Blues Guitar for Beginners

David Isaacs covers the building blocks of the Blues for the Day-1 beginner.

Blues guitar is one of the most popular playing styles and provides such a great foundation of skills. It’s really the perfect place for beginners to get started! Many of the greatest guitarists of all time are Blues artists — from B.B. King and Buddy Guy to Stevie Ray Vaughan and modern Blues players like Joe Bonamassa and John Mayer.

This JamPlay course covers the building blocks of Blues guitar for the Day-1 beginner player. David Isaacs will start at the very beginning with an inventory of the various parts and functions of the electric guitar before moving on to cover the core skills of this genre. If you're looking for a fast-track to getting the fundamentals of the Blues under your fingers, then this is the course for you! Learn more or start the course with membership

Course Details
26 Lessons
8 Hour+ Runtime
Tabs (gpx, pdf)
Playalong Tracks
HD+ Video
90 day guarantee
Get All Access

Stream online, plus all other courses with membership.

The JamPlay Learning System

Like every JamPlay course, Blues Guitar for Beginners features world-class instruction and a dynamic learning system to help you succeed quickly.

It's not just videos, and not just downloads. You'll get:

  • Interactive tabs, notation, and fretboard
  • JamTracks for play along practice
  • Ask-a-teacher functionality
  • Speed up, slow down and loop the video
  • Bookmark exact moments in the lesson
  • Note-taking feature
  • 4k video with multiple camera angles
  • Track progress with the progress report
Responsive image


This is a full, 8+ hour course featuring 26 step-by-step lessons with full supplemental content.

4k & 1080p

Course filmed with 6 cameras and stream in awesome 4k video quality and downloadable in 1080p.

Interactive Tabs

Tabs powered by Soundslice, the powerful interactive tab software, working natively in your browser.


Download and play along with custom JamTracks to lock in the concepts. Own them for life.

Tabs & GPX

Download all tabs and notation in PDF and Guitar Pro formats. Download and own them for life!

Day 1 Skills

Get to know the guitar and the language of guitar

  • Names and parts of the electric guitar
  • Strings and tuning
  • Hand positioning and posture
  • Core vocabulary

Building Blocks

The skills you need to get started with blues guitar

  • Your first melody
  • Your first chords
  • Minor pentatonic scale
  • Sliding between frets


Dedicated practice sessions for each new skill

  • Bass-driven blues progression
  • Syncopation
  • Fingerpicking the Country Blues
  • Minor Blues progression

Meet David Isaacs

Dave Isaacs has earned a reputation as one of the best: not simply a guitar and piano teacher but as a musical mentor to performing artists, songwriters, and performers as well as beginners, weekend warriors, and perpetual beginners.

Dave's approach to teaching develops not only guitar playing but the whole musician, building real skills, confidence, and musical knowledge.

A dynamic performing artist himself, he played in venues across the US from small clubs to festivals and concert halls. He has jammed with Les Paul on a Manhattan nightclub stage, rocked in the mud at Yasgur's Farm, harmonized in Greenwich Village folk clubs, and chicken-picked hot licks on Nashville's Lower Broadway. His ten independent CD releases run a wide stylistic range, from eclectic singer-songwriter to swampy groove-blues, bright country-rock, Southern soul, and lyrical jazz and classical guitar.

On the formal academic side, Dave is an award-winning graduate of New York's venerable Manhattan School of Music, with a Master of Music degree in classical guitar performance. He was a full-time instructor of music and music technology at Tennessee State University from 2009-2013, and taught music theory and listening skills in the audio production program at the Art Institute of Tennessee-Nashville from 2008-2016.

With his combined experience as a working musician and artist and nearly thirty years of teaching private lessons, workshops, clinics, and college courses, Dave Isaacs has a rare and exceptionally wide perspective as an educator.

Blues Guitar for Beginners

Chords, Melodies, and Basic Blues Techniques

This course will introduce you to the electric guitar, its parts, and their functions before beginning to build a foundation for Blues playing. Learn the skills, the timing, and the techniques required to enter the world of Blues guitar. This series will include a dedicated practice session for each skill, as well as a full complement of backing tracks for download and jamming!

This course offers 26 lessons covering 8+ hours of material in step-by-step, digestible presentation.

Lessons in this Course

Getting to Know Your Electric Guitar

Guitars come in several shapes and configurations, and as an absolute beginner, this can confuse matters before you even get started. In this opening lesson, Dave Isaacs will discuss the name and function of the various parts of an electric guitar.

