is very common in soul and gospel music. The chord progression is as shown here:

Main Loop

C ///// C7 ///// F ///// Gbdim7 ///// C // Am // Dm // G // C // F / Gbdim7 / C / G7 /////


F ///// Gbdim7 ///// C // F // C // C7 // F ///// Gbdim7 ///// G /// Ab /// G /////

Lead: C Major Pentatonic...

For this track Thomas uses a combination of C Major, C minor and arpeggio notes. For example, of the I chord he uses major, then over IV chord minor. He plays around with this a lot, and you can have some fun with it too! Here are those scale shapes alongside the backing track!

Ready to move on? Remember to check out every lesson in this unit first – then try the next unit...

Episode 6 - Beginners Acoustic Guitar Special

In this episode Andy and Thomas take you back to the very basics that you need to learn as a beginner acoustic guitar player. They even take things one step further and put themselves in the position of a beginner student by playing left handed!