Blues Songs How to Play Intro, Riffs, Ending & Bonus Video

Blues Songs

Blues Song Template

Lets cut to the chase! If you want to learn how to play the blues songs you’re in the right place.

  • Learn when to play the blues turnaround
  • 5 different Easy blues guitar riffs
  • How to start a blues song on guitar
  • Simple blues riff tabs
  • Bonus Video

How to start a blues song on guitar

Maybe you already know some of the blues like the Boogie woogie which by the way has been around for years since the 1920’s. The Boogie woogie is actually a music Genre that was developed from African American communities in the 1870’s.

Then became popular in the 20’s, and to this day is still a big part of many of the blues songs. You can also hear it in Rock songs like ”Keep Your Hands to Yourself,” by The Georgia Satellites.

One way how to start a blues song on guitar is typically by using what is called a turnaround. This is what you would do to start the song.  This will work in any key but for the purpose of this discussion we will be in the key of A.

  1. Place your pinkie on the first string at the 5th fret, at the A.
  2. 3rd finger on the 5th fret at the 4th

Pick the 4th string using “hybrid picking” or your fingers. If you are using your fingers and no pick, pluck the 4th string with your thumb. Then pick the High e string, the 1st string. Then pick your 4th string again. Next you want to move up a half step or a fret.

Next you want to move up a half step or a fret.

  • Use your 2nd finger and place it on the  4th string at the 4th fret, pick the 4th string. Then pick the High e string the 1st string, and pick the 4th string Again.
  • Now using your first finger move up half a step to the next fret. (Which is at the 3rd fret). Using your first finger pick the 4th string, and then the 1st string. 
  • Still using your first finger move up a half step to the 2nd fret and pick the 4th string. Then the Last step.
  • Pick the 4th string open, second place your 1st finger on the D# at the 1st fret of the 4th string and pick it. Third place your 2nd finger on the E at the 2nd fret of the 4th string and pick it.

You can start a Boogie woogie at this point. To see what you just read in action take a look at the Video on Blues Turnaround.


 How to start a Blues song on Guitar Another Way

This blues intro is in the key of E.

  • Using your 2nd finger slide up to the 4th fret, on the 3rd string. It is important that you use your second finger so your 1st finger will be in place to play the 2nd string.
  • Place your index finger on the 2nd string, at the 3rd fret. Then Play the open e, 1swt string.
  • With your pick, pick the 3rd string, pluck the 2nd string with your 2nd finger and pluck the open e string with your 3rd finger. This is called” Hybrid Picking.” Or you can use a pick to pick the 3rd, 2nd and 1st string.

In that sequence of picking 3, 2, 1, you walk down to the next fret. Which is the 3rd fret. Your 2nd finger is at the 3rd fret, and 1st finger will be at the 2nd fret. Still on the 2nd string, pick strings 3, 2, and 1.

Hammer on the G or 3rd string at the 1st fret, and then you work your way into the B chord. Just by listening to it you can hear that this chord is a turnaround chord.

What you want to do next to get to the B chord is play the open 5th string, pick the 1st fret of the 5th string, and then play the second fret of the 5th string. Play that with your middle finger so you can make the rest of the chord.

If you need to learn what a B chord finger position looks like, then look at this post on first position chords.


How to Start a Blues Song on Guitar in a Different Key

To play the same intro in another key, simply place your fingers on the fretboard in the same position on the 3rd and 2nd strings.

  1. Your 2nd finger is placed on the 3rd string and your first finger on the 2nd string.
  2. Slide up to the 4th fret, on the 3rd string with your 2nd finger.
  3. Walk down to the second fret, picking the 3rd and 2nd Like this 3, 2 move up a fret, 3, 2, move up, and hammer on at the first fret 3rd string.

Easy blues guitar riffs

Here are some easy blues guitar riffs:

  • The E power chord, place your first finger on the 5th string at the 2nd fret. Then play the open 6th string, and 5th string at the same time. Strum 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and.
  • Your 3rd finger place on the 5th string at the 4th fret. On the strums or beats 2 and 4.

Here is a Tip: If using your third finger is to much of a stretch use your pinkie instead.

Simple blues riff tabs

Simple blues riff tabs can be yours by clicking the link. You will also be subscribed to the Guitar Essentials Blog where you will receive free guitar tips and tricks, video tutorials and more delivered to your inbox each week.

Heres the link for the Simple blues riff tabs.


Another easy blues riff using the A power chord.

  • Place your index finger on the 4th string, at the 2nd fret. Play the open 5th string, and the 4th string together. strum 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and.
  • Use your Pinkie or third finger to play the 4th string 4th fret on beats 2 and 4.

If the stretch to the third fret with your 3rd finger is a stretch, look at this finger strengthening exercise to get your fingers stretching in no time.

Here’s an Easy Blues Riff Using the D Power Chord.

