12 Bar Memphis Blues (Guitar Lesson)

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Eric Madis

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.

Taught by Eric Madis in Electric Blues with Eric seriesLength: 7:25Difficulty: 2.0 of 5
Chapter 1: (07:25) 12 Bar Memphis Blues Welcome back to the Phase 2 Electric Blues Series with Eric Madis! In this lesson, Eric demonstrates how the licks from the past two lessons can be applied to a practical blues context. An effective 12 bar blues solo can be constructed by combining these licks. The solo presented in this lesson works exceptionally well with the Jimmy Reed style shuffle that Eric taught in the first lesson.

The Solo

A. Measures 1-4

The solo begins with Descending Lick #1 played in E major. This lick is repeated during the first two measures.

Instead of repeating this lick four times during the first four measures, Descending Lick #2 is played in measure 3. Then, the ascending version is played in measure 4. Using multiple licks over a single chord adds much needed variety to the solo.

B. Measures 5-6

In measure 5, the chord progression changes to the IV chord, A. Over this measure, Eric elects to play the ascending form of Lick #2.

Measure 6 features the descending form of Lick #2 in A.

C. Measures 7-8

The 12 bar blues form returns to the tonic E chord in measure 7. Descending Lick #2 is played in this measure. The ascending version occurs in the next measure. The final double stop of this lick creates the smoothest possible transition between the E chord and the B chord that occurs in measure 9.

D. Measures 9-10

The harmonic rhythm increases in the final few bars of the blues progression. "Harmonic rhythm" is the rate at which chords change. Descending Lick #1 is played in B during measure 9. The same lick is repeated in A for measure 10.

E. Measures 11-12

Instead of playing another double stop lick to end the solo, Eric concludes it with a turnaround. A wide variety of turnarounds can be inserted in these measures. For example, you can use the turnaround Eric has demonstrated in previous lessons. Or, you may have learned some turnarounds from Hawkeye Herman and DJ Phillips.

Eric demonstrates an additional Lightnin' Hopkins turnaround that works nicely with the double stop licks that precede it. Guitarists such as Freddie King helped popularize this turnaround style. The lick features notes notes from the E minor and major pentatonic scale. It combines both the minor third (G) and major third (G#) of E major. The minor and major third are frequently used together in blues licks.

The turnaround concludes in the same way as the turnaround from previous lessons. A chromatic ascending pattern leads to a final B7(#9) chord. Using an altered dominant chord at the end of the form creates a more colorful resolution back to the top.

Practice Time

Pause the lesson video and play the solo as a whole along with a metronome. Then, return to the video and play it along with Eric to ensure that you are not playing any wrong notes or inaccurate rhythms. The play along example is provided at 06:23.

Additional Practice

The solo that he teaches in this lesson can be transposed to the remaining 12 keys. Practice the solo in these keys on your own time.

Video Subtitles / Captions

Scene 1

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Oh hi.
Eric Madis here from JamPlay.com.

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Welcome back to the next lesson in Memphis leads.

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You may recall in the last lesson that we did Memphis lead dyads in the E seventh, the A seventh and B seventh positions.

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What we're going to do in this lesson is actually build an exercise for these using these little sequences of dyads to actually play

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an entire solo over an E shuffle.

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Now you want to go back to that original E shuffle that we had the one that we did that was the Jimmy Reed shuffle which was this.

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Ok, so using that as a model what we are going to do now is we're going to build a solo.

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So let's start off with our descending number one in E.

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Now you may be noticing now that I'm using 12/8 time or playing in triplets or going three, one, three.

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This is a really effective way of playing in a shuffle time for blues

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because it's 4/4 time but if you super impose a 12/8 over that, in other words, instead of one, two, three, four.

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You have one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three, one, two, three.

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You still maintain the 4/4 structure but you fill it up nicely with a very rhythmic type of sound.

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So we have descending number one in E and we're going to do this four times.

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Now see that you could see would fill up the first four measures of a twelve bar blues

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but that gets a little redundant so what I'd like you to try doing now is do descending number one twice.

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Then do descending number two once and ascend in E again.

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So now we've gone through four measures of this twelve bar blues.

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So now we want to do is we want to ascend in A because now we have to play over the A chord.

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We have one more measure in A so let's descend number two or the same lick backwards.

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Now we have to go back to E because we have two measures of E so we're going to descend number two in E and ascend one more time in E.

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Now we have one measure of B seven so we're just going to descend from B, so here from the seventh fret.

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And now it's time for A.
So let's do the same thing, let's do descending number one in A.

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Again, that's descending number one in A.

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Then we're going to hit the low E and do a turnaround.
This time I'm going to show you a new turnaround instead of this.

