Serious Issues at Playing The Blues


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Erasmo.Tiruri
07-23-2009, 02:29 PM
Iíve been playing for a year now and I found that the blues is the style I like the most but I found that I really suck on this style. I love blues, is one of my favorites styles, but for some reason, once that I put my fingers on the fretboard I sound like Iím playing a polka or something like that. Iím lacking of blues language and every source that I find is full of theory stuff that I understand that I really need to learn (and Iím doing it) but I need to play and work on my sound. I need a method that features real playing , I have some issues when it comes to make my guitar sound blues and donít know how to solve them.
What should I do?

Thanks in advance!

FionnRuadh
07-23-2009, 02:33 PM
Blues comes from the heart and soul, not the head. How do you think any of the early blues players learnt? By listening, learning and playing with other people. Theory can be important but IMO in blues emotion is more important than anything.

Its So Easy
07-23-2009, 02:33 PM
Well first off, what kind of guitar and amp do you have. Also what particular type of blues are trying to learn.

FTW330
07-23-2009, 02:38 PM
Well man, you have to fix the tone on your amp. You Could also get a Blues Overdrive/Distortion Pedal, but will cost money, and keep practicing. If your gonna learn something fast and cant get it down, Play it slowly and when you feel its right, increase your speed a bit and youll have it down in no time.

WeeWeeKing
07-23-2009, 02:42 PM
You answered your own question, you need a method that features real playing. Thatís all, if youíre a beginner, you should start with material oriented to the people whoís starting. So, as long as youíre not trying to play some SRV songs, youíll be fine with your pick. I think that you want to hear all the phrases and licks in a musical context instead of read them in your clef, so why not to try with a DVD? I found this one doing a little research over the internet and found it really interesting: http://www.easymusiclessons.com/guitar-lessons/blues-guitar-lessons.html. Besides, the guy who teaches really knows how to make the guitar sound blue!.
Good luck

21wickwing
07-23-2009, 04:49 PM
Just mess around with the blues scale

standard tuning
|----------------------------------------------5-----8----|
|-----------------------------------5-----8---------------|
|--------------------------5----7-------------------------|
|-----------------5---7-----------------------------------|
|---------5---7-------------------------------------------|
|-5---8---------------------------------------------------|

Thats key of A...I made the roots bold...whatever key the bold numbers are thats what key your playin in.

Mess with thats...try to imitate stuff with that...you will get it eventually

carmour
07-23-2009, 10:53 PM
Do it like they did back in the day

learn blues songs
listen to blues
replicate the players
steal licks
forge your own style

seriously, do you think muddy waters rocked up to Ultimate Guitar forums and said 'hai guys I wanna play blues what DVD's and online lessons can i get to teach me?'

do it yourself, find people who play the blues in your area, ask if they can teach you a bit

countrychris01
07-23-2009, 11:31 PM
My mate had this exact issue. Until he played with a new orleans bluesman. Then he said, when he felt the groove, he got the style down. Up until then he said(he was a bassist) that his blues sounded correct, but just seemed to be lacking. Like all styles, you have to grasp the feel of it, for it to sound authentic.

GraceKim
07-24-2009, 07:35 AM
I sound like Iím playing a polka or something like that.
And you don't like that?

Erasmo.Tiruri
07-24-2009, 11:19 AM
You answered your own question, you need a method that features real playing. Thatís all, if youíre a beginner, you should start with material oriented to the people whoís starting. So, as long as youíre not trying to play some SRV songs, youíll be fine with your pick. I think that you want to hear all the phrases and licks in a musical context instead of read them in your clef, so why not to try with a DVD? I found this one doing a little research over the internet and found it really interesting: http://www.easymusiclessons.com/guitar-lessons/blues-guitar-lessons.html. Besides, the guy who teaches really knows how to make the guitar sound blue!.
Good luck

Well, I decided to give a try to the method that you mentioned and so far itís great. It seems to be that itís just what I needed: in a few days I'll give you some feedback about this dvd Thanks for your help.


