St. James Infirmary Blues

by (traditional) • Lesson #216 • Feb 16, 2019

Practice Notes 3 pages

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Slow Playthrough Videos

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Playthrough 1 of 4: Simple Strum

This shows me working through the “bass, down” pattern I teach in my main lesson — with tabs shown on screen. I include some additional tips & advice to get up to speed with this as well.

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Playthrough 2 of 4: Adding Licks & Fills

This shows me playing the full progression with the 4 licks and fills I teach in my main lesson, zoomed-in, with tabs on screen. Again, some misc tips are included as well.

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Playthrough 3 of 4: My “Secret Stash” Strum

This shows how I prefer to strum the song while singing. While it doesn’t have licks & fills per se, I do include some “chippy upstrum” flair during each gap in the lyrics. Zoomed in, with tabs.

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Playthrough 4 of 4: Lead Guitar Melody Tab

This shows me playing the main melody to this song using a simple arrangement, zoomed-in and with tabs. This is all coming from the A minor scale, and most of it (with the exception of 1-2 notes) is coming the A minor pentatonic. I’m using the “Position 1” minor scale pattern, which is between frets 5 and 8.

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Lesson Overview

In this lesson I’ll teach you how to play an acoustic version of the classic St James Infirmary Blues. We’ll be in the key of A-minor, and I’m going to make this as accessible and beginner-friendly as possible. I’ll teach the chords, the progression, some strumming tips, and show you some neat lead licks & fills you can add in between strums of certain chords.

In my zoomed-in playthrough videos, I’ll show you four different ways to work through the song’s 8 measure progression — tabs included!

Video timestamps for my main video lesson:

  • 0:00 Playthrough & greeting
  • 2:05 Chords shapes needed
  • 6:20 Chord progression
  • 6:55 Strumming patterns
  • 9:39 Adv. strumming tips
  • 13:40 Fills & licks

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