2 Open String Blues Licks

Many use open string licks just to emulate their favourite blues guitarists or to perform the obligatory generic blues lick, but there are other reasons why you might want to incorporate open string licks into your playing:

  • Using only 2 fingers, there are three notes available per string.
  • Distinctive twang sound.
  • Makes you play notes in an order that you might not usually play otherwise.
  • When used with notes low down the neck, the lower action by the nut makes it easier to play faster.
  • When used with notes low down the neck, the strings are stiffer, making slides and pull-offs more comfortable and bending out of tune less likely.
  • When used with notes further up the neck, there are interesting jumps in note pitch.

Although open string playing suits the keys of A, D, and E better than other keys because the open strings correspond more with the notes of their scales, you can always try using a capo, Albert Collins and Lonnie Mack style, enabling you to play in any other key.

As always, below the YouTube video you’ll find the backing track to play along with, and below that, the tablature. Aren’t I nice?!

Feel free to ask questions or just share your thoughts in the comments!

Watch the video:

Play along with the 12-bar blues progression in the key of E:

Read the tab:

2 Open String Blues Licks

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