Basic Blues Shuffle (Guitar Lesson)

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Eric Madis

Basic Blues Shuffle

In this lesson, Eric introduces himself and his Phase 2 lesson series. He also teaches a basic blues shuffle in the style of Jimmy Reed.

Taught by Eric Madis in Electric Blues with Eric seriesLength: 17:35Difficulty: 1.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (01:57) Lesson Introduction Welcome to the Phase 2 Electric Blues Guitar Series with Eric Madis! Sit back and relax as Eric lays down some smooth blues licks in the key of C major.

Series Overview

This series covers a wide variety of different blues styles such as country blues, urban blues, swing / jazz blues, etc. The series begins with what is commonly referred to as "country blues." However, as you will soon learn, country blues concepts frequently transfer over to the urban style of playing. Blues elements such as the shuffle pattern are common to all styles of blues. In this lesson and several of the following lessons, Eric explores the basic shuffle pattern in the key of E major.

Note: Biographical information about Eric Madis will soon be added to the Instructors and Staff section of the website. This section can be accessed from the left hand side of the homepage.
Chapter 2: (01:12) Blues Shuffle Introduction Note: Some of the following information is taken from lessons 1 and 4 of Hawkeye Herman's Phase 2 Blues Guitar Series.

The Blues Shuffle

The shuffle rhythm is one of the most commonly used rhythm figures in the blues genre. A shuffle is a rhythmic motif in which the duration of the first note in a pair of notes is longer than the second. A swing or shuffle rhythm is the rhythm produced by playing repeated pairs of notes in this manner.

Usually a shuffle rhythm is indicated at the top of a musical score. This indication tells the musician that pairs of eighth notes should be "swung" or shuffled. Thus, a pair of eighth notes should be played as a quarter note triplet followed by an eighth note triplet. In a jazz lead sheet, this swing, shuffled eighth note feel is always implied unless noted otherwise. Often a portion will be labeled "straight eighths" if the shuffle rhythm is to be suspended momentarily.

Watch at 00:27 as Eric demonstrates a basic shuffle pattern in the key of E major. This type of shuffle was popularized by guitarists such as Jimmy Reed. The shuffle pattern can also be played with single notes instead of 2 string power chords. Eric demonstrates this variation at 00:34. These are by no means all of the possible variations. As you continue your blues guitar training, you will soon learn that the possibilities are endless.
Chapter 3: (05:28) Jimmy Reed Shuffle The most common form in the blues genre is the 12 bar blues. This is a chord progression consisting of 12 bars. This chord progression usually repeats for the entire duration of a song. The 12 bar blues is usually played in 4/4 or 12/8 time.

Chord Changes

The most basic form of the 12 bar blues progression consists of the I, IV, and V chords. If you are unfamiliar with Roman numeral analysis, don't worry! It's a relatively simple concept to grasp. These chords can also be labeled by the way in which they function. Respectively, the I, IV, and V chords are referred to as the tonic, subdominant, and dominant chords. In a major or minor key, each chord carries out a specific function. Tonic is often compared to home base. This chord is very stable. The subdominant chord or IV chord tends to lead back to tonic or to the dominant chord. The dominant chord wants to resolve back to tonic or home. Eric applies these concepts to the key of E major. The tonic or home chord is E major. To find the subdominant chord, count up four letters in the musical alphabet including the note E. The subdominant chord is A major. The dominant chord is five letters up from E. Thus, the dominant chord in the key of E is B major.

Applying Chords to the Form

The chord changes for the complete 12 bar form are as follows:

Bars 1-4: Tonic (I)
Bars 5-6: Subdominant (IV)
Bars 7-8: Tonic (I)
Bar 9: Dominant (V)
Bar 10: Subdominant (IV)
Bars 11-12: Tonic (I)*

*The V chord is often used in bar 12 to create a stronger resolution back to the top of the form.

Playing the Shuffle Rhythm

Standard Notation and Tablature to the shuffle pattern in the key of E major can be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab.

A. The I Chord

The shuffle evolved from rhythm patterns played in the left-hand by boogie-woogie piano players. Imitating this basic rhythm figure on the guitar is quite simple. The first chord in a 12 bar blues progression in the key of E is the tonic chord, E. Instead of playing a full E major chord, start with a basic, open E5 power chord voicing. Play the low E string open. Play this note in conjunction with the note B at the 2nd fret of the A string. This chord figure alternates with a chord voicing that implies an E6 chord. The E6 chord consists of the low, open E string played in conjunction with the note C# on the 4th fret of the A string. The third finger frets this note. When switching between these two chord figures, it is not necessary to leave the first finger planted at the second fret. Holding the first finger down for the duration of the measure may result in unnecessary fatigue.

Watch at 03:15 as Eric demonstrates the Jimmy Reed style shuffle with the I chord.

B. The IV Chord

To play the shuffle rhythm over the IV chord (A), simply shift this chord shape down to the A and D strings respectively.

C. The V Chord

In order to play the V chord (B), a different left hand fingering must be applied. A B5 power chord can be played by fretting the note B with the first finger at the 7th fret of the E string. Then fret the note F# at the 9th fret of the A string. To reach the major sixth interval above the root, the pinkie finger must stretch up to the 11th fret of the A string. Stretching the pinkie up to this fret poses problems for some beginners, especially those with small hands. Practice finger dexterity and stretch exercises such as those found in Dennis' Metal series to improve your reach. Then, return to this chord. Chances are that you’ll find it slightly easier. Leave the first and third fingers planted throughout this measure.

Since Eric plays the V chord in seventh position, he elects to play the IV chord in fifth position in measure 10. It is much easier to slide the shape of the V chord down two frets when playing the IV chord. Otherwise, you must jump all the way back to second position. This movement is neither economical nor pleasing to the ear.

Right Hand Technique

Eric plays the Jimmy Reed style shuffle with all downstrokes. This produces a chunkier, more deliberate sound. Compare and contrast the sound of consecutive downstrokes and alternate picking when applied to the shuffle pattern.


Frequently, the blues shuffle is played with light palm muting. To perform this technique, lightly rest the heel of the palm just to the left of the bridge. The term "palm-muting" can be quite misleading. The strings are not actually muted. Rather, the right-hand palm muffles the strings to create a deeper, more "punchy" sound. Listen to Eric as he palm-mutes. Then, imitate the sound that he produces. Be careful not to slide your palm too far from the bridge. This will result in a completely muted, dead sound.
Chapter 4: (08:54) Playing the Shuffle Switching Between Chords

Before you begin to practice the entire 12 bar blues form, practice each of the individual chord changes. Make sure the rhythm remains constant and even through all of the chord changes. Always practice with a metronome! Start with the metronome set to a very slow tempo. Once you can play through the changes perfectly in time at this tempo, begin to increase the tempo one metronome setting at a time. Also, as an exercise, practice switching chords after every bar. This will enable you to drill the chord changes in a more efficient manner.

Once you have mastered the individual chord changes, practice playing through the entire 12 bar blues form. Practice in a wide variety of tempo ranges.

Adding a Turnaround

The turnaround is one of the most essential elements in blues music. A turnaround is a brief section (typically two measures) that harmonically leads back to the beginning of the form. In most 12 bar blues tunes, the turnaround occurs in bars 11-12. The static rhythm of the basic shuffle pattern is contrasted by the rhythm of the turnaround as well. This rhythmic contrast also pushes the harmony back to the first bar of the 12 bar blues form. At 00:35, Eric provides an example of a common turnaround lick in the key of E.

Playing the Turnaround

The turnaround lick must imply the I chord in measure 11. To accomplish this, Eric begins the turnaround with a low, open E bass note. Then, the bulk of the lick is played over this open E pedal tone. A pedal tone is a note that remains constant while changing material is played overtop of it.