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Instead of that turnaround I'm going to show you the Freddie King turnaround.

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Actually this is a Lightning Hopkins turnaround it precedes Freddie King but Freddie King really popularized this turn around.

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This one looks like this, we hammer-on the third string, first fret and follow with the second and first strings. Ok.

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Now we're going to come down almost like a blues scale here, we're going to come down now the second string, third fret, second fret and open.

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Third string we're going to go to second fret, open, hammer-on the first fret and second fret on the fourth string.

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Again, repeat that.

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Ok, we're going to go ahead and we're going to use the tag that we did before.

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Ok. Again, that tag was the same thing that we used in the first lesson.

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E, G sharp, A, B flat, B or E, fourth fret, open A, first fret, second fret, form the B seven sharp nine chord.

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So that whole turnaround and tag will look like this, hit the low E and again, the Freddie King turnaround is. Ok.

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Let's come down the second string, third string, fourth string and tag.

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Let's run through that turnaround and tag one more time.

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Ok good, now we're going to put the whole thing together.

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So we're going to do descending number one in E and repeat.

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Now descending number two in E

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and ascending in E.

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Ascend in A

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and descending number two in A.

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Descending number two in E

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and ascend in E.

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Up to the seventh fret now descend number one in B.
Descend number one in A.

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Why don't you take a few minutes and run that over because I know that's a lot of information.

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We'll come back and repeat that in just a few minutes.

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Thanks this is Eric and I'll see you in the next lesson.


Supplemental Learning Material



Member Comments about this Lesson

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

polotuathaigh@gmail.com[email protected] replied

Eric, really enjoying this series of lessons! Thank you very much! Quick question about the turn around: I'm recording the shuffle rhythm on my loop pedal and then then practicing the solo over it. If I play a turnaround on the rhythm track, should I pause in the solo during this, or play a different turn around over this too? Thanks again.

paloridapalorida replied

If possible I recommend friends record shuffle to loop pedal. Then play licks on it. This way helpin me to make better practice...

paloridapalorida replied

After I follow tabs at the same time from the supplemental page (below the video) I've understood better. Thanks Eric :)

RomaroRomaro replied

Hi Eric, am I right in thinking that in the video the run in bar 11 starts on 3rd and 4th fret on strings 2 and 3 where on the tab it starts on the 2nd and 3rd fret on strings 2 and 3..? So I am not sure what to play.

mckrackenmckracken replied

Remembered after a few times easily. Again, great way of teaching. Thank you Eric :)

digitalnaturdigitalnatur replied

Hi Eric. Just wanna say I really like your way of teaching. I and I'm looking forward to watch more of your lessons, but now i need to go back and do these 12 first lessons over again. Thanks again for great stuff here. Totally new at guitar playing, and this is really helpful! Best regards from Norway.

adjohns3adjohns3 replied

Good stuff on the lessons, but some reference to the supp material (tabs) would be helpful so we know what you are playing and can follow

abusementabusement replied

Hey, your videos are great. I just wanted to tell you that I laugh at the beginning of everyone when you look up and go "Oh, hi!" like your were shocked to see a video camera. Thanks for the great blues lessons.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks for the kind words, my friend. Yeah, that look of surprise on my face is a little silly, isn't it? -- Eric

blackriderblackrider replied

Eric these are great lessons. I learned alot in your lessons so far. Getting this music to flow is taking some time, but is sounds good so its easy to keep working. Can I ask about the myxolydian scale...is this common in the blues as well as the blues scales (and various pentatonics)?

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hey Warren, Yes, the mixolydian mode is common to the blues, because it is a major scale with a flatted 7; which is essentially a scale for a dominate 7th chord (the most common tonality of blues). It is very useful in itself. However, it is important to remember that, if you utilize the mixolydian mode, then you have to change the mode for the other chords, or you have to do a separate mixolydian for each chord, because each dominant 7 chord represents a new key/tonality (if you approach it from a modal perspective). Therefore, say you have a standard I-IV-V progresssion, with each chord essentially some form of dominant 7th chord, say A7-D7-E7. Then you would use A mixolydian, then A Dorian, then A Ionian, or you would use A mixolydian, D mixolydian and E mixolydian. -- Eric

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

And thank you, Warren, for the kind words! - Eric

toejamtoejam replied

finally some blues lesson on lead techniques! Hawkeye's are great, but I'm more into this style of blues, and DJ's are alright as well, but are a bit hard to stay interested in cuz of all the scales, so I'm glad for this series. lol I guess I'm more of a "muscle memory" type of learner.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks very much! Well, hang on to your hat, because after about 15 lessons, we really start taking off! Best wishes, Eric

aquiguillermoaquiguillermo replied

Pretty clear!! I´m on that. Thanks.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks! Let me know if there is anything you need answered.

