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Blues Guitar Licks


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... developing the ability to formulate your own licks, and from this your own unique style and voice will eventually be carved. 

Licks are the best way to start you journey towards lead guitar mastery, but it's not the goal.  It's simply the training wheels which will guide you as a Blues player to the point where you can experiment and improvise with patterns and play your own, self-formulated licks.


More Blues Resources

For a greater variety of Blues Guitar Licks, and Blues guitar in general, I recommend you check out what I've written on Jamplay.  With over 100 Blues-specific HD video lessons with professional tablature, Jamplay is able to go to depths of the deep blue that I do not have the equipment and resources for on this site.  Their Blues lesson features a variety of styles and songs, by incredible profecient teachers.  More info on Jamplay.


Blues Guitar Licks

The following pages contain a selection of 18 Blues licks aimed at the beginner to intermediate guitar players.  All of the techniques and methods discussed in the Blues Guitar Lessons on this site are used in most of these licks.  String Bending and Vibrato feature prominently (this is the Blues after all!) so you might want to make sure you've got those nailed down and understand how to play them before proceeding.

Each lick has a video that illustrates the lick graphically, so they're all on separate pages, listed in order from easiest to more advanced licks.

Learn a few blues guitar licks to get you started on your journey as a blues player.  Add spice to your playing and groove to your plucking..

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Why Are Licks Important?

Learning Guitar Licks is one of the best ways for beginner/intermediate players to learn new styles of music like Blues.  It's the ideal start for someone experimenting with a new genre and will help you develop an inclination towards Blues guitar.  The best method to find out which notes work on the fretboard is the practical one:  Learn licks and experiment with them!
The Blues Guitar lessons on this site focused on the technical aspects of playing Blues Riff's.  And while it's good to know how to properly bend a string, play a scale or do pull-offs, it's of little use unless you actually employ it in your guitar playing.  That is what the Blues licks on the following pages will help you with.

Everything that you learned in that section about lead guitar scales, techniques and methods will now be put to use in this section.  The licks in this section are modelled in the style of famous Blues artists like B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, Lightning Hopkins and Muddy Waters.  By emulating the styles and skills of these great players you'll start...
Lick 1
e|----------8------------------------------|
B|-------8----10vv-------------------------|
G|----/9-----------------------------------|
D|-----------------------------------------|
A|-----------------------------------------|
E|-----------------------------------------|
Lick 2
e|----5--------------------------------|
B|---------8p5-----5-------------------|
G|--------------7-----5^---------------|
D|-----------------------7vv-----------|
A|-------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------|
Lick 3
e|-------------------------------------|
B|-------------------------------------|
G|----7b(9)-5h7-----5^-----------------|
D|---------------7-5----7--------------|
A|-------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------|
Lick 4
e|-------8-10--10b(12)---8^----------------|
B|---/10----------------------10vv---------|
G|-----------------------------------------|
D|-----------------------------------------|
A|-----------------------------------------|
E|-----------------------------------------|
Lick 5
e|-----/5----------------------------------------|
B|---------8-5-----------------------------------|
G|--------------7-5h6----------------------------|
D|--------------------7vv------------------------|
A|-----------------------------------------------|
E|-----------------------------------------------|
Lick 6
e|--------------------------------------------|
B|--------------------------------------------|
G|---3p2p0------------------------------------|
D|----------2-0--------------------2vv--------|
A|---------------2-1-0h1p0--------------------|
E|----------------------------3-0-------------|
Lick 7
e|--7---8-7-5---7p5-----5------------------------------|
B|------------8-----8-6---8-6-5h6p5--------------------|
G|-----------------------------------7-5---------------|
D|---------------------------------------7vv-----------|
A|-----------------------------------------------------|
E|-----------------------------------------------------|
Lick 8
e|------------------------------------------------|
B|-------------------------------5----------------|
G|----7b(9)vvv---7b(9)-7p5---5h7----5-------------|
D|-------------------------7----------7vv---------|
A|------------------------------------------------|
E|------------------------------------------------|
Lick 9
e|-----------------------------------5-------------|
B|--/8-8-8--/8-8-8--/8-8-8--------------8b(10)-----|
G|--/9-9-9--/9-9-9--/9-9-9---7-5h6-----------------|
D|-------------------------------------------------|
A|-------------------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------------------|
Lick 10
e|-------------------------------------------------|
B|--------13--15-15b(17)(17)(17)r--15--13----------|
G|-----14----------------------------------14------|
D|-------------------------------------------------|
A|-------------------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------------------|
Lick 11
e|----------------------------------------|
B|---5/7------5-/-7-\-5vv-----------------|
G|---4/6------4-/-6-\-4vv-----------------|
D|---5/7------5-/-7-\-5vv-----------------|
A|----------------------------------------|
E|----------------------------------------|
Lick 12
e|------0---3^--0----------0-----------------------|
B|--0-2-------------0--3^--------------------------|
G|-----------------------------2b(3)--2p0----------|
D|-----------------------------------------2-------|
A|-------------------------------------------------|
E|-------------------------------------------------|
Lick 13
e|---------------5-7----------------------------|
B|---5vv---7b(9)-----7b(9)--7-5---5vv-----------|
G|------------------------------6---------------|
D|----------------------------------------------|
A|----------------------------------------------|
E|----------------------------------------------|
Lick 14
e|---------------------------------------|
B|---------------------------------------|
G|----5h7p5\4-----4----------------------|
D|--------------5----7vvv----------------|
A|------------7--------------------------|
E|---------------------------------------|
Lick 15
e|------0-3-0--------------------------------------|
B|----3-------0------------------------------------|
G|--4-----------/2-0-------------------------------|
D|--------------------2----------------------------|
A|-------------------------------------------------|
E|----------------------0--------------------------|
Lick 16
e|-----------------12-----------------------------------|
B|-------------12------15--12---------------------------|
G|----14b(16)------------------15-14-12------12vvvv-----|
D|----------------------------------------14------------|
A|------------------------------------------------------|
E|------------------------------------------------------|
Lick 17
e|----------------------------------------------|
B|------5--7---7b(8)r--5---/7---5---------------|
G|------5--7---7b(9)r--5---/7---5---------------|
D|---7-----------------------------7--7vv-------|
A|----------------------------------------------|
E|----------------------------------------------|
Lick 18
e|---------------------------------------8-10-10h11p10p8---|
B|-------------------------------------------------------8-|
G|---------------------5---7-7h8p7p5-----------------------|
D|-----------------------------------7vv-------------------|
A|-3--5-5h6p5p3--------------------------------------------|
E|---------------5vv---------------------------------------|