By now, most of you are probably familiar with the "open" D7 chord shape. By removing the open string note (D) from this chord, a movable shape is created. If you slide this basic shape up two frets, a rootless voicing of and E7 chord is formed. This is the tonic chord of a 12 bar blues in the key of E. Notice how a pedal tone on the high E string is played with this shape. The shape continues to descend in half steps while the high open E string remains constant. A triplet rhythm is played throughout the measure.

Pay careful attention to the left hand fingering that Eric uses when playing the lick. The second and first fingers are used on the G and B strings respectively. This fingering will set up the left hand for the material that occurs in the following measure.

In measure 12 of the form, the turnaround lick concludes with notes derived from the E minor blues scale and the E major pentatonic scale. These two scales are frequently blended in blues improvisation. Then, a final B7(#9) chord is used to establish an effective resolution back to the I chord that occurs in the first bar of the form.

Note: Tablature and standard notation to the E minor blues scale in first position can be found under the "Supplemental Content" tab.

Playing the Entire Form

Watch as Eric demonstrates the entire 12 bar blues form including the turnaround at 05:30. Then, practice through the form on your own with a metronome. For extra practice, Eric provides you with an opportunity to play the form along with him at 07:36.

Adding Variety

Instead of playing the bass note in conjunction with the 5th, 6th, and b7 of each chord, these notes can be played individually within the context of the shuffle pattern. The bass note of each chord is played as a pedal tone against a changing melody that involves the 5th, 6th and b7 of each chord. Watch carefully as Eric demonstrates this simple variation at 06:29 in the lesson video.

The Rhythm

The rhythm of this variation can be slightly tricky to master at first. The first bass note of each chord is played as a pickup note. Each chord change in the 12 bar blues form is anticipated by an eighth note. Check out the tablature provided under the "Supplemental Content" tab for help with the rhythm.

Preview of Upcoming Lessons

In the next several lessons, Eric demonstrates some classic blues licks that can be used over a 12 bar blues in E major. He breaks down signature licks from Ligntin' Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, and others. Stay tuned for more electric blues action on!

Video Subtitles / Captions

Scene 1

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Hi. I'm Eric Madis from and I'm very pleased today to be here, teaching you blues guitar.

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We're going to cover in my series a variety of different styles of blues guitar

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and everything from country blues to urban blues and maybe even some swing, jazz blues.

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What I would like to do is start off with a series that begins with the country blues and that fits also into an urban blues type of nature

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and that is I'd like to start you off in the key of E and doing some open shuffles, things like that.

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Working on some ideas that can work not only in the country blues vane but also in the city blues vane.

Scene 2

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What we're going to do today is we're going to look at a shuffle.

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Now a shuffle is a tune that basically has a walking type of sound, rhythm to it.

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Dum, dee, dum, dee, dum, dee, dum, dum.
Like you're walking along a railroad track.

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So a shuffle can be like this…

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As popularized by Jimmy Reed, this type of thing.

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Or you can alternate the notes…

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Or it could be like this…

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Or it can be any number of different things it can even have kind of a sliding sound.

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Underneath it all lies that 4/4 time where you have that walking sound.

Scene 3

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So what I'd like to start with now is a Jimmy Reed style of shuffle and this is one that everybody's heard and every one can relate to.

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Now the thing that you want to do in a Jimmy Reed style shuffle is you're going to be playing in the key of E

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but you're not actually going to be playing E major chords.

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You're actually going to be playing what looks like an E minor chord and actually most guitar players would know this E minor chord

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but in this case what you're going to do is put your index finger down in between the fifth and fourth strings there at the second fret.

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Which is essentially where you would fret an E minor chord.

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However, because of the angle of the hand at this and the fact that you're holding this finger down, pressing this down

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the rest of the finger pretty much mutes the other strings on the guitar.

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Particularly the third string which is where the third would be located which is the note that would make it an E minor.

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So in this case it's not really E major and it's not really E minor it's actually what we call a fifth, it's almost like a power chord

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and maybe it's the original power chord for all we know.

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But in any case with this particular type of chording we can get this E, B, E note setup which sounds standard blues

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without being strictly major, without being minor, without really even being dominant.

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Ok, so what we're going to do right now is we're going to look at how we can accomplish this with our right hand also.

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The right hand of course what you want to do is open your hand if you can instead of holding it and strumming like this.

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Hold your hand a little closer down to the top of the guitar.

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In other words, allow your hand to relax and that way you can regulate the amount of space that you have between your guitar and your pick,

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that way you don't have to think so much about your hand floating around.

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So as we get our hand close in we're going to be doing all down strokes.

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Now the sound you're going to have is going to be continuous like this and if we do that with a chord we have this.

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Now if you notice also I'm muting a little bit.
Now it's not always necessary to do that.

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Particularly if you're playing a Strat or a Tele or something like that, you might want that real bright sound

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but with a lot of the Humbucker Pickups you're going to end up with a lot of bass end.

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I mute a little bit to give it that rhythmic sound.

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Now in terms of the left hand technique we're going to hold the index finger down here at the second fret

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and what we're going to do is we're going to also fret at the fourth string with our ring finger

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and we're going to fret at the fifth fret with our little finger.

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In doing this we're going to be able to do two beats on each position so we're going to go:

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One, two, one, two, one, two, one, two, one, two like that.
So it sounds like this…

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Now you may have noticed I did that four times and that because we're doing a twelve bar blues.

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The first four bars are the one chord or the E chord and they will be the ones that,

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that'll be the chord you want to play for four bars and then we're going to bring our index finger over to the next string.

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In other words we're going to move it between the fourth and third string

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and this functions much the same way as the E chord did except this will give us our A chord.

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Now this is neither an A major nor an A minor.

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Again, A, E, A are the notes and so it's just a fifth, it's a power chord in a sense

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and in this case you're going to be strumming the fifth, fourth and third strings.

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Just exactly the same way that we did when we were playing in E.
Just like this.

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We'll do that two times.

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Ok, now for the B chord we're going to in the case of this song, we're going to come on up to the seventh fret

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and we're going to make a barred seventh chord.

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So what we're going to do is make a regular barred B chord here.

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Take the little finger off here on the fourth string so that we end up with a seventh here.

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So this is a B seventh chord and we will get a shuffling sound with our little finger, two frets above our ring finger on the fifth string like this.

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Again, it's that same thing:
One, two, one, two, one, two, one, two.

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We'll do one measure of that.

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One measure of the A.

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Then we're going to hit the low E string and we're going to play a turnaround. Ok.

Scene 4

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So did you notice that the B seventh and the A seventh were identical?

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Remember that I said at the beginning that we would be playing our A here

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but when we do our turnaround when we come down from the B seventh chord to the A seventh chord.

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It's always more efficient to just continue in that same type of chord voicing.

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So when we come down from the B seventh.

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We'll do the same thing two frets down at the A seventh.

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Then we'll hit the low E and we'll do our turnaround.

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Now before we go into that turnaround and talk about what we've got there.

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Why did we hit the low E first?

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The reason why is a turnaround always, almost always, takes place on the second beat of that eleventh measure.

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In other words it's a: bomb, da dadeely, da dadeely, da deely, dum type of a sound.

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So you need to hit that tonic note, in this case E.

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Then follow through with something that gives you a turnaround.

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Now a turnaround could be anything.
It could be this…

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Or it could be this…

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Or it could be this…

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It can be anything you want.
As long as it has that timing it's a turnaround.

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We're going to work with a specific turnaround this time.

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The turnaround will be fretted with the index finger and the second finger on the third and fourth frets respectively, on the second and third strings.

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So as you can see I have the index finger and the second finger here on the third and fourth frets of the second and third strings.

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Now with our right hand we are going to be playing what we call a 12/8 time, that means twelve eighth notes.

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Don't let that bother you.
Basically it's triplet sound.

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Da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da, da.

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Each da, da, da, each triplet fits perfectly over one of the beats in 4/4 time.

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So in other words, it's one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two and that's the type of timing you're going to use.

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Now in terms of right hand technique I'm strumming basically or I'm picking down through the three top strings.

