Blues Guitar 3 – rhythm guitar TAB


In this third Blues Guitar lesson we'll look at how to play a basic 12-bar blues accompaniment part from TAB. Playing a rhythm guitar accompaniment part is also known as 'comping'.


Blues - rhythm guitar playing

The previous lesson described the traditional 12 bar Blues form in the key of A. This form can be played by soloing over it, by playing a rhythm guitar part, or by combining both at the same time. Here's how to play a Blues in A rhythm guitar part using tablature.


Playing the TAB

The blues in A rhythm guitar TAB is on the right.


As you can see, it's very easy, the most important thing being the rhythm.

Remember to count the rhythm like this: ONE-and-UH-TWO-and-UH-THREE... and so on.

The 'and' is not played, so when playing the TAB, you get ONE....UH-TWO....UH-THREE....UH-FOUR....UH-ONE. This will give the part that shuffled, triplet-based feel that is used in a lot of Blues music.


Keep a steady rhythm and be sure to connect the 'UH' part of the fourth beat at the end of the bar to the 'ONE' of the next bar so that the rhythm keeps going. When you finish playing the 12 bars in the TAB, the whole thing just repeats.

blues guitar rhythm Jimi HendrixJimi Hendrix often mixed up his rhythm guitar parts with great little solo fills when playing the Blues.


There are a lot more ways to play a rhythm guitar part for a Blues in A, although this is a widely used part, not just on guitar but also on the piano. Practice this TAB rhythm part by playing it over a blues backing track and see if you can play in time with the rhythm precisely. Also try to palm mute the whole part while playing, which can sound great.


In the next lessons, i'll explain how to solo over a Blues, starting by explaining the Pentatonic minor scale and how it is used.


blues guitar rhythm TAB