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Makin’ It Country with Blues Riffs

Lesson 5 – Rhythm Fill Riffs and Lead Guitar Course
Lesson ID: A0093

In the previous lesson of this series, we learned the 5th position of the G minor pentatonic scale and I showed y’all some nice country and bluegrass riffs to get you started with your improvising. Now let’s make it sound even more country by adding in a couple extra “blues” notes. The blues scale is basically the minor pentatonic scale with one extra note added per octave — the sharp 4th or flat 5th degree. With the right combinations, these blues notes will really make your playing sound country and bluegrass. Let’s break down the blues scale, important fill techniques, and six country and bluegrass riffs with tablature.

Scale Breakdown

Video Start Time Lesson Topic
00:00 min Lesson Overview
01:48 min Blues Scale Breakdown
05:31 min Practice Tips
06:31 min Fill Riff Example
09:15 min Using Blues Fill Riffs with Chord Progressions

Fill Riffs

Video Start Time Lesson Topic
00:00 min Video Overview
00:17 min Riff 1
03:36 min Riff 2
05:43 min Riff 3
08:03 min Riff 4
10:05 min Riff 5
13:04 min Riff 6

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Scale Charts

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Brad (@guest_346)
5 years ago

Awesome lesson! Thanks man.

Tim Miller
Tim Miller(@tim)
5 years ago

Thanks Devin I learned a lot. The riffs sound really nice. Keep up the good work. Can’t wait to watch the next lesson!

5 years ago

is it a good idea to memorize all the riffs? have been trying to learn one a day but its going to take forever

5 years ago

Pretty good instructor

Allan (@guest_677)
5 years ago

I am just learning how to play, you have really helped me grasp hammer-ons and pull-offs, thanks.
5 years ago

Devin, you are adding the blues notes to the minor pentatonic scale…. is there a specific reason that you do not talk about adding the blues notes to the major pentatonic scale? … since the G major pentatonic scale is the same notes as the E minor pentatonic scale…

4 years ago

Thank you, for the download riffs, it makes learning a lot easier. I am having some issues with hammer on( practically getting no sound with the hammer), and well pull offs, don’t really have a clue on doing that correctly, so any video with help tips on those? they are both kind of new to me. Thank you

4 years ago

Looks like you are adding slide into F# in licks 2, 3 and 6 and slide into B on lick 4. Are these blues notes of the Gminor pentatonic scale or something else? You only mentioned the 2 C#s in the early part of the lesson. Very kool stuff, working on it!

4 years ago

Hey Devin- After about a month of practicing these riffs, I just realized I’m playing my up/down strokes opposite than I’m supposed to. My playing speed is basically on par with yours in the video, how important is it to get that right? Is that slowing me down?

4 years ago
Reply to  Devin

Haha yup! Good to hear it’s not big deal— at this point the muscle memory has put my picking on autopilot so was a little bummed to see I was doing it backwards from you. I’ll check out Tony rice, thanks for the recommendation. Thanks for the great lessons Devin!

4 years ago

Hi Devin – some advice on how to get the riffs speed up to your level – may be a step to far!. Can you advise as to what speed you play the riffs on the videos – in other words – what BPM are we aim to reach.
And the best approach to getting to this speed. Great lessons with very clear instruction and good quality videos. Your speed is so fast I sometimes do not see your fingers move and so cannot work out what the target should be. David

3 years ago

6 great licks I’ll be using at my next jam!

3 years ago

nice licks , thanks devin , i tried to make it more bluesy by insisting on the chord .. i like bluegrass but would be great to get it slow on put it on delta blues for example
what do you think

2 years ago

Thank you Devin, for showing the riffs so slowly that I can follow your fingers on the strings. This helps me a lot when I’m practicing hammer-ons and pull-offs And thank you for the helpful information on pull-offs, especially on upward pull-offs. I learned a lot.

Gruder Smith
Gruder Smith(@smitlock)
2 years ago

Thanks Devin , for your detailed , simplified guitar lessons. Keep up the good work. Smitty

Scott Morrow
Scott Morrow(@morrow1616)
2 years ago

another good lesson. I like the way that they are building on each other. I have to really focus on the pick stroke on the hammer on, pull off and slides……I want to just continue each stroke with DUDUDU etc., So that is pretty challenging to count the hammer off, pull off or slide as a pick. I am hoping it will come more natural feeling where it just happens

Spencer Hanson
Spencer Hanson(@spencerh)
1 year ago

Thanks Devin for the lessons. Is it neccesary to do the same up and down stroke patterns if I can play smoother and faster another way. Usually I stick to up down each time and sometimes I will take out pull offs or hammer ons and just pick them. Do you recommend sticking to. the picking pattern you gave or is it ok to mis it up sometimes?

D Sligar
D Sligar(@countryboy)
1 year ago

Do you have a lesson that resembles the demo on the strings. I liked the little transition licks you were using.