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Blues Guitar Lessons • The One Four Five, Three Chord Progression • Part One • Chords, Tab, Video Lessons

Updated on April 7, 2016

Walter Trout


Learning Blues Guitar

I have been teaching guitar professionally since 1992, when Don’t Fret Guitar Instruction was established. Over the years, I have taught countless students (beginners to advanced) how to play or improve their chops. Past students include four members of PROTEST THE HERO.
With this book, my goal is to relate the scales with chords and rhythms as opposed to just learning solos or licks and having no idea how to apply them. Good rhythm playing and knowledge is crucial to good soloing and vice versa. This comes through understanding the relationship between chords and scales. This book provides that important foundation.
The book is unique in the fact that each chapter is based around a different key signature and an open (contains unfretted notes), pattern of the pentatonic scale. There are five chapters covering the key signatures of E, A, D, G and C, and the five open ‘box patterns’ (scale patterns) of the pentatonic scale. Eventually all the box patterns are covered, from the open strings to the fifteenth fret.
There is no endless scale practice or useless licks to learn. Instead, each chapter begins with a chord progression, moves into various rhythm patterns derived from the chord progression, and then culminates with solos based on the scale and key covered. These solos tie in with the chord progression and rhythm patterns to form a complete lesson for each chapter.
The book is progressive. Upon completion, the student will have a solid foundation in blues guitar, and will understand the rhythm, lead connection.
The book is best studied from beginning to end, without slighting any material. All theory is explained in the simplest terms. There are fretboard diagrams for the scales, chord grids, and photos of hand positions as well as videos posted on YouTube to aid in the learning process.
It is best, but not necessary, to have a knowledge of barre and open chord shapes before beginning this course. All the chords have fretboard grids associated with them.
Good luck and have fun. Music is a celebration. Enjoy!
Lorne K. Hemmerling

Walter Trout DVD'S

Trout and The Radicals, Walter - Relentless: The Concert
Trout and The Radicals, Walter - Relentless: The Concert

This DVD release is the extended and unabashed version of the CD of the same name. Marie Trout (Walter's wife) woke up one night and decided that it might be an idea to, instead of just working on a new CD, to take the idea out into a venue (in this case, the famous Paradiso Club in Amsterdam) and record it live in front of an appreciative studio audience.

Walter has always sounded better in the flesh, so this is a great idea and really showcases his abilities in a way not afforded by a mere studio album. The DVD features extra tracks such as Dust My Broom and some of his previous songs but both versions feature his now trademark '73 Fender Strat screaming and tearing through a great setlist.



This is the start of the Blues Basics HubPages Guitar Course. This course is designed for intermediate players. A knowledge of barre chord shapes is essential.

Progression #1.

This is the most basic form of the standard 12 bar blues progression. This is also the famous, one, four, five progression. G7 is the one chord, count up four scale steps (G A B C), to find the four chord, C7, count up five scale steps (G A B C D) to find the five chord, D7. Memorize this format: four measures of the one chord (G7), two measures of the four chord (C7), two measures of the one chord (G7), two measures of the five chord (D7), two measures of the one chord (G7).

Progression #2.

To change the key, transpose all of the chords an equal amount and maintain the same format. In this case, we have moved G7 to A7, C7 to D7, and D7 to E7. Since we have used barre chords, all the shapes remain the same. Measures eleven and twelve are commonly called the 'turnaround', simply because these bars lead back into the beginning of the progression. Notice the repeat barlines at the end and the start. Blues players know many standard turnarounds.

Progression #3.

For this progression, we have transposed the chords to F. The one chord is now F7, the four chord is B♭7 and the five chord is C7. Blues and Jazz are all about substitution: taking the basic format and adding or embellishing the chords. It is very common to go to the four chord in the tenth measure and the five chord in the twelfth measure. Memorize this format: four measures of the one chord , two measures of the four chord , two measures of the one chord, one measure of the five chord, one measure of the four chord, one measure of the one chord. and one measure of the five chord.

Progression #4

For this progression, we have transposed the chords to B♭. The one chord is now B♭7, the four chord is E♭7 and the five chord is F7. When the progression moves to the four chord in the second measure, then returns to the one chord in the third measure, it is called the QUICK CHANGE. Memorize this format: One measure of the one chord, one measure of the four chord, two measures of the one chord, two measures of the four chord, two measures of the one chord, one measure of the five chord, one measure of the four chord, one measure of the one chord, and one measure of the five chord


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    • Chuckyeste profile image


      21 months ago

      Great start!!!! I can play these chord progressions in many areas.

    • Lorne Hemmerling profile imageAUTHOR

      Lorne Hemmerling 

      7 years ago from Oshawa

      Thanks so much for the comment. I am working on an entire blues course here. I do get sidetracked sometimes, though. Check out:

    • QualityContent profile image


      7 years ago

      That 1-4-5 is so simple yet you can do so much with it. Nice to see hubs on the raw basics.


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