Alternatives To The “Blues In E” Rhythm

The “Blues In E” rhythm is one of the most quintessential blues rhythm figures on the planet… almost no other rhythm on your guitar sounds as “blues” as this one.

And as long as it’s an E or an A, it’s not too hard to play. Those are open positions, and the stretch is no big deal.

But what happens when that changes? What happens when you want blues in… G? or B? What then?

Sure, you can capo it, but that’s not always an option. And for some folks, it could be arthritis or a host of other medical issues that makes it so you just aren’t going to make that stretch.

So I decided it was time for a video with some options. Some are easy, some are not. Some may work for you, some may not. It’s not about one right answer, it’s about looking a little outside the box and seeing some options that you may not have though of.

Want to download this video? MP4 | WMV

Let me know if any of these work for you!

14 Comments

  • Adam Wilson

    Reply Reply November 21, 2017

    I have bone cancer and this helps me a lot thank you Mr.H
    😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎

  • Dave Rowlands

    Reply Reply October 8, 2017

    I’ve never used that B shape, Griff… I usually find it less of a stretch at the 7th fret, coming back down to the A on the fifth fret before returning to E. I suppose I’ve been cheating all along. πŸ˜‰

  • O.J.

    Reply Reply October 7, 2017

    thanks for putting it into context. I myself use the B7 most often for the 5 chord in that case

  • Memphis Matt

    Reply Reply October 6, 2017

    13:00 That chord is right out of the A cage chord form and I use it to play both major and minor chords. Seriously good stuff. Thanks

    I’m more interested in rock an roll but decided to give your material a try. Have just started the “On the Porch” lesson. Its just what I needed to jump start playing. Have gotten into a rut and I’m trying to climb out of it.

    Thanks

  • John mann

    Reply Reply October 6, 2017

    Some great alternatives, especially the really tricky extra note like in johnny be good, I find that practically impossible😩 I loved that little turn around you did is there a lesson on that? Thanks again Griff, I’m learning so much from your lessons, I only wish I had more time to practice! 😎

  • RollyS

    Reply Reply October 6, 2017

    THANK YOU! I have been having a h**l of a time with this! There is light at the end of the tunnel! It would be nice to have the tab though. Just picked up the HTTBS course and love it! Thanks

    • PAUL

      Reply Reply October 6, 2017

      IF YOU WHERE IN A, YOU WOULD GO D, THEN YOU CAN GO TO THE “A” NOTE ON THE 6TH STRING AND ELEMINATE THE STRECH WHICH I DO, I HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM WITH MY HAND THAT ERIC CLAPTON HAS. BASICLY THAT’S HOW TO PLAY JHONNY BE GOOD.

  • John

    Reply Reply October 6, 2017

    I know, I have been emailing him for 3 days to correct the introductory 50% off pricing advertised on the “How To Build Blues Songs” course with no response at all. Odd, they usually respond within 24 hours.

  • Stephan Cotton

    Reply Reply October 6, 2017

    Great lesson. Would love a tab for practicing.

  • David Douglas

    Reply Reply October 6, 2017

    This is very interesting. A different way of looking at things, even just to add variety.
    Thanx Griff,
    Dave in the Adirondacks

  • Ed

    Reply Reply October 6, 2017

    I play bass as well as guitar and if the guitar player uses the little chords option and doesn’t play the low root notes we will have a much better sound and a lot more grooves available to play. I try to pay attention to what the guitar player is doing when I get to see and listen to bands and I have seen some of the best using the little chords idea.

  • Drew

    Reply Reply October 6, 2017

    Your comment that this rhythm wouldn’t be played in a band setting kind of threw me for a loop. But after thinking about it, I suppose it makes sense but does that mean I am not practicing rhythms to prepare me for an open mic jam?

  • terry

    Reply Reply October 6, 2017

    Thank’s Griff for taking the trouble to make this video. It’s really appreciated. All of those alternatives would work for me. There are many challenges in BGU, but if I haven’t yet mastered them I can at least see the improvement in my playing that comes with practice. It took me three months to learn to play barre chords, but this was the one thing that completely defeated me. Even with the guitar upside down on my lap I can’t make the stretch over five frets. It was quite dispiriting not to be able to do something so basic. Now I have something to work on.

  • LUCIEN PREGENT

    Reply Reply October 6, 2017

    was looking at your advertizing for 63.00 kit you for kit of 5 cd book etc.

    but when i try ro order the amount is 127.00

    can’t figure it out. please explain.

    am still interest in that pakage. but in that pakage only.

    lucien pregent

    tanks for reply.

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