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First down and on the upstroke I'm coming up and striking the first string and then I'm coming back down on the third string again.

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So it's down, up, down, down, up, down, down, up, down

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and then the final one is down like this and this is basically almost like an E chord here where you're just fretting at the third fret of the first string

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and going down, up.

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Notice there's just two there.

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So it's one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two.

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Ok. Now we put the part at the end of this song, at the end of the twelve bars called a tag.

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A tag is in the last measure and it can be…

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03:27.782 --> 03:29.308

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Or any of those many things that you've heard.

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You can kind of mix and match them and in this case we're going to play a little tag that I got from Reverend Gary Davis.

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This one's E, the open low string, fret with your little finger at the fourth fret to get the G sharp, play the A here on the open A,

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fret with the index finger on the first fret of the fifth string and then the second finger on the second fret of the fifth string.

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From here we're form a new chord.

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One that some of you already know, maybe some of you don't know.

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This is the B seventh with a sharp nine.
Don't let that name scare you or throw you off it's just a simple chord.

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Basically what you do is you will fret with the second finger on the second fret of the fifth string, the first finger on the first fret of the fourth string,

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the third finger on the second fret of the third string and then we put the little finger on the third fret of the second string.

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This chord. A lot of people call this the Hendrix chord because he played it on a lot of different tunes like "Purple Haze" and things like that.

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It's a very common blues chord it makes a wonderful chord for a five chord and in this case it is the five chord.

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It is the B chord.

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So when we tag this song at the end we're going to tag it with this…

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Ok, so that's a tag there.
So the turnaround is actually this part…

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And the tag is…

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Ok, so let's take a look at the song again from the beginning.

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So we start with the shuffle in E, down strokes remember.

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Incidentally if you Gibson players like to go like this…

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You can also alternate notes.

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We switch to the A…

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Now we're back to the B seventh.
Down to the A seventh shuffle. Hit the low E and turnaround.

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Ok, so that's a twelve bar blues, it's one of many different types of twelve bar blues, a shuffle in E.

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We're going to run through that one more time for you.

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So again, remember on the right hand you can do a number of different things.

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You can alternate the fifth and sixth string.
Or you can just strum down.

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You can mute or play open but either way we're going to play four measures.

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So now it's time to change to the A.

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Back to the E for two measures.

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Now up to the B seventh at the seventh fret, shuffle that one measure.

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Down to the A seventh for one.
And hit the low E and turnaround.

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Now some of you might say "hey, I noticed you're hammering that, that turnaround there."

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Yes, that's another thing that you can do.

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So as you're coming out of the turnaround…

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You can hammer-on that major third there before you do your tag.

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So let's run through it one more time without me talking.

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Time to switch to the A.
Back to E.

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B seventh.
A seventh.

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Hit the low E, turnaround.

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Ok, so this is a Jimmy Reed style shuffle and we're going to do some different variations on it in a little bit

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and I'm going to show you an even cooler one but from here we are going to use this as a vehicle to learn licks.

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Our licks will be designed to fit over this kind of a song which is so common.

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I'm going to show you a lot of country blues licks.

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Things by, Lightnin Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, you know, great players like that and I'm going to show you how to put them into this type of song

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and how to play over the chord changes in this song.

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Thanks for taking this lesson.
I'm Eric Madis with and I'll see you next time.


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

DolciluDolcilu replied

I love the way Eric teach. I enjoy the lessons a lot. thank you, Eric!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you!

bobquinlanbobquinlan replied

Thanks for the straightforward lesson. Glad to hear the licks learned in the next session will build upon this.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you!

alomalom replied

i am new here plz help me to learn guitar

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

I hope that your guitar playing is progressing well. If you need help, please let me know. I am on JamChat on Mondays, 11am-1pm (PST). Thanks!

Charles WallerCharles Waller replied

Eric, why don't you teach us the solo you played in the introduction of Lesson 1. I know some of it, but would love to know the whole thing. Thank you!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hey Charles, That is the introduction solo from my tune "Something Time Can't Take Away" from my CD The Dues Will Never Be Paid in Full. I can teach you that solo anytime you would like. I teach on JamChat every Monday from 11am-1pm PST. Thanks!

chrisknewchrisknew replied

Hi. I just have to say that I love your teaching style. Just what an easily confused person like me needs. I'll do this series to the end.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you, Chris!

mpiechowiczmpiechowicz replied

Can anyone help me, my fingers seem to naturally all point/curl inwards and I very much struggle with any stretchy chords and find some I just can't do......why? I'm no quitter and whatever I have to do I will....Here for example the shuffles across 3 or 4 frets are not happening for me...

Dmajor1991Dmajor1991 replied

move your thumb to the "center" of the chord position

dr tomdr tom replied

easy to follow lesson and good review of basic shuffle fingering. thanks.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks, Doc!

wilcoskipwilcoskip replied

Just finished lesson 1. This is just great.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied


Pick-AxPick-Ax replied

I hear great things about this series. Diving in.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hey Pick-Ax. See you Monday!

stringthumper856stringthumper856 replied

Cool lesson, thank you Eric.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied


Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied


aburleyaburley replied

AWESOME lesson - i really enjoyed this!!!!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied


sdstevepsdstevep replied

Mostly awesome, however I have two comments: one is that the lesson navigation doesn't show the fourth segment on an Android phone (Galaxy S5) on either Chrome or Firefox. Only the first 3 segments are selectable. Same problem with the Android App. On a laptop computer all 4 segments can be navigated to. Second thing really should be addressed to the instructor, who is great. However, while he SAYS he's playing the 6th, 5th, AND 4th strings for the first part of the shuffle, it looks and sounds to me like he's only playing he 6th and 5th strings. And that's what is shown on the transcription in the lesson supplemental info. Not a huge problem but we beginners are easily confused. Still a great lesson!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks! I am playing on the 6th, 5th and 4th strings. The notes are E-B-E. I teach on JamChat every Monday between 11am-1pm PST, if you get a chance to drop in.

sdstevepsdstevep replied

SORRY! Looks like I was wrong about the 4th segment not showing in the Android App. It does show. Problem just with the browsers on my Android.

playingthebluesplayingtheblues replied

Hey great lesson understanding what the 12 bar blue is for.thanks Eric best regards john

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks, John!

DavidDriverDavidDriver replied

I've been playing (at) guitar for nearly 50 years, knowing a lot of songs and bits of songs, but never really understating what I'm doing "musically". Your lessons are The Bomb! I'm on lesson 21. I've been breezing though a lot of it pretty quickly over the last month or so. Very concise Eric. Kudos to you! FWIW, I went to one of the other sites and started doing a series on the CAGED system. It was very good, and gave me some insight into the arpeggio I didn't have before, and I could have continued (maybe I will), but I really wanted to come back here and "learn the blues". You teach it so well. I know it's not all there is to know in each..... position (I guess), but in my many years of playing, it is with YOU, that I was able to actually do a lead riff though a 12-bar blues and make it (maybe just slightly - but that will change!) different each time. Thank you. Thank you VERY much!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Wow, thanks very much, David! I am on JamChat every Monday between 11am-1pm PST.

philbillyphilbilly replied

very clear and easy to understand ! thanks very much.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied


nate_thegreatnate_thegreat replied

Love how the intro is like an old 50's or 60's recording, and then it slowly fades into the normal style. It's kinda like symbolic. And stuff. Bringing blues into the new generation.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks, Nate!

jim21jim21 replied

Learning the blues from the best in the business! Maybe I won't have to sell my soul after all...

