uto998
Classic Rocker
Join date: Feb 2013
634 IQ
#1
Hello, everybody!

After 5 years (not long) of playing guitar in genres like rock and metal, the two perhaps easiest, I have decided it would be a good idea to get into some blues. I like the somewhat complex feel of blues (kind of like jazz in that regard) but it's a little more upbeat, happy (some songs I guess) than jazz. I just really don't like jazz all that much.

I did some research on how to play blues and learned 6 essentials from this page. I have the listening, Pentatonic Scales, Transcription, and Phrasing pretty much down.

I am capable of the techniques. I just need to know more about Blues Rhythm and Licks. I really have no idea who to listen to when it comes to blues because none of my family or friends listen to blues, so I need some good songs to learn some popular licks, learn some of the phrasing and the technique. Who are some good artists that would be a good foundation for the blues? (I know people like John Mayer and B. B. King and, maybe my favorite so far, Buddy Guy).

Thanks to everybody who comments on this (if anyone).
*le me *le forum person
Jmoarguitar
Given'r
Join date: Dec 2008
1,956 IQ
#2
If you're looking for blues licks definitely check out Stevie Ray Vaughn and John Mayer. JM is heavily similar in that regard but also has some really killer licks of his own. Buddy Guy is my favourite as well. Buddy hits home when it comes to phrasing and feeling it.

My personal tip is when you're soloing in the blues, play as if you were singing. It's much easier for us to feel and express emotion with our vocals, so try to best imitate that on your guitar.
BlueJayWater
Tab Contributor
Join date: Jan 2013
343 IQ
#3
So I'm gonna be that guy that says you have to truly feel the blues in order to really play it, cos it's true. That being said learning to properly articulate emotion through your playing is your top priority. jmoar is correct about thinking of solos as singing. My influences are Robert Johnson, Keb Moe, Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa, Muddy Waters, Mayer and Vaughan as well but also Hendrix, all three kings, as well as some lesser known guitarists from big blues acts. Try to listen to a lot of blues regardless of heavy emphasis on guitar, so you can help develope your overall "voice" and help you standout. Otherwise, take some of the things you learn and just mix raw feeling.
EyeballPaul
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2014
566 IQ
#4
Yeah,1st thing,If you have'nt already,Learn the basic I IV V 12 bar pattern,I personally love to use 9 and 13 chords when i play blues,Love the sound it creates,The 12 bar is the foundation of most blues.When phrasing don't be afraid to stop playing,that can be just as important.Also a good way to think of your phrasing is in 'call and response' or 'questions and answers'.
2016 Gibson Les Paul Traditional T in Light Burst
'77 Hardtail Strat
Epiphone Sheraton MIK Duncan '59's
MIJ 84/85 Tele
MIM Std Tele
Fender Blues Jnr
Digitech Screamin' Blues
Ignore
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2012
799 IQ
#5
The best of the Blues(secluding those you mentioned and ofcourse missing a few hundred guys):
Muddy Waters
T-Bone Walker
Otis Rush
Magic Sam
Robert Johnson
Son House
Otis Spann
Michael Bloomfield
Paul Butterfield
Albert King
Freddy King
Robert Nighthawk
Elmore James
John Lee Hooker
Lightning Hopkins
Leadbelly
Blind Lemon jefferson
Howlin' Wolf
Hubert Sumlin
Little Walter
Junior Wells
Willie Dixon
Etta James
Chuck Berry
Lonnie Johnson
Louis Amrstrong
Louis Jordan
Lester Young
Charlie Christian
Benny Goodman
Wes Montgomery
Eddie Lang
Chet Baker
Jimi Hendrix
Last edited by Ignore at Jul 4, 2014,
EMarkM
Thinker
Join date: Dec 2011
23 IQ
#7
Quote by kayeknox
Try Gary Moore. He's amazing.


This.

Other favourites include the aforementioned SRV...there's loads of excellent advice on this thread now
Gibson SG Special 60s Tribute
Boss TU-3, NS-2, CS-3, OD-3, CE-5
Ibanez DL10
Fender Blues Junior III
Delta Blue 5 string resonator banjo
Aria Pro II Passive P-J Bass
Aria Pro II Active Music Man Bass
Laney BC-120 Bass Combo
reverb66
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2014
30 IQ
#8
Start with Albert King and BB King and learn them by ear. Gary Moore is actually a terrible place to start since it's much more technical and filled with very fast legato runs, and is more on the rock side of things, save that for later if that style interests you. If you want to study a more modern and technical player I would go with SRV, which is more accessible.

