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Old 07-03-2014, 08:34 PM   #1
uto998
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Blues. I need help with the Blues.

Hello, everybody!

After 5 years (not long) of playing guitar in genres like rock and metal, the two perhaps easiest, I have decided it would be a good idea to get into some blues. I like the somewhat complex feel of blues (kind of like jazz in that regard) but it's a little more upbeat, happy (some songs I guess) than jazz. I just really don't like jazz all that much.

I did some research on how to play blues and learned 6 essentials from this page. I have the listening, Pentatonic Scales, Transcription, and Phrasing pretty much down.

I am capable of the techniques. I just need to know more about Blues Rhythm and Licks. I really have no idea who to listen to when it comes to blues because none of my family or friends listen to blues, so I need some good songs to learn some popular licks, learn some of the phrasing and the technique. Who are some good artists that would be a good foundation for the blues? (I know people like John Mayer and B. B. King and, maybe my favorite so far, Buddy Guy).

Thanks to everybody who comments on this (if anyone).
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Old 07-03-2014, 10:52 PM   #2
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If you're looking for blues licks definitely check out Stevie Ray Vaughn and John Mayer. JM is heavily similar in that regard but also has some really killer licks of his own. Buddy Guy is my favourite as well. Buddy hits home when it comes to phrasing and feeling it.

My personal tip is when you're soloing in the blues, play as if you were singing. It's much easier for us to feel and express emotion with our vocals, so try to best imitate that on your guitar.
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Old 07-04-2014, 12:11 AM   #3
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So I'm gonna be that guy that says you have to truly feel the blues in order to really play it, cos it's true. That being said learning to properly articulate emotion through your playing is your top priority. jmoar is correct about thinking of solos as singing. My influences are Robert Johnson, Keb Moe, Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa, Muddy Waters, Mayer and Vaughan as well but also Hendrix, all three kings, as well as some lesser known guitarists from big blues acts. Try to listen to a lot of blues regardless of heavy emphasis on guitar, so you can help develope your overall "voice" and help you standout. Otherwise, take some of the things you learn and just mix raw feeling.
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Old 07-04-2014, 02:47 AM   #4
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Yeah,1st thing,If you have'nt already,Learn the basic I IV V 12 bar pattern,I personally love to use 9 and 13 chords when i play blues,Love the sound it creates,The 12 bar is the foundation of most blues.When phrasing don't be afraid to stop playing,that can be just as important.Also a good way to think of your phrasing is in 'call and response' or 'questions and answers'.
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Old 07-04-2014, 07:48 AM   #5
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The best of the Blues(secluding those you mentioned and ofcourse missing a few hundred guys):
Muddy Waters
T-Bone Walker
Otis Rush
Magic Sam
Robert Johnson
Son House
Otis Spann
Michael Bloomfield
Paul Butterfield
Albert King
Freddy King
Robert Nighthawk
Elmore James
John Lee Hooker
Lightning Hopkins
Leadbelly
Blind Lemon jefferson
Howlin' Wolf
Hubert Sumlin
Little Walter
Junior Wells
Willie Dixon
Etta James
Chuck Berry
Lonnie Johnson
Louis Amrstrong
Louis Jordan
Lester Young
Charlie Christian
Benny Goodman
Wes Montgomery
Eddie Lang
Chet Baker
Jimi Hendrix

Last edited by Ignore : 07-04-2014 at 07:52 AM.
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Old 07-04-2014, 08:40 AM   #6
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Try Gary Moore. He's amazing.
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Old 07-04-2014, 09:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayeknox
Try Gary Moore. He's amazing.


This.

Other favourites include the aforementioned SRV...there's loads of excellent advice on this thread now
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Old 07-04-2014, 10:12 AM   #8
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Start with Albert King and BB King and learn them by ear. Gary Moore is actually a terrible place to start since it's much more technical and filled with very fast legato runs, and is more on the rock side of things, save that for later if that style interests you. If you want to study a more modern and technical player I would go with SRV, which is more accessible.

If you want to a proper foundation, the 60's, and prior, is what you should be focusing on to start. Learn songs and jam with the tracks ( not cheesy backing tracks, or lick libraries etc. - the actual tracks). The list posted by Ignore ( in this thread) is excellent.

A major focus of blues, like jazz, is the rhythm and the feel. That's why it's best to learn and jam along rhythm sections of BB King and Albert King rather than anything thrown together for jamming along.
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Old 07-04-2014, 03:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jmoarguitar
If you're looking for blues licks definitely check out Stevie Ray Vaughn and John Mayer. JM is heavily similar in that regard but also has some really killer licks of his own. Buddy Guy is my favourite as well. Buddy hits home when it comes to phrasing and feeling it.

My personal tip is when you're soloing in the blues, play as if you were singing. It's much easier for us to feel and express emotion with our vocals, so try to best imitate that on your guitar.


Thanks for the analogy. I'll try to keep that in mind, except, I don't sing, so that may be a little harder for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EyeballPaul
Also a good way to think of your phrasing is in 'call and response' or 'questions and answers'.


I've heard of that before. Thanks for reminding me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reverb66
Start with Albert King and BB King and learn them by ear. Gary Moore is actually a terrible place to start since it's much more technical and filled with very fast legato runs, and is more on the rock side of things, save that for later if that style interests you. If you want to study a more modern and technical player I would go with SRV, which is more accessible.

A major focus of blues, like jazz, is the rhythm and the feel. That's why it's best to learn and jam along rhythm sections of BB King and Albert King rather than anything thrown together for jamming along.


Thanks for the advice. One question, though: is transcription a good way to get down the feel and rhythm of the songs? I mean, I can transcribe, but I was just wondering if that was a viable means.
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Old 07-04-2014, 03:32 PM   #10
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I always give the same advice for such questions.... Listen. The list above by "Ignore" is excellent. Most all the great Delta blues masters who originated the style and the Chicago and Memphis cats that were responsible for all the early recordings that influenced everyone that you're familiar with now.
Remember, blues is not all about scales and chord voicings and theory.... Its about feel and passion. Most all those old Delta guys didn't know a pentatonic scale from an outhouse....
You need to get the feel of this music in your bones.
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:42 PM   #11
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well if you know the minor & major pentatonic scales (which you should after five years) start perverting it with dorian, lydian ect notes and just play what you hear in your SOUL note for note. DONT PRACTICE.. play. blues is all about emotion. *tear rolls down cheek*
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Old 07-06-2014, 06:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kayeknox
Try Gary Moore. He's amazing.


Finally, someone said it !
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Old 07-06-2014, 07:07 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jon_six
well if you know the minor & major pentatonic scales (which you should after five years) start perverting it with dorian, lydian ect notes and just play what you hear in your SOUL note for note. DONT PRACTICE.. play. blues is all about emotion. *tear rolls down cheek*

This reminds me quite a bit of what Hemingway said about writing. "...you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously." Much the same can be said about the best blues players I've ever heard--you can almost tangibly feel the pain, the angst, the turmoil that is the underlying alchemy for the music.

Hemingway immediately went on to muse, "But when you get the damned hurt, use it-don't cheat with it."

Sound advice, Papa Hemingway.
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Old 07-06-2014, 03:05 PM   #14
uto998
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jon_six
well if you know the minor & major pentatonic scales (which you should after five years) start perverting it with dorian, lydian ect notes and just play what you hear in your SOUL note for note. DONT PRACTICE.. play. blues is all about emotion. *tear rolls down cheek*


Couldn't agree more. As I have been playing the blues, I'll just close my eyes and imagine what I want to "say" with my guitar, and it just comes out all correctly. Not even using modes (which I also have down) or pentatonic scales.
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