In Depth Guitar Lessons and Expert Help


March 12, 2013

E Blues Rhythm

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Written by: Mike Abbott

The E Blues Rhythm is a must for all blues guitar players,
rock players, and lovers of the 2-note guitar chord!

Blues guitar players gave this form it’s sound by using the 2-note guitar chord. It is one of the main reasons that Rock and Roll is here today. It is also known as the “12 Bar Blues”.


  1. E5 – angle your 1st finger to mute the 4th string(SEE PICTURE)
  2. E6 – angle your 3rd finger to mute the 4th string
  3. A5 – angle your 1st finger to mute the 3rd string
  4. A6 – angle your 3rd finger to mute the 3rd string
  5. B5 – angle your 4th finger to mute the 3rd string
  6. Use all down strums/use your wrist ONLY and keep the motion small so you miss the other guitar strings
Hear this type of blues pattern in:
Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode”
Eric Clapton’s version of “Crossroads”
Little Richard’s ” Good Golly Miss Molly “
Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock “

picture of an E5 chord

E Blues Rhythm
(Click Here to learn how to read these chord symbols)
Read the E5 and E6 guitar chord
Read the A5 and A6 guitar chord
Read the B5 guitar chord
  • SLASH NOTATION – play one strum per slash

12 bar blues in E

  • MAKE CHORD SWITCHING EASIER – try to keep your 1st finger down while playing the A6 or E6 chord
  • ONE MEASURE AT A TIME – practice each measure separately for a while, then try the entire thing
  • MEDIUM AND FAST – play the E5 instead of the E6 right before the B5 to make chord switching easier
  • PRACTICING – after you feel comfortable playing through the whole thing, try playing it with the metronome at 70 (think of these as eighth notes-one note per click)
  • THE GUITAR CHORDS – The names E5, E6, A5, A6, and B5 describe the notes in the chord. Take E5 for example – E is the root note of the chord and B is the 5th of the chord(the 5th note of the E Major scale) making an E5 chord.


About the Author

Mike Abbott
Mike is a pro guitarist and music educator.  He has performed with such diverse acts as the Rolling Stones Horns, Sammy Davis Jr., and Burt Bacharach.   After spending much of his music career in New York City, He now is a very busy guitarist in the Denver area, performing and teaching extensively. Mike's latest work is a book, The Guitar and Amp Sourcebook, published by Harper Collins and released in December 2012.



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