In this week’s guitar lesson, you’ll learn a solo blues composition that is full of rhythm and lead “takeaways”. This sounds great on acoustic or electric guitar and requires no jam track.
Part 1 - Free Guitar Lesson
Part 2 - For Premium Members
Video Tablature Breakdown
You need to be logged in as a premium member to access the tab, MP3 jam tracks, and other assets. Learn More
Add to "My Favorites"
You need to login or register to bookmark/favorite this content.
Mirabel S says
Beautiful lesson as always. Happy Christmas to all at A.M. and a Happy & Healthy New Year.
great lesson. Merry Christmas from Germany.
David L says
Love this. Thanks Brian
david d says
Is it just me. The control bar overlaps the scrolling tab on some bars. At least on my iPad. Great lesson though.
Good stuff as always Brian. Robert Johnson’s “Love in Vain” has some of those licks and I now know why (alternate version of D and the A7 to A dim 7). Great explanation. Merry Christmas to ya!
Side note: I just started reading a book called, The Music Lesson by Victor Wooten. I think of you as I read it… a warm humorous narrative of musical self discovery that helps unlock the musical being in all of us. Just like you brother!!
Thanks for mentioning this book. I just ordered it. I so belIeve in the connection between music and spirituality.
Randy G says
Thanks for mentioning the book I ordered it on your recommendation.
Claire W says
Love everything about this! Merry Christmas.
Wonderful lesson! Jazzy blues chords that lay down a cool vibe.
Wishing all the best for you and yours over the holiday season and new year.
John B says
Great lesson Brian. Sorry to hear about your town today. Merry Christmas.
charles m says
I know open chords and power chords, when it comes too scales melodies and single note stuff, I’m lost and I have been playing for 5 yrs, oh yeah everybody can do this. I practice and practice something, until I get tired of it and still don’t get anywhere.
David LC says
I’ve played for a lot longer and I have the same feeling as you from time to time.
Something to remember is you, once upon a time, didn’t know open chords or power chords, which you do now. Right?
Take this song.
A minor pentatonic scale.
Learn the pentatonic scale positions that fit this melody.
There are a million images of minor pentatonic scale positions on the guitar neck.
Stick with it.
It will take a few months but soon you’ll say to yourself, “Hey I can play a few notes of the melody and it is the a minor scale notes too.
Little steps… my friend
Steven B says
Mark Knopfler said in an interview once that he used to practice until his fingertips bled! I have improved so much with AM and it just happens slowly. Keep at it like the rest of us, its a hard road for most but its worth the effort
Randy G says
Charles in retirement I thought I would be able to play in 2 to 3 years it has been 4 and I’m still struggling. I have learn to enjoy the process learning and the struggle. Yet the sound my fingers on the strings so nice.
Michael J says
Wishing yourself, your family and all at Active Melody, a very Merry Christmas.
Also to pass on the greatest appreciation and admiration for all that you do for us week in, week out.
Good health, and good cheer,
Michael J., Kilmore, Australia.
John V says
Merry Christmas from Stow, Ohio Hope you all at least got some new strings!
Michael Allen says
Merry Christmas Brian!!! Thanks for another great lesson
Definitely makes me majorly miss my (not as ancient) old ES-175, Brian!! Just something so pure and easy sounding about these guitars…….especially the classic older vintage Gibsons. Jim C.
Andrew B says
Awesome lesson Brian, as a beginner i think i might give this one my attention.
I didn’t expect you to post a lesson this week and so its a belated extra Happy Christmas from the uk.with thanks
for this and all the great lessons this past year.
Malcolm D says
Thank you for a great lesson yet again Brain,
Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to you and your family and all at AM.
Nadolig Llawen & Blwyddyn Newydd Dda, From N. Wales.
peter v says
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Brian and thanks for another great blues lesson.
Jody K says
Hi Brian –
Thanks for the new lesson… I’m a new member and, to me, these stand-alone acoustic jazz blues lessons are the best. Keep ’em coming!
Best for a happy new year.
