Trading Fours

Trading Fours is something that comes up a lot on gigs, but for some reason I rarely see it discussed. And since I was working with some students who asked about it, I made a video ๐Ÿ™‚

Trading Fours is simply playing a solo for only 4 bars of the 12 bar blues progression at a time. And then you trade.

If there were 3 or 4 people, you’d go round robin style, but since it’s just you and me, we’ll just go back and forth. I’ll play 4 bars, then you play 4 bars, and so on.

This will force you to keep track of the progression, but it’ll also let you dip your toe into the soloing pond and just try some stuff out without having to commit to a whole 12 bars!

Try to mimic some of the things that I do, either just rhythmically or the notes.



  • colin ward

    Reply Reply October 25, 2018

    Loved the Trading 4’s stuff Griff. Bought the new corse as soon as I got the mail.

  • 360musichq

    Reply Reply May 13, 2018

    Love this website!! its dope

  • Michael Chappell

    Reply Reply April 18, 2018

    Hey Griff, this is a great lesson and I am downloading it for later. It would be great to get the TAB sheets for some of these Licks as it will take longer to learn them & memorise them even though Key of G with Box 1 & 2 ..But playing along with you and your Jam track is so CoooooooooooooooooooL. We need more of these types of lessons.

    Thanks Heaps

    Michael-Sydney-Australia 18th April 2018

    • Michael Chappell

      Reply Reply November 3, 2018

      Hey Griff, Great to see this again as a refresher.

      Working on other courses of BGU at present and with some songs..will check out the course for a later date. Many thanks.

      Michael-Sydney-Australia – 4th Nov 2018.

  • John Stankevich

    Reply Reply April 9, 2018

    I think you just invented a new kind of jam track. I could use a cd full of these. It’s like a jam buddy in a box.

  • Mark

    Reply Reply April 6, 2018

    So now we need a new course from Griff. Lots of trading 4s jam along videos, tabs and help with some Licks, what Licks to play when etc etc. And we will be setup ready for a jam.
    New course idea Griff??? ๐Ÿ˜„
    I sure would buy it….

  • Jim Rybak

    Reply Reply April 5, 2018

    How about tab for some of those licks? Thanks, even just a couple would help.

  • Joe

    Reply Reply April 4, 2018

    Great lesson

  • colin ward

    Reply Reply April 2, 2018

    very very good. Yet again top stuff.

  • kenneth berry

    Reply Reply April 1, 2018

    WoW Griff, that was fun. thanks

  • Bob Utberg

    Reply Reply April 1, 2018

    Way to go Griff!! Another useful lesson! This reminds me of Joe B. and Eric C. trading ones, twos and fours on FURTHER ON UP THE ROAD!!!

  • Rick

    Reply Reply April 1, 2018

    The right video at the right time! Thanks Griff.

  • JR - London UK

    Reply Reply April 1, 2018

    What a great little lesson – worth paying for on its own! Even if you know a number of fills and licks already, to make seamless transitions to Griff and back takes concentration or it either clunks across with a gap or steps on the start of his part. Knowing the chord progressions well absolutely essential. Leaving a riff mid term is sort of odd, but get the right final link note(s) before Griff starts his other half and it’s very satisfying, so a number of ‘hidden’ benefits! Great stuff.

  • Frank

    Reply Reply March 31, 2018

    Got to admit, that was a blast. At first, I was going to pass… after all, I’m not worthy. Well, I broke out my acoustic anyway and joined in. Was it good? Probably not, but it wasn’t really all bad either. I hit some box 1, 3rd fret and 15th fret and some box 2, 8th and 20th fret. A bit challenging on my acoustic way up the neck with no cutout, but what the hell. No one else around to hear me.

    Thanks Griff, another good one.

  • Dirk

    Reply Reply March 31, 2018

    I don’t ever leave comments, but this one was worthy of a big “thumbs up” Griff. Thanks for all that you do! (including all the posts I didn’t say ‘thank you’ to!)

  • David Chaffe

    Reply Reply March 31, 2018

    That was a lot of fun Griff…..and, thanks for letting us download the video so it can be used to practice with on a regular basis. To mimic is one of the best ways to learn. Happy Easter to you and yours.

