Blues Guitar Licks

The following blues guitar licks give you an idea of what you can make up yourself from a sound knowledge of the major/minor pentatonic and blues guitar scales. Nearly every note played in these licks is taken from the pentatonic and blues scales respectively. Once these scales are practiced and you become fluent in playing them, bluesy licks will become natural and easy to create. 

Just scroll down to see the first video on blues guitar intros and turnarounds.

If you're a beginner start by playing these blues licks very slowly. Try to feel the beat of the music that you would normally be playing to so you can learn to play in time. Alternatively, use a metronome or tap a beat with your foot or in your head or by counting slowly... one, and two, and one and two etc. Visit blues guitar instruction for more on how to play in time and take a look at the first and second videos there. With practice these licks will be second nature to you and after a while you'll be making up your own blues licks with ease.

As already said, a good sound knowledge of the pentatonic and blues guitar scales is a must in order for you to become fluent in your playing and to really understand these licks within the blues chord progression you'll be plating over.

Whether you play an acoustic or an electric guitar, all of these licks can be played over the top of any I, IV, V blues chord progression by changing their position accordingly. Each lick is specific to either the one chord, the four chord or the five chord within the blues chord progression.

The first video below shows some simple but effective blues guitar intros and/or turnarounds. A turnaround takes the solo you are playing back to the I chord to start over again.

Blues Guitar Licks
Intros & Turnarounds

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Although improvisation offers boundless ideas for playing creative solos, there is also a very strong tradition and a very wise approach for playing these solos. It is 'licks' and 'runs' that offer another approach to add to your guitar playing techniques for performing these solos. Specific rock and blues guitar licks have become well-established over the years as the backbone of rock and blues guitar solos. Although these rock and blues guitar licks and runs may often be adapted, changed, modified and applied in a variety of different ways depending on the music and the guitarist's individual ability, the rough outline or basic idea of these licks and runs remains the same or at the very least, similar.

Learning individual licks not only offers more ideas to play within a particular solo, but they also act as a great practicing tool. Licks and runs will teach you dexterity, timing and how solos are made up within the framework of a specific scale or mode.  

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