Tired of playing the same old dominant 7 chords during a blues? Let’s fix that.



  • Learn what chord substitutions are and how they work so that you can get more color out of your rhythm guitar playing.
  • Use extensions on dominant 7 chords as a way of creating new substitutions.
  • Play practical examples of substitutions within various blues grooves while maintaining the standard blues harmony.
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Staying creative and phrasing musically while playing chords, especially over a blues progression, seems like an impossibility to many players. After all, most blues songs contain only three chords, the I, IV, and V. So how can you make those simple chords more interesting? The answer is by using chord substitution.

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Photo by De an Sun on Unsplash

Change the order of the notes in your chords and change up your sound.



• Learn how to define a chord inversion.

• Apply inversions to your favorite chord patterns. • Add more interest to your progressions.

• Add more interest to your progressions.

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It's easy to fall into the trap of playing chords in the same, predictable way. But if we realize that a chord is just a collection of notes, we can easily and musically change how we stack those notes for new sounds. We call these chord "inversions," because we are… wait for it… inverting the notes in the chord.

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A hands-on look at the staccato stylings of Catfish Collins, Bruno Speight, Jimmy Nolen, and others.



• Learn how to improve your sense of internal time.
• Develop groovy parts in the style of Catfish Collins and David Williams.
• Understand how to fit within a rhythm section.

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The vast amount of research out there on right-hand technique and its application to lead-guitar pyrotechnics over the last 40 years is staggering, and it's a fair wager that observing rhythm guitar to a similar degree would produce interesting finds. However, in my many years as a guitarist I've been surprised by the lack of information available in regard to rhythm playing. Learning my favorite funk and R&B parts got me to a place where I could play rhythm confidently in many different situations, but something always felt a little "off" with the way I was approaching it technically.

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