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Tutorial - Blues Cruise

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Blues Cruise - Exercise 1

Sean Conklin 456 lessons

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Before we start, make sure you have a grasp on the song's underlying rhythm. If you haven't already figured it out, this tune has a very heavy triplet feel. So make sure you listen for that triplet pulse throughout the riffs in this tutorial.

In this exercise, as well as all the other exercises, you'll notice that there are plenty of bends throughout the piece. This is very common with blues playing. Now, when we bend, it is imperative that we make sure the bends are in tune. If you have to, practice the bends by themselves before implementing them with the rest of the tune.

Also, be mindful of the vibrato indicators in the tablature. You'll see wavy lines above the notes to be played with vibrato.

I'll also point out that using staccato with your blues playing can be highly effective in getting a "funky" blues flavor. For example, you may notice that some of my bends in the song are very short and abrupt. I'd highly recommend experimenting with staccato to add another neat element to your playing.

Lastly, there are some parts in this song where we'll be utilizing our picking hand fingers to play the strings. For example, look at the tablature and observe the 4th beat in the 2nd measure. See the "A" and "M" symbols directly under the notes? Those letters simply represent what fingers you should use on your picking hand to play the notes. Here are the symbols for the picking hand fingers:

T - Thumb
I - Index Finger
M - Middle Finger
A - Ring Finger
0 - Pinky Finger

So in our example, our ring finger (A) will play the B string notes, and our middle finger (M) will play the G string notes.

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