5 Essential Blues Boxes

Learn the five simple shapes that will dramatically improve the sound of your blues soloing.

5 Essential Blues Boxes


You’ll never sound like Stevie Ray Vaughan using blues scales. He didn’t study or play scales to get his sound. He studied and played licks. There’s a big difference.

Many of the licks he played can be captured in 5 simple shapes. They’re not scales, just guidelines. This is a shortcut (and it’s not for everyone), but if you can’t make your scales sound great, you might be working too hard.

Lesson Details

  • Lesson 1
    Lesson 1: Overview

    This lesson introduces the concept of the 5 Essential Blues Boxes, doing a brief explanation of what each box sounds like.

    • Lesson Video
  • Lesson 2
    Lesson 2: Common Questions

    Lesson 2 addresses some common questions about this approach to soloing. Specifically how it relates to scales, etc.

    • Lesson Video
  • Lesson 3
    Lesson 3: Box 1: The Root Box

    Go in-depth with Box 1.

    • Hear the many sounds that come out of Box 1
    • Most common use for each note in the box
    • ëHiddení notes and íAuxiliaryí notes that switch the sound of the Box
    • Lesson Video
  • Lesson 4
    Lesson 4: Box 2: The Albert King Box

    An in-depth look at Box 2.

    • Learn how Albert Kingís sound is created in this box.
    • Where to bend, where to land
    • Hidden note that changes the sound of the Box
    • Lesson Video
  • Lesson 5
    Lesson 5: Box 3: The B.B. King Box

    An in-depth look at Box 3.

    • Learn how this box is crucial to capturing B.B. King's sound.
    • Learn where to bend, where to land licks.?
    • Learn how to use 'Auxiliary' notes to add more tension to licks in Box 3.
    • Lesson Video
  • Lesson 6
    Lesson 6: Box 4: The Clapton Box

    A brief look at Box 4.

    • Learn the primary way that Box 4 is used.
    • Learn how to play Box 2 licks in Box 4 for a slightly different tone.
    • Lesson Video
  • Lesson 7
    Lesson 7: Box 5: The Major Root Box

    An in-depth look at Box 5.

    • Learn why I call it the Major root box
    • Learn how this Box relates to Box 1
    • Learn why this box has shaped the sound of so many ballads.
    • Lesson Video
  • Lesson 8
    Lesson 8: The Backdoor Pattern

    This lesson introduces a repeating pattern of notes that we can use at 4 different places to ascend the fretboard, landing in a different Box based on where we start.

    • Lesson Video