Today I’d like to share one of the lessons / handouts I’ve created to work through with some of my beginner guitarists in relation to the legendary 12 Bar Blues.
When looking for lesson content to get my students building on their strumming patterns and chord changing, the 12 Bar Blues is a very useful template. In its most basic form of just 3 chords, this can be developed from the most simple rhythm of , 4 x ‘down strums’ and then adding complexity at a suitable rate.
When working with people who come to guitar playing with no experience, yet love music, this is something I have found works often, as even with Major Chords the sound of the progression is recognisable as Blues. As the students become more learned in chords I substitute the Major Chords for Dominant 7 chords and then onto more complex chords and introduce a shuffle rhythm.
The main focus for me with beginners is to get their hands and fingers moving around progressions once they know some chords, if they recognise the sounds they create then this is a great driver.
The handout below is also great for building in an awareness of strumming 4 times per bar and getting a feel for 12 bars and a turnaround. Some people pick this up instinctively but not so with all learners. I’ve found this a useful starting point!