Here is a lesson on acoustic blues guitar. This will take you through one chorus of a blues in E using a steady quarter note bass drone. In this style you play the root bass note with your thumb on your picking hand while playing chords and melodies with your other fingers.

The first lick is over an E7 chord. Keep the constant quarter notes going on the low E string with your thumb. I mute this throughout with my palm slightly. The other fingers on your picking hand are used to play the melody on top. It is a simple minor pentatonic idea but the keeping both the bass and melodic idea going at the same time can be difficult.

The second idea is over the IV chord A7. This idea is the same basic idea as the first lick but this time uses the A string as the root instead of the E.

The third lick is a more complex idea for the E7 chord. This one adds a triplet rhythm to the melody while continuing the steady quarter notes in the bass. For this idea, I use my index finger to pick the G string, the middle for the B string, and my ring finger for the high E string.

The fourth lick is over the movement from the V-IV (B7-A7). The steady quarter notes continue with the B7 chord in the first bar. In the second bar, this root bass idea stops after the first beat where there is instead a pentatonic blues phrase that leads to the turnaround in the fifth lick. This idea is pretty simple when played with a pick but can take some practice to do with only your fingers if you are used to it.

The last idea is a blues turnaround played with eighth note triplets. The lick uses chromatically descending sixths that end on the B and G# of the E7 chord. This lick is also very useful when play electric blues as well. The lesson ends with an interesting E13 voicing that uses the 9th on top of the chord.

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