#1
Hey, guys and gals.

My dad bought me my guitar as a birthday present when I was younger. He's always been really proud of my playing and keeps encouraging me to play when I've had a slow period in my progress. One thing he always keeps saying to me is to learn some blues songs. He's a real blues fan and plays harmonica (C tuned I guess?), and it'd be really cool to play some songs with him or just to him.

But the thing is that I know nothing of blues, which is unfortunate. I usually don't play traditional genres, folk excluded, and I really don't know where to start.

So could you recommend me some advanced blues songs to learn? Maybe even some with harmonica playing in them. I'm familiar with Derek and the Dominoes, but Eric Clapton's playing in most of the songs is just too advanced for my current skill level.
#2
eric claptons cocaine is a real simple song, theres also purple haze by jimi hendrix, crossfire by stevie ray vaughn, and plenty of generic blues chord progressions and riffs. check out http://www.12bar.de/rhythm.php for starting out in blues.
#3
as far as Clapton, perhaps some of the songs from the "From the cradle" album? he does a good version of Freddy King's "I'm Tore Down" in C.
#4
Fault Line and Ain't No Easy Way by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club are really cool songs that feature the harmonica. I'm not sure how advanced you want and I know its not traditional blues, but hot dog those are some bitchin' songs.
#5
if you just play the chords in the songs, and make a few easy licks it'll sound just like it's supposed to.

Playing in shuffle always makes it seem a bit bluesy, especially if your licks are within the pentatonic bluesscale.

Jimi hendrix, red house, just transpose in from E to C, so you can play with your dad.
#7
have a look at this:-

http://www.fetherbay.com/HarpTutorial.html

which explains that you don't play a harmonica of a certain key in the same key on the guitar. if your dad has a C harmonica then you should play in G (for example).

most of the above suggestions are OK but just start jamming along along to a 12 bar blues progression and see where you go from there.
I've been imitated so well I've heard people copy my mistakes.
- Jimi Hendrix
#8
since blues is all 1 chord progression (mostly), learn that first.
I-IV-I-I
IV-IV-I-I
V-IV-I-V
then learn the minor pentatonic scale. If you don't understand this post, say so and I'll try to elaborate.
Then learn a couple riffs (eg. born in chicago by paul butterfield)
#9
Quote by Who66
as far as Clapton, perhaps some of the songs from the "From the cradle" album? he does a good version of Freddy King's "I'm Tore Down" in C.

Or you could check out Freddy King's "I'm Tore Down".
#10
Freddy King's "I'm Tore Down is easy to practice with..try it, its my first piece to get a hold on.
#11
you can youtube John mayers lesson on how to play crossroads. He does a lesson for guitar world and he breaks down a simple song and makes it even simpler, its a real real real easy blues song, and prety fun to play too!
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#12
try the Paul Butterfield Blues Band...with mike bloomfield...blues harp at its best...and one of the best blues guitar players classic chicago blues songs ...it dosent get any bettser...
#13
Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf John Lee Hooker, B.B King, Albert King, Freddy King, Son House, Skip James, Robert Johnson, Blind Willie Mctell, Little Walter, James Cotton, Hubert Sumlin, Buddy Guy, Sonny Boy Williamson, Fabulous Thunderbirds, Johnny guitar Watson, Jimmy Reed, Lowell Fulson, White Stripes, Led Zeppelin, Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Some of my favourites, should be enough to keep you going
Last edited by DanielShaw123 at Sep 7, 2011,
#14
Quote by dr_john
have a look at this:-

http://www.fetherbay.com/HarpTutorial.html

which explains that you don't play a harmonica of a certain key in the same key on the guitar. if your dad has a C harmonica then you should play in G (for example).

most of the above suggestions are OK but just start jamming along along to a 12 bar blues progression and see where you go from there.



Thank you for this link, I just recently got a harmonica and harmonica holder and am trying to figure out some songs and this makes it way easier.
#15
Quote by bigcheese1
Hey, guys and gals.

My dad bought me my guitar as a birthday present when I was younger. He's always been really proud of my playing and keeps encouraging me to play when I've had a slow period in my progress. One thing he always keeps saying to me is to learn some blues songs. He's a real blues fan and plays harmonica (C tuned I guess?), and it'd be really cool to play some songs with him or just to him.

But the thing is that I know nothing of blues, which is unfortunate. I usually don't play traditional genres, folk excluded, and I really don't know where to start.

So could you recommend me some advanced blues songs to learn? Maybe even some with harmonica playing in them. I'm familiar with Derek and the Dominoes, but Eric Clapton's playing in most of the songs is just too advanced for my current skill level.

If you refer back to the 50's musical 'Grease,' there are some decent blues songs that you can learn, although there might not be a harmonica part for them. Also, how about you try learning some country songs? Harmonica parts shine most when it comes to country songs. Hope this helps!
#16
Quote by parhelia_0000
If you refer back to the 50's musical 'Grease,' there are some decent blues songs that you can learn, although there might not be a harmonica part for them. Also, how about you try learning some country songs? Harmonica parts shine most when it comes to country songs. Hope this helps!


for the life of me, i can't recall a single blues song in 'grease'. or does 'summer nights' qualify as blues?

i think i smell a troll......................
I've been imitated so well I've heard people copy my mistakes.
- Jimi Hendrix
#17
Quote by K Reyn
Thank you for this link, I just recently got a harmonica and harmonica holder and am trying to figure out some songs and this makes it way easier.


glad you found it useful!

I've been imitated so well I've heard people copy my mistakes.
- Jimi Hendrix
#18
I agree with the poster above (s guy) who implies you should learn the *blues format* (although there isn't only one) first before trying to delve into specific songs. In most cases the specific songs will be based off of that format and are distinct only because of what's done with it and the kind of rythmic feel it's used with. You need to be introduced to the 12-bar blues format and its minor variant, as well as understand the feel of a slow blues and a shuffle. There's more to it, but this is a necessary, basic starting point to work with for getting into playing blues.

This way, someone can just say "Slow Minor Blues in F" or "Shuffle in Bb" and you know exactly what chords to play and when to play them, and have some sense of the rythm. There will be cases in which some songs are not "a normal blues", but I think you should already be able to play in a 12-bar format intuitively before touching such songs.

I've been attending blues open jam nights for a bit now and while there are some songs that are played which are not a normal 12-bar, or which include some special little riff you'd have to know already, a good deal of the time even when I don't know the song they want me to play I simply ask "is it a 1/4/5?" and I get a "yes" (sometimes modified by additional little things like "with a quick change"), and I can bullshit my way through the song fine armed with the language and cliches.

In such a case, there's nothing to "learn" because in essence you already know the song as an application of a format/structure: there's going to be standard chord progressions, and then you solo over them when your time comes. It is quite elegant in its simplicity. You'll find that knowing the format unlocks a good deal of the songs.
Last edited by Brainpolice2 at Sep 28, 2011,
#19
Jimmy Reed
Sonny Boy Williams
Little Walter
Muddy Waters (majority of his songs have harp in em)

listen to some of their tunes and learn the backing parts, the guitar players behind the harmonica players have some really interesting fills/riffs and a plethora of different styles of 12 bar backing/8 bar/16 bar/stop time backing/chord subs

have a listen to this and try work out the chord subs that - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bwWrp7tTW0

He switches it up between standard 12 bar changes in chords, in bass line type rhythm, and some nice jazz-blues subs in there

Pretty sweet solo too, reminds me a bit of Junior Watson but not as high on drugs
#20
Quote by cheesecakes4
Jumping at Shadows by Peter Green (Fleetwood Mac) is also great


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