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Albert Lee on 12-bar blues variations

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In this guitar lesson country legend Albert Lee shows you how he approaches the standard 12-bar blues, this involves some cool variations to the standard patterns many guitarists use.

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Albert doesn't deviate far from the I - IV and V chords in the key of E (E7, A7 and B7). The characteristic country/blues sound is due to the b3/3 notes used on the E7 and A7 chords. This is the 3rd to 4th fret movement which is in many country licks. The 6 (C#) and b7 (D) should be familiar additions to the E7, but Albert varies this by bending up to the D.

The V chord (B7) has the most variation, with the 9th (C#) added as an embellishment. There's more conventional picking involved here than you would normally expect from Albert - there's no hybrid picking until bar 9 where the B7 is arpeggiated.
Aim to use mostly downstrokes to keep the rhythm driving and consistent, but stress the strong beats. Alternatively you might like to count in four, giving the rhythm more of a triplet feel.

If you want to play Albert's 12-bar blues then check out our free tab.

If you want to watch more Albert Lee videos the check out his lesson on rhythm playing. For more information visit the official Albert Lee website.


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