T-Bone Walker Lick (Guitar Lesson)

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Eric Madis

T-Bone Walker Lick

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

Taught by Eric Madis in Electric Blues with Eric seriesLength: 10:56Difficulty: 1.5 of 5

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Member Comments about this Lesson

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

lorenzo carmanlorenzo carman replied

were the chords at ?

jimmykjimmyk replied

Hi Eric, I'm back again on this lesson, #5 that is. Taking the lesson comments and reading your responses is almost like having "another" lesson. Seems like my ear is progressing more than a focus on theory. I'm delighted to have your lessons to guide me; they are enlightening. Regards, Jim

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Wow, thanks Jim. I really enjoy sharing this with people like you. Let me know if I can address any questions you might have. Take care!

jimmykjimmyk replied

Enter your comment here.

jimmykjimmyk replied

I'd like to hear more about "Theory of the blues". Thanks!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you, Jimmy, for this comment. I would love to do a Blues Theory series!!

costeffcosteff replied

FINALLY! An instructor who teaches us the core theory all the other assume we know. Thanks Eric.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thank you! I would like to actually teach a whole series on the theory of blues, starting with basic theory and going into why there is such misunderstanding about what the blues is, what the harmony is based on, how the tradition got entangled with more sophisticated approaches over time and more. So much is based in understanding the harmony in dominant 7th chords and what they represent. Of course, there are minor key blues also (a minority though, no pun intended) and they are much simpler harmony/theory. If you would like to see that happen, don't hesitate to let the good folks at Jamplay know that. Take care and thanks for the kind words!

johnny4265johnny4265 replied

Hello Eric, your lessons present so many opportunities for me to learn. Great stuff! I am curious about the basic T-bone Walker lick. When I place my three fingers on the G-string at the fifth fret as you show, when I bend I am bending the "D" to an "E". Why is it important to put my index finger on the the fifth fret to do this bend? You stress the importance of lifting my index finger on the way back down, but lifting the index finger doesn't affect the tone of the "D" at all since my ring finger is fretting that string. I intend to do the bend as you show, but I think I am missing something?

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Holding the index finger on the 5th fret gives you more control over the bend, activates your wrist more (which is necessary) and gives you a thicker tone than if you just used two fingers to do the bend. However, if you can manage the bend well with just two, then go for it. Everyone's different.

james carrolljames carroll replied

Hi Eric, I'm really enjoying the series, many thanks. Got a little lost on this one- forgive my stupidity. I assume that the chord progression I, IV, V is based upon the I,IV &V notes of the Major scale, right? Is that usually the case or does it also follow minor scale? DOes this relate to Circle of fifths? Not sure when its appropriate to play 7th 9th chords etc. Really hate theory- too mathsy for me! I kind of switch off- any relatively painless theory lessons?

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Yes, the idea of I-IV-V relates to the idea that, in a major key, the I, IV and V chords are all major. However, blues music uses dominant chords (major with a minor 7) predominantly and although we have referred to them as I-IV-V, their relationship is much different than the I-IV-V chords in a major key, all of which are in the same key (use the same notes). This is not the case with the blues version of I7-IV7-V7, which are all dominant chords and essentially the V chords of three different major keys. If you can, drop in sometime on a Monday (11am-1pm Pacific time) and I will talk in more detail about the theory of the blues. You may hate theory, but if you have questions about it, then you are now at the point at which you will need to learn. It is possible to play blues for a lifetime and know little, if nothing, about blues...to learn completely by ear and experience. However, if things are not making sense to you and the theory seems "off" about the blues, then you are correct and it is time to find out exactly what is going on. I can help you with that.

bwebb2bwebb2 replied

Hey Eric great lessons. I am really enjoying all of your blues lessons. I have a few questions for you or anyone else that might be able to help. I have a fender mustang III amp and I'm struggling getting a good blues sound out of it. I know I probably can't get the same exact sound that you have, but I would like to get something close since I am doing all of these blues lessons. Any info or ideas are greatly appreciated and keep up the great lessons.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Actually I use a Fender Mustang I (the 20 watt) for my visiting students and occasionally I practice through it. It isn't bad actually. I set it on the 57 Deluxe amp usually, put the bass on about 8 and the treble on about 4 (I am not sure what speaker you have...you may want to set the treble at 5 or 6 if you have a 12" speaker), and I set the effects so I have a nice reverb sound. Then those amps don't sound bad at all!