And no, I don't think that muddy waters asked for nothing, but it's just a matter of eras, IMHO. Did the egyptians had the autocad or corel to design their pyramids? No, of course they didn't, but it would be very helpful for them, I assume :D. I don't want to become a blues master by a dvd, I just need to get the things going before I feel confident with my guitar playing, that's all.

Gris-Gris-Man
07-24-2009, 01:59 PM
Blues comes from the heart and soul, not the head. How do you think any of the early blues players learnt? By listening, learning and playing with other people. Theory can be important but IMO in blues emotion is more important than anything.
this

Axegrinder#9
07-26-2009, 05:28 PM
just to add to all that has been said, from personal experience: you have to undertake the musical journey for a while, as you mature as a musician and a person; time is an important factor that you should remember. blues at its heart will never be found in educational media, only through personal interpretation and understanding of your own self within the context of this tradition.

Axegrinder#9
07-26-2009, 05:28 PM
i.e. give it some time

WeeWeeKing
07-27-2009, 09:47 AM
Well, I decided to give a try to the method that you mentioned and so far itís great. It seems to be that itís just what I needed: in a few days I'll give you some feedback about this dvd Thanks for your help.


And no, I don't think that muddy waters asked for nothing, but it's just a matter of eras, IMHO. Did the egyptians had the autocad or corel to design their pyramids? No, of course they didn't, but it would be very helpful for them, I assume :D. I don't want to become a blues master by a dvd, I just need to get the things going before I feel confident with my guitar playing, that's all.

Ok, thatís great. Donít get discouraged, learning sometimes can be a hard process. Make sure that you can take the best profit of this course
Cheers!.

Lou Lombardi
07-27-2009, 01:42 PM
It's great that you want to learn and excel at this style! There are lots of great online resources on playing the blues which you can find very easily with a google search. I would highly recomend private lessons from some one in your area who is a good blues player. In addition to theory he or she should be able to help you learn the great songs and solos that are important to this style, as well as provide the feeback you'll need to make progress. Good luck!

konfyouzd
07-27-2009, 01:45 PM
listen to your accompaniment and respond accordingly. when you're listening see if you hear something in your head you want to sing. [try to] play that. it might sound like crap at first but if you try this approach eventually something may click.

DoomsdayArsenal
07-27-2009, 01:49 PM
Listen to John Mayer's Continuum, Try!, and Where the Light Is albums. Everything I know about the blues I learned from listening to those religiously. It gets in your blood.

konfyouzd
07-27-2009, 01:53 PM
also, if you've only been playing for a year you have plenty of time to get the blues in ya, man. just keep trying!

JilaX^
07-27-2009, 04:25 PM
Listen to John Mayer's Continuum, Try!, and Where the Light Is albums. Everything I know about the blues I learned from listening to those religiously. It gets in your blood.

Then I seriously suggest you go learn some more. You sound like you're in dire need of some extra knowledge :p:


Listen to the old masters. That's the way you learn.

Listen to
Live At The Regal - B.B King.
Blues At Sunset - Albert King
An Introduction To Otis Rush - Otis Rush
The Real Deal - Buddy Guy
Try to find som Freddie King.
Some Albert Collins
And some T-Bone Walker.
Then check out some Muddy Waters, Littler Walter, Jimmie Vaughan, Guitar Slim, Stevie Ray Vaughan.

DoomsdayArsenal
07-27-2009, 05:23 PM
Then I seriously suggest you go learn some more. You sound like you're in dire need of some extra knowledge :p:


Listen to the old masters. That's the way you learn.

Listen to
Live At The Regal - B.B King.
Blues At Sunset - Albert King
An Introduction To Otis Rush - Otis Rush
The Real Deal - Buddy Guy
Try to find som Freddie King.
Some Albert Collins
And some T-Bone Walker.
Then check out some Muddy Waters, Littler Walter, Jimmie Vaughan, Guitar Slim, Stevie Ray Vaughan.

