Turnaround Blues Guitar Licks

Welcome to the tenth lesson of the Blues Guitar Quick-Start Series. In this lesson, we’ll be learning about something that’s really commonly used in blues music. These are called turnaround licks. These turnaround licks are going to help you get from the end of the 12-bar blues progression to the beginning.

If you think back to a few lessons ago, you’ll remember learning some licks that you can use over different parts of of the 12-bar blues progression. Turnaround licks are lick custom made for playing over the last couple of measures of the progression. The chords change really quickly there, and it’s important to have a few solid licks memorized that you can play at that point in the progression.

If you follow along with the video, you’ll learn three commonly used turnaround licks that you can incorporate into your blues solos. That should give you a good variety of options you can throw in to keep your playing sounding fresh.

Now that you’ve got some solid turnaround licks down, you can start to build your own collection of licks to play at the end of a 12-bar blues progression. Listen to some of your favorite blues guitar players and you might pick up a few of their turnaround licks as well.

You’ll want to pull up one of the jam tracks and add these turnaround licks to your playing. If you need to, you can just work on the turnaround licks by themselves before adding in more parts to your soloing. And don’t feel like you need to have one every time the progression ends. Be creative, and keep working on developing your own style. Remember, the blues is all about feeling and emotion.

In the next lesson, we’re going to combine everything you’ve learned in this series so far and add some lead licks into the intermediate rhythm guitar blues riff.