  1. Your 1st, finger should be on the 3rd string at the 2nd fret. Playing the 4th and 3rd strings. 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and.
  2. Put your third finger down on the 3rd string at the 3rd fret on beats 2 and 4.

An Easy Blues Riffs Using the E and A Power Chords.

  • The E power chord, place your first finger on the 5th string at the 2nd fret. Then play the 6th string,  and 5th string at the same time. Strum 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and.
  • Your 3rd finger place on the 5th string at the 3rd fret. On the strums or beats 2 and 4.
  • Place your index finger on the 4th string, and play the 5th and 4th string together. 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and.
  • Use your Pinkie or third finger to play the 4th string 3rd fret on beats 2 and 4.
  • Then you go back up to the E power chord and play it.
  • Leaving your 1st finger on the 5th string 2nd fret. Place your 3rd finger on the 4th string 3rd fret. Playing the 5th and 4th string, toggle between the 3rd and 6th fret, on the 4th string.
  • Back to the A power chord 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and. Back to the E power chord.

Easy Blues Riffs Starting on the 5th Fret

An easy blues riff in the key of A

  • Start this one on the 5th fret of the 6th string. Place your first finger there.
  • Put your third finger on the 5th string at the 7th fret. Playing the 6th and 5th strings. 1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and.
  • Toggle between the 7th and 9th fret on the 5th string, on beats 2 and 4.

Drop down one string, keeping your fingers in the same position. Toggle between the notes on the 4th string, at the 7th and 9th frets.

NEXT Easy Riff  

Move up from the 5th fret to the 7th fret keeping your index finger on the 5th string. Also keep your third finger on the 4th string at the 9th fret. Now toggle on beats 2 and 4 between the 9th fret and 11 fret on the 4th string.


Blues Songs

To learn how to put all these blues riffs together take a look at this E book on Amazon Called Don’t Get the Blues? Get the Blues!


Call and Response

In a lot of blues songs you have whats called a call and response. Which is like if you were talking to someone and asked a question. Then that person you were talking to would answer. Well in music you can look at it as a singer singing. Then the quire chimes in. Like Hallelujah the quire sings Hallelujah. 
This is such an interesting part of some blues songs that I dedicated a complete guitar lesson with a video on Call & Response Simplified. 

  • Starting on the 5th string at the 4th fret. Use your 3rd finger and pick.
  • Then 1st finger on the 2nd fret 6th string pick.
  • 3rd finger 4th fret of the 6th string pick it.
  • 1st finger is placed on the 5th string 2nd fret, pick it. Then put 3rd finger on the 5th string at the 4th fret pick it.
  • Your first finger ends up on the 4th string 2nd fret, pick it. Then go back up to  the 5th string 4th fret with your 3rd finger and play it.
  • Then start back at the 6th string 2nd fret and pick it. Pick the 4th fret where your 3rd finger is.
  • Lastly place your 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the 5th string pick it. Play the open 6th string, and it goes back to the beginning. The 5th string 4th fret.

Click this link to get the tab for this guitar riff.


Acoustic Blues Guitar Licks

While there are lots of acoustic blues guitar licks here are a few.

  1. Middle finger is on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string. Pick the 3rd string, and slide your finger up to the 4th fret.
  2. Then place your 2nd finger on the 2nd string at the 3rd fret, and pick it.
  3. Pick the 3rd string and slide that 2nd finger back down to the 2nd fret. Then pull off of the 3rd string.
  4. Pull off of the 3rd string at the 2nd fret again.

This is a great guitar lick for the Key of E.


Another Acoustic blues guitar lick is:

  1. Hammer on the 4th string at the 2nd fret with your 2nd finger. Then pick it 3 times (economy picking) up and down.
  2. Pick the open 4th string. Then hammer on the 5th string. last Pick the open 5th string.
  3. 6th string, place your 3rd finger and pick it.
  4. Pick the open 4th string. Then place your finger on the 4th string and pick it.
  5. Next pick the open 5th string. Then put your 1st finger on the 1st fret of 5th string pick it.
  6. 2nd finger, 5th string, 2nd fret pick it. At the same time position your 1st finger, and 3rd finger to make the B chord. Pick the strings.[notification type=”success”] Subscribe to get the latest Video tutorials, Blog posts, News & updates from the Guitar Essentials Newsletter. Delivered to your inbox each week. Click here to Signup.[/notification]

When to Use The Blues Turnaround

The great thing about the blues turnaround is you can play it at the beginning of the song to start the song. You can play the blues turnaround to end the song or you can play it to complete the circle and start over or continue the song. Here is a video showing a couple of the blues turnarounds.

Blues Turnarounds PDF

The Blues turnaround PDF can be yours by clicking the link. You will also be subscribed to the Guitar Essentials Blog where you will receive free guitar tips and tricks, video tutorials and more delivered to your inbox each week.

Heres the link for the blues turnaround PDF.


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Source

Wikipedia

YouTube

YouTube

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