Socio's Blues Studies - Updated 25 Mar 2023, reply 103

Hey all, following completion of Beginners Grade 2 Course I decided to explore fingerstyle and the blues (rhythm playing, soloing and fingerstyle) as I leisurely make my way through Grade 3.

Rather than flood the AVoYP section with progress recordings for feedback and tips, I decided to create this topic to collate any recordings that I make during my blues exploration.

This is the first fingerstyle blues piece that I have learned. It’s a very basic 12 bar blues using the Em pentatonic scale for the melody. I’ve learned a lot from the piece and there is still a lot of polishing up that can be done which I will take forward to the learning next piece which build upon this one.

Click me:


Refer to the below posts for the following blues study pieces completed as part of this study:
Fingerstyle Blues Piece #2
Fingerstyle Blues Piece #3
Blues Rhythm Piece #1
Fingerstyle Blues Piece #4
Kindergarten Blues in E


As a lover of this music, James, I’m looking forward to following along. And you are often to a flying start.

I think most impressive is your steady muted bass note. Got some great ‘thump’ going down there.

Interesting choice to use the middle finger to pick the melody notes. I’d naturally opt for my stronger index finger. Is that a comfort choice, a recommendation?

Sounded great!

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Thanks David. The steady muted bass notes was an interesting learning experience trying to tell my thumb not to play straight 8ths. For the melody the choice of fingers was the 3rd finger for 1st string, 2nd finger for 2nd string and 1st finger when playing the 3rd and 4th strings.

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Clearly I am not paying close enough attention :rofl: Had another look and see that now, though in my defense the ring-finger is tucked away and out of sight when in action :grin:

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Good start James. Getting the thumb thinking on its own was the hardest part for me to get under my fingers. You look like your getting it down fairly quick.

Should be 3rd finger 1st string, 2nd finger 2nd string, 1st finger 3rd string but we knew whst you meant.
Looking forward to your next installment.

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Steady as she goes there Sir James. I think you have them bass strings singing the blues pretty well my friend!

Keep up the great vibe and all the best as you set forth on your journey!

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Thanks Rick. Yes, getting thumb independence has been challenging. The next piece is another based on using the Em pentatonic scale before moving onto the blues scale. It’s good to see how the arrangements are developed. Ah string numbering errors… there is no getting rid of that rookie in me :roll_eyes:

Thanks LB. Getting those bass strings singing the blues was my biggest worry for the recording as still got work to do on my muting technique and wasn’t sure how it would come out in the recording.

Great playing James. Like the piece especially the consistent bass notes, very bluesy sounding lol. Also noticed that you’re getting better with the video editing software, cool intro.

Looking forward to more studies.

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Good stuff James. You’ve got that thumb bass note nailed.

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Sounding good and very bluesy. The steady bass note is played really well, and is a nice background to the melody line.

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I think you’re getting that 12 bar down. You have a nice steady rhythm -well done! I was surprised to see a sudden movement near the end of the video. Then I realized it was the cat making a cameo appearance. :guitar: :cat:

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Sounded pretty good James! I reckon you nailed it. Noticing you experimenting with new features in the video editor too :smiley:

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James that thumb is definitely steady jumping between the strings, well done you are getting a hang of it pretty quickly. And double kudos for consolidating it all into one post, we need more people like you around here who think of others more :grinning: all the best

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Hi James,
Nice start :sunglasses: . You will have a lot of fun with this :sunglasses:

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That was great James. That’s a bit of a holy grail - to be able to play bass/rhythm and lead fills simultaneously. Excellent job!

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@alexisduprey @sairfingers @Mari63 @DonnatheDead @jkahn @adi_mrok @roger_holland @twistor59

Thank you all for the listen and feedback. It’s good to know that the outlining of the 12 bar blues progression with the thumb and playing of the melody line came across well as it is important that I lay good foundations to build upon as I progress to the next piece. This gives me a bit of confidence moving onto blues fingerstyle piece #2.

There is something about playing the blues unaccompanied and I’m hoping that by learning the building blocks further down the path I will be able to come up with my own arrangements.

Absolutely, I’m finding it challenging, educational, fun and rewarding.

I’m still very much a novice when it comes to video editing but I have started to explore the features of the software since watching the fantastic blues challenge post that @Mari63 posted recently.

Hopefully, this thread documenting my journey into exploring beginner blues rhythm, soloing and fingerstyle will inspire others working there way through the beginner grades.

That would have been my littlest yorkie who often makes a guest appearance. The other one seems to be camera shy (just like me).


That sounded familiar, love that PMed bass line. Old Mance Lipscomb would be proud of you ! Keep that thumb moving boy, nice and steady !

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Thanks Toby. I had to look up on YouTube Mance Lipscomb. Quite a few of his song have lessons on the blues channels I’m subscribed to on YouTube. Maybe some time in the future I should have a go at learning one of his songs.

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Sounded great James. Really good work with your thumb on the base notes.

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Thanks for the listen and feedback Eddie. My thumb has definitely had a good workout recently and there is no rest for it as I move onto the next piece.

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