“The blues tells a story. Every line of the blues has a meaning.”
- John Lee Hooker
The blues first began when some folks working in the field would sing in unison and others would respond to what was being sung. This call and response style has evolved into the sing a lick, play a lick blues most of us are familiar with. It’s for this reason that many guitar lesson teachers advise listening to blues singers to learn blues guitar. Blues licks act as the response to the singers voice or call. Blues licks are generally 4 or 5 note lines that respond to what’s just been sung. These licks can be simple or complex depending on the player. Put a bunch of licks together and you have a blues solo. Unlike a lick, a solo can last for as long as the player wants it to.
Here’s a blues lick written out into guitar tabs