Getting frustrated - looking for help with the I-IV-V

I am happy with my progress with technical items. Single hole draws, octaves, chords, I can bend 1-4 very easily, and have an almost control over the “blue 3rd”, and can play the blues scale up and down. etc etc.

My frustration is, with the I-IV-V progression – I really do understand it musically and I can “hear” the changes. But what I am looking for is riffs or licks, even basic, so that I can learn to play to jam tracks along with the chord changes to be able to play the proper chord or notes in the correct spot in each chord. Hope that makes sense.

There are plenty of places to find riffs and licks…

Check out and Ben Hewlitt’s website for inspiration:

Good luck!

Keep On Harpin’!

Tica try making up some of your own riffs totally improvising …

Mixing up some improvised riffs with some tabbed out riffs.

Find some Blues backing tracks and play with them.

Harp On!!

Actually I was looking for “chord specific” riffs.

For example, it would say something like “Here are some riff patterns for the I chord.” “Here are some riff patterns for the IV chord.”
And V chord etc.
“The following are safe draw holes for the I chord” The following are safe blow holes for the IV chord" etc.

So hence I am trying to break down and map out what I can (and can not) play with each chord.

Okay, I gotcha now…

Jon Gindick is all over that on his youtube vid lessons, books, and cds:

Good luck!

Keep On Harpin’!

In music it’s all about tension and release. In the 12 bar the first eight chords are building up tension very steadily, the preceding four chords (mainly the first two: V & IV) releases this built up tension.

Your riffs should reflect this. A very easy example is to punch on the tonic note three times for each of the first four bars, then for the next four you might add the blue third as well. When the V chords comes jump up to four draw and wail bend it repeatedly until the IV chord comes, then you move your way down to the blue third through 4 blow, back up to four draw and repeat before you play a turn around riff through the 1, 2 and maybe even the 3 hole.

This very simple way of playing will give you an idea of how you can build your own riffs, and where they fit in. When improvising always start as simple as you can.

There really isn’t any riffs that are ment for these and those chords, the only rule you have to follow is to build up and release tension.

Pretty well said Kat.