This is a taste of what you will find on the Blues Beginners Riff Course provided on this website.
This blues guitar lesson will teach you how to play a riff using a hammer on, and the hammer on is on the second string. The guitar used in this lesson is tuned standard, E A D G B E. You can play this riff in other tunings, but to keep you on the same page, it’s just the standard tuning. The second string is the B string.
You’re going to pick the B open, and with your third finger on the third fret, you’re going to hammer. Now the trick with a hammer is that to get it down quickly with some force, don’t hesitate. If you do it too slow, it mutes the string before you can get it down, and it kills the ring. You have to do it with a quick motion. Be aggressive, and use the tip of your finger to hammer that string down on to the fret.
The next trick is to get it nice and even. It’s good practice to just go back and forth, because you’ll find lots of riffs that use the hammer technique.
So the next thing you’ll have to deal with is the problem of the fleshy end of your finger touching the high E string. You don’t want to touch that E string – you want both of those to ring out. Start with a down pick, and hammer on, then while that hammer note (3rd fret) is still ringing, pick up on the high E string. The trick is to make those three notes even.
The next thing is to join it with notes in the scale. Use different combinations, and play that riff over as many times as you want. To finish that riff, play the 3rd string 2nd fret with your second finger (middle), then open 3rd string, then your tonic, the E on the 4th string 2nd fret. This resolves the blues guitar riff.
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