The Blues Box (+7 Easy Formulas for Blues Bass Lines)

Take your beginner blues bass to the next level – learn the Blues Box.

1:14 – Learn the Blues Box
4:15 – Using the Box on a 12 Bar Blues
6:06 – Formula #1: The Basic Box
7:26 – Formula #2: The Box Shuffle
9:09 – Formula #3: Reverse Box Shuffle
10:13 – Formula #4: The Funky Tramp
11:14 – Formula #5: The Fingerpop
12:21 – Formula #6: The Funky Trunk
13:43 – Formula #7: Tasty Triplet Shuffle
14:40 – Create Your Own Bass Lines

Grab the 7 Formulas Cheat Sheet:

In my last beginner blues bass lesson I showed you how to survive a 12 bar blues using two simple shapes. You can check that out here if you missed it –

In this video I’ll show you how to take the shapes concept to the next level using The Blues Box to create tons of kickass blues bass lines.

The blues box is just 4 notes that form the shape of a box on your fretboard (hence the name). By changing the rhythm and order of notes, you can pull tons of bass lines that work great for blues and many other styles.

After I teach you how to play the Blues Box, we’ll put it in action with some killer real-life blues tunes, from Susan Tedeschi, Eric Clapton, Otis Redding, Junior Walker, Taj Mahal, and Gary Moore.

Then I’ll take you through a simple 4-step process you can use to come up with your own Blues Box bass lines on a 12 bar blues, plus some tips for applying them in context without making your bandleader furious.

Do you like things that don’t suck? Me too. Subscribe to BassBuzz to see some more of them –

And you can grab more free lessons (that you can’t get on YT) over at

#beginnerbluesbass #TheBluesBox #BillyMaysApproved


  1. Dude,.. this is super helpful ! Dig it !


  3. Budi Prasetyo Harsono

    Please make video about pedals

  4. I wish I could understand music theory,like you Josh,I'm just glad you've found a way to make it easier for plebes like myself to understand

  5. Very clear teaching and precise fretboard layout graphics. My past bass instructor taught me some blues grooves but I didn't understand why those notes were there other than being cool.

  6. I'm a punk rock player, but this blues lesson really cool!

  7. Can you please help me? I have to play a song I have to play a with three edger lines going down but no online chart tells me how:(

  8. I used this(not exactly but similar) without even knowing that it had a name or that it was a thing, I just found that it sounded good since I don't know many notes(I started playing bass about 1year ago) and recently started taking lessons

  9. Thank you for the information. I've learned a lot

  10. Awesome lesson AND fun to watch! Thank you so much.

  11. Thank you for teaching us, like me in the older age,, even im slowly to follow but its useful, tnks once again,, pls,, shout out me!!

  12. Hey Josh, I like your channel and your teaching technique. I am planning to join your course beginning to badass. See you in the email.

  13. Another Very Creative Episode – The Best Part, Tooting My Own Horn, I Recall The Previous Box Pattern – I Wanted To Thank You So Much For Sticking With This Simple Box Pattern Throughout This Lesson – Much Appreciated – I Needed To Pause The Video As I Am Way Too Slow To Keep Up – BUT, Thanx To You, I Am Coming Around – Like The Robot Scale Lesson, Took Me Awhile – Excellent Video, Quite Entertaining, And Thanx For Putting In The Extra Effort – Well Done Brother Man


  14. The blues box is not for banging your head!

  15. Thanks brotha

  16. Dude you are a nut!! That was hilarious brother! And a groovy lesson!!! See what I did there!?!?

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