#1
So I've been playing guitar for a few years now, but haven't really "practiced" to get better. I want to start playing some blues lead guitar and I was wondering where to start. Tips/websites/tutorials are much appreciated.

(Mods, sorry if this is in wrong forum/already a topic on this. Just point me to the right one)
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...............
#3
I always suggest the same thing... Listen to a lot of blues. Specifically, listen to the old bluesmen that originated the styles we use today.
Youtube has tons of this material. Look up Muddy Waters and Skip James, Elmore James, Son House, Mississippi John Hurt, Robert Johnson.... Then look at all the other blues musicians that will be linked to these guy's stuff.
#4
Quote by Bikewer
I always suggest the same thing... Listen to a lot of blues. Specifically, listen to the old bluesmen that originated the styles we use today.
Youtube has tons of this material. Look up Muddy Waters and Skip James, Elmore James, Son House, Mississippi John Hurt, Robert Johnson.... Then look at all the other blues musicians that will be linked to these guy's stuff.

this^^

the best advice for learning any genre or style is to listen to a bunch of that genre or style. I just wanna add to his list with some more modern but still classic artists for blues stuff Stevie ray vaughn, jimi hendrix, gary moore and zz top. these are the onse I learned off of first....
Quote by Dirk Gently
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#5
Buy a book, 'Blues You Can Use' by John Ganapes. It's a great book and will have you playing some cracking tunes, and it has improved my playing a lot over the past few months.
#6
Think phrasing, not so much technique with the blues, but it's still important. But with blues, It's all about the feeling maaaan
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#7
Check out the Crossroads concert DVD's. They are awesome concerts put on by the great Eric Clapton with many blues players of all ages, all with their own styles, from Chicago to Delta slide blues and more. Near the end he usually has most of the big names up on stage together almost like a jam session. No egos, just great blues.

And yeah, like the poster above me said, blues is about feeling what you play, not the number of notes. Look up 4 note blues on youtube, you'll be blown away.
#8
I would start with the 12 Bar blues shuffle, after all thats where it started. Learn some intro's
learn some turnaround's, add some simple rifts, now we are jammin. Cheers
#9
I'm going to say that you can't learn to play the blues. You can learn to solo over a 12 bar progression, using the minor Pentatonic, but you can't learn to play blues. Shit has to go down before you can really play the blues.
However, if you want to learn how to solo over a 12 bar, listen to BB King, Freddie King, Albert King, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Eric Clapton, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and many more.
Listen to their phrasing, listen to note choice. That will teach you how to solo in a blues style, then try to incorporate all of that into your own style.
#11
"True Blues" Oh shut up. You are just as annoying and useless as a classical elitist. Emotion in music is subjective and anyone that uses figure that out. Opinions aren't facts, and emotion is not a sound, so stop the you have to feel the blues to play the blues garbage, this isn't the mid 1900s and we are quite a bit smarter now. You don't get to say who can or can't do what, you aren't anyone special.
#12
Quote by ElConky
"True Blues" Oh shut up. You are just as annoying and useless as a classical elitist. Emotion in music is subjective and anyone that uses figure that out. Opinions aren't facts, and emotion is not a sound, so stop the you have to feel the blues to play the blues garbage, this isn't the mid 1900s and we are quite a bit smarter now. You don't get to say who can or can't do what, you aren't anyone special.


Yes. My new favourite 11'er. Everything can be taught.
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#13
ElConky.
So you are saying that anybody playing pentatonics over a 1-4-5 12 bar is playing blues.
Don't be a juvenile fool.
I didn't say that TS can't play blues, I said you can't learn to play it. Do you think BB King learned to play blues? Like Hell he did. That was just his natural way of expressing himself on the guitar. And if you think that you can't hear emotion through sound, then you are a moron, there is something called dynamics, that come from varying your pick attack and varying your speed, that convey emotion. Just as the dynamics in a person's voice conveys emotion, and if you aren't feeling something, the dynamics just won't be there. Ask any seasoned blues/jazz player and they will tell you the same thing.
Neither am I an elitist, and I despise musical elitism, and I would guess my music collection is a tad more eclectic than yours.
So in future, be adult about these things. Don't just tell people to shut up when you disagree with them, it makes you look like a child.
#14
Yes you're right, only a black man born in the 1920's can play the blues.

Actually called Mark!

