Need to get your blues fix in a hurry? Here’s a pattern that’s so damn versatile you can use it on almost any blues. It’s totally doable for beginners, there’s no music theory knowledge required, let’s do it.

This pattern will work on a lot of different blues feels, whether straight or shuffle, because we’re just playing quarter notes. It also works on major or minor equally well since there’s no 3rd. But again, you don’t need to understand the theory to get it under your fingers.

To use this pattern on your own in the future, all you need to do is find a starting note on the A, D, or G string, and then play the same shape around that note that we played around E, A, and B in this lesson. Instant blues in a can. And here are the full backing tracks for you to jam along with…

Jam Tracks for Easy Blues Groove Lesson

Left Hand Fingering Tip

If your eyes are really sharp, you might have noticed that I changed my left hand fingering slightly on and off throughout the full speed play along. I told you to stick with the same pinky-ring-index-pinky pattern over and over in the video for simplicity, but if you want to do what I’m doing there you can play with ending on a different finger to make smoother transitions to the next chord (i.e. ending the E pattern on your ring finger when you’re about to move to the A pattern).

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Kirk Billingsley

A very practical angle to teaching an instrument. I am a super beginner at the age of 55 and learning so I can rock out with my 20 year old son.

Patrick Thomas

yeah i’m 56 and should have never given up as a 10 yr old


Patrick, I totally understand the regret of playing and giving up as a teen. I’m 56 and I’m expecting to receive my bass tomorrow and I’m determined to go from beginner to BADASS with Josh’s help!!!

Clay Dawson

I, too, played as a teen. Sold my kit (a, American jazz bass and 1964 bassman ) in 1968 to pay my wife’s way to London with me in USAF. So at 72 I’m dusting things off with a borrowed jazz bass and a fender 25w amp. !

John Maar

Sounds like we’re twin sons of different mothers! I bought a used ’63 Jazz and used ’64 Bassman in ’67, along with a Farfisa Mini that I played through the Normal channel on the Bassman (we HAD to cover 96 Tears 🙂 ). I enlisted in the Army in ’69. When I got home in ’72, I found out that my mother had given away all of my gear FOR FREE. Grrrrr. But University and a career got in the way. 200+ nights in hotels and 30+ nights sleeping on airplanes eliminated any chance of getting back into bass. I… Read more »

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Last edited 3 months ago by John Maar
Mark Stevens

Josh I’m 70… starting a guitar company Seattle Guitar Shop.. Already have orders world wide. I felt I need to be able to use what I sell. I have always wanted to learn bass… you have assured that I will have “mission accomplished”

George Walter

Nice lesson. I can now play some blues. You always seem to make it interesting and fun. Thank you George

Charlie Tousignant

loved it I am also an older rocker learning in my retirement love the bass.

Steve Owen

Great to see fellow “senior” bass players, I also have recently started playing bass, I am nearing retirement age. This is a great learning site!! Traded my little used Les Paul for a Fender Jazz bass and love it.


Great lesson(s)! Bought my fist Bass last week and really enjoying it. You Rock! \m/

Patrick Thomas

Really like your site, but my hand is so small even on a small scale bass, I’m having trouble fretting with my pinky. I find myself wanting to use my wring finger

Robert Judy

To Patrick’s point: I am 72 and started playing u-bass five months ago. The shorter scale and neck width help those of us with smaller hands. Lots can be accomplished with the u-bass. Bakithi Kumalo uses a u-bass for some songs when playing with Paul Simon.
Josh, your lessons are excellent and apply to u-bass, too.

Richard Smith

Thank you so much Josh. I’ve been playing for 3 weeks and loved ‘trying’ to play this via the Soundcloud backing track. I am slowly starting to know when to change to the next bar just from the sound of the backing track and the pattern. Thank you so much. Richard (UK). Love this 12 bar blues style.

Ryan Birmingham

14 coming from bama learning so me and my friends can start a band hope we make it


wow, thank you so much. This helped a lot. I am starting to fall in love with you 🙂

Stephen Clarke

Gday , like the approach that you take with your lessons. I’ve just seen a couple of your basic lessons, and they were very easily understood and playing along was fun. I’m a self taught beginner that would probably benefit greatly learning from you. Thanks


Hi just bought my first bass, a semi acoustic bass ukulele, this goes with various guitars and uke’s In the house. Having fun already with power chords now going try blues. Thanks for the site.

Jack Gagnon

Always loved the bass but never took time to learn. At 72, taking the time to check off this bucket list item so I can play blues with friends and family. Your approach to teaching is making it fun to learn.

Bruce w Fox

I have a small sight you can post on if you like FOXES…ANYTHING MUSIC great job brother