Blues Guitar with DJ

Genre and Style Guitar Course from DJ Phillips

DJ Phillips will teach you everything you need to know to become a master of the blues with an emphasis on fast-paced techniques & playing.

65 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

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Full Course Breakdown

You will learn what exactly makes the blues sound the way it does. DJ will teach you the 12 bar blues with quite a few chord variations and turnaround options. You will also learn the minor pentatonic scale and how to use it for blues lead play. DJ will also teach you a few modern blues songs to help you master the techniques he teaches.


Series Introduction

Meet Mr. DJ Phillips & learn what he's going to teach you throughout this series.

2:30 Runtime

0.5 Difficulty


12 Bar Blues

Learn what makes a chord progression a blues progression as well as the basics to the famous 12 bar blues.

13:18 Runtime

1.0 Difficulty


Rhythmic Variations

Time to take the 12 bar blues progression you've learned and add in some rhythmic variations.

8:48 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


12 Bar Blues Chord Variations

Now that you've learned the 12 bar blues and some rhythmic variations, it's time to throw in some chord variations.

6:22 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Minor Pentatonic Scale

Time to take a break from the 12 bar blues and start mastering some lead techniques. This all starts with the minor pentatonic scale.

8:13 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Minor Pentatonic Scale Variations

Now that you've learned the minor pentatonic scale, it's time to learn how to move it around.

11:10 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


SRV - The House Is Rockin'

Learn a handful of new blues techniques while learning to play Stevie Ray Vaughn's "The House Is Rockin'".

49:58 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

View this Lesson

Funky Blues Rhythm

Now that you've mastered some SRV, DJ is going to show you some funky blues rhythms that use the 9th chords.

8:44 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Minor Pentatonic in Open and First Position

DJ begins a discussion of the minor pentatonic scale patterns. He demonstrates the A minor pentatonic scale in first or "open" position.

12:16 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Minor Pentatonic in Second Position

Continuing on with the minor pentatonic scale, DJ covers the second position. As with lesson 9, he provides a few exercises and riffs along the way.

10:11 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Minor Pentatonic in Fifth Position

Continuing with the A minor pentatonic scale, DJ returns with a lesson on the fifth position pattern.

7:09 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Minor Pentatonic in Seventh Position

In this lesson, DJ covers the A minor pentatonic scale in 7th position. He includes licks and riffs to help with skill building.

8:49 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Minor Pentatonic in Ninth Position

This lesson covers the 9th position of the A minor pentatonic scale. DJ provides licks, riffs, and a string skipping exercise.

15:00 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Moving Positions

Now that DJ has covered all five patterns of the minor pentatonic scale, he explains how to shift from one pattern to the next.

6:12 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Major Pentatonic

Now that DJ has covered the minor pentatonic positions, he shifts gears to the major pentatonic scale.

17:34 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Moving Across Positions

In this lesson, DJ demonstrates a number of major pentatonic licks that feature position shifts.

5:15 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Combining Major and Minor Pentatonics

DJ demonstrates how to combine the major and minor pentatonic scales. He provides a number of combined scale licks for you to learn.

12:54 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Solo and Lead Lines

In this lesson, DJ demonstrates how to build an effective guitar solo.

9:13 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty



This lesson details the importance of rhythm within solos and lead lines.

6:10 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty



DJ talks about the art of improvising in this lesson. Always begin with a grand entrance and end with a big finish.

7:59 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Building Chords on the 6th String

DJ begins a discussion of colorful dominant chord voicings. He demonstrates how to build chords from a root note on the 6th string.

9:38 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Building Chords on the 4th and 5th String

Continuing on from lesson 21, DJ explains how to build dominant chords from root notes on the 4th and 5th strings.

8:26 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Using Different Voicings

In lesson 23, DJ demonstrates how various chord voicings can be used while playing rhythm or lead over a 12 bar blues progression.

4:49 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Mute Raking

With lesson 24, DJ begins a short segment on tricks of the trade. First, he discusses and demonstrates string rakes.

5:08 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Organ Licks

DJ explains how B3 organ licks can be played on guitar.

4:11 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Volume Swells

In this lesson, DJ talks about volume swells and how they can be used.

4:37 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Walking Bass and Upstroke Shuffle

Continuing with his "tricks of the trade" lessons, DJ demonstrates a walking bass line and the upstroke shuffle.

6:51 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty



In this lesson, DJ discusses and demonstrates the basics of slide technique.

5:28 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Wah Pedals

DJ demonstrates some of the subtleties of using a wah pedal in the blues style.

