Im only beginer/intermediate and play a fair bit of acoustic blues, mostly struming and arpegio style. But im now trying to get into a bit more delta/piedmont style. My problem is that a lot of that style uses alternating bass with finger-picking in between bass notes. And it is causing me huge grief trying to keep the rhythm AND play the melody in between the bass notes. Other than simply spending thousands of hours trying, does anyone have any hints/tips to head me in the right direction. ie simple exercises etc or a useful song that is easy to get started on. I bought Fred Sokolow's Open D for beginers to try to learn Statesboro Blues in open D, but all it was was a demonstration of his ability and virtually no instruction. I reckon a simple song will get me on m way tho. Any ideas welcome. Thanks. Terry
There's really nothing you can do but practice a lot. Play slowly, making sure you establish the bass rhythm.
It's Only Rock and Roll, But I like It
Delta Blues is abou all i play, and its just something that takes getting used to. Dont look at the whole big picture of an alternate bass line and melody, just look at one at a time.

Practice doing the bass (if you have a guitar teacher and he knows blues, tell him to teach you a song with an easy bass line only using the first 2 string) and changing the chords quickly, then do the melody. Try listening to the actual song you are learning (youtube is more blues-filled than you think) and you can get an idea.

After you use those 2 methods, try putting them together, but divide the song into sections and practice each for a few minutes, then try putting it together. Im getting pretty good at learning the songs now, and all my teacher has to tell me is what the melody is and how the bass line progresses and i can usually play it right before i even leave the lesson.

This song isnt only the first two strings for the bass, but the melody is pie.


John hurt is one of the best Blues players ever, even i cant play it like that, so your version of it would be simplified gratefully. The only bass lines is just 1212121212121212 and 1313131313131313. I've started to play more of robert johnson, his songs are awesome.