How To Play Blues Rhythm Guitar

Posted by Mike Schumacher

When playing blues guitar, one of the most fundamental parts is learning how to play the rhythm. The term “rhythm” can be confusing as there are many different types of rhythms in music.

In this article I will go into more detail about what makes up a blues rhythm and some strategies for picking out the perfect rhythm every time!

How to play a basic blues rhythm: first note, second note and third note

These are considered the base notes of any blues chord progression. They always come in a specific order (most commonly referred to as the triplet) and they each have their own name depending on which position they are in the song.

The first note is the lead tone or pickup note, the second is the accented or stressed foot and the third is the restive foot. Each one gives us different rhythmic effects that we can use to create new melodies and patterns.

This article will dive deeper into these three notes and how to apply them to your blues rhythm guitar skills. But before then, why not test yourself by practicing using our simple pre-made blues chords and songs? You can find all the tools you need here: link.

Listen to blues songs to learn their chord progressions

how to play blues rhythm guitar

A lot of people start playing rhythm guitar by learning how to play some chords, then moving onto another pattern of chords. This is totally fine! If you want to do that, go ahead!

But what if we asked you to try something more difficult? What if we asked you to actually PLAY BLUES RHYTHM GUITAR?!

That’s right – most advanced musicians don’t begin with learned chord sequences, they get into the habit of picking out notes quickly according to the rules of the song.

Luckily it’s easy to pick up this technique for bass rhythm (or lead) guitars.

Practice playing along with recording

how to play blues rhythm guitar

In order to play blues rhythm guitar, you will need to know how to play some basic licks. These are short patterns that can be repeated over and over again in different songs. By learning the basics of this style, then moving onto more complicated licks, you will have yourself a very solid guitarist!

There are many great resources online and through music books where you can learn these basics. The best way to truly internalize any new skill is by doing, practicing, and studying from sources repeatedly. This applies heavily to theory and practice of blues guitar riffs as well!

After you’ve mastered those, move onto bigger, more elaborate licks such as triplets or syncopation.

Find a partner

how to play blues rhythm guitar

When playing rhythm guitar, there is an easy way to start! By having someone else play some chords for you, you can just use that person as your bass player! This is called chord-bassing or picking out chord patterns as a bassist.

A good friend of mine was once hired as the guitarist in a band I was in. He learned all the songs so well that he became our songwriter and leader. Now we have a musician who always has ideas due to him being paid to create music!

This is not only helpful for blues musicians, it is great for any type of guitarist looking to learn how to solo. Having a colleague help you develop your skills makes it more efficient than trying to do it alone.

Another option is to be a lead singer in a group of people and then let one of them take over leading the chorus or singing parts. Then you can focus on playing the guitars riff or partway through the song.

Buy a guitar

how to play blues rhythm guitar

After you have found your voice as a guitarist, what next? If you are really wanting to advance your skills, then buying a new guitar is probably your first step. There are many great brands that offer affordable quality guitars for all levels.

Blues rhythm guitar can be tricky at times so it is important to know how to play this style of music. Luckily, there are some easy ways to get started!

This article will go into detail about how to learn blues rhythm guitar by breaking down each part separately. When learning any instrument, reviewing lessons or materials out-of-session is very helpful to apply what you have learned.

So, stay tuned until we meet again! I hope you enjoyed this lesson on how to play blues rhythm guitar. Please comment below and let us know if this information was useful for you! We would love to here from you guys! Also, don’t forget to check our site out at for more tips and tricks.

Learn to use a pick

how to play blues rhythm guitar

A pick is a tool used to play across the strings of your guitar as well as up and down the strings. There are many types of picks! Some have metal tips, some plastic, some bone or ceramic. What matters is how comfortable you get them to be in the hands of every player.

Some players only ever stick with one kind of pick! Most people start off using a standard index finger pick that they mix in with their fingers. As you learn more songs, picking patterns, and guitar chords, having a variety of picks at hand will help you sound professional!

There are three main uses for a pick. The first is to scrape away excess surface dirt or debris that could prevent the string from vibrating easily. This applies mostly to clean guitars since dirty ones already have this done for you!

The second use is to press the note onto the string. This is typically done by poking the tip into the string just enough so it sticks.

Learn to use your fingers

The first thing you should do is learn how to use your hands effectively as guitarists! Switching between picking and strumming can be tricky at times if you are not using your hands properly.

Using your index finger to pick or strum means that your hand will always work in one direction, making it more difficult to play some chords and rhythms. Using your thumb and middle finger for picking or strumming helps keep your hand balanced so that you can easily switch directions while playing.

Another important technique is using your pinky to press down on the string when needed. This allows you to create different notes and sounds with your rhythm guitarist toolbox.

And don’t forget about moving your hand around! Moving your hand up and down the neck and across the strings creates new possibilities for expression.

Learn to use your whole hand

how to play blues rhythm guitar

The first thing you should do when learning how to play blues rhythm guitar is learn how to use your hands properly! When playing any type of music, what part of your hand you use to press down or pull up at different times determines the tone, speed, and style of the song.

For example, using your index finger to press down on the neck of the guitar will create a lower pitch and slower sound, whereas using your middle finger will produce higher notes and faster sounds.

Likewise, lifting your fingers off the string creates a high-pitched noise that scales with the note you are skipping over. By switching which fingers you use in this way, you can achieve incredible results!

There are three main reasons why it’s important to know how to use your hands effectively. First, it helps you develop your ear training by having to work with different tones and frequencies. Second, it gives you more options for songs that rely heavily on using your left hand to make riffs and melodies. And lastly, it makes playing along easier as you don’t have to look at the bar sheet every time!

I’ve created some easy lessons here that get into all the basics of using your hands in blues rhythm guitar.

Practice regularly

how to play blues rhythm guitar

Once you have learned how to play some blues chords, your next step is practicing them consistently. Just because you can now play a chord once does not mean you should stop! If you want to grow as a guitarist, you must constantly practice these songs and music modes.

Blues musicians do this day in and day out of their lives, so it is no wonder that they learn lots of notes and musical structures. It is important to understand that there are never too many lessons for anyone, even if you think you already know everything about guitar.

There will always be more things you can learn about the instrument and song structure. For this reason, we recommend going through our website’s blues rhythm guitar section often. You will find articles, videos, and exercises to help you expand your knowledge even more.

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