12 Bar Blues 2: Intermediate Shuffle Pattern

In this lesson I will add-on to the shuffle pattern learnt in 12 bar Blues #1, making it slightly more complex, but much more interesting to hear and play. I will also introduce the idea of the ‘blue note’ and the turnaround.

The I, IV, V pattern is the same here as it was in the previous lesson, so the chords and the order haven’t changed. I’ll go through this pattern bar-by-bar. Please watch the video clip to get a good idea of how everything should sound.
Bar 1 demonstrates most of the changes made to this pattern. We start by strumming the open E5 powerchord twice, then use your 3rd finger to fret the 3rd fret of the E string, bending it slightly when you pick it. Then release the string, pulling-off to the open E. Then, stretch your 4th finger to reach the 5th fret, and then the 4th fret. Mute both of these note pairs right after playing them to give a nice rhythmic heaviness.
Bar 2 is the same as  you played for E in the first 12bar lesson.
Bars 3 and 4 are the same as 1 and 2.
Bars 5 and 6 are the same again, except that you are now on the A string.
Bars 7 and 8 are the same as 1 and 2, although you can leave the 3rd chord in bar 8 ringing over the 4th, which will add some nice variation.
In bar 9, you are playing a B5 chord twice, the first one being staccato. I’ve removed the shuffle for this part so as to add some variation to the pattern. These last bars are what are commonly referred to as the ‘turnaround’ in blues music, and it’s the part that is most commonly tinkered with.
Bar 10 is similar, but you are playing an A5 instead.
Bar 11 uses the same pattern as bar 1.
Bar 12 starts with an E5, and then we get this chromatic walking part. To fret the A5, I use my third finger on the 2nd fret of the D string. I then use my first finger to fret the 1st fret of the A string. This Bb is the blue note, which is commonly employed as a pleasant and chromatic nuance in blues music. My fourth finger is playing the 3rd fret of the D string, which is the 5th in this powerchord. I then shift both these fingers up half a step to play the B5.
If you haven’t encountered the dots at the end of these bars, it simply means to repeat from where you last saw the dots – in this case, the beginning, which is exactly what I do in the video.

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