Blues Guitar For Dummies
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To play blues guitar, first you have to know the basics of guitar in general, which means identifying the parts of a guitar and being able to translate a chord diagram. Then, you can get familiar with common open and moveable chord forms and create your own blues guitar style.

Guitar parts, chord diagrams, and tablature

To play blues guitar, or any style of guitar music, it helps to be able to identify the parts of the guitar, which are identified in the diagram below. It also helps to be able to read chord diagrams and the six-line guitar tablature that tell you which frets press on which strings.

A sample chord diagram and tablature are shown here as well:


Common open-position chords for blues guitar

Open-position chords are aptly named because they involve unfretted strings that can ring open, along with the fretted notes.

Open-position chords have a “jangly” pleasant feature, sometimes referred to as “cowboy chords.” These 24 chords make-up just about all the chords you need for rock guitar in open position:


Moveable chord forms for blues guitar

A moveable chord, unlike an open-position chord, does not include open strings. If you can move, without rearranging your fingers, from position to position on the neck of the guitar, it’s a moveable chord.

6th-String Root

These moveable, or power, chords get their name because they get their root from the 6th string.


5th-String Root

These moveable, or power, chords are rooted from the 5th string.


5th-String Root (more chords)

These additional chords are also rooted from the 5th string.


About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Jon Chappell has jammed with countless blues musicians at Chicago's blues clubs. He is an award-winning guitarist and composer as well as past editor- in-chief of Guitar Magazine and Home Recording Magazine. His other books include Guitar For Dummies, Guitar Exercises For Dummies, Classical Guitar For Dummies, and Rock Guitar For Dummies

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