Great lesson Brian Happy Christmas
Thanks for this lesson, Brian! I was pretty sure you were gonna post one, but was pleasently surprised nonetheless. It’s a great one and I’m following along to it right now. Merry Christmas!
Jim M says
Thank you Brian for this wonderful gift.
Randy G says
Merry Christmas and happy new year. Thanks for the lesson
Jim M says
Thank you Brian for this wonderful gift.
Ralph P. says
Thanks for another “Blues By Yourself” lesson. You have such a wide-range of great lessons, but the stand-alone tracks are the ones that persuaded me to sign up for Premium Lessons (EP315 to be specific). Love ’em.
Here’s a great quote that I believe encapsulates your entire teaching method:
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”. (Albert Einstein)
Looking forward to your lessons in 2021.
Happy New Year.
Ralph, you’re right. That is a great quote, and it certainly applies to Brian’s teaching.
Francois M says
I love lesson EP315. I’m glad it got a shout out.
Michael T says
Very nice lesson. I’m working on it. New Eastman T386. Red. The slower, the better. Anyway, because I’m one of those people who feel they need to understand everything to play a tune, I’ve been trying to figure out the thought behind each note. The tune is in A. When you play that first bit of baseline, you hit G, not G#. G being the flatted 7 of A. Is this part of accepting that a 1 4 5 in A is more likely A7 D7 E7? Then, later, you’re playing part of the Am pentatonic, but we’re not saying this is in A minor, right? It’s just that we can move around with either A or Am pentatonic?
Francois M says
He combined the Am pentatonic and the A major pentatonic. Brian mentioned lession EP130 in the video. It is well worth the time to go back and watch that lesson. If you watch EP130 before watching part 2 you will understand some of his choices in this video.
Michael T says
Thank you, François.
Israel U says
Sounds really good. Very nice guitar.
Bill C says
Yes. This is why I signed up for the course. Keep em coming .
Raymond P says
Great Blues lesson Brian.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
kumar p says
which guitar is that ?
There is another lesson to be learned here: At first, I went from I don’t really like this kind of music to, Well, I’ll give it a try. By the end of the first half, I had really got a lot out of the lesson. And as Brian has done so many times, he’s introduced me to another type of music that I had never played before.
San Luis Rey says
This is a style you have shown to us before but every time there is a cool nugget or two you add to the mix. These variations let us choose where to go with it, especially in these call and response stand alone pieces. You always remind me you can say more with less. This is a great Christmas gift. Thanks,
Walter D says
Thanks Brian. I have to say the main reason that I kept my sanity throughout 2020 (some may dispute that I have) was devoting the extra time “working from home” to your weekly lessons. I know I’m a better player thanks to you, but I also sense my own personal style starting to emerge – which is very cool. Best wishes for 2021!
Daniel H says
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Jersey Shore! Brian, I discovered your lessons almost a year ago and I have been on a learning curve ever since. You have freed me from a repetitive guitar playing rut where I was hopelessly stuck. God bless you and your fantastic teaching ability!
Brian, enough light bulbs went off this year in my head to light up my Christmas tree! You made this confining year more manageable.
Greating from the sunny Okanagan…. In a foot of snow.
Johnny D says
Awesome lesson Brian as always. I smell a Stormy Monday thing cookin’. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year my friend!
David P says
Thank you so much and Merry Christmas. I’m a new subscriber (Christmas present) and loving it. Been playing for 40 years and feel like a kid again learning new techniques and riffs. Look forward to each new lesson.
Nice lesson. Love that you play that Gibson while wearing the Martin tee shirt too.!!!
Rusty J. says
Thank You. This is giving me some “ah ha! moments” specifically in using chord shapes that I usually don’t use in various parts of the fret board. I don’t usually use the diminished chord but it sounds great in this exercise. It will take some practice to smooth it out a bit. I primarily play guitar as a way to write songs and these ideas spark all kinds of fresh ideas for me. Hopefully I don’t outright steal your stuff. Haha.