14:47 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Tuning and String Names

Now that we've covered the guitar itself, let's discuss each string and how to tune them!

16:34 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Putting Your Hands on the Guitar

Using the correct positioning and posture while playing can save a lot of frustration and possibly even injury. In this lesson, Dave will cover the proper techniques to help us be comfortable and proficient in our playing.

24:37 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Understanding Notation Through Shape and Direction

Tablature can be a useful stepping stone, helping us familiarize ourselves with printed music for the guitar, and with a bit more work - standard notation. Here, Dave will discuss the basics of tablature and how it associates with the location and direction of the notes on the fretboard.

0:00 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


Introduction to 'Blues Guitar for Beginners'

Dave Isaacs introduces us to 'Blues Guitar for Beginners'!

4:47 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Your First Melody

Let's get our Blues journey underway with this simple melody that will help us familiarize ourselves with picking and fretting in time with a drum beat.

23:27 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Your First Chords

Now that we've got a single-string melody under our fingers, let's take the next step and focus on your first chords with this simple chord progression.

23:46 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Blues Technique: The Glide Slide

Continuing with our fundamentals, here Dave will highlight another mandatory Blues skill: sliding between frets.

15:15 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty

View this Lesson

Blues Theory: I - IV - V in A

Alright, we've got our basic mechanics down. Now let's dip our toes into the theory pool with this Blues staple, the genre-defining 1 - 4 - 5 in A.

20:03 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


A Minor Pentatonic Melody

Now it's time to take our melody playing to the next stage with this two-finger pentatonic melody!

17:44 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Power Chord Riffs

The power chord (also referred to as a 5th) is another essential skill that spans multiple genres. In this lesson, Dave will utilize this technique with a moody Blues riff in A.

17:22 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


New Chords!

Time to expand our chord lexicon with this new chord progression that highlights the use of 7th chords and the need for resolution of the progression.

19:40 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Fret Hand

Let's continue our journey by adding another tool to our repertoire with this common multi-genre skill: the Hammer-on.

17:54 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Core Vocabulary: The Minor Pentatonic Scale

In this lesson, Dave will return to the Minor Pentatonic Scale, but this time in the key of E. He'll also highlight other core vocabulary terms such as intervals, and "call & answer" phrasing.

20:01 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Boogie Bass in E

Let's jam for a while! Here's a familiar bass-driven blues progression in E that will help up us to locate and stay in the "pocket".

17:00 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Syncopated Riff in G

Alright, let's dial things up a notch with this catchy Blues progression based on the G Major Pentatonic Scale that will also introduce us to a new and useful skill: Syncopation.

19:10 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


More New Chords

Time for some new chords! Here, Dave will highlight more of our "Cowboy Chords", but this time with a bit more emphasis on the middle, ring, and pinky fingers.

22:14 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Shuffle Strum and the D7 Chord

Learning to accurately strum through a shuffle beat can be a challenge. In this lesson, Dave will break down this skill and also introduce us to a new chord: the D7.

21:24 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Intro to Fingerstyle

Up to this point, we've used our pick. In this next lesson, Dave will introduce us to the basic mechanics of fingerstyle picking!

21:09 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Fingerpicking a Country Blues in G

Let's continue our work with fingerpicking with this fun Country Blues progression in G that will require us to add another finger to our fingerpicking style!

19:45 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


The Minor Blues

Time to dive into the world of minor keys with this Minor Blues progression that incorporates the Am, Dm, and Fmaj7 to add to our lexicon of chords!

22:29 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Minor Melody with Pull-Offs

A 'pull-off' is the flip side of the coin in regards to our previously learned skill, 'hammer-ons'. In this lesson, Dave will make use of this skill with a smooth A minor melody.

20:43 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Double Stops and the Partial Barre

Double stops and partial barres are useful tools that can add depth and complexity to our sound and are a staple of the classic blues sound. Here, Dave presents us with a fun 16th beat progression to help us add these important skills to our toolbox.

20:49 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Minor Bass String Riffs

Time for a challenge! In this lesson, Dave presents us with sultry-sounding blues progression in Am that has some tricky fingering and demanding use of vibrato!

17:58 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


12/8 Time and Extended Blues Harmony

Ok, now it's time to revisit our "Cowboy Chords" that we've learned. In this next lesson, Dave presents us with an easy-going piece in 12/8 time.

23:23 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Gospel Melody

Congratulations! You've reached the last lesson in the course and should now be well on your way to playing the Blues. In this final lesson of the series, Dave presents us with a bluesy melody to complement our 12/8 piece from the previous lesson.

23:36 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty