by Christopher Sung
n my opinion, playing blues rhythm guitar is a study in economy of style. You don't want to overplay and take away from the main focus of the music, which might be a singer or a soloist. So, what elements do you have to play with? I think it's about chord choices and the rhythm. One of the most common rhythms for comping is playing a short quick chord on beat 1, and another on the "AND" of beat 2. For chord choices, the most common is the 7th chord. In the following pages, we'll explore different chord choices other than 7th chords, and variations on the main rhythm. In the example below, the main rhythm is shown for a 12-bar blues in E using standard voicings for the E7, A7, and B7 chords. I suggest learning the voicings, getting the timing down, and then muting the main sequence, and just playing along with the rhythm track.