12 bar shuffle blues for beginners on harmonica

Aug 10, 2016 | 12 Bar Blues, Advanced Beginner Harmonica Lessons

Welcome to this weeks harmonica lesson. We will be looking at playing an easy 12 bar shuffle blues. It is completely suitable for beginners. You will need a harmonica in the key of C to play it. You can also download the harmonica tab for it for free by clicking the button below.

Really spend some time thinking about the structure while you’re playing it. Listen to how the notes sound over the chord changes. These are chords I, IV and V.

Let me remind you of the structure of the 12 bar blues

12barstructureThe phrases in this 12 bar shuffle really outline the structure by focusing on the notes that correspond to the chords being played underneath by the accompaniment.

As a reminder the notes that correspond to the chords are;

2 draw – I chord

4 blow – IV chord

4 draw – V chord

Shuffle rhythm

Another thing that is important to work on while you’re playing this piece is the shuffle rhythm. This is used in a lot of blues and corresponds to how the beat is broken up.

The beat is split into one long note followed by a short note. However, that is a really complicated way to think about it. Instead, I want you to think about it sounding like “Humpty Dumpty Humpty Dumpty”


Play along with the audio clips below to get really confident with this tune.

Backing track

When you are confident playing this 12 bar blues, try playing it with the backing track below

Thank you

Thank you so much for taking part in this lesson. I hope it was useful for you. If you enjoyed this lesson, please share it with your friends.

See you again for the next harmonica video!

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