Everyone has their own list of favorite songs, and today I am going to share with you the songs I believe are the most fun to jam to. While many lists are excellent for their historical relevance, this list is more for guitarists who are looking for some great tunes to bring to a jam session.
5. Folsom Prison by Johnny Cash
“Wait, you’re going to start off the top blues jam songs with a country song?” Well, yes and no. Folsom Prison is so heavily steeped in blues that if you removed the root-fifth country bassline, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference. The chord progression is identical, its a 12 bar blues progression. Plus, as an added bonus, almost everybody knows the lyrics, so backup vocals galore.
4. The Thrill is Gone by B. B. King
For this cool sounding groove in B minor, make sure sure your bassist knows the bass-line. This blues jam is best served with tons of dynamic contrast, try taking it from a whisper to a lonesome wail. Don’t even think about breaking out the distortion unless the band is just ripping.
3. Texas Flood by Larry Davis and Joseph Wade Scott (or Stevie Ray Vaughan)
With arguably the most recognizable intro to the general public, this remake by Stevie Ray Vaughan was hugely popular. In the key of G, this tune is a ton of fun to play in a blues jam session. Owing itself to some dynamic contrast, the slow groove can be intensified or otherwise chilled out for a wide variety of situations. This should be your standard slow burn blues jam.
2. Green Onions by Booker T. & the M.G.s
Green Onions is a classic organ driven blues tune that may have one of the most famous rifts ever. Not only is it an outrageously solid tune, it is pretty easy to play. If you have a keyboardist, you best make sure he can handle the riff. The blues progression rears it’s head again, for it comprises the backing chords to the riff that simply modulates with the chord changes.
1. Born Under a Bad Sign by Albert King
If you haven’t had a chance to jam to this classic Albert King song, you don’t know what you are missing. Originally in the key of C#, this loping song is a hallmark of guitar jams everywhere. While the bass line follows a pretty basic minor pentatonic scale, the key remains slightly major. This opens up huge possibilities. Chord changes are also kept to a minimal, with only a blues turnaround at the end to vary the groove. Otherwise, its straight sailing.