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks, Jim! Hopefully not, brother!

myjamplaysmyjamplays replied

Eric not only a top Man, wow he plays blues so smooth and so so clean. God bless you Eric.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you very much!

prusso07prusso07 replied

This guy is an excellent teacher!!!!!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you!

elliott5elliott5 replied

I totally agree!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you, sir.

triitonetriitone replied

Eric, Great Lesson!!! Thanks!!!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks Tritone (and great name!)!

bluejohnbluejohn replied

Eric - just happened to find your lesson looking for something else. 4 month beginner who had been struggling with the blues shuffle for a couple of weeks off a lesson I found on you tube. I was able to follow you with a bunch of repetition through each segment It was really encouraging, you didn't assume I knew more than I do, you didn't patronize me or brilliantly whip through it so fast I couldn't follow it. First rate TEACHING, which it's all supposed to be about. Thank you.

bogieonebogieone replied

Thanks! Good lesson. I have been trying private lessons as a beginner of 5 months on and off with Jamplay. Sticking with Eric through this series now for sure! Play and practice daily with scales chords etc. at least an hour. Love my LP trad. 2!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you very much! - Eric

antl58antl58 replied

awesome! that was really informative and you really taught it well looking forward to continuing on .

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you. It makes me good to know that I am communicating clearly. Best regards, Eric

costeffcosteff replied

Great lesson. Seen a lot of instructors on JP do this but yours is the most clear and straight forward version.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you much! Eric

jtanen2jtanen2 replied

Bar 11, the turnaround on the sheet music starts on the 3 and 2 frets not the 4 and 3 as you play it in the video

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Yes, that does not surprise me. Again, I think that the writers and tabbers are doing the best they can, but it is easy to make mistakes on this kind of material. Thanks for pointing that out.

jrbronc10jrbronc10 replied

To Eric: That is a good way of showing how to make the shuffle work. I am looking forward to more lessons. Thank You!!!!!!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks for your comments and kind words!

l1a1l1a1 replied

Thanks from me Eric. Gives great scope for variations as well.

tjbluestjblues replied

Thanks Eric, I believe I will take every lesson you do.

eddcurraneddcurran replied

Great lesson!

jt9299jt9299 replied

Can you tab your intro song, its great!

marcglemairemarcglemaire replied

Your teaching style is great! Thanks for the lesson!

aze0117aze0117 replied

Hi Eric, nice lessons and great presentation. I just found it quite hard for me to remember the licks if without application, so do you have any suggestion or I need to practice them everyday. How can I know if I have practised encough and can move to next level? Cheers.

Tom.MTom.M replied

That is one Sexy Beast of a guitar you have Eric, Love your playing!!!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you very much, Tom. That is a Gibson ES-135, and I just have Seymour Duncan SH-3 mini humbuckers in it.

greyskiesgreyskies replied

Great start to your lesson series, Eric! Let the fun begin!!!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hey Coffeenut! Thank you!

ashleylashleyl replied

Great lesson Eric and I am excited to pick up this series. Quick question for a beginner guitarist. How much time should a beginner like myself (7 mos) spend on each lesson before moving to the next? I have a tendency to move from one song to the next trying to learn a new song every couple of weeks but would like to really put the time and focus into learning the basics of blues guitar. Any guidance is greatly appreciated!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Take your time and learn each song well before moving on. It is alright to be working on several things at once, but try to make each song listenable and performable before adding too much more. Thank you!

andyrobertsandyroberts replied

Hello Eric I have been learning for 6-9 months now and practice a lot each day. I don't go to a tutor, instead I subscribed to the Lick Library and now Jamplay and I've got to that stage where all my practice has suddenly paid off, in that I can do with reasonable competence all the techniques I have been practicing, but now need to know how to put it all together. I recently got myself Classic Vibe CV50 Telecaster and decided to work through the blues lessons in a complete series. Is it advisable to work from lesson one through them all in order - I do lack discipline in that I tend to flit from one thing to another and that's the reason I can play parts of several songs, but nothing all the way through. Many thanks Andy

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hey Andy, It would be a good idea to go through the lessons in order. However, make sure that you also learn new tunes. I would say learn at least one new tune (or chord progression) for every two lesson in technique that you do. Good luck and best wishes, Eric

johndannajohndanna replied

just logged on to yr lessons, what guitar are you playin

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hey, thanks for taking the lessons. I am playing a Gibson ES-135 in all of those lessons.

selfrobselfrob replied

Good lesson, but the tabs for the "turn around" section are wrong. Your video says to fret the strings at the 3 and 4th frets, while the tabs show fretting at the 2 and 3 frets. Other than that, it was a fun lesson.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks for the kind words. It is possible that, when the written lesson I submitted was put on the computer tab, an error was made. I usually make up all my lesson tabs by hand.

casawico1casawico1 replied

Hi Erik, Can the techniques taught in this lesson series be accomplished using a acoustic guitar. Sam

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hi Sam, Oh yes, definitely. There comes a point in the series in which an electric guitar (or at least an acoustic with a cutaway) would make the series easier. However, much of the series can be done well on an acoustic guitar. Thanks for asking and for tuning in. - Eric

mtbluesmtblues replied

REACHIN WITH THAT PINKY ON THAT B7 AND A7: Try this. When doing that B chord and A chord, Let the middle finger come off. Instead of the B7 and A7 chords they become power chords, and letting the middle finger come off makes it easier to reach that pinky up and hit that 5th fret up much easier. Well, it helps me anyway. P.S. LOVE THESE LESSONS!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

I like the way that you are thinking and interpreting for yourself. That is what makes a great player. - Eric

mikejhughesmikejhughes replied

Love the simplicity of the turnaround - but so effective. Thanks

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks for the feedback. Anything can be a turnaround, as long as the timing is correct. So, that turnaround is just one of many, and after a while, you can just create your own. Take care! - Eric

floorshakerfloorshaker replied

Hi Eric. Just noticed this film of Jimmy Reed on YouTube and thought it might inspire beginners to enjoy this laid back 12-bar style: Enjoy!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks for sharing that cool video. Eric

strick602strick602 replied

I am a new student, have been sampling the selection of subjects and instructors. I have learned a lot in a short time. I have settled on Eric's blues class to work through start to finish. Erik, I am having trouble making the reach from the second position to the 4th and 5th fret with ring and pinky fingers, especially the pinky, without moving my index finger on the second fret. Are there some exercised that will help?

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hey Strick, Good question, and without seeing you play, it is hard for me to say for sure. However, several things: never rest your elbow or arm (of your fretting hand) on your lap; allow your arm to move freely to compensate for certain angles necessary to accomplish your goals. Also, thumb position is important. Most of the time, it needs to be behind the neck (for chording, scales, etc.). For licks, you need to use your thumb to accomplish bending and vibrato. To develop more flexibility and reach, practice your scales and modes s-l-o-w-l-y. Good luck and thanks. - Eric

tony bravotony bravo replied

Hi Eric. By pure chance I landed in your set of lesson and I confess I got hooked by your didactic, clear and appealing approach to teaching electric blues. As one of the other fellows wrote, in your first lesson I have found some difficulties to play clearly notes with my 4th and 5th fingers. I hope this will be solved with more practice and by relaxing my left hand. Guitar neck is not a problem; my PRS is the sweetest thing one can imagine. One question. For several reasons when practicing I do prefer holding the guitar body between my knees as the classical and flamenco players do. Has this position any disadvantage for following your lessons? Best regards from Madrid - Spain

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hey Tony, Sorry it took me so long to reply. No reason at all why you can't hold the guitar in a classical/semi-classical position between your legs. I do it all the time with some of my guitars. It makes complete sense. Good luck and stay in touch. - Eric

marshall laneymarshall laney replied

Hey Eric, that was absolutely fantastic lesson & considering it is the 1st in your series I can't wait to see the rest ! Was listening to everyword you said & every note you played - played along with you mostly got hung up a bit on the turn around a bit but i'll get it down before i view your next lesson, once again Fantastic mate !

