Not A Registered User
Join date: Apr 2009
96 IQ
Okay I'll get down to it, I want to learn to play blues. I've been playing guitar for 11ish years now, but in the past few years my focus has been on learning heavy metal and its sub-genres. I consider myself a fairly average player, but I feel ready to move onto other things now and find myself gravitating towards some sweet blues. Last year I learned Pride and Joy - SRV for a school exam and I just loved playing it so much that I have since found myself just getting into some real nice bluesy music.

I guess I'm just wondering if anyone has any good starting points for me if I really wanted to become great at all aspects of blues? I'm talking bands, solo artists, songs to learn/listen, anything else you can think of and maybe most importantly - theory that I must know. I know some pretty basic theory but have some large gaps in my knowledge I think. Anything you think would help me get a good hold of some blues playing I'd love to hear.

Tom 1.0
Hot For Teacher
Join date: Jun 2007
580 IQ
Gary Moore - Still Got The Blues.

Essential listening IMO.
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Slapping the bass.
Join date: Oct 2009
1,213 IQ
I think many blues musicians learned to play by listening to other songs and trying to replicate the sounds (ie, no tabs). Blues is about playing what you feel so you want to have a good ear. There's no theory you must know to be a blues musician but music theory never hurts and it's always good to know some theory. It's easier to understand what you are doing if you know theory.

I think techniques like vibrato and bends are important.
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Hi mom!
Join date: Dec 2007
1,160 IQ
it's all about the face.

the lower lip and chin effect the mids and bass.

the upper lip effects the highs
No empty frets.
Join date: Apr 2012
150 IQ
Learn stuff by Hendrix. B.B. King SRV and Albert King.

Hendrix for rhythm/lead styles and inverted blues chords, playing in scale shapes etc.
B.B for vibrato and bending.
Albert King for phrasing.
SRV for the modern accumulation of all of the above.

Good luck!
Registered User
Join date: Oct 2012
240 IQ
this might be obvious but just in case you missed it.... learn how to do a 12 bar progression. When you know that, you'll be able to follow 99% of blues jams
Black Cherry Jello
Join date: Dec 2008
250 IQ
A lot of 60's & 70's classic rock- Clapton/Cream, Zep, Sabbath, Stones- is all blues based music with added distortion. That provides the link between electric blues and metal.

Other artists to scope out for their take on the blues: Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Johnny Lang, Doyle Bramhall II, Robert Cray, Los Lonely Boys, Andy Timmons, Derek Trucks, Bonnie Raitt, T-Bone Burnett, Ry Cooder, and Chris Rea.

Not all of them are pure blues, but the blues informs each and every one of their styles.
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Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jul 8, 2013,