Welcome to 12 Ways to Play Better Blues Guitar, a lesson series that will give you a solid foundation in this essential style. In this lesson, we’re going to talk about syncopation—playing around with a melody’s rhythmic placement over the bass notes to make the music sound cooler. Get the full lesson, with TAB and notation here: https://acousticguitar.com/12-ways-to-play-better-blues-guitar-lesson-1-syncopation/

Written melodies, such as lead sheets or the official sheet music versions of published songs, tend to keep everything as squared-off and on-the-beat as possible. So if you learn a melody from the printed page, it often doesn’t sound the way you’re used to hearing people play the same song on recordings. As guitar players, we tend to learn things by ear anyway, but even then, knowing the difference between when a melody’s being played on the beat and when it’s being played with more syncopation can help you figure out what’s going on and how it relates to the overall groove.