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you, Marshall. Sorry it took so long for me to reply. Good luck with the series and stay in touch. - Eric

burning violinburning violin replied

just really starting again after playing at secondary school 51 years ago!! your clear and relaxed style has motivated me into really believing this will be a good hobby for me -even at 67! good luck in everything you want for yourself Eric

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks so much for your positive feedback. Good luck. Sorry it took so long for me to reply. Eric

Bass TrackerBass Tracker replied

Great Lessons, love them, looking forward to all that heads my way. I think there is a mistake in the Tabs for the turnaround, you start on the 4th fret and the tab starts on the 3rd, it messed me up alot until I rewatched the video,, I thought my timing was lost,, lol,, whew, thank goodness for video,, love it,, thanks so much, Jeff

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hey Jeff, Thanks for letting us know. If I am correct about the turnaround you are referring to, yes, the first and second fingers should be playing the 3rd and 4th frets of the 2nd and 4th strings respectively. -- Eric

dallendouglasdallendouglas replied

Hi Eric, I ahve been taking some lessons from Hawkeye which have really helped,but I was Intrigued by what is called ":Country Blues" Thanks for you help as I will continue on with waht you have to offer. Thanks,Dennis

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hey Dennis, Yes, much of what I play on acoustic is country blues. That is, it is essentially the Western style of blues (from Mississippi to Texas), with a monotonic bass line and a loping rhythm. Some of that style can be played with a flatpick also, and some of the early urban blues was still country blues. Therefore, I refer to the licks that I teach in the beginning (the ones from Lightnin' Hopkins and John Lee Hooker, etc.) as "country blues" licks and some of the basic shuffles as country blues. However, hopefully I will be teaching some Piedmont Blues in the near future, and that is also considered by many as a style of "country blues". Eric

dallendouglasdallendouglas replied

Hi Eric,One more question. O presently do not have an Electric Guitar and have noticed you play a Gibson,but I can't make out the model. I have a feeling it may be a little pricey for me at this time. I own a Epiphone Acoustic Electric AJ500 series and would like to buy a good Electric .Any suggestions of a Fender over a Gibson or even a Epiphone? Thanks,Dennis

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Dennis, Actually, the guitar that I used for the lessons is a Gibson ES-135, which is no longer made. I have seen them used for anywhere from $700-1500, depending on pickups and condition. Good luck! Eric

rgsimonsrgsimons replied

Eric, Ive been back to the guitar 2 years now, after a 40 year lay off, and Ive learned so much more in your first three lessons. Great job explaining things. I can play rhytem very well but will I ever be able to really play lead well with my shorter fingers? If you play golf I wear a cadet Med. glove so you'll know my fingers are short. Bob

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hi Bob, The length of your fingers won't keep you from excelling at guitar. You will learn to position your arm and wrist properly to gain the reach that you lack in your finger length. Please do not think of your finger length as a limitation. It simply dictates to you the approach you must use to gain your reach. Also, you may wish to choose a guitar with a somewhat rounded, thinner neck, if you are flatpicking. There is always a way to do this, provided that you are patient with yourself and agree to have a good time along the way. Have fun and good luck. Thanks very much for your kind words. -- Eric

liechtensteinguyliechtensteinguy replied

You're such a fantastic teacher! You're giving beginners something to practice but also show us possibilities to add something new.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you for your kind comments! - Eric

12bard12bard replied

Hi Eric, Geat Lessons!!!! I'm curious! If I may ask, what amp are you using? I have the 09 Les Paul Traditional and the Fender Blues Jr. I love the Les Paul!!!! I'm just not happy with the amp. Thanks, Davis

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you for the kind compliments! -- Eric

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hi Davis, The amp I used at JamPlay was an amp rented from a backline company, and it was a Peavey Classic 30. It had microphonic tubes and made noise, so it had to be eq'd very trebly in the mix. The backline company sent us new power tubes immediately, so most of the later lessons (after about lesson 10) are with new tubes and much better. Personally, I use two amps regularly in my gigging: a Fender Vibrolux Reverb (for medium rooms) and a Fender Deluxe Reverb (for smaller rooms) and I use them both for larger rooms. I wish you could hear those--they are much nicer. But the Peavey Classic 30 (the amp I used for these lessons) is a good amp for the money. -Eric

loganwvaloganwva replied

Is the turnaround just for the end of the tune or can you go back into playing the shuffle after it? The B7 #9 seems like an ending chord.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

The 7#9 chord (in this case, the B7#9) chord can be used on any and all turnarounds. In some cases, you may want to limit its use, in order to preserve its impact, but there are other alterations that you can do to the V7 chord also. In fact, the last chord of the song would most likely be a form of the I chord (in this case E7).

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

The turn around occurs each time you do a 12-measure chorus. However, you can vary the turnaround, and at the end of the song itself, you have to have more of a conclusion tag. - Eric

lucashollandlucasholland replied

Great lesson, Eric! I was wondering: Are you gonna cover some SRV as well?

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hey Lucas, Thanks, man! Oh yes, we will be covering lots of that Texas based thing....including T.Bone Walker, Freddy King, SRV, Johnny Winter, etc.

floorshakerfloorshaker replied

Hooray. An instructor playing a Gibson! Loved your first lesson Eric. Please don't go down the SRV route as others (BJ and Matt) already covering it. How about some Albert Lee, BB King or Bo Diddley?

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hi Chris, Thanks for the kind words. Hang on to your hat, because after about 15 lessons, the material really starts taking off. Oh yeah, I will show you techniques from BB, Albert, Freddy, T.Bone, Buddy, Mick Taylor, Peter Green, Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, and many, many others. Best wishes, Eric

wthrill911wthrill911 replied

just started your lesson set and i am enjoying it very much, keep up the good work!!!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks, William! Eric

steliosasteliosa replied

Great lesson. Easy to follow and love your guitar! One minor detail: I think there is a mistake on the tablature printout for the turnaround. In your playing, you start the turnaround from the 4th fret but the print shows it starting from the 3rd fret.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks, Stelios! Yes, you are correct about the 4th fret. I believe that I mentioned that in the lesson, but iwhoever tabbed it out made that simple error. We will have to point out that discrepancy to Jeff and ask him to have that changed. Best, Eric

franrfranr replied

A bit late, but still a warm welcome from me as well. I'm really enjoying your lessons - I began with the blues to help me play lead gitar better. The 12 bar progressions are a great tool to practice since you can play 'm in any key. Now all I need is excercise my hand more so my pinky can follow suit when hitting the fourth fret ;)

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks for writing, Francisca. You're right.....12 bar blues is a great way to develop musicianship. The structure and familiarity makes it easy to learn to improvise off of chord changes....which applies to all types of music. Best regards, Eric

lucashollandlucasholland replied

I like the sliding thing you did! Sounds kind of R&B-ish...

derecoladerecola replied


Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied


jahmerican876jahmerican876 replied

Can you please add some more lessons and keep the format you have now. I like the lessons so far your presentation of the techniques are very clear. Thanks. Also, it would be great if you gace lessons on music theory since your presentation is easy to folows.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks, and I would love to do some lessons on theory.

jboothjbooth replied

Most likely on Friday!

jgillardjgillard replied

Hey Eric! Looking forward to your series!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you!! I can't wait to return and do more.

