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Notes on the 3rd String (A String)

The A Note

The open 3rd string is an A note

The B Note

Play this B note with the second finger of your left hand just behind the second fret of the 3rd string

The C Note

Play this C note with the third finger of your left hand just behind the third fret of the 3rd string

4

The following progressions use quarter notes and half notes.

4(Fingers)

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The name of the note the bass player plays is not necessarily the same as the name of the chord, e.g.: in bars 2, 3 and 4 of the above example the bass plays a different note than the chord name.

Left Hand Fingering

As a general rule:

  • Play notes on the first fret with the first finger of your left hand.
  • Play notes on the second fret with the second finger of your left hand.
  • Play notes on the third fret with the third finger of your left hand.
5
5(Fingers)

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Notes on the 4th String (E String)

The E Note

The open 4th string is an E note

The F Note

Play this F note with the first finger of your left hand just behind the first fret of the 4th string

The G Note

Play this G note with the third finger of your left hand just behind the third fret of the 4th string

When playing the E string with your right hand fingers, you will need to use a variation on the rest stroke technique. Since there is no string for your finger to come to rest on after playing the E string, let your finger come to rest against your thumb which is resting on the pickup. This technique is demonstrated in the following photos and should be used in the next two exercises.

Play the E string using right hand finger:

Let finger come to rest against thumb:

6
6(Fingers)

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7
7(Fingers)

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12 Bar Blues

12 Bar Blues is a pattern of chords which repeat every 12 bars. There are hundreds of well known songs based on this chord progression, i.e., they contain basically the same chords in the same order. 12 Bar Blues is commonly used in Rock music and is the basis of Blues music.

Songs using the 12 Bar Blues Progression

  • Original Batman TV Theme
  • Hound Dog – Elvis Presley
  • Rock Around the Clock – Bill Haley
  • Roll Over Beethoven – Chuck Berry
  • Blue Suede Shoes – Elvis Presley
  • In the Mood – Glenn Miller
  • Good Golly Miss Molly – Little Richard
  • Shake, Rattle and Roll – Bill Haley
  • Barbara Ann – The Beach Boys
  • Johnny B Goode – Chuck Berry
  • Dizzy Miss Lizzy – The Beatles
  • Surfin’ USA – The Beach Boys

12 Bar Blues in the key of E major

The following 12 Bar Blues is in the key of E major. When a song is said to be in the key of E major, it means that the most important chord (usually the first chord) is the E chord. This pattern of chords will probably sound familiar to you.

In bar 9, a new note B is introduced.

The B Note

Play this note with the fourth finger of your left hand just behind the fourth fret of the 1st string.

8

The small numbers next to the notes in bar 9 indicate which left hand finger to use. Whenever different or unusual fingering is required, fingering numbers are used.

8(Fingers)

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