  • Tim Drewitt

    Reply Reply March 31, 2018

    Trading fours is usually done with a drummer, but it works great between two soloists on different instruments.
    Hey, Chandler Huffman, great to hear the “oldies talk”. I’m 75 and still going strong. Started taking lessons from a young jazz guitarist a couple of months ago. Best thing I did – he’s knocking all those bad habits out of me after 30 years of R&B playing in a band.
    There’s an old bluesman’s line which goes
    ” there may be snow on the roof, but if theres a fire in the hearth…..”

  • MikeS

    Reply Reply March 31, 2018

    Hey Griff! That was fun, and not nearly as hard as I was afraid that it might be. IT was actually easier than trying to make a 24 or more bar solo sound cohesive.
    The next time Laura wants to try that, I’ll be ready (Well, at least more ready than I was last time).


  • DaveyJoe

    Reply Reply March 31, 2018

    Very cool Griff! We should do some of this stuff at BGU Live this year. I like the jam track you chose also…has kind of a Jazz flavor almost. By the way, Happy Easter to you and your family.

  • Rod Oakes

    Reply Reply March 31, 2018

    Cheers Griff- Brilliant!

  • David James Keck

    Reply Reply March 31, 2018

    That is why it is called “playing the guitar” It is suppose to be fun!!!

  • Chandler Huffman

    Reply Reply March 31, 2018

    Wow! Wow! Wow! Now this was exciting! I’d love to do more of these. I’ve been a long time follower and I have some of your DVDs including the BGU course. I’m 71 years old and have played guitar since I was 13, but between arthritis and not playing as often as I’d like I’ve slowed down some. My point is that you help to keep me motivated and inspired. Excellent instruction, very down to earth for beginners and the more advanced players. Keep up the good work.

  • John P Grogan

    Reply Reply March 31, 2018

    Best lesson EVER, except maybe for 10-15 others you’ve done. Great fun. Thanks Griff.

  • Diane Geise

    Reply Reply March 31, 2018


    Please, Please do several more of these sessions. This is exactly what I need. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.


    • chief

      Reply Reply March 31, 2018

      yep best ever play along and LEARN

  • Steve Black

    Reply Reply March 31, 2018


    That was an awesome session on the “trading 4’s”.

    I had a ball trying this one on.

    Can’t wait to test drive one in Lake Arrowhead.


  • Gary L

    Reply Reply March 31, 2018

    Excellent Excellent way to jam! Thanks Griff!

  • Lloyd Hanson

    Reply Reply March 31, 2018

    Well, that has to rank as one of the most fun things I’ve done before morning coffee in a very long time!

  • Chuck

    Reply Reply March 31, 2018

    What a great lesson!

  • Abe A

    Reply Reply March 31, 2018

    I used to jam this way with old friend that has since passed away. Looks like I have a new friend to jam with. Thanks Griff and a Blessed Easter to you and your family!

  • Ken

    Reply Reply March 31, 2018

    Love those G&L’s.

    • telesaurus

      Reply Reply March 31, 2018

      It goes full circle, doesn’t it? After all these years, Leo and George are still leading the way.

  • mike z.

    Reply Reply March 31, 2018

    Griff , this is really a cool way to jam with a friend , or even a couple others . I get together once a week with some friends to play . I will suggest it next week . Of course , playing along with you is a blast !! Thanks for sending . Happy Easter , Mike Z.

  • telesaurus

    Reply Reply March 31, 2018

    This is sooooooooooooooooooooooo cool. This is what’s missing in my playing, bouncing ideas off of another guitar. I try to play with a blues channel that I get in my cable music package, but I don’t get the clean space to respond too. I hope the Easter Bunny comes hoppin’ up your bunny trail and you and your family have a wonderful day.

  • Edward Sherron

    Reply Reply March 31, 2018

    Griff where do you get all the backing jam tracks you use in your videos?

  • Terry

    Reply Reply March 31, 2018

    Great Saturday morning Jam. Very very cool,be falling back on this one for lots of Fun. Thks.

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