There's definitely no shortage of blues guitar instruction materials available today. From free YouTube lessons to private guitar instruction, there are many paths to choose when trying to improve your blues guitar chops and let's be honest - not all of them are created equal. Let's take a brief look at what the options are and where you might want to begin.
Depending on your skill level and interest, there are a few options available. If you don't already play guitar or maybe play guitar but don't play the blues, then you might want to consider a method book or DVD. There are some really good courses out there that can take you from beginner to intermediate and advanced (if you're willing to do the work, of course).
Some of these courses are full volume (from beginner to advanced) while some (like the Riff Ninja series) will focus on one specific area. Most lessons will start with chords and basic rhythms so you can learn how to put a song together and play some of your favorite blues tunes (since most are based on the same basic chord progressions). After you learn basic blues chords and song structures, you will likely want to focus on blues scales and basic blues improvisation so that you can learn how to construct your own blues guitar solos. Check out the Riff Ninja Ultimate Blues, Stage 1: Chords and Ultimate Blues, Stage 1: Scales as a great starting place
The Riff Ninja Ultimate Blues Course Volume 1 is an excellent place to begin for the beginning blues player who's trying to learn the basics of blues guitar. The course includes over 400 chords plus the foundations of theory to establish a solid foundation for blues guitar playing. If you're just getting started playing the blues or you want to improve your knowledge of blues guitar chords, then Volume 1 is an excellent place to begin. Click here to read more!
After you've masted some basic blues rhythm guitar it's time to give soloing a start, and a great introduction to blues guitar riffs and soloing is the the Riff Ninja Ultimate Blues Course Volume 2. It's an excellent course to engage fretboard mastery and learn some basic scales so that you can learn to solo in any key. The instructor, Colin Daniel, emphasizes the importance of learning the entire fretboard, so you'll learn your scales across all six strings and on the entire fretboard. Click here for more information.
If you already play guitar but want to add some blues vocabulary to your playing, there are a large number of courses available that teach you blues guitar licks, riffs, and complete solos. You can use these materials to add ideas to your solos or even original compositions. Many of these licks lessons include licks from famous players like B. B. King, Freddie King, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and the like, so you can add master-level vocabulary to your blues solos.
One recommended blues licks courses is "50 Blues Guitar Licks You Must Know" by Jeff McErlain. Jeff is a highly recognized and popular blues guitar instructor, and this course contains some classic blues guitar vocabulary. Jeff is an instructor for Truefire and has given clinics with everyone from David Grissom to Robben Ford. He's one of blues guitar's most celebrated instructors. Click here to check out Jeff's course today!
Of course, you may want to consider taking lessons with a local instructor. Try to find an instructor who specializes in the blues or who at least makes blues guitar instruction a main part of his teaching practice.