3:50 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty



DJ discusses and demonstrates natural, artificial (harp), and pinch harmonics in the blues style.

8:37 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Aspects of Tone

DJ delves into tone in lesson 31. He discusses how and why certain tones are achieved.

21:41 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Minor Blues

With lesson 32, DJ introduces the minor form of the 12 bar blues progression.

4:57 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Using the Dominant V7 Chord

Building on his minor blues set, DJ discusses how to utilize the dominant V7 chord to spice up the standard progression.

4:14 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Minor Turnaround

DJ demonstrates a couple turnaround techniques that can be applied to the 12 bar minor blues progression.

6:13 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Minor 7 Voicings

In this lesson, DJ discusses some minor 7 voicings with roots on the 6th, 5th, and 4th strings.

9:12 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Minor 6th Voicings

Much like lesson 35, DJ discusses minor 6th chord voicings with roots on the 6th, 5th, and 4th strings.

8:53 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Extensions of the V7 Chord

DJ explains how altered extensions such as the b9 and #9 can be added to the V7 chord within the context of a minor blues progression.

8:35 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Scale Options

DJ discusses the scale options that can be used over a minor blues progression.

2:21 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Minor Scale Positions

In this lesson, DJ builds upon lesson 38 and covers the minor scale positions across the entire fretboard.

5:11 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


T-Bone Walker

DJ profiles blues guitarist T-Bone Walker in lesson 40.

31:23 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


T-Bone Shuffle

Profiling T-Bone walker, DJ will demonstrate the T-Bone Shuffle.

29:26 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Skills and Concepts of T-Bone Walker

DJ discusses and demonstrates skills acquired from learning T-Bone Walker's material.

17:42 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty



DJ will take a look at Blues guitarist Bo Diddley and teach you the "Bo Diddley beat."

13:26 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Blues with DJ: More Bo Diddley

Dj is back yet again with more on the style of Bo Diddley. Here is will dive more into his style of solos as well as an in depth explanation of how the songs are played out. Get comfortable everyone and get you blues fingers ready.

22:15 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Implementing Bo Diddley's Style

Dj brings a kicking finish to the style of Bo Diddley by teaching you how to implement his style of playing to your's. With a quick review of what he has taught so far, Dj will play the backing track as you play with him and creat your own Bo Diddley style solo.

10:59 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Swing Blues Solo - Phrase #1

DJ returns to his blues guitar series with the introduction of a complete blues solo. Through the next 12 lessons, DJ will provide a phrase-by-phrase breakdown of the solo. By the end of this mini-series, you will have added a few blues licks to your repertoire as well as a full solo with them all strung together!

3:38 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Swing Blues Solo - Phrase #2

DJ is back with Phrase #2 of the Swing Blues Solo. This lick is designed to outline the IV chord.

3:10 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Swing Blues Solo - Phrase #3

DJ is back with another phrase of his swing blues solo. The third phrase of the first solo is also your first turnaround. In this lick, you'll outline the chords that bring us back to the top of the form.

3:22 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Swing Blues Solo - Phrase #4

The fourth phrase of your first solo has a lot of pentatonic influence in it. You've also climbed the neck to the upper register to help build your solo.

2:29 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Swing Blues Solo - Phrase #5

We're back to the second phrase in the long form blues again. This lick picks up where the last left off and continues to build suspense in the upper register.

3:11 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Swing Blues Solo - Phrase #6

DJ is back with the sixth phrase of his Swing Blues Solo. We're now at the second turnaround of the long form. This lick incorporates chromaticism to build tension.

4:26 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Swing Blues Solo - Phrase #7

We're back to the top in the 3rd chorus of the blues solo. This lick starts to amp up the solo by adding more bends and a few double stops.

3:47 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Swing Blues Solo - Phrase #8

DJ is back with the eighth phrase in the swing blues solo. The second phrase of the 3rd chorus incorporates hammer-ons.

3:14 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Swing Blues Solo - Phrase #9

DJ is back with the ninth phrase in the swing blues solo. For the third time, we find ourselves at the turnaround. This lick plays on the idea of a repeating figure followed up by a scale run.

4:46 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Swing Blues Solo - Phrase #10

We really start to add some gusto to the solo for our final three phrases. This lick uses open stringed double stops and position shifting to create a long build up towards the solo's climax.

3:40 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Swing Blues Solo - Phrase #11

The eleventh phrase of our long form blues solo continues to build on the previous phrase. This time you'll be using a repeated but slightly varied figure along with double stops to create more build-up.

