3 Essential Acoustic Blues Chords
Acoustic blues chords are an important part of learning blues guitar and learning to use them is a skill that improves accompanying skills and soloing techniques.
Although the chords in this article can be applied to jazz, electric blues, and even rock, I have used them in acoustic blues examples to coincide with my solo acoustic blues lesson series.
If you want to play along with the audio examples some basic finger style techniques are needed which are covered in this video.
In each example I have used the same bass line and rhythms so that you can interchange the chords as you please, but I recommend mixing them up with different blues chords and rhythm patterns to get the most use of them.
Though I haven’t included this in the notation, each one of these chords sounds great when you slide into them from a semi-tone or fret below.
Each of these acoustic blues chords are in E, but you can easily move them to different keys by shifting them up the neck.
Acoustic Blues Chords 1
The first example in this set of acoustic blues chords is a partial drop 2 E7 on the top three strings of the guitar.
This chord should be familiar by now if you have followed the acoustic blues lesson series, but the bass line after in the example might be new.
Acoustic Blues Chords 2
The next example is drop 2 E7 chord on the top four strings of the guitar and is a favorite chord of guitarists such as Robert Lockwood Jr and Ronnie Earl.
Acoustic Blues Chord 3
Sometimes referred to as the ‘James Brown chord’ the next chord is one of the most commonly used guitar chords because of its versatility.
Although the E9 is used is an acoustic blues chords example here, this chord is frequently used in jazz, electric blues, rock and especially funk.
Acoustic Blues Chords Etude
Each of these acoustic blues chords has been examined as seperate entities, so I decided to write a short etude showing how you can mix a few of them together.
The E9 acoustic blues chords example can easily be changed into an E13 by raising the top note of the chord demonstrated in bar 4 of the progression.
A part of acoustic blues chords example 1 is used in bar 7, but there
I hope that these acoustic blues chords help bring some inspiration to your guitar playing.
There are far more acoustic blues chords that I might write abou in a future lesson if there’s enough interest, but hopefully these should help get you started.
Here’s a great video of my buddy Zak playing demonstrating techniques in this lesson as well as mixing in some other great jazz chords.