memphismemphis replied

Gotta tell ya Eric, you are really opening a lot of windows for me. Being able to see those target 4th and 5th notes and that flat 7th in the scale to head to when the chord changes seems so simple now. Just couldn't make that little connection which is huge!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Yeah baby! Getting mileage from your licks is one key to relaxing and getting some expression from what you already have. It allows you to develop melodies that are musical, rather than just technical, and gives you the nutrition to last all day!

memphismemphis replied

Gotta tella Eric, you really are opening up a lot of windows for me. This lesson just gave me such an understanding of how to look ahead for the 4th and 5th of a scale as a target note which seems so simple noe, but had eluded me for so long.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

And thank you very much for your kind words!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

That eludes us all for a while, so you are in good company. The fact is, we all want to know more and more licks and scales, thinking that it is going to make us better. And to some extent, that does make us better. But learning how to use these ideas effectively is a matter of making them more musical, than theatrical or technical.

bryantpohbryantpoh replied

are there tabs for the chords?

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

I did not provide a lot of material to JamPlay for my lessons...I did provide some. And yes, I did have chord diagrams, but not tabulature-style material. Therefore, the tab and written music was courtesy of JamPlay, based on my written material. If you have any questions about any chords specifically, please let me know. Remember I am online each week Monday from 11am-1pm Pacific Time and I answer questions then, as well as presenting new material.

greyskiesgreyskies replied

Thanks, Eric! Lots of great info once again. I'm loving this series!!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

That makes me very happy, because when I view the series, I often see things that I would do differently now.....

housemannhhousemannh replied

Hi Eric. Is it possible for you to show the chords that you are using?

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Sorry it has taken me so long to write, but I rarely have time to check out the comments. I think that the chord you are referrring to (in the introduction) is a D augmented chord, which is a variation of D7. You can construct this chord (tab) X 5 4 3 3 X , which looks like a basic F chord moved over one string and up to the 3rd fret.

housemannhhousemannh replied

that is chord diagrams

housemannhhousemannh replied

Hi Eric, great lesson. What key is this in? A? The signature on the tab would suggest C. I am somewhat a newbie. Thanks.

housemannhhousemannh replied

Am.. Got it. Same key signature as C. Never mind.

michaelpannonemichaelpannone replied

Hi Eric, I thought I had this basic lick working, then I came back to this lesson as a review and while you described the basic lick, you played it slow, picking each of the four notes, but you're instructing us to pick the first and the fourth note only. I missed that the first time around. As for my application of this detail, there is no real definition of that note for me when playing the third note legato style. I am following all the direction you gave in the lesson. For practice, I am breaking down the lick to just the bend, the quasi-pull off and the un-picked third note. I guess it'll come around. It sounds weak right now. Picking all four notes, I do them aggressively and it sounds good to me, although my technique is not conducive to playing the lick at higher speeds. If you can add anything else to getting this lick repeatable please do.

eames28eames28 replied

Great lesson. I am really learning that licks are not random but flow to the next chord. I like the way you teach something and put it into individual sessions so I have time to practice one concept at a time. This lesson was too quick for me. Could you please tell me which variation blends into what chord. I think the first variation goes into the first chord and the second goes into the fourth chord. Thanks

