5 Beginner Fingerstyle Blues Licks You MUST Know

5 Beginner Fingerstyle Blues Licks You MUST Know

These beginner lessons are from David Hamburger’s 30 Beginner Fingerstyle Blues Licks You MUST Know course in which he explores 30 fingerstyle blues licks every beginner guitar player should learn in depth. Check out the full course for more beginner jazz guitar lessons like these!

Beginner Fingerstyle Blues Lick #1: Going Down

Download the tab & notation for this beginner fingerstyle blues lesson.

Where would we be without the pentatonic scale? As one of the few Greek words in my vocabulary, I really treasure the word “pentatonic”. Five notes. Everyone says all you need is three chords and the truth, but for fingerstyle blues, it’s more like five notes and your thumb. We’re going to see a lot of our friend the pentatonic scale in this course, most often in open position. (Shout from the gallery of fingerstyle pickers: “Where it belongs!”)

Beginner Fingerstyle Blues Lick #8: After the Fact

Download the tab & notation for this beginner fingerstyle blues lesson.

The 12/8 or triplet feel here is one of the essential blues grooves, and shows up most often as the classic slow blues feel. But 12/8 is also the pulse in piano-driven New Orleans rhythm & blues and early rock ‘n’ roll – just think about Fats Domino doing “Blueberry Hill” and you’ll have the 12/8 feel so stuck in your head it’ll still be there when you’re brushing your teeth tomorrow morning.

Beginner Fingerstyle Blues Lick #11: Brush Up Your Hopkins

Download the tab & notation for this beginner fingerstyle blues lesson.

Yes, you could be more precise with this lick and use one finger per string on the top two strings – middle and ring, or maybe index and middle. But it’s the brushing up with one finger that gives the lick its particular feel, just because that’s the way a guy like Lightnin’ Hopkins would have done (and did do) it himself. Where you go with it is up to you; I’m just here to provide a little context.

Beginner Fingerstyle Blues Lick #15: Barrelhouse

Download the tab & notation for this beginner fingerstyle blues lesson.

Yes, you could be more precise with this lick and use one finger per string on the top two strings – middle and ring, or maybe index and middle. But it’s the brushing up with one finger that gives the lick its particular feel, just because that’s the way a guy like Lightnin’ Hopkins would have done (and did do) it himself. Where you go with it is up to you; I’m just here to provide a little context.

Beginner Fingerstyle Blues Lick #27: Walkin’

Download the tab & notation for this beginner fingerstyle blues lesson.

Walking bass has long been one of my favorite sounds, and it’s a great way to bring some unexpected motion into the steady bass approach. To hear just how far you can take the idea of accompanying blues licks on the upper strings with your own walking line in the bass, check out Stefan Grossman and John Renbourn’s “Snap a Little Owl”, which is all just one guitar until the harmony part comes in at 0:42.

Dig these beginner fingerstyle blues lessons? Download David Hamburger’s 30 Beginner Fingerstyle Blues Licks You MUST Know for much more including tab, notation, and jam tracks!