CarolLBCarolLB replied

Eric, I must also add a great big WELCOME! I'm very excited to follow your lessons. No sleep now. Come on, keep taping!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you!!! I will look forward to your comments.

manchildmanchild replied

Welcome Eric.I have been taking classic rock lesson`s and wanted to do some blue`s so since your starting out on Jamplay I will start with your lesson`s.Thanks

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks for the post! Have fun and stay tuned!

bluezoldybluezoldy replied

So many comments in such a short time. Good to see da blues are popular.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Definitely! No matter what style(s) of music you are into, the blues are unavoidable. They are one of the standards by which musicians measure themselves, and they are common ground for most improvising musicians. Even if you are not a diehard blues fan, you usually at least enjoy a good blues. So, I agree.

daveclampdaveclamp replied

Good stuff...nuff said!!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you!

wutangwuwutangwu replied

so how come there are 2 phase 2 electric blues lessons? are they going to cover different things? and yes, that is a ridiculously cool guitar, and the tone is very crisp.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

I chose to use the middle setting for most of the lessons, because I often go for a darker tone (especially on my Fender amps). Those guitars (ES-135) are good guitars. I've had 4, sold the first 3 to private students of mine, and always regretted it afterward. They are versatile and warm.

jboothjbooth replied

We really look more for the quality of the teacher then of their style, so overlap will occur every now and then. Teaching styles are so different though that I believe even if you had two teachers presenting the exact same material the student might get something different out of both of them. But Eric's series will be quite a bit different then DJ's :)

vikingbluesvikingblues replied

Welcome Eric. Nice to see another Blues enthusiast on the site - I've been eagerly going htrough Hawkeye's lessons and have reached the last one today so your arrival is great timing - two sets of lessons unfolding to keep me occupied. As everyone has been saying that's a great guitar and tone you've got - I'll not say it too loud or my Hagstrom Viking will get jealous and sulk! Love the sound of a good semi acoustic for blues.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hey Viking, Thanks a lot! The tone gets better later in the series, after Jeff and I put a set of matched JJ EL-84s in that Peavey Classic 30.

buffy136buffy136 replied

yep,yep,yep....I know I'm going to love your lessons....You have a calm , none rushing voice...witch I appreciate very much as a student..cann't wait to see more...Thanks for joining the JamPlay instructors..

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you for tuning in and for using this great service/site. It is you who I need to thank for giving me this opportunity to do something I love doing.

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Hi Eric. Welcome to the 'team.' Good to have you aboard. ;-)

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hey Hawkeye, Thank you my friend!! I am looking forward to seeing you again before long.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hey Hawkeye! Thanks so much, my friend. Looking forward to seeing you again before long.

currannicurranni replied

haha.. even hawkeye hits this up!!!!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Oh, man....Hawkeye is just making sure that I did a good job and carried on the tradition!

Hawkeye.HermanHawkeye.Herman replied

Eric Madis is a longtime friend. We have performed and jammed together over the years. I referred Eric to I hope you enjoy his lessons!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

That's right. Really, you have Hawkeye to blame (or thank) for my presence here. He and I are old friends and have done numerous shows together, as well as having many mutual friends.

jboothjbooth replied

Indeed, a big thank you to Hawkeye for getting us in touch with Eric :)

J.artmanJ.artman replied

Welcome, Eric! I'm looking forward to your lessons. Only one lesson in, and I already like your humble personality! I'm looking forward to your next lesson!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you, mi amigo! Stay in touch and best of luck with the guitar pickin'.

chris2pchris2p replied

AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME!!!! What kind of amp are you using, Eric? Chris

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Well, actually I usually play through either my old Fender Vibrolux Reverb or my Fender Deluxe Reverb. However.....I could not fly to Colorado with one of my amps, so I rented a Peavey Classic 30 when I was there. It sounded pretty good, but after putting in a set of matched JJ tubes (later in the series), that amp sounded really stay tuned!

peterpaulpeterpaul replied

Hey this guy's really cool, like his style. thanks awesome lesson!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you, my friend, for tuning in!

evilhedgehogevilhedgehog replied

awesome! i loved the lesson and your style! keep up the great work!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks, Brad! Take care and best wishes.

jdorsmanjdorsman replied

Hi Eric, welcome to Jamplay. I really loved this lesson, it's very useful for me since I've just started with the guitar a few months ago and I'm now trying to get a basic understanding of playing Blues and Jazz songs, this lesson certainly helped with that, thanks a lot! Looking forward to the next lessons.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks, Bro. I am really looking forward to teaching jazz and swing guitar, when we can schedule the time. Best of luck with your guitar playing, and don't get discouraged. We all do that, but it does us no good!

blackriderblackrider replied

Good lesson Eric. I had a couple of comments on your hand positions for this shuffle. You are fretting the barre B7 and A7 in a way that is awkward for a player with smallish hands. I need to fret the 9th fret with my index finger or else I can't reach 11 and 12 with my pinky. Is there a reason to fret those strings that aren't actually played? Looking forward to more of your lessons.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks, my friend. To answer your question, "No, for sure there is more than one way to skin a cat!". As a player, you have to adapt to your physical strengths and limitations, and make the most of those. If you have not already done so, you will in time find that there are some things that you can do that no one else can do (or can figure out why you did them that way). My only advice is that, however you fret the guitar, make sure that you always "hit the ground running". That is, always make sure that your hand position does not limit your creative thinking because you have to regroup after executing a certain technique.

currannicurranni replied

and thats one sexy guitar!!!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks a lot! Gibson does have some nice designs, doesn't it?!

currannicurranni replied

it does and some of those guitars have great sound too. if i d 4000euro i d be very much caught between a gibson hollowbody and a gretsch... ha ...awesome about the john lee hooker

nessanessa replied

Welcome to the site, Eric!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you, Nessa!!

cheesebombcheesebomb replied

Welcome to Jamplay :D

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks much! I had a great time doing these lessons. It was a whirlwind week!

ronin808ronin808 replied

Hey Man Welcome to the show!!!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you, my friend!

currannicurranni replied

yay more blues for my shoes I GOT THE BLUES IN MY SHOES BABY, AND I M WALKIN THE TOON!!!!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Keep a shufflin' along!

currannicurranni replied

Eric will you be doing any john lee hooker style ?? it certainly confuses me haha. many thanks

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Yes, there are some John Lee Hooker things coming up in the soloing section. However, on this trip to Colorado, I did not do any John Lee Hooker boogie-type tunes. If I know that you want that, I will do that on the next trip. Thanks!

gone workingone workin replied

Great kick off. I look forward to more of your lessons. Welcome.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks, I hope you enjoy them.

greenogreeno replied

Welcome Eric. Sounds like we're in for some interesting lessons.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you and I hope so!!

SylviaSylvia replied

HI Eric: Glad to see some more great blues lessons. OMG is that a Byrdland?

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks Sylvia. No, that is an ES-135, but it does sort of look like Byrdland. The ES-135 is semi-hollow (has a balsa wood block), has a laminated maple body and the neck meets the body at the 16th fret. But I am with you, Byrdlands are nice!

mattbrownmattbrown replied

Welcome to the team Eric! Great lesson! Your tone is amazing.

nmoundnmound replied

Welcome Eric!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you much!

confetticonfetti replied

Welcome to the site, Eric! Love your way of teaching, and love that stunning guitar!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks a lot! That is my 4th ES-135. The first three are in the hands of former student of mine!!

ruudtruudt replied

Welcome Eric! That was a great lesson... I look forward to see more of your lessons.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks a lot! Oh, we recorded a lot of material. This is just the beginning!

VinnyBVinnyB replied

Looking good Eric, your guitar sounds great...welcome to JP.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks, Vinnie!

dj.phillipsdj.phillips replied

Welcome Eric!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks, DJ!

Electric Blues with Eric

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

The blues is a distinctly American style of music. Many popular genres such as jazz, rock, and country music draw upon basic blues concepts. Consequently, it is advantageous for any guitarist to study the blues.

Basic Blues ShuffleLesson 1

Basic Blues Shuffle

In this lesson, Eric introduces himself and his Phase 2 lesson series. He also teaches a basic blues shuffle in the style of Jimmy Reed.

Length: 17:35 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Licks by Lightnin' HopkinsLesson 2

Licks by Lightnin' Hopkins

Eric teaches a few popular Lightnin' Hopkins licks. These licks can be played over the blues shuffle from the previous lesson.

Length: 11:46 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
More Lightnin' LicksLesson 3

More Lightnin' Licks

Eric covers a few more essential licks in the style of Lightnin' Hopkins.

Length: 7:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
John Lee Hooker LicksLesson 4

John Lee Hooker Licks

Eric teaches a few licks inspired by the great John Lee Hooker.

Length: 7:43 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Country Blues LickLesson 5

Country Blues Lick

Eric Madis explains a country blues lick he calls the "Country Blues Double Wham."

