Blues: Greasy Fingerstyle Rhythm

by Jacob Light

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  • Hey folks,

    Thank you for checking out my lesson and welcome to Blues: Greasy Fingerstyle Rhythm. Most guitar players are required to play rhythm 90% of the time, but spend about 90% of their practice regimen working on lead playing and perfecting their solo abilities. To even things out a bit, today's lesson is all about rhythm, or to be exact: fingerstyle blues rhythm.

    Being able to play well with your bare hands is an ability I believe every guitar player should have. However, if blues is on your list of desired genres to master, than being able to play fingerstyle guitar at a reasonable level is almost a must, and definitely a plus. This lesson illustrates that very well, while showcasing some common techniques and ideas over a 12 bar blues backing track in the key of G.

    As far as the right hand goes, the technique is basically this: The bass strings (E, A and D) will be played using the right thumb, while the treble strings (G, B and e) are each going to be assigned a finger (index, middle and ring respectfully).

    The left hand is going to play 4-note versions of every chord, which not only helps to cut through the mix better and avoid overall muddiness, but also enables us to harmonize easier and use fancy voice leading, inversion and superimposition ideas.

    Please feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comment section, and I'll be more than happy to help.

    Enjoy :)


    Key: G

    Chords: G7, C7, D7

    Chord Progression:

    12 bar blues

    | I | I | I | I | IV | IV |
    | I | I | V | IV | I | V |

    Tempo: 120bpm

    Time Signature: 12/8

    Tuning: Standard

    Gear Used:

    Guitar: 1959 Gibson ES-125t
    Amp: Fender Tweed Deluxe (1x12) Limited Edition
    Mics: Shure SM57 and Rode NTK (slightly off-axis)
    Preamps: Presonus TubePre x2
    DAW: Avid Pro Tools 11

    Thanks a million to my buddy Ric for letting me use his beautiful all original 1959 Gibson ES-125t. It's such an incredible sounding guitar, full of tone and mojo. Thank you, Ric!
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