Using B in Blues

Hi all.

Im practicing my blues in major scales. So far,very enjoyable.
So B.
I can play B7 /B5 and B triads, but what shapes would folk suggest? Ive seen it suggested using a capo on 2, but Im not really proficient enough for capo use(apart from open E).

So,in standard tuning,what would you suggest for big ,full sounding chords.

Thanks in advance.

I’m a fan of 9 chords in the blues.


I like that shape too but I bar it across the bottom three strings.


I use it for D9 and E9 in an A blues.

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Thanks.I will give them a try.

I got that shape from this video:

Around 7 minute mark he teaches a simple rhythm pattern. It uses the D9 and E9 which I like because you can slide it around, or use that shape in other keys. He does a simple turnaround F9-> E9 but you can also do a E9 → Eb9 → D9 run. Useful shape.


Ive not really used the 9 in blues. Thanks so much for this. Im off to give it a try.

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This guy has lots of short blues licks. Great value.

In addition the C7 shape is also pretty handy and straightforward. Play around with the intervals - you’ll find loads of interesting variations.

Cheers, Shane

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Hi Peter.
Your main question in a moment.

First …

I’m not quite sure what you mean here.
Blues steers clear of the major scale mostly.

I’m confused here. Blues in B looks identical (thinking chord shapes only) to blues in A if you put the capo at fret 2.
The I chord = A-shape
The IV chord = D-shape.
The V chord = E-shape.

As to your question … Do you mean having to play a B type of chord when playing blues in the key of E (and B is the V chord)?
Or do you mean blues in the key of B requiring B, E and F# as the I, IV and V respectively?

If in the key of B …

B options.
E-shape barre at fret seven played as a B major or B7 or Bm.
Minor blues in B is a common minor key.
Chunka-chunka from a B power chord (6th string root fret 7 or 5th string root fret 2).

E options.
A-shape E or E7 or Em barred at fret 7 or C-shape E7 chord rooted at fret 7. Or, as already shown, E9 rooted at fret 7.
Chunka-chunka from an E power chord (5th string root fret 7 or 6th string root fret 12 or open position).

F# options.
As above, two frets higher.

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Yes, blues in the key of B. Im just exploring the options for the B shape. Its a key I haven’t used much in my guitar journey.

As always,the solution is to get out on the fretboard and explore the shapes.

Got it.

Here is a lesson for a blues in B minor.


As ever,thank you so much.

I have this as its in Justins’blues solos book(early santa present). I have it on my practice schedule.

Oh to sound like BB.

That would be a great guitar challenge. Approximate BB’s tone and style without actually copying one of his solos outright:

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