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.

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Randall Williams Randall Williams

In this lesson Randall introduces the partial capo (using a short-cut capo by Kyser) and talks about how it can make the...

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Calum Graham Calum Graham

Award winning, Canadian fingerstyle guitarist Calum Graham introduces his Jamplay Artist Series, which aims to transform...

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Danny Voris Danny Voris

Lesson 7 is all about arpeggios. Danny provides discussion and exercises designed to build your right hand skills.

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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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Mark Kailana Nelson Mark Kailana Nelson

Mark Nelson introduces "'Ulupalakua," a song he will be using to teach different skills and techniques. In this lesson, he...

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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.

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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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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Jeffery Marshall Jeffery Marshall

Welcome to Inside and Out with Jeff Marshall! In this lesson series, Jeff takes a bottom up approach to fret board proficiency....

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Yvette Young Yvette Young

Now that you're right hand is more limber and controlled, it's time to work on the left hand. This left hand exercise will...

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Steve McKinley Steve McKinley

Steve McKinley talks about evaluating your bass and keeping it in top shape. He covers neck relief, adjusting the truss rod,...

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Ariel Posen Ariel Posen

Vibrato is a technique that not only gives character to your guitar playing, it conveys your personality on the guitar, giving...

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Steve Smyth Steve Smyth

JamPlay sits down with veteran fret grinder Steve Smyth of Forbidden and The EssenEss Project. He talks about how he got...

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Brent Mason Brent Mason

Learn Nashville style country guitar from one of the most recorded guitarists in history. Check out rhythm grooves, solos,...

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Horace Bray Horace Bray

Horace provides a short etude on how to practice connecting the different shapes of the G Major open triads. This helps you...

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Chord Library

Each chord in our library contains a full chart, related tablature, and a photograph of how the chord is played. A comprehensive learning resource for any guitarist.

Scale Library

Our software allows you to document your progress for any lesson, including notes and percent of the lesson completed. This gives you the ability to document what you need to work on, and where you left off.

Custom Chord Sheets

At JamPlay, not only can you reference our Chord Library, but you can also select any variety of chords you need to work on, and generate your own printable chord sheet.

Backing Tracks

Jam-along backing tracks give the guitarist a platform for improvising and soloing. Our backing tracks provide a wide variety of tracks from different genres of music, and serves as a great learning tool.

Interactive Games

We have teachers covering beginner lessons, rock, classic rock, jazz, bluegrass, fingerstyle, slack key and more. Learn how to play the guitar from experienced players, in a casual environment.

Beginners Welcome.. and Up

Unlike a lot of guitar websites and DVDs, we start our Beginner Lessons at the VERY start of the learning process, as if you just picked up a guitar for the first time.Our teaching is structured for all players.

Take a minute to compare JamPlay to other traditional and new methods of learning guitar. Our estimates for "In-Person" lessons below are based on a weekly face-to-face lesson for $40 per hour.

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Number of Instructors 128 1 – 3 1 Zillions
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Structured Lessons
Learn Any Style Sorta
Track Progress
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Multiple Camera Angles Sometimes - Sometimes
Accurate Tabs Maybe Maybe
Scale/Chord Libraries
Custom JamTracks
Interactive Games
Learn in Sweatpants Socially Unacceptable
Gasoline Needed $0.00 $0.00 ~$4 / gallon! $0.00
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Mike H.

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I am 66 years young and I still got it! I would have never known this if it had not been for Jamplay! I feel like a 12 year old kid with a new guitar! Ha! I cannot express enough how great you're website is! It is for beginners and advanced pickers! I am an advanced picker and thought I had lost it but thanks to you all, I found it again! Even though I only play by ear, I have been a member a whopping whole two weeks now and have already got Brent's country shuffle and country blues down and of course with embellishments. Thank you all for your wonderful program!

Greg J.

"With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace"

I'm a fifty eight year old newbie who owns a guitar which has been sitting untouched in a corner for about seven years now. Last weekend I got inspired to pick it up and finally learn how to play after watching an amazing Spanish guitarist on TV. So, here I am. I'm starting at the beginning with Steve Eulberg and I couldn't be happier (except for the sore fingers :) Some day I'm going to play like Steve! I'm self employed with a hectic schedule. With Jamplay I can fit in a random session when I have time and I can go at my own pace, rewinding and replaying the videos until I get it. This is a very enjoyable diversion from my work yet I still feel like I'm accomplishing something worthwhile. Thanks a lot, Greg


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