Learning the blues is where many guitar geeks start because it’s fun, recognizable, and rewarding.
Whether you’ve been stuck in a practice rut or you want to learn to play the blues better, understanding and practicing some basic riffs will help you on your acoustic guitar journey.
Learning riffs on guitar will help you learn the fretboard, gain greater dexterity in your fingers, and solo better.
While you can’t apply the same riff over and over to the same song, you can use riffs to help you learn how to solo on the guitar. That’s where Tony’s unusual method can help you.
Originally published on March 19, 2019, this article was republished on August 15, 2022.
Easy Blues Riffs for Acoustic Guitar
In this blues guitar lesson, Tony is going to show you one blues lick that is incredibly useful because after you learn it, you will be able to play the 12-bar blues in ANY key.
That’s right — you can use this riff in any blues. Beginner guitar players and experienced veterans alike will gain valuable insight into the blues and the guitar as a whole.
The even better part about this blues riff is that it will also help you learn to how to improvise on guitar. Using this blues riff as a springboard, you can launch your guitar improvisation practice.
Even if you weren’t sure you could solo, using this blues riff will give you the confidence to keep improvising on the guitar; just remember for a 12-bar blues, your pentatonic scales are your friends!
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Been working on this along with blues 101 at TAC and I can’t wait till I can understand it in relationships to this 1 4 7 chord(s) business 🤞
hey Marylou I think you meant to say 1 4 5 chords
Hey. I just got this myself. Since tony start on the key of g note (1st chunk) then c note (2nd chunk) and d note (3rd chunk). The major notes are the 1, 4,5 hence G, C, D. So if you look at a diagram of guitar notes on a fret board. You notice that the C notes is right underneath the G note. Making it 1, 4,5. I hope that makes sense.
So the notes in the first chord tell you what is 4 chord and what is 5?
#small win learning this 12 bar blues riff and how I can move it around to any key huge light bulb moment, have been a member of tac for 14 months and having a blast, thanks Tony and crew for a great program. Country boy from southern Alberta Canada
Nice lesson TP, thank you !
Where do I locate the pdf for play blues in any key?
This sounds like something I heard Led Zeppelin play some decades ago.
simple and efficient!
who says music shall be complicated?
Playing tabs. It Was easy for me. What i did not have was info. Mostly self taught.
Good stuff, man! Even *I* can follow this. hehe. ; )
Great info, excited to work on this…
Tony, I have been playing the 12 bar blues with I IV V chords. This is the first time I have been introduced to playing the I IV V finger picking. Thank you very much. This adds another layer o happiness on my guitar playing.
Yeah Tony, I have always loved the blues wish you did more lessons on this. I have seen all The Kings,Johnny Winters, and really like Henry Thomas, Son House many more. Old stuff. P.S. L IGHTNING just won 62nd. game!
Love this. Easy to play and I’ve heard it a thousand time. Thanks Tony.
I think I’ve heard this in songs played with 1/8th notes(up and down stroke, is that correct?
Hi, my name is pierre
I would like to know how to apply that simple riff if an other guitar player just using a strumming pattern
68 & all new to the guitar but with much patience & practice I feel like I’m actually able to follow along with you! Good visuals on your presentation and like how you repeat steps! Very helpful! Thanks!!
you da man. miss you
Nice. I learned a new lick for the 12 bar blues. First time I’ve seen this lick. Thanks.
I’m working on my pinky. I assume it is OK to use middle, ring, pinky when I do this to get my pinky some action?
Love your teaching methods thank you
Hi Tony,watched and practiced along with the 1st blues challenge video,jumped ahead and checked out the 2nd video about playing in any key and I am seriously looking forward to the third video. MAN I am pumped !!!!!! Thank You!!
Well done Tony. Solid lesson and got a lot out of it especially being able to play this in any key/song using the 1-4-5 Chord pattern