I'm also a huge fan of SRV, Buddy Guy, Clapton, Steve Winwood, Doyle Bramhall II, Derek Trucks, Hendrix, B.B., and David Gilmour... These guys are all gods.

carmour
07-27-2009, 09:16 PM
Listen to John Mayer's Continuum, Try!, and Where the Light Is albums. Everything I know about the blues I learned from listening to those religiously. It gets in your blood.

:haha:

I knew this would happen, I'm gonna be killing myself laughing at all the blues players who come out of the wood work being straight john mayer replicas in the next 10 years. OH LAWD.

Really dude, all you know is from those 3 albums? most of the stuff on those isn't even blues.

JilaX^
07-27-2009, 11:04 PM
I'm also a huge fan of SRV, Buddy Guy, Clapton, Steve Winwood, Doyle Bramhall II, Derek Trucks, Hendrix, B.B., and David Gilmour... These guys are all gods.

These guys aren't all gods. No fucking way. You're comparing Clapton, Winwood, Hendrix and Bramhall to Robert Lockwood Jr, Otis Rush and T-Bone Walker.
Seriously. Just, don't even go there.

imgooley
07-27-2009, 11:49 PM
These guys aren't all gods. No fucking way. You're comparing Clapton, Winwood, Hendrix and Bramhall to Robert Lockwood Jr, Otis Rush and T-Bone Walker.
Seriously. Just, don't even go there.
I'd say Hendrix, BB and Buddy rank up there, and DT is on his way.

:haha:

I knew this would happen, I'm gonna be killing myself laughing at all the blues players who come out of the wood work being straight john mayer replicas in the next 10 years. OH LAWD.

Really dude, all you know is from those 3 albums? most of the stuff on those isn't even blues.
This

just to add to all that has been said, from personal experience: you have to undertake the musical journey for a while, as you mature as a musician and a person; time is an important factor that you should remember. blues at its heart will never be found in educational media, only through personal interpretation and understanding of your own self within the context of this tradition.
This.


Also, stylistically, the single most important thing about playing and enjoying the blues is RHYTHM. If you can't move your ass to the beat, you can't play blues ;)

Garry06
07-28-2009, 03:21 AM
Iíve been playing for a year now and I found that the blues is the style I like the most but I found that I really suck on this style. I love blues, is one of my favorites styles, but for some reason, once that I put my fingers on the fretboard I sound like Iím playing a polka or something like that. Iím lacking of blues language and every source that I find is full of theory stuff that I understand that I really need to learn (and Iím doing it) but I need to play and work on my sound. I need a method that features real playing , I have some issues when it comes to make my guitar sound blues and donít know how to solve them.
What should I do?

Thanks in advance!

Hi,

You have to focus on learning the basic set of blues licks (http://www.ultimatebluesbackingtracks.com) Donít think about going solo or diversifying the notes just yet. Instead, make sure you know how to play the right note at the right time. By appreciating the traditional sound, you will know what complementary changes you can do later on in the future.

JilaX^
07-28-2009, 08:34 AM
I'd say Hendrix, BB and Buddy rank up there, and DT is on his way.



Never said anything about B.B and Buddy ;)
Hendrix is, quite frankly. Not a god, too much Buddy in him for that.

urik
07-28-2009, 11:23 AM
Blues comes from the heart and soul, not the head. How do you think any of the early blues players learnt? By listening, learning and playing with other people. Theory can be important but IMO in blues emotion is more important than anything.
I hate that advice. While it's true that emotion has a huuuuge part in the blues, how can you express such emotion on the guitar if you don't have the necessary knowledge of your instrument to do so?
You should keep listening to blues and practicing. You've been playing for only an year so it's very natural that you won't play very good.
Also, download a lot of backing tracks from guitarbt.com and guitarbackingtrack.com. They are under the name of "Jam Tracks", and start jamming along.

Here is a video lesson that I made some years ago on how to use the Pentatonic scale that could help you.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PS4n16Doy4o&feature=channel_page
EDIT: God damn it I hate my accent. I sound like Borat in English :( .

