Basic 12 Bar Blues Rhythms

Well it has been a very rainy week here in Los Angeles and it is kinda giving me the blues so I thought a nice introduction to blues guitar rhythm was in order.

The 12 bar blues progression is one of the most used in popular music, so even if your not a big fan of the blues it is a good idea to try and understand what a 12 bar blues progression is.

Take your time and learn the chord forms before trying to apply the rhythms to them. I will be using the same chord forms found in the basic open position seventh chords lesson that we did here on the site. If you don't know your open position sevenths, just do a search for that lesson and download the lesson PDF.

Here is the PDF TAB download for this lesson.

Basic 12 Bar Blues Rhythm PDF

Don't get to down playing all of this stuff!!

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Basic 12 Bar Blues Rhythms


  1. claude on May 9, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    i think that you’re doing a really good job, can you please let me know how to make a donation ?

    you deserve it

    • Carl Brown on May 11, 2011 at 1:05 pm

      Hey Claude, thanks for the support! You should be able to make a donation if you go to the Donate page. You will find a little Paypal donate thing on there where you can help contribute.

      Thanks A Bunch! Carl..

  2. michael on June 14, 2011 at 4:54 am

    dude your doing a good jobs,im happy that you’re sharing your knoledge in guitar becuase many people did your lesson………thank you

  3. Chad Wigham on October 16, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Thx for the help on the DVD. I have done a Premier subscription and look forward to a useful list of lessons and songs.
    Keep up the great work.

  4. george robinson on October 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Carl, I have recently come across your web site and found it of great interest. I would class myself as a beginner although I am at session 9 of the Gibson Learn and master course. Although I have not realy got too far into your programme I have found it clear and extremely professional. Two questions,,,,what advantage is there to subscribe to the premium lessons beyond the free ones and do you have a structured course for learning? ( I am based in the U.K.)

    • Carl Brown on October 31, 2012 at 4:08 pm

      Hey George, thanks for visiting my site!

      The Premium lessons consist of everything from specialty technique lessons to complete guitar courses on various subjects. It is also the most updated and supported portion of the site by far.

      I guess you could say the most structured courses I have are in the Premium section. 🙂

      Thanks a bunch man! Carl..

  5. Tim Brown on June 9, 2017 at 7:36 am

    Hi Carl,

    Recent subscriber to your site, and boy am I glad I found you!! Been a frustrated guitarist ( using the term very loosely in my case !) for over 30 years, and already I’m actually playing something that resembles a song !!!! Thanks so much, I’ll be back tomorrow and everyday afterwards.

    • Carl Brown on June 11, 2017 at 9:14 am

      Awesome Tim! Let me know if you need any additional help along the way! 🙂

  6. Natalie on June 21, 2017 at 7:08 am

    Carl I really need some help here. I notice that, doing the last exercise in this video where you play the riff instead of just chords… I cannot hold my hand like you do, having the thumb up muting the low E-string and 1st finger at the 5th fret. It’s impossible, I have to hold my hand more like the classical position with the thumb in the middle of the neck and fingers more straight (hope you can figure out what I mean). I guess my fingers are just too short. Does that mean I will never play the electric guitar well? I can hardly imagine my fingers will ever be able to stretch this far. I the thumb up position, I can hardly place the third finger on the 4th fret.
    I would appreciate your comment on that.
    Thanks a lot, Natalie

    • Carl Brown on June 21, 2017 at 7:21 pm

      Hey Natalie, you wouldn’t happen to be able to send me a quick little video link of you attempting that riff would ya? That would help me figure out what could be going on.

      Carl… Oh and thanks for the kind donation! 🙂

  7. Natalie on June 22, 2017 at 12:19 pm

    Hi Carl, even your free videos are such valuable help to really progress in guitar learning, and I have been working with them a lot. From time to time I just feel the need to give something back, even if it’s not very you’re welcome.
    I really appreciate your offer and will attempt to make a quick video, although i am not very familiar with this ;-). It will take me some time though. Thank you VERY much!

    • Carl Brown on June 27, 2017 at 10:10 am

      Thanks for the kind support Natalie! Looking forward to that video!

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