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.

Gary Moore - Still Got The Blues.

Essential listening IMO.

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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.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.


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it's all about the face.

the lower lip and chin effect the mids and bass.

the upper lip effects the highs
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!
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
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.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jul 8, 2013,