Learn How to Play Blues Rhythm Guitar
bluesriffs.org is a collection of free blues riffs for guitarists. All of the riffs are available in tab and standard notation and may be downloaded as PDF files. Audio is also available in MP3 format. Many classic blues riffs are provided. A number of riffs are common variations of basic blues rhythm patterns. Analyzing these variations should give you many more ideas for your own riffs. Additionally, most of our riffs are easy enough for beginners.
About the Riffs
Each riff is based on the standard 12 bar blues progression. The riff is repeated throughout the entire chord progression to demonstrate how the riff works with each chord. For reference, the chords in the progression are: I I I I IV IV I I V IV I I. While each riff is presented in common keys like E and A, every riff may be transposed to other keys. However, you need to understand some basic music theory to do this.
In general, the riffs should be played with swung eighths. Experiment with your sound by adding palm muting to single notes or chords in the bass register. Most of these riffs work well on both electric and acoustic guitars. The audio for each riff is usually around 100-120 beats per minute. However, you should try the riffs at different tempos. Many of them will work at both faster and slower tempos.
Need some licks to play over these riffs? If so, check out our site for blues licks. We provide numerous licks which may be used in your blues solos. Use the licks as is or as a starting point to generate ideas for your own licks.