Walter Trout on the 12-bar blues

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Walter shows you how he plays a 12-bar blues
Image 2 of 2 Walter Trout on the 12 bar blues
Bars 1 -3: Walter is muting lightly between each chord with the outer edge of his picking hand palm. In bar 2 the string bend phrase ends on the first beat of the next bar, forcing you to pickup the following rhythm phrase already part way into its pattern. Bars 4-6: Use your pick along with the index and annular fingers on your picking hand to play all the notes with up-stems, with the exception of the two strings bend phrases. Bars 7-9: More hybrid picking here: use the pick for the notes with down-stems, the annular (a) finger takes most of the up-stemmed notes with the exception of the open B string which is played with the middle finger.

Walter Trout is an experienced bluesman who has played with many famous names, including John Lee Hooker and John Mayall. He spends his time now touring with his band, Walter Trout and the Radicals

We started by asking Walter to demonstrate a 12-bar pattern, and he obliged with a slow blues in E. While the chords are in simple open positions, there are other challenges that are might prove a bit of a handful, especially if you are new to the guitar.
First, note how Walter switches between lead and rhythm. Next, he's using hybrid picking (using the pick, middle and annular fingers of the picking hand to strike the strings). Finally, there are those tricky string bend combos.

You can learn Walter's licks by following our free tab.

On you want to see more interpretations of a 12-bar blues then check out Albert Lee's lesson on 12-bar variations.