My wife bought me this subscription for my birthday and I am enjoying it immensely! Maybe you could do a lesson on Augmented and Diminished Chords, If you haven’t already. Thank you again!
Eric B says
This is what I look forward to
Rich F says
Great standalone lesson, Brian! Love those chords that you can slide.
My favourite “Blues by yourself” lesson is EP094 Standalone Electric Blues”. Worth checking out: brilliant sliding jazzy chords a la Stormy Monday.
Great advice from David C: A minor pentatonic, and small steps.
I am just about to look for the recoomendrd book, The Music Room, by Victor Wooten.
A belated Happy Christmas, and an early Happy New Year to all AM members!
Robin S says
Another blues lesson that’s going in my “Playable” collection, – it wouldn’t have done when I first subscribed to AM a couple of years ago !
Any possibility of doing some more jazz orientated stuff using 2:5:1 sequences ? I find Major 7ths really interesting sounds but only know a couple of really basic sequences. It must be my age !
Happy New Year Brian, I find your lessons invaluable entertainment during these funny times. Look after yourself.
Kindest regards from Brexit Island.
Tim B says
Been a member for about a year now but this is my first time posting to forum. This by yourself jazzy/blues is my favourite kind of lesson. Although not easy for me, I’m motivated and determined to get that sound! Thanks Brian! Happy New Year all! 2021 has got to be better!
Kathryn L says
I’ve been able to play a 12 bars rhythm for years, but with this lesson, I am going to add all the nice extra chords and slides. I love it! I needed this! Thank you, and my best wishes for a great new year. And, I like to read everyone else’s comments once in while too. Kathy L.
ALAIN L says
Superb lesson, Brian. Beautiful, simple, but classy theme and licks. This is why I recently subscribed to your website. One has fun playing good music and can learn each time a bit of theory you can reuse elsewhere. I’ve been noodling on the guitar for so many years that I’m really happy to have found the real thing.
Happy New Year to you, Brian and to the community.
Alain from Bordeaux, France.
Catherine Arsenault says
Great lesson Brian Merry Christmas and happy New Year🥰
William M says
Brian, these lessons are great. i like what you put together for SOLO playing. giving us examples until we learn how to improvise on our own. keep em’ coming
Frank B says
This lesson is superb! Thank you for sharing your skills and experience with us, you are a virtuoso
George O says
Hey Brian, happy new year–it’s been an excellent year for guitar playing, in large measure thanks to your good lessons. I hate to make a request–you must get a lot of them–but Doc Watson is among my musical heroes, and I wonder if you could teach a Doc Watson song sometime–“Deep River Blues” or his version of “Settin’ on Top of the World.” In any case, thanks for the great lessons and for making Covid time more bearable.
Kent B says
Brian- You are right, it has been a rough year. My silver lining? At 57, I had an opportunity to rekindle my guitar playing after a 30 year hiatus. Your lessons helped a ton and I am grateful to you for that. Thanks!
Peter D says
Really great lesson. Many thanks. I think this will revive my learning enthusiasm in these difficult times. Best wishes for 2021, from south coast, England.
Hey Brian just catching up after Xmas. Love this lesson and thanks for what you do every week opening up the neck of the guitar for us.
Happy and safe 2021 to you and family
Best wishes from Australia
Roy L says
As always . Fantastic lesson. Making simple structures sound so great With Lockdown imposed again here will be spending more time on the guitar
Keep up the good work. And best wishes to you & yours for a Happy(better) New Year.
Krista K says
This is amazing! For a beginner, it is so satisfying to be able to play something like this. Thank you for your enthusiasm, slow instruction and terrific documentation!
Thanks Krista 🙂
D L says
I love this lesson Brian – thank you so much. In fact, I love so many of your lessons that I have trouble figuring out which ones to do next! Your work is so valuable and it’s been a great teaching resource for me . I especially love the Video Tablature Breakdown feature – it’s such a great learning tool. Thanks again, David
Thanks, one of my favorite tunes to learn, I love this stand alone style, as a beginner even easier would be welcome.