The Art Of The Blues Guitar Turnaround Part Three

Today we continue our exploration of ‘The Art Of The Blues Guitar Turnaround’. You’ll learn more ways to spice up your turnarounds. If you haven’t done so already, please take a look at the other two parts first, otherwise this might not make a lot of sense to you… 🙂

All the examples are taken from my new ebook ‘The Art Of The Blues Guitar Turnaround’ (available at my website). Have fun!

Variations for the first part of the turnaround

We already know how to insert octave jumps into the basic turnaround line (up and down) and how to play a steady note against the basic turnaround line (up and down). Let’s learn more ways to play the first part of the turnaround!

Playing two lines downwards at the same time (parallel motion)

A great way to play a turnaround is to harmonize the basic turnaround line. There are many intervals, but thirds and sixths are the most commonly used. The following turnaround is in the key of E and uses the downward line and is harmonized in thirds:

This kind of turnaround is probably the most commonly played turnaround of them all.

Playing two lines upwards at the same time (parallel motion)

The idea of parallel motion can be played upwards also. This time we are using sixths:

This is a turnaround I first heard from the great bluesman Jimmy Reed. (If you don’t know him, you should definitely check him out. For starters one of the following CD-sets would be great: ‘The Anthology’, ‘Five Classic Albums Plus Singles’ or ‘The Essential Boss Man: The Very Best of the Vee-Jay Years, 1953-1966 ‘. All of them are available at a low price and have good audio quality.)

Playing an upward and a downward line at the same time (contrary motion)

How about playing the two basic turnaround lines at the same time? One is going upwards, one is going downwards, and together they just sound great!

It’s best if you find a fingering that’s comfortable for you and learn it by rote. This is not the kind of turnaround that is improvised…

Variations for the second part of the blues guitar turnaround – Fingerpicking with a Steady Bass

We already took a look at the first part of this Robert-Johnson-turnaround in the key of A in an earlier part of this series. Now we continue it with a fingerpicking pattern with a steady bass in the second part:

You may have noticed that we learn a lot more variations for the first part of the turnaround than for the second part. That’s because there are only a handful of ideas for the second part. We learn more great turnaround ideas in the next part of this series. Stay tuned!

Lesson by Andi Saitenhieb.