3:34 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Swing Blues Solo - Phrase #12

DJ is back with the final phrase of the swing blues solo. This turnaround lick uses quick bends, repeated figures, and a chromatic walk down to twist your ear before finally resolving back to E.

5:42 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Straight Blues Solo - Phrase #1

Now that you've completed the first solo of a long form blues, it's time to tackle the second solo. This next blues is played in straight eighths and starts off with some chromatic notes, bending, and a syncopated rhythm.

3:13 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Straight Blues Solo - Phrase #2

Dig into the second phrase of our straight blues solo! This one uses double stops, bends, and vibrato to kick the solo into high gear!

3:10 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Straight Blues Solo - Phrase #3

The first turnaround in our straight blues solo uses a low walking melody along with a scale run that brings us back up to the top.

2:53 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Straight Blues Solo - Phrase #4

As we return to the top for the second round of our long form, we hear a familiar melody. This one is stolen right from the last phrase, only it's been transposed up into a higher register.

2:36 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Straight Blues Solo - Phrase #5

We're getting into the meat of this solo and it's time we started rocking! We amp up the energy by using some down picking and scale lines.

2:59 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Straight Blues Solo - Phrase #6

We've now reached the second turnaround of our long form blues. This phrase gets a little funky with some position shifting and double stops.

4:08 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Straight Blues Solo - Phrase #7

Here, we return to the top and continue the funky feel from the turnaround. This lick features chromatic runs with vibrato and a repeated figure.

3:41 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Straight Blues Solo - Phrase #8

The next lick in our long form straight blues is all about syncopation and getting that dirty tone from the amp. Careful rhythmic placement of rests and the use of double stops help us accomplish this.

1:59 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

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  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Playing since 1997
  • 279 lessons at JamPlay
Like many guitar players who began playing around the same time, DJ began plunking out Nirvana and Soundgarden tunes when he first picked up the guitar in the mid-nineties. While these grunge-y roots certainly have their merit, it wasn't until DJ's eldest sister took him to a Led Zeppelin laser light show that the full potential of the guitar began to come into focus.

With Jimmy Page's Les Paul pyrotechnics as his inspiration, DJ began fervently practicing for hours on end in the suburban jungle of Southwestern Ohio. This newfound passion (combined with his complete lack of athletic prowess and physical coordination thus completely ruling out all sports) led him to form rock bands in junior high and high school. He grew to love the performance aspect of music and soon decided on it as a career path.

College led him to Nashville, Tennessee where he began to pursue a degree in Commercial Music at Belmont University. He also started another band and got his first professional theater gig the following summer. Since that summer, DJ has spent nearly every waking hour finding ways to play music and avoiding a real contribution to society in any other way.

He moved to Minneapolis after college, rocking out between theater gigs with his current rock band Brother Big Bad. He has now convinced the band to move to Nashville where music flows like water.

DJ is elated to be a part of JamPlay and is thankful for everyone's warm welcome and says "Now, let's ROCK, people."
Reviews & Feedback 83/100 with 417 ratings

where is "all of the above"? I would have picked all 3 if I could


Looking forward to the sessions!!!!!


always nice to include practice in the lessons. thanks.


Building chords through the scale was very beneficial


DJ is a great teacher (IMO), you can tell how much he REALLY wants to impart this lesson


dj is great

Southern Cash

DJ's lesson is very clear!


Easy to understand. It's just what I needed.


Excellent lesson


for some reason the audio muted midway through this lesson, even after refreshing it still did that. I changed browsers from firefox to safari and all was well. who knows why? nice lesson though


Hi DJ....I like your lessons I'm Steve but go by Teo, I'm new to this site...Been here for only a couple weeks...but I am really loving it....I will be getting my tech side going and up to speed so I can record my playing and upload.....I will


Great lesson, is there a way to remember everything???


Great teacher, thanks


I like how progress in a nice even way. Looking forward to more lessons


I like the way his teaching style approaches with a "how to use in real time situations"


i need to learn more exercises to improve dexterity


new to this site, DJ explains it all so well


Very good.


Thank you for a bit of a refresher.


Thank you, appreciate your knowledge and willingness to share.


This is what I was looking for. Now I need to explore your chord melody offerings and explore further how you deal with scales before I commit to a longer agreement. So far, very good.


Very good explanation and easy to follow. Thanks!


Very nice groove for a advanced beginner to learn. It'll certainly help my syncopation


Well explained