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hi Rama, Good question. Well, we really are not playing major chords. We are playing dominant chords (that is, major chords with a flatted 7) and they have special harmonic qualities that require that we either play very simply or somewhat complicated. In addition, each chord change (because it is dominant) in a sense defines a new key altogether. Regarding the major pentatonic, it can be very effective over any blues using a dominant tonality. However, it does not yield as many melodic ideas and is not as easy to expand and embellish as the minor pentatonic is. If you go ahead to my major pentatonic lesson, I discuss that somewhat. I definitely recommend knowing and using the major pentatonic, but it is also good to get to know what the notes are in that scale, so you can add to them and get more mileage from the scale. Again, because you are playing through different keys, your choice is either to find the notes in common with those keys, or to play over each key separately. The pentatonic scales are an attempt to do approach #1. Let me know if I did not answer your question.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hi Rob, Sorry it has taken so long to get back to answering questions on this column, but I rarely have the time to go into the website to do that. But, to answer your question: I am not quite sure if you are asking which variation of the scale to play over what chord, or if you are asking which lick works into specific chords. So, here is what I will say until I hear back from you. The basic blues scale can work over any chord in a typical I-IV-V blues. When adding the 6 or the 9 to the scale, they can also work over any chord in the progression. Where you run into problems is using the Major 3rd, instead of the minor third. The major third is a critical part of the blues sound for the I chord and the V chord, but it does not work for the IV chord. So the rule: if you use the major 3 (the hammer-on), then don't use it on the IV chord. Now, regarding the ending notes: if you want to get mileage out of your basic licks, then learning to end them with a well-placed note is a very effective way to play. So, as a general rule, if you can learn to end the lick by adding the 1 or major 3 over the I chord, add the minor 3 or the 4 over the IV chord, and add the 5 over the V chord. Once you have that down, you may start adding the 7 over the I chord, in the measure before the chords switch from I to IV (usually in the 4th measure), and you can add the major 7 on the V chord. Both of these last two require some practice to get you timing down, but once you do, you will have many different ways to embellish your basic licks. Then, you just need more licks!

rcausrcaus replied

Hi Eric, we are playing over major chords but in essence it appears to me that we are using A minor blues scale and adding the 9th. ( Blending minor with major). Is it correct to say that we don't really need to know A major blues pentatonic whilst it's always good to know both. Regards rcaus

melodiusthunkmelodiusthunk replied

Eric, I think you strike a perfet balance between presenting elements of theory and making music with what a student already knows. Great teaching style, great choice of musical ideas, great sounds you get from your axe, my only fear is that you might not decide to keep giving us more! Playin' the blues in Hubbardston, Scott

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks very much, Scott! I look forward to doing more. - Eric

jndaiglejndaigle replied

Great lesson series. There is a backing track that has a "slow" blues shuffle in E. When I play this, it doesn't seem slow. I am wondering if i is really that slow or is it kind of a medium tempo?

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Yes, you are probably correct. A lot of the Texas "slow" blues were in fact not that slow. They were more like medium-slow. - Eric

foxboyfoxboy replied

Hi Erik! Great lessons! Just one question: You say i don't want to pick the note (the c) just after the bend but lift my index finger and play it by kind of tapping it. I don't know what i am doing wrong, but i just won't get this note to sound this way. What can be the cause? - Cheers, Fox

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hey Fox, Try not to think about it too much, but to keep playing for sound. It will come to you. - Eric

foxboyfoxboy replied

BTW: It came to me at last. You've been right with this - thanks so much! Maybe only my thoughts were in the way, like they usually are...

foxboyfoxboy replied

Now that's B.B.'c classical advise: Better not look down, if you wanna keep on flying :-) Fox

tony bravotony bravo replied

Hi Eric, What an awesome lesson! I neeed going very slow thru it, but it was absolutely didactic. I had the same concerns about the chords you played, I made my own reasoning and later I saw you had explained them - fantastically - to other fellows. Regards from Madrid - Spain. Antonio

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Antonio, Thank you for your kind comments. Stay in touch! - Eric

frankoo411frankoo411 replied

great lesson. you would not believe how mutch this lesson help me play some of my favorite riffs by dave gilmore

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Good to hear, my friend. Yes, David Gilmore is a very blues-influenced player, with impeccable taste and a great feel. Thanks for the kind words, and good luck! - Eric

nate_thegreatnate_thegreat replied

hi, i'm a bit confused about the part where you said the 7 helps define the 7th chord. i thought that the 7th chords actually used a m7 note and not the M7? I hope that was what you meant?

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hey my friend, If I said that the 7th defines the 7 chord, I must have been really tired at that time. The 7 (specifically the m7) defines the transition from the I chord to the IV chord. It is often used in the measure just prior to the change from the I to the IV. Take care, Eric

tstevens_21tstevens_21 replied

Thank you Eric for this great lesson. I am a little confused about what you said about the 7th in the I chord being the 5th in the key of the IV chord - in the example I think you used the G to transition to the D.. Sounded great, but I am confused - Isn't G the 4th in this instance ??

kbehrendskbehrends replied

Eric...love the lessons but I must have completely missed the theory progression based upon these last couple lessons and what these other peeps are saying.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Thanks, Kyle! Let me know if I can answer anything for you in that regard. Best wishes, Eric

enigmaenigma replied

Hey there, i have a question about the ending notes. Do you start the lick so that the ending note is on beat one of the chord you wish to define? Or do you start the lick at beat one so the defining note is played at around beat 3? As an examples of what i meant: If i want to define the 4 chord at the fifth measure by playing the minor 3rd of the scale, do i start in measure 4 and end the lick with the minor 3rd on beat one of measure 5? Or do i just play the whole lick starting at beat one of measure 5?

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hey Enigma! Sorry if it took me a while to reply, as I have been on the road recently and had no access to computers. But, to answer your question regarding the ending note, it is not necessary to apply the ending note on the first beat of a measure. It is effective to do it that way, for sure. And, in fact, if you are playing alone, then you may find that it is most rhythmically powerful to do just that. However, many very creative players use off-times to do that. In addition, since some of the notes are not the tonic note (for example, using the M3 note for the I chord), then it is often most effective to insert a note somewhere within the rhythmic range of that chord. Does that make sense? Let me know if not... Take care! Eric

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hey everyone, A number of you have inquired about what is coming next. I have recorded quite a number of lessons with the good folks at JamPlay.com, and they are working their tails off editing and preparing them for your use. Upcoming lessons take you from the T. Bone Walker style (and exploring 1st position completely) to Albert King, BB King, Freddy King, Mick Taylor, Peter Green, Eric Clapton, Stevie R. Vaughn, and then on to more jazzy and sofisticated ideas, such as used by Charlie Baty, Duke Robillard, Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, and many more! I eventually lead you into ways of using minor 7th, dominant 7th, diminished 7th arpeggios, and the 7 basic modes (Aeolian, Locrian, etc.) over blues changes in dominant and minor. Yes, how to use a minor 7th arpeggio and a major scale over a dominant 7th chord and a standard blues! So stay tuned and, if you have any questions, please ask! Best wishes to you all..... Eric

mondomanomondomano replied

Eric, Honestly,you're one the best guitar teachers on jamplay. Good simple explanations and demonstrations. Clear and concise. After going through your lesson set and practicing the licks and progressions, scales, etc. it helped me break through some road blocks in my playing. It all came together with the 9 note T-Bone Walker style scale, and your working the riffs into the 1-4-5 chords. That broke down a wall I kept hitting. You know how you get stuck at certain level, or keep circling round the same problem? Finally, those two T-Bone Walker lessons did it for me. Chord changes and integrating the notes into them, are so neglected. Of course a great electric guitar helped (Music Maker, Steve Morse model--superb neck and fret board action. Super slick and great for blues. ) Not cheap, at all, but if you want to play great it helps a lot to have good tools, and great teachers like you. Put up some more lessons, please. Thanks again. Rian in NY

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hi Rian, Thanks for the kind and complimentary comments. That sounds like a great guitar you have. Anything with Steve Morse's name on it has to be good. He is one great musician and guitarist. I have always enjoyed his music and his contributions to groups. Now, as for the 9 note scale: eventually we will add a 10th note (coming up in the future), which can only be used on the V chord, but don't worry about that now. I recorded a lot of lessons with Jeff at JamPlay.com and he is working to get them out. I imagine there will be at least 30-40 of them, going really far into blues, from traditional approaches (like you have seen so far) to more advanced and theoretical approaches. I think that they are all important. Even if one is a traditionalist, one has to know a few theoretical approaches in order to come up with some new ideas, or it at least it helps. Good luck on your playing! -Eric

alien_xalien_x replied

Hi Eric! I really, really enjoy your lessons. The only thing I regret is that I'm already at lesson 14 and there's just one left. Hope you come up with more of the good stuff soon. One question regarding this lesson: what kind of chord shapes where you playing, when explaining the target notes for the IV and V chord? Somehow you hooked your thumb over the fretboard - couldn't quite get what was going on. Thanks! Wolfgang

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hey Wolfgang, Thanks for writing. If it takes me a week or so to get to you, please forgive me. Sometimes I can only check out the comments once/twice each week. Regarding your question about the chords: the primary chords being played for the I are the A7 (in a jazz form...but the barre chord will work) and the C#m7b5 (which some people call the A9, but in fact the chord is lacking its root--which is "a"). The !V and V chords I am playing are 9th chords....the D9 and the E9. Most people don't include the 6th string when they play them, but both the T.Bone Walker and Merle Travis versions both include that 6th string. In this case, I am using the thumb to cover both the 6th and 5th strings...and that is what you are seeing. It is a somewhat illegitimate way of playing the chord, but very effective when you are either playing a highly rhythmic, funky style on the right hand or are fingerpicking in a Travis style (using a 3-note alternating bass) on the right hand. That chord voicing gives one those options...... As for the ending notes, they are the following notes (in A): I (a), m3 (c), M3 (c#), IV (d), V (e) and VII (g), and they are used to define the direction of the chords in the progression and to effectively play to them in improvisation. Hope that helps.... Best wishes, Eric

victory1victory1 replied

hi erik, i'm really enjoying your lessons. i'm having a problen in lesson 14 on releasing the bend, i'm getting some string vibration, what would you recommend? if i keep tension on the strings i don't get the extra noise. thanks again for the great lessons

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hey Fred, Is that vibration when you pick up your index finger? If so, then practice will improve its timing so that you pick it up and put it back extremely quickly....which will eliminate that vibration. Otherwise, do keep those fingers anchored for as much stability as possible. Thanks! Eric

rjoossrjooss replied

great lesson. Needs tab

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied

Hi Ron, Thanks and I would think that some tab is on the way. Best regards, Eric

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.

Mary Flower Mary Flower

In this lesson, Mary Flower introduces herself and her playing style. She also discusses essential blues listening.

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Alan Skowron Alan Skowron

Alan shares his background in teaching and sets the direction for his beginning bass series with simple ideas and musical...

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Orville Johnson Orville Johnson

Orville Johnson introduces turnarounds and provides great ideas and techniques.

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Marcelo Berestovoy Marcelo Berestovoy

Marcelo teaches the eight basic right hand moves for the Rumba Flamenca strum pattern. He then shows you how to apply it...

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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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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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Justin Roth Justin Roth

In this lesson Justin introduces his series on playing with a capo and dishes out some basic tips, including how to properly...

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Trevor Gordon Hall Trevor Gordon Hall

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Electric Guitar Lesson Samples

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Guthrie Trapp Guthrie Trapp

JamPlay introduces Nashville session player Guthrie Trapp! In this first segment, Guthrie talks a little about his influences,...

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Straten Marshall Straten Marshall

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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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Eric Madis Eric Madis

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

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David Davidson David Davidson

JamPlay interviews Revocation's Dave Davidson.

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Joe Burcaw Joe Burcaw

Join Joe as he shows one of his favorite drills for strengthening his facility around the fretboard: The Spider Technique.

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Dan Sugarman Dan Sugarman

Dan Sugarman gives us an introduction and preview to his series - Sugarman's Shredding Revolution.

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Nick Greathouse Nick Greathouse

Nick starts his series with Alternate Picking part 1. Improve your timing, speed, and execution with this important lesson.

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Dave Weiner Dave Weiner

Dave "David J" Weiner returns with a lesson on how to play with style and attitude. He covers all the basic techniques you'll...

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Michael Ripoll Michael Ripoll

Michael "Nomad" Ripoll dives deep into the rhythm & blues, funk, and soul genres that were made popular by artists like Earth...

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