How to Fake Jazz Piano Licks

The 10 best blues solo patterns

10 blues licks in notes and tabs

Learn blues solo improvisation

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Blues patterns and blues licks form the basis for a great blues solo improvisation. We have compiled ten of the best blues solo patterns from guitarist legends like Chuck Berry, Robben Ford, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Bonamassa and Mark Knopfler and present them to you in notes and tablature.
And so that you can also practice the whole thing in a relaxed way, there is always a SloMo version for stress-free play along with the audio in the original tempo. You can find the matching scales and fingering patterns in our special Blues Solo Improvisation - The most important blues scales as a practical PDF to print out and take with you.

Speaking of practical: Before we go into detail, we now give you the opportunity to combine all of the licks presented in this workshop in one PDF to download. So you always have the hottest blues patterns at hand!

Quick facts:

  • Licks are like the vocabulary of a language and can add a lot of authenticity to solo play. Therefore, it is also advisable to have a certain supply of clichés and commonly used phrases in your portfolio.
  • A mixture of the bluescale, the major pentatonic and the Mixolydian scale is often used in blues soloing.
  • Important phrasing elements are bends, slides and double stops.
    Double stops are two-part building blocks that contain either thirds, sixths or fourths from the respective scale.

The 10 best blues licks

Blues Lick 1

Blues Lick 1 is a classic penatonic / blues run in the fifth position, in the style of Mark Knopfler. In the phrasing you can take advantage of the fact that the blue note can be found in the 8th fret of the G string, but also in the 4th fret of the B string:

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Blues Lick 2

Greetings from Chuck Berry! Lick 2 mixes the bluescale with the A-Mixolydian scale (which is very common among blues players or blues-oriented players such as Angus Young from AC / DC) and integrates a double stop on the E and B strings:

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Blues Lick 3

...consists of a bluescale run followed by a double-stop cliché that every guitarist should master. The high E string remains fingered in the 5th fret in the final phrase, while the D on the B string moves chromatically over the blue note Eb to E:

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Blues Lick 4

The Texas blueser Stevie Ray Vaughan left us some hot licks in his too short creative period. Here is a blues pattern in the usual Stevie Ray manner:

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Blues Lick 5

Lick 5: Robben Ford is rightly one of the great blues guitarists. Here is a short Robben Ford style blues phrase. Also an old blueser trick: You grab the note A on the 5th fret of the high E string and then slide into the same note A on the B string:

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Blues Lick 6

Bendings are one of the most important phrasing elements of the guitar - here an unusually large bend - namely a major third:

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Blues Lick 7

Repeating patterns of any kind are also an integral part of the blues game - here a blues repeatinglick in the 13th position:

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Blues Lick 8

In Lick 8 you will encounter double stops in the form of sixths, which are very common in the blues anyway. These sixths come from the Mixolydian scale with a dash of chromaticism. Scott Henderson likes to use these building blocks when playing solo:

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Blues Lick 9

Lick 9 also moves in Mixolydian mode and plays around an Aadd4 arpeggio - a trick that works very well not only in the blues:

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Blues Lick 10

Joe Bonamassa has paired some modern playing techniques with the blues in his game. In Lick 10 we find a stretch pentatonic mixed with the A-Mixolydian scale. If you pair the whole thing with an aggressive picking, you come very close to the original:

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