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#15
Haha, with respect, I didn't say that or even allude to it.
To put it in concise perspective, Clapton is a blues player, Page is a Rock player. They both use the same scales and have similar influences, but you can hear the difference in their playing. Same as the difference between Buddy Guy and Carl Perkins.
Last edited by TrueBlues at Jun 9, 2011,
#16
You said you can't learn to play the blues, which would infer that you believe there's some sort of qualifying attribute that someone needs to possess in order to be able to play it. I just went for the one that a lot of great blues players share.

Clapton was an art student from Surrey - who learned to play the blues and played on the "Beano" album when he was 20.

I don't know if you've ever been to Surrey but believe me, not an awful lot of shit goes down there...
Actually called Mark!

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#17
Clapton learned to play guitar, and connected with blues. He has had a troubled life. From never knowing his dad, to his mum abandoning him, a lot of friends, such as Hendrix, dying in the late 60s/ early 70s, right up to the death of his son.
So yeah I do think you have to endure a certain hardship to play blues properly, or at least to realise that you have endured something upsetting or life changing, and then to be able to reconnect with that feelig. There are some Johnny Cash songs that are undoubtably blues, that don't necessarily follow a 12 bar pattern, yet Should I stay or should I go does follow a 12 bar pattern but is definitely not blues.
Last edited by TrueBlues at Jun 9, 2011,
#18
Blues is just a sound, a sound that we as listeners associate with certain emotions. Anyone can learn how to manipulate and arrange the sounds a guitar produces in order to trigger those same emotional responses.
Actually called Mark!

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#19
I disagree, I don't feel the same listening to Joe Bonamassa as when listening to Clapton. Listening to JB, I'm like,' yeah, good player', listening to Clapton, I'm like 'wow'. If life had always been rosy for me, I don't think I'd feel that same connection.
And we should now leave it at that I think. We both clearly have differing opinions, that are unlikely to change by way of an Internet discussion.
#20
Quote by seeneyj
Think phrasing, not so much technique with the blues, but it's still important. But with blues, It's all about the feeling maaaan


+1

This is where BB King really shines, he's hardly the most technical player out there. But its hard to match his phrasing, spacing, articulation and feel.

The only other guy I can think of at the moment who I would consider his phrasing equivalent would be Miles Davis

OP, remember "The Blues aint nothing but a good man, having a bad day - Annonomus" and "notes are expensive, spend them wisley - BB King".
Quote by MetlHed94



Well played, sir, well played.
Last edited by TheMooseKnuckle at Jun 9, 2011,
#21
Quote by TrueBlues
ElConky.
So you are saying that anybody playing pentatonics over a 1-4-5 12 bar is playing blues.
Don't be a juvenile fool.
I didn't say that TS can't play blues, I said you can't learn to play it. Do you think BB King learned to play blues? Like Hell he did. That was just his natural way of expressing himself on the guitar. And if you think that you can't hear emotion through sound, then you are a moron, there is something called dynamics, that come from varying your pick attack and varying your speed, that convey emotion. Just as the dynamics in a person's voice conveys emotion, and if you aren't feeling something, the dynamics just won't be there. Ask any seasoned blues/jazz player and they will tell you the same thing.
Neither am I an elitist, and I despise musical elitism, and I would guess my music collection is a tad more eclectic than yours.
So in future, be adult about these things. Don't just tell people to shut up when you disagree with them, it makes you look like a child.

Everything is learned. Everything. Blues music is not innate. It must be heard and studied (not necessarily studied with books and classes, but listened to intently and thought about by the listener) to become good at playing it, and that is learning.
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#22
Blues is so much more than the music though. It is a series of emotions. Emotions are innate, they can't be learned. I have never said you can't learn to play pentatonics, bending, vibrato, phrasing and what not. I have said it is much deeper than that.
In the words of BB King.
"The Blues are a simple music and I'm a simple man. But the Blues aren't a science, the Blues can't be broken down like mathematics. The Blues are a mystery, and mysteries are never as simple as they look!"
#23
Surely then, every other form of music is the same way? If you don't think that someone can learn to be good at playing the blues, then it must follow that you don't think that someone can be learn to be good at playing heavy metal/flamenco/classical/indie/whatever.
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Last edited by DaddyTwoFoot at Jun 9, 2011,
#24
Quote by TrueBlues
Do you think BB King learned to play blues?


Yes,

BB King had to learn how to play the blues... just like every musican has to learn. He took his experiances, such as listening to T-bone Walker or Muddy Waters, interpreted them and expressed himself in the same mannor. He had to learn how to play guitar, to be able to express those emotions you mentioned... he may have had those emotions and the music in him the whole time. But he still had to take the time to learn to express them with a guitar.

This is how most of the old time blues guitarists learned. They would take what previous generations did, and apply it in their own way. Tbone and Muddy Waters Inspired BB King and Chuck Berry, they went on to insprie Clapton, Hendrix and Angus Young, they went on to insprie Kirt Hammet, John Mayer, and Brad Paisley.

Listen to any of them, and you'll still be able to find little odds and ends that were developed by guys like T-bone and Muddy... things that have stuck around through the years, and get recycled in every generation.

In the words of BB King...

“I don't think anybody steals anything; all of us borrow.”

“The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.”

“Jazz is the big brother of the blues. If a guy's playing blues like we play, he's in high school. When he starts playing jazz it's like going on to college, to a school of higher learning.”
Quote by MetlHed94



Well played, sir, well played.
#25
Quote by TrueBlues
Blues is so much more than the music though. It is a series of emotions. Emotions are innate, they can't be learned. I have never said you can't learn to play pentatonics, bending, vibrato, phrasing and what not. I have said it is much deeper than that.
In the words of BB King.
"The Blues are a simple music and I'm a simple man. But the Blues aren't a science, the Blues can't be broken down like mathematics. The Blues are a mystery, and mysteries are never as simple as they look!"



While were on the topic talking about BB King, and throwing out some of his quotes I think my absolute favorite is.

"The blues was like that problem child that you may have had in the family. You was a little bit ashamed to let anybody see him, but you loved him. You just didn't know how other people would take it."

Your right there is more to it than just scales, modes, and chords... but that could be said about any genre, its not blues specific. To play the way BB King plays, he took the time to master his craft. He worked and learned everything he could. Rhythm, articulation, tone, dynamics, spacing, phrasing, techniques, ect...

BB King plays with alot of emotion with amazing phrasing. But alot of that comes form the way he bends from one note into another, you have to develop/learn good techniuqe to do that. He plays with amazing dynamics, he gets really soft and plays very articulate when he really wants you to hear something he had to learn to do that. He phrases his work very well and leaves alot of space, which helps build anticipation which adds to the emotion, he had to learn to do that as well.

BB King took the time to learn to master every aspect of his craft and how one aspect affects another... that with his natural talent are what makes him so darn good, he may not be the best at anything. But he's very good at everything!
Quote by MetlHed94



Well played, sir, well played.
#26
Quote by DaddyTwoFoot
Everything is learned. Everything. Blues music is not innate. It must be heard and studied (not necessarily studied with books and classes, but listened to intently and thought about by the listener) to become good at playing it, and that is learning.


+1

Well said!!!
Quote by MetlHed94



Well played, sir, well played.
#27
I think you should read my posts.
Throughout I have said, you can learn to play guitar, you can learn the techniques, but you can't learn 'the blues'. You can't learn to love, you can't learn to hate, you can't learn to be indifferent, you can't learn 'the blues'. It is either in you or it isn't.
This is the problem with this question being asked here instead of in the blues/jazz forum.
Here people are more likely to have had lessons, where they were taught the pentatonic stuff, as a sort of seguay into more technical stuff. Whereas for blues players, it is the ultimate form of expression the guitar.
Last edited by TrueBlues at Jun 9, 2011,
#28
Quote by TrueBlues
I think you should read my posts.
Throughout I have said, you can learn to play guitar, you can learn the techniques, but you can't learn 'the blues'. You can't learn to love, you can't learn to hate, you can't learn to be indifferent, you can't learn 'the blues'. It is either in you or it isn't.
This is the problem with this question being asked here instead of in the blues/jazz forum.
Here people are more likely to have had lessons, where they were taught the pentatonic stuff, as a sort of seguay into more technical stuff. Whereas for blues players, it is the ultimate form of expression and guitar playing.

You didn't answer my question at all. Also, it's spelled segue.
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#29
Quote by TrueBlues
I think you should read my posts.
Throughout I have said, you can learn to play guitar, you can learn the techniques, but you can't learn 'the blues'. You can't learn to love, you can't learn to hate, you can't learn to be indifferent, you can't learn 'the blues'. It is either in you or it isn't.
This is the problem with this question being asked here instead of in the blues/jazz forum.
Here people are more likely to have had lessons, where they were taught the pentatonic stuff, as a sort of seguay into more technical stuff. Whereas for blues players, it is the ultimate form of expression and guitar playing.


