Blues Guitar Turnarounds (like the Masters of Blues)

In this video I'll be covering some of the smoothest turnaround ideas used by the "Masters of the Blues." We'll learn phrases that apply elements used by players like; "Freddie King, T-Bone Walker, Eric Clapton, Ronnie Earl, and BB King." 

Turnaround Phrases:
The lesson will focus on three turnaround phrases that share a number of similar ideas. A lot of the ways that these guitar greats applied their various ideas for turnaround lines is by using unique note combinations of the Major and the Minor Pentatonic scales.

We'll be focusing on that principle, (Blues turnaround phrases), within this lesson.


BB King Style Lick:
BB King is the master of slow smooth Blues. His ability to bend and hold notes with vibrato and sustain is legendary. In this first turnaround example, we're in the key of "A Blues" with a phrase that focuses on some really great sounding sustained bends and a very cool sequenced line in the third measure into our fourth measure turnaround resolution.

Here's what this "BB Style" phrase sounds like.

Freddie-King /Eric Clapton Style Lick:
Freddie King was a huge influence on Eric Clapton and that's why our next lick blends sounds that form a combination of lines found used from the music of both of these Blues Masters.

Freddie King and Eric Clapton were excellent at taking the scale tones (found between both the Major and Minor Pentatonic) and using them to create Blues phrases that crossed the boundary of both of those Pentatonic sounds.

Let's run through this Freddie King /Eric Clapton style turnaround lick that I've organized from within the key of, "C Blues."

T-Bone Walker Lick:
Alright, our last turnaround uses one of the more traditional sounding chromatic phrases that are heard in literally hundreds of Blues songs. This style of turnaround idea drops a descending chromatic line that was made popular by "Jazzy-Blues" guitar players like Ronnie Earl and then re-designed yet again by Blues Masters like "T-Bone Walker."

This lick is in the key of "Bb Blues" and targets small three note chords as we drop through the "V and IV" chords of "F7 and Eb7." But, the really cool sound of things here lies in the final measures with the chromatic descending statement.

Here's this "T-Bone" style turnaround example.

Learning to both understand the Blues and learning to phrase Blues lines is critical for every guitarist regardless of the styles you enjoy. Whether you prefer jamming on; Rock, Metal, Soul Music, Funk or Rhythm and Blues, or Country music the turnaround licks I've outlined here (in this lesson) should offer you something interesting that you can add into your next guitar solo - no matter what style it is played in.

And, remember that the study of learning how to play Blues phrases can do even more than that. Blues phrasing helps you combine the use of Major and Minor Pentatonic scales, and they also help guitar players zero in on specific chord tones.

Be sure to study these kinds of Blues lines, they'll go a long way to helping you understand chord tones used across a ton of different kinds of music styles. Along with that, these licks are a fantastic addition for your next weekend Blues jam. 

Thanks for joining me... If you'd like to Find Out What You Should Learn Next on Guitar - take a look at the courses posted on my website at

My step-by-step; Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced courses will cover what you need to know, along with how to be able to move forward and become the best guitar player that you can possibly be.

I've worked on these courses since 1992 and I feel that all together they're the best guitar program you'll ever find. The courses will help you learn to identify what's required to get you up to the next level of guitar playing, in a very organized way, that makes sense.

So, I look forward to helping you further at ...Until next time - take care and we'll catch up again on the next video. Bye for now!



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