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Open Pentatonic

Blues Slide Rule

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Learning to play the Blues     For Guitar Teachers and Students

Jam - Room


CTB Index




A - Always revise and continually perfect your Pentatonic scale pattern and chord changes

1 - Here we are going to look at improving your ability to play lead (solos) in the near future by exercising your scale hand more

2 - Also we are going to look at starting basic strumming for those who do not have much experience at this, so we can start to play some chord progressions and start playing some blues

There are many ways to strum but I am going to show the method I use

D - Starting a Basic Strum

First try and get used to strumming all the chords we have used so far using this basic simple up and down technique

You want to be able to strum and change chords without missing a beat

(Obviously this is not how you would normally play a tune but this is to start training your hands and we are going to evolve this strumming as we progress)

There are a variety of ways to strum

Here we are going to use the forefinger   ( index finger. )

B1 - First we are going to learn to play a Major Scale.  The G Major Scale

This scale is movable so if you played it starting on the 5th fret it would become the A Major Scale, if you played it starting on the 4th fret it would then be called the G# or Ab (G sharp or A flat) Major Scale etc..

The Major Scale is the key to music, from the Major Scale you can find any chord, scale, mode or harmony.  Also it enable the fingers to develop the skills needed for good solo playing, plus it trains the ear

NOTE: If you need to understand the basics of practical theory (Basically the A-B-C of music) I recommend you first go to Easy Practical Theory now

OR Download the free app Easy Practical Theory

Study the diagram and video below and learn to play this Major Scale pattern allover the neck of the guitar, you should warm up with this exercise every day.  You should know this pattern in your sleep

B2 - The G Major Major Scale Pattern  A very important pattern to learn

C - The Thumb Pick

First: A quick note about the Thumb Pick

Now you will see I am using a thumb pick in most of my videos. You can get one at any good music store or on line.  The Thumb Pick is a very useful tool for guitarists

With it you can play most styles of music, it is not as limiting as the ordinary flat pick (plectrum)

You do not have to use a thumb pick but if you are using a thumb pick, only use the tip of it, yes they can take a bit of time to feel comfortable with

Note: I do not usually strum with the thumb pick except for rock or power chords

Use the back of the finger so the nail strums down across all 6 strings gently from bass to treble

Use the front of the finger to strum up across all 6 strings from the treble to bass

Just get used to gently strumming up and down across all strings keeping the strumming hand as relaxed as possible.

Try and keep time 1.  &.  2.  &.  3.  &. etc.

Try the strum with a chord such as A minor as shown below.  Later try strumming & changing to other chords

M1 - Project  3

The G Major Scale - Thumb Pick - Starting a basic strum