It’s hard to describe how to play the 12 Bar blues on the guitar when you don’t have one in front of you. It’s also hard to play it if you have never done it before and you are interested in playing the 12 bar blues . What isn’t hard is writing about it so that you can get fired up enough to want to play it, or, if you play , and have lost your way, to re-kindle that passion so that you can learn the proper way.
Many who hear some music that they love and want to play it, often see themselves up on stage having the time of their lives with mobs of screaming fans who just can’t get enough. Well, learning should be that way too if you approach it properly.
The first thing you need to know if you are bitten by the bug is to know how to go about learning properly, and that means, wanting to really learn. If you go about it recklessly, then you won’t go far before you lose interest, and you may never touch the guitar again, and that would be a shame because all you really needed was to learn how to learn.
Start by finding a good instructor. You can usually find one by seeing where all the real musicians go. If you begin your instruction there, then you will be introduced to the world of 12 bar blues in the right way, by taking it slow at first so that you get the chords and the progression right, and then, getting it smooth. Never worry about speed, which will come once it’s fluid enough.
Once you have the basics then you can get into the theory, which is all about structure and form, and that has to with tonic chords, dominant chords, sub dominant, etc., then the 12 bar blues progression that is blended in with it. Remember, this all takes time, but if you take the time, you will get out of it what you have put into it.
There are three main chords that you need to know, and they are A7, E7, and B7, and from there, once you’ve got those down, you can move on to different keys, fifth notes, and how it all combines into that sound you first fell in love with, and wanted so much to learn. Once you do get proficient, there is a tendency to show off how technically good you are by trying to cram all you know into everything you play, and that is where the style gained through confidence is learned, and that is what makes you stand out.
So keep in mind that you must be technically proficient enough so that you can create an emotional impact, and when you do that, there will be someone else out there who will want to play the 12 bar blues guitar just like you!