Start watching guitar lessons now! Try One Month Free

12 Bar Blues in the Style of Merle Haggard

Lesson ID: A0181

In this guitar lesson, you’ll learn how to play a 12 bar blues progression in the style of Merle Haggard. This is a progression that we’re borrowing from the old classic song “Blues Stay Away From Me” originally recorded by The Delmore Brothers. First, we’ll work through the main progression on guitar and then we’ll add some singing to it. After that, we’ll go over an easy country strumming pattern that you can use to play this entire song with cowboy chords. Finally, you’ll learn a bluesy guitar riff that you can play as a song ending and you’ll learn an easy riff that you can play at the beginning of the song.


Main Progression

Video 1 – Playthrough with Tablature

Video 2 – Full Breakdown

Video Start Time Lesson Topic
00:00 min Measures 1 through 4
02:16 min What is a triplet?
04:00 min Adding Staccato
05:43 min Measures 5 through 8
09:03 min Measures 9 through 12
14:13 min Practice the Progression With Me
15:55 min Let’s Add Some Vocals

Easier Strumming

Member Content

Log in or register to watch this video!

Ending Riff

Member Content

Log in or register to learn the ending riff!

Intro Riff

Member Content

Log in or register to learn the intro riff!

Backing Track

Member Content

Log in or register to practice along!

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
4 years ago

Nice one thanks Devin!

4 years ago

Hey Devin! Thanks for this one. Merle Haggard has always been one of my all time favorites. I’m doing great down here in Georgia and I’m glad to hear that you’re doing good too. By the way, I’ve been trying to learn Guitar Boogie by the great Arthur Smith and I was wondering if you would like to do a lesson on it. Thanks again and take care.

4 years ago

You have outdone yourself. Kudos on an excellent lesson. Looking forward to your follow-up. Now have something to do over the next few days. Great song for our current covid19 times…

4 years ago

Great lesson Devin! Thanks for keeping on with the lessons. You sure have brought joy into our family during these tough times. Playing and learning more now with our family at home thanks to you.
God bless you and yours!

4 years ago

Thanks so much Devin. This is such a great lesson for me. For many years Merle has been my go to music. I hope others respect all it takes to create a lesson like this. Tim

4 years ago

Thank you Devin… I appreciate this Merle Haggard lesson!

4 years ago

I’m loving this lesson! It’s forcing me to break away from my go-to strum patterns and chord choices.

Gord Allen
Gord Allen(@bullwhip186)
4 years ago

Nice work!

4 years ago

Just missed seeing Merle at the Ryman a couple of years back.. was when he first went down sick and had to cancel that show an sadly passed away the next year…..glad to get some lowdown on his licks and tricks now though .. thanks Devin

4 years ago

Hello from New Mexico Devin. Great lesson! I love Merle Haggard’s music.

Marc Piechowicz
Marc Piechowicz(@cotton-eye-marc)
4 years ago

Nice song 🙂

4 years ago

Loving this ….lockdown has some benefits! Plenty of practice time! Stay safe ….

4 years ago

Love it! Simple enough and builds confidence!

chris donaghy
chris donaghy(@chrisdonaghy)
3 years ago


3 years ago

Great lesson.