Length: 6:35 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Memphis Blues LeadLesson 6

Memphis Blues Lead

In this lesson Eric talks about playing basic lead in the Memphis Blues style.

Length: 10:37 Difficulty: 1.5 FREE
Using the Memphis BluesLesson 7

Using the Memphis Blues

Eric demonstrates how the Memphis blues licks taught in the previous lesson can be used over various chords.

Length: 5:52 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
12 Bar Memphis BluesLesson 8

12 Bar Memphis Blues

Eric demonstrates how to construct a full 12 bar blues solo by using the Memphis blues licks he taught in previous lessons.

Length: 7:25 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Applying the Memphis BluesLesson 9

Applying the Memphis Blues

In this lesson, Eric applies the Memphis Blues Lead to a practical blues context.

Length: 4:06 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Learning A LicksLesson 10

Learning A Licks

In this lesson, Eric Madis teaches two licks that can be used over an A chord.

Length: 12:16 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
IC BluesLesson 11

IC Blues

In this lesson, Eric Madis teaches a type of blues shuffle that he calls the "IC Blues."

Length: 12:45 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Simple Blues LeadLesson 12

Simple Blues Lead

In this lesson, Eric talks about playing blues lead using licks you already know.

Length: 8:58 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Play Like T-Bone WalkerLesson 13

Play Like T-Bone Walker

Eric Madis begins to explain T-Bone Walker's style of playing the blues.

Length: 7:48 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
T-Bone Walker LickLesson 14

T-Bone Walker Lick

Eric Madis teaches a classic T-Bone Walker lick and talks about several different variations you can play.

Length: 10:56 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Exploring T-Bone Walker LicksLesson 15

Exploring T-Bone Walker Licks

Eric Madis introduces several new T-Bone Walker licks and explains the ways they can be used.

Length: 10:21 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
T-Bone Walker Licks ContinuedLesson 16

T-Bone Walker Licks Continued

Eric continues his exploration of T-Bone Walker licks and techniques.

Length: 9:22 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
T-Bone Walker Licks Wrap-UpLesson 17

T-Bone Walker Licks Wrap-Up

Eric wraps up his overview of T-Bone Walker licks and techniques in this lesson. You will be applying what you've learned in the next lesson, so be sure to practice.

Length: 10:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Swing Blues in ALesson 18

Swing Blues in A

Eric teaches a swing blues progression. He teaches the progression in the key of A and explains how licks from previous lessons can be played over it.

Length: 14:17 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Stormy Monday BluesLesson 19

Stormy Monday Blues

In this lesson, Eric Madis teaches the blues progression to "Stormy Monday Blues." This progression is played in the style of T-Bone Walker and Earl "Fatha" Hines.

Length: 9:49 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Stormy Monday Blues IntroductionLesson 20

Stormy Monday Blues Introduction

In this lesson, Eric returns to the world of "Stormy Monday Blues" to teach an amazing introduction segment.

Length: 7:21 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Transition LicksLesson 21

Transition Licks

Eric Madis teaches a series of licks that can be used to transition from one pentatonic pattern to another.

Length: 9:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Second Position LicksLesson 22

Second Position Licks

In this lesson, Eric Madis demonstrates popular blues licks within the second pattern of the minor pentatonic scale.

Length: 16:50 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The Thrill is GoneLesson 23

The Thrill is Gone

In this lesson Eric talks about one of the classic blues tunes, "The Thrill is Gone," by B.B. King.

Length: 10:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Third Position PlayingLesson 24

Third Position Playing

In this lesson, Eric Madis introduces the third pattern of the minor pentatonic scale. This pattern is used frequently by the likes of B.B. King.

Length: 11:27 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Using Third PositionLesson 25

Using Third Position

Eric Madis once again talks about third position and how it can be used. He also introduces a slew of new licks.

Length: 12:19 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The Fourth PositionLesson 26

The Fourth Position

In this lesson Eric Madis talks about the fourth position of blues playing.

Length: 10:04 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Playing StrategyLesson 27

Playing Strategy

In this lesson Eric talks about "strategies" to use while playing and improvising.

Length: 7:11 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Alternative Blues ShuffleLesson 28

Alternative Blues Shuffle

Eric Madis introduces the alternative blues shuffle, which is particularly useful on guitars featuring humbucker pickups.

Length: 14:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Freddie King Style LicksLesson 29

Freddie King Style Licks

In this lesson Eric Madis teaches licks in the style of Freddie King.

Length: 9:38 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Aeolian ModeLesson 30

Aeolian Mode

In this lesson Eric talks about the differences between the minor blues and the "dominant" blues. He also introduces the modes, beginning with the Aeolian mode.

Length: 10:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Locrian ModeLesson 31

Locrian Mode

In this lesson Eric Madis introduces the Locrian mode and talks about how it can be used in blues.

Length: 6:58 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Dorian ModeLesson 32

Dorian Mode

Eric continues his series on modes. This time he covers the Dorian mode and its relation to the blues.

Length: 7:16 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Modes & Minor Key BluesLesson 33

Modes & Minor Key Blues

Eric continues his discussion on modes in relation to the minor key blues.

Length: 9:31 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Minor 7th ArpeggiosLesson 34

Minor 7th Arpeggios

Eric Madis teaches a handful of minor 7th arpeggios in this lesson.

Length: 10:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Dominant 7th ArpeggiosLesson 35

Dominant 7th Arpeggios

Eric demonstrates dominant 7th arpeggios in this lesson.

Length: 7:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Applying Dominant 7th ArpeggiosLesson 36

Applying Dominant 7th Arpeggios

Eric discusses dominant seventh arpeggios and how they can be used in blues licks.

Length: 6:58 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Diminished 7th ArpeggiosLesson 37

Diminished 7th Arpeggios

Eric talks all about diminished 7th arpeggios and gives five exercises to practice.

Length: 10:20 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Applying Diminished 7th ArpeggiosLesson 38

Applying Diminished 7th Arpeggios

Learn how the diminished 7th arpeggios from the previous lesson can be applied to the blues.

Length: 12:13 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
You Don't Love MeLesson 39

You Don't Love Me

Eric teaches the catchy blues song "You Don't Love Me."

Length: 14:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Freddie King VariationLesson 40

Freddie King Variation

Eric teaches Freddie King variations on T-Bone Walker licks.

Length: 7:53 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lick ExerciseLesson 41

Lick Exercise

Eric provides an exercise that uses previously learned licks from the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th patterns of the minor pentatonic scale.

Length: 12:45 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Introduction to ModesLesson 42

Introduction to Modes

Eric starts you off on the right foot with an introduction to modes.

Length: 28:09 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Mode ApplicationLesson 43

Mode Application

In this lesson, Eric explains some common blues applications for the modes of the major scale.

Length: 12:43 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Mode Application ContinuedLesson 44

Mode Application Continued

Eric Madis continues his discussion on mode application concepts.

Length: 18:30 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Major Pentatonic Scale IdeasLesson 45

Major Pentatonic Scale Ideas

Eric Madis discusses major pentatonic scale ideas.

Length: 6:09 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
More Lick IdeasLesson 46

More Lick Ideas

Eric shares some more great lick ideas that you can incorporate into your playing.

Length: 10:25 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Ending LicksLesson 47

Ending Licks

Eric shares ideas on ending licks, turnarounds, and tags in this lesson.

Length: 12:41 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Fill-in LicksLesson 48

Fill-in Licks

Eric Madis teaches some great filler licks for your bag of tricks.

Length: 14:13 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Bass LinesLesson 49

Bass Lines

Eric Madis talks about some common blues bass lines that will spice up your playing.

Length: 13:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
More Ending LicksLesson 50

More Ending Licks

Eric Madis teaches some classic ending licks.

Length: 16:01 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Swing BluesLesson 51

Swing Blues

Eric Madis introduces the swing style of the 12 bar blues.