Not at all... I grew up on blues. Blues/Jazz/Motown are my pride and Joy.

"The blues aint nothing but a good man having a bad day"... on any given day, every man can feel the blues!!!
Quote by MetlHed94



Well played, sir, well played.
#30
You are correct on that spelling. For that I am truly sorry.
I'm also sorry for not answering your question. I was replying to The moose knuckle guy.
My answer is yes, I do think it is true for all styles. For example Stevie Ray Vaughan, could easily have learned alot of the metal techniques of the 80s, he probably did know them, but he didn't perform metal music because it wasn't him, and his performance wouldn't have been believable, just as Eddie Van Halen and Kirk Hammett weren't writing and performing Texas Blues.
#31
Quote by TheMooseKnuckle
Not at all... I grew up on blues. Blues/Jazz/Motown are my pride and Joy.

"The blues aint nothing but a good man having a bad day"... on any given day, every man can feel the blues!!!


Yes! Exactly! Every man can feel the blues. Just as every man can cry. Doesn't mean they will
Last edited by TrueBlues at Jun 9, 2011,
#32
Quote by TrueBlues
Yes! Exactly! Every man can feel the blues. Just as every man can cry. Doesn't mean they will


Lol, now were getting somewhere... your right it doesnt mean they will, but it also doesnt mean they won't.

All that matters is the potential is there, it's up to each individual musican to determin what they do with that potential.

I have never met anyone who didn't have a story to tell. The diffrence between BB King and the thousands of hacks out there is simple. BB King developed and nurtured that potential and it bloomed into one of the greatest musical talents around.
Quote by MetlHed94



Well played, sir, well played.
#33
Exactly, this is what I've been trying to say, I never said potential wasn't there. That was my whole point from the outset, it is so much more than the techniques. That is what I meant when I said you can't really learn it.
I am a young guy, I've played for about 10 years, and on the music scene I am part of, I am well respected as a blues player. People always comment that there is something there that isn't there with other players of all ages. There are guys that are equal/ slightly better than me technically, there are people with tons more years under their belt, but I am the one that gets the recognition. Apparently they see in me what they see in the big guys, so, without being big headed, I count myself as proof of my own theory, that blues can't be taught, it has to be found.
#34
Quote by TrueBlues
Exactly, this is what I've been trying to say, I never said potential wasn't there. That was my whole point from the outset, it is so much more than the techniques. That is what I meant when I said you can't really learn it.
I am a young guy, I've played for about 10 years, and on the music scene I am part of, I am well respected as a blues player. People always comment that there is something there that isn't there with other players of all ages. There are guys that are equal/ slightly better than me technically, there are people with tons more years under their belt, but I am the one that gets the recognition. Apparently they see in me what they see in the big guys, so, without being big headed, I count myself as proof of my own theory, that blues can't be taught, it has to be found.


Nodoubt, a little miss communication there... but I think were on the same page now

Thats awesome your well recognized in your area, but Im willing to bet you got that way from your passion which you display when you play but also by putting in the ground work. Im willing to bet you probably out worked alot of those other people too.

I think you can go farther than that though... I don't belive music in general can be taught, it has to be felt. I don't think thats anything unique to blues.

So now thats taken care of, any chance we can get this thread back on topic to help out the op
Quote by MetlHed94



Well played, sir, well played.
Last edited by TheMooseKnuckle at Jun 9, 2011,
#35
Yeah absolutely, I couldn't imagine not playing blues every day for the rest of my life.
But in terms of artists to listen to,
Freddie King, BB King, Albert King, Buddy Guy, Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton, Peter Green era Fleetwood Mac, Taj Mahal, Howlin Wolf, Jimmy Reed, John Lee Hooker, Robert Cray, Otis Rush, Son House, Stevie Ray Vaughan. To get as many influences as possible, I would also be listening to som jazz too, such as Charlie Christian, Herb Ellis, Wes Montgomery, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Herbie Hancock. Even if you don't realise it, you will be influenced in some way, especially by the phrasings of the horn players, they are just so vocal and expressive, which are essential qualities to have in your playing.
Soul, funk and early R&B are also great for this, I prefer the Stax and Atlantic sort of sounds for example, Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, Solomon Burke, Otis Redding, Sam & Dave. There is the rare Motown tune that has a similar 'raw' sound too. Again, listen to the horns.