Here you have the different positions of the Pentatonic scale.
http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/723/pentao.jpg

Start by learning the red box. Improvise with it, mess with it. When you have it right, move on to the purple box. BUT, remember how it relates with the red box. See, they are like a chain. They are related to each other. So now you practice with the red and the purple box together. Now you move on to the blue box, etc etc etc...
With time, you will be able to forget about the box thing, and just know the whole scale on the guitar. It's very important to remember the relationships between the boxes in order to change key. See, that's the Am Pentatonic, because the root notes (orange ones) are in A. Now let's say that you want the Gm Pentatonic scale, you just move the first note of the red box two frets to the left (6th string, 3rd fret), when there is a G. And because they all are related, also the other boxes move. So that way, if you know only one box, you know the scale all over the fretboard.

hippotato7
07-31-2009, 06:06 PM
A big HAHAHAHAHA to all who think Mayer isnt going to be the next SRV (NOW READ CAREFULLY) in terms of getting people into blues music. also Pop-rock "songs about girls blues" is going to be the next wave in America

carmour
07-31-2009, 10:58 PM
I could care less if hes the next srv in terms of getting people into blues music. You know why? Cause 90% of the ppl who get into because of john mayer or srv don't know what blues is. Can't WAIT to mop the floor with the millions of John Mayer clones there's gonna be ;)

hippotato7
07-31-2009, 11:58 PM
are your saying your going to be a famous blues guitarist in the old style?

good luck to you my friend

cornmancer
08-01-2009, 01:21 AM
I could care less if hes the next srv in terms of getting people into blues music. You know why? Cause 90% of the ppl who get into because of john mayer or srv don't know what blues is. Can't WAIT to mop the floor with the millions of John Mayer clones there's gonna be ;)
I have no doubt that you or most of the people in this forum could mop the floor with the JM impersonators, the problem is that the old blues like the 3 Kings and John Lee Hooker isn't popular and will either never be immensly popular for the rest of our lives or at least won't until it's next major innovator and it's big change. The problem is that the blues is split between the worshippers of the blues of the 50's and before and the worshippers of the blues of the 60's and onwards. No one wants to change the blues, not even myself who preaches it needs change, so it will be a long wait for the true blues to become popular.

carmour
08-01-2009, 03:36 AM
I like post-war blues and British blues equally, I also like SRV and Mayer, Keb Mo, Robert Cray etc.I'm all for blues naturally evolving. I'm not some blues elitist, I just get annoyed when people jock these new cats without realizing that they're just mixing pots from what came before them.


are your saying your going to be a famous blues guitarist in the old style?

good luck to you my friend

Whats with the huge emphasis on being famous? I'd be happy gigging around my city/country. I didn't get into blues to get famous or be well known/popular. I did it because I love playing and listening to the music. Period.

Seriously, get out and check out your local blues gigs. There's so much good undiscovered talent that goes un-noticed because it's not in your top40 radar. Support your local blues scene (if there is one)

dr_john
08-01-2009, 06:02 AM
learn the minor pentatonic scale for soloing but before that work on some 12 bar blues chord progressions using the 1-4-5 chords (eg A,D and E in the key of A). listen to some blues songs, most use this progression in some form or other.

the chords are usually played as majors or sevenths but there are no fixed rules.

^-^
08-04-2009, 01:53 AM
After you get your penatonic scales down, look up the hexatonic scales, which are the penatonic with an extra "blue" note added in.

carmour
08-04-2009, 02:53 AM
When I play blues i don't really think scales.. anyone else the same? I mean, I started out learning it as scales, but then they started merging, eg the mixolydian/pentatonic/hexatonic but eventually EVERY note became viable if you approach it properly.. sometimes i let my fingers play, sometimes my ears, but hardly ever my brain (theory)

Also I lol at all the technical names for stuff

pentatonic
hexatonic

romg he sounds so informed

really it just means - 5 tone scale - 6 tone scale

not much point talking theory in blues tbh