Length: 8:03 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Classic Minor BluesLesson 52

Classic Minor Blues

Eric Madis introduces the basics of the classic minor blues and talks about how this progression can be spiced up using simple blues techniques.

Length: 18:35 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
A Minor Blues in 8/8 TimeLesson 53

A Minor Blues in 8/8 Time

In this lesson, Eric Madis teaches a popular blues progression in 8/8 time. This rhythmic feel gives the progression a funkier or more rock-like feel than the traditional blues.

Length: 7:04 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Descending Minor BluesLesson 54

Descending Minor Blues

Eric teaches a classic blues progression he calls the "Descending Minor Blues."

Length: 11:15 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Modern Block Chord Minor Key BluesLesson 55

Modern Block Chord Minor Key Blues

Eric Madis teaches an interesting minor blues progression he calls the "Modern Block Chord Minor Key Blues."

Length: 7:40 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Detroit Chicago Funky BluesLesson 56

Detroit Chicago Funky Blues

Eric Madis teaches an amazing blues progression he calls "The Detroit Chicago Funky Blues."

Length: 9:49 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Jimmy Nolen's Funky GrooveLesson 57

Jimmy Nolen's Funky Groove

Eric Madis moves on and teaches an astonishing blues progression he dubs "Jimmy Nolen's Funky Groove."

Length: 8:41 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
The Bump ShuffleLesson 58

The Bump Shuffle

Eric Madis introduces a blues style called "The Bump Shuffle."

Length: 7:27 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The Bump Shuffle #2Lesson 59

The Bump Shuffle #2

In this lesson Eric Madis teaches a second way to play the classic blues progression "The Bump Shuffle."

Length: 4:41 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Chicago Bass GrooveLesson 60

Chicago Bass Groove

Eric Madis teaches a bass oriented blues progression entitled the "Chicago Bass Groove."

Length: 6:50 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Blues Bass GrooveLesson 61

Blues Bass Groove

Eric Madis teaches another powerful bass groove he has extracted from the world of blues.

Length: 3:55 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Blues Bass Groove #3Lesson 62

Blues Bass Groove #3

Eric Madis teaches another useful bass groove for blues guitar.

Length: 5:47 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Blues Bass Groove #4Lesson 63

Blues Bass Groove #4

Eric Madis teaches another valuable blues bass groove.

Length: 4:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Wolf's GrooveLesson 64

Wolf's Groove

In this lesson, Eric Madis teaches a blues bass groove inspired by Howlin' Wolf.

Length: 4:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Minor Progression Major ChordsLesson 65

Minor Progression Major Chords

In this lesson, Eric Madis teaches a valuable blues chord progression that he calls "Minor Progression Major Chords."

Length: 11:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Sliding Ninth GrooveLesson 66

Sliding Ninth Groove

Eric enthusiastically presents a new chord progression he calls the "Sliding Ninth Groove."

Length: 5:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Tribute Blues ShuffleLesson 67

Tribute Blues Shuffle

Eric pays tribute to Memphis Slim and Jimmy Reed in something he likes to call the "Tribute Blues Shuffle."

Length: 8:48 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Chicago Style Funky BluesLesson 68

Chicago Style Funky Blues

Eric Madis teaches a blues chord progression inspired by the Chicago style of blues playing. This progression has a funky rhythmic feel.

Length: 9:51 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Eric Madis

About Eric Madis View Full Biography Eric Madis is a guitarist, singer and composer, a versatile artist whose playing and compositions reflect his diverse and thorough background in American music. Whether performing in an ensemble or as a soloist, he exudes a love and a mastery of the blues that have been refined by years of experience in jazz, country, rock, and even Hawaiian music. What results are performances that include authentic renderings of old rural blues, personal interpretations of modern urban blues and jazz standards, and original music that defies strict categorization, but that draws heavily from these traditions.

Eric lives in Seattle where he leads his own ensemble, performs as a solo act and performs in the Seattle Swing Trio. He has released four CDs on Luna Records, and is currently working on a fifth. He is on the faculty of the National Guitar Workshop and Dusty Strings Music and teaches guitar privately.

Eric lived his formative years in Colorado with a family that was musical (his mother was an accomplished opera singer), and began his music study on the piano at the age of nine. He began performing shortly after picking up a guitar at ten years of age. By the age of sixteen, he was performing in Chicago-area coffeehouses. He has accompanied artists as diverse as bluesmen Big Walter Horton, Sunnyland Slim, Deacon Jones, Hawaiian luminaries Irmgaard Aluli, Kekua Fernandez, Emma Sharpe and author/poet Nikki Grimes.

He has led bands in Illinois, Texas, Colorado and Washington. He has opened shows for Robben Ford, James Cotton, Little Charlie and the Nightcats, Mem Shannon, Hawkeye Herman and author Sherman Alexie. Eric's four albums have received critical acclaim, including regional airplay and nominations from NAMA and Washington Blues Society (WBS). He has received 16 Best Blues nominations from WBS, was a finalist in the New Folk Awards at the 1981 Kerrville National Folk Festival, a finalist in the 1991 Seattle Guitar Starz competition, and has music featured on five film soundtracks. Eric has taught guitar classes at Denver Free University, University of Washington's Experimental College, Northwest Folklife Festival, National Guitar Workshop, and Canada's Guitar Workshop Plus.

Whether performing in a group or as a soloist, at a concert or a small club, teaching privately or a large workshop, Eric is a dedicated professional, with commitment to the quality of his art and to his audience.

Lesson Information

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

Acoustic Guitar

Our acoustic guitar lessons are taught by qualified instructors with various backgrounds with the instrument.

Greg Greenway Greg Greenway

Greg kicks off his series telling a little about himself and introduces the C9 tuning.

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Hawkeye Herman Hawkeye Herman

Hawkeye teaches several Robert Johnson licks in this lesson. These licks are played with a slide in open G tuning.

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Phil Keaggy Phil Keaggy

Phil discusses inspiration, where it's found and how you can take almost anything around you and use it to inspire your own...

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Orville Johnson Orville Johnson

Orville Johnson introduces turnarounds and provides great ideas and techniques.

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Mark Lincoln Mark Lincoln

Lesson 40 takes a deeper look at slash chords. Mark discusses why they're called slash chords, and how they are formed.

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Evan Taucher Evan Taucher

In the classical guitar world, there seems to be a lot outdated instructional advice. And while this type of information...

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Trace Bundy Trace Bundy

Trace Bundy talks about the different ways you can use multiple capos to enhance your playing.

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David Isaacs David Isaacs

JamPlay welcomes David Isaacs to our teacher roster. With his first lesson Dave explains his approach to playing guitar with...

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Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

Electric Guitar

Our electric guitar lessons are taught by instructors with an incredible amount of teaching experience.

Ian Argys Ian Argys

Lesson 6 is all about the major mode. As with the other lessons you'll be taking a look at the individual notes on the strings...

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Tony MacAlpine Tony MacAlpine

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David Wallimann David Wallimann

This is a crucial lesson that explains tablature, how to read it, and why it's important.

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Michael Palmisano Michael Palmisano

Michael kicks off his course and explains what to expect from the course, as well as who this course is designed for.

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Brent-Anthony Johnson Brent-Anthony Johnson

Just like with the plucking hand, Brent-Anthony shows us the basics of proper fretting hand technique. In addition, he shows...

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Straten Marshall Straten Marshall

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Eric Madis Eric Madis

In this lesson Eric talks about playing basic lead in the Memphis Blues style.

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Emil Werstler Emil Werstler

Emil takes you through some techniques that he uses frequently in his style of playing. Topics include neck bending, percussive...

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Lauren Passarelli Lauren Passarelli

Lauren Passarelli offers up her wisdom on purchasing a guitar. She also includes information regarding proper setup and care....

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Irene Ketikidi Irene Ketikidi

Dynamics can be a key component to becoming expressive with your melodies. Irene applies some dynamic expressive techniques...

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