If you want to a proper foundation, the 60's, and prior, is what you should be focusing on to start. Learn songs and jam with the tracks ( not cheesy backing tracks, or lick libraries etc. - the actual tracks). The list posted by Ignore ( in this thread) is excellent.

A major focus of blues, like jazz, is the rhythm and the feel. That's why it's best to learn and jam along rhythm sections of BB King and Albert King rather than anything thrown together for jamming along.
uto998
Classic Rocker
Join date: Feb 2013
634 IQ
#9
Quote by Jmoarguitar
If you're looking for blues licks definitely check out Stevie Ray Vaughn and John Mayer. JM is heavily similar in that regard but also has some really killer licks of his own. Buddy Guy is my favourite as well. Buddy hits home when it comes to phrasing and feeling it.

My personal tip is when you're soloing in the blues, play as if you were singing. It's much easier for us to feel and express emotion with our vocals, so try to best imitate that on your guitar.


Thanks for the analogy. I'll try to keep that in mind, except, I don't sing, so that may be a little harder for me.

Quote by EyeballPaul
Also a good way to think of your phrasing is in 'call and response' or 'questions and answers'.


I've heard of that before. Thanks for reminding me.

Quote by reverb66
Start with Albert King and BB King and learn them by ear. Gary Moore is actually a terrible place to start since it's much more technical and filled with very fast legato runs, and is more on the rock side of things, save that for later if that style interests you. If you want to study a more modern and technical player I would go with SRV, which is more accessible.

A major focus of blues, like jazz, is the rhythm and the feel. That's why it's best to learn and jam along rhythm sections of BB King and Albert King rather than anything thrown together for jamming along.


Thanks for the advice. One question, though: is transcription a good way to get down the feel and rhythm of the songs? I mean, I can transcribe, but I was just wondering if that was a viable means.
*le me *le forum person
Bikewer
Registered User
Join date: Jan 2010
65 IQ
#10
I always give the same advice for such questions.... Listen. The list above by "Ignore" is excellent. Most all the great Delta blues masters who originated the style and the Chicago and Memphis cats that were responsible for all the early recordings that influenced everyone that you're familiar with now.
Remember, blues is not all about scales and chord voicings and theory.... Its about feel and passion. Most all those old Delta guys didn't know a pentatonic scale from an outhouse....
You need to get the feel of this music in your bones.
jon_six
Registered User
Join date: Jun 2014
628 IQ
#11
well if you know the minor & major pentatonic scales (which you should after five years) start perverting it with dorian, lydian ect notes and just play what you hear in your SOUL note for note. DONT PRACTICE.. play. blues is all about emotion. *tear rolls down cheek*
_tim*
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2013
687 IQ
#12
Quote by kayeknox
Try Gary Moore. He's amazing.


Finally, someone said it !
StarGeezerTim
Guitar Geezer
Join date: Jun 2014
289 IQ
#13
Quote by jon_six
well if you know the minor & major pentatonic scales (which you should after five years) start perverting it with dorian, lydian ect notes and just play what you hear in your SOUL note for note. DONT PRACTICE.. play. blues is all about emotion. *tear rolls down cheek*

This reminds me quite a bit of what Hemingway said about writing. "...you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously." Much the same can be said about the best blues players I've ever heard--you can almost tangibly feel the pain, the angst, the turmoil that is the underlying alchemy for the music.

Hemingway immediately went on to muse, "But when you get the damned hurt, use it-don't cheat with it."

Sound advice, Papa Hemingway.
I am a StarGeezer: some call me..."Tim."*

* - Heartfelt apologies to Monty Python for blatant plagiarism. Those responsible have been sacked.
__________

Epiphone G-400 "Goth"
Peavey Vypyr 75 Amp
uto998
Classic Rocker
Join date: Feb 2013
634 IQ
#14
Quote by jon_six
well if you know the minor & major pentatonic scales (which you should after five years) start perverting it with dorian, lydian ect notes and just play what you hear in your SOUL note for note. DONT PRACTICE.. play. blues is all about emotion. *tear rolls down cheek*


Couldn't agree more. As I have been playing the blues, I'll just close my eyes and imagine what I want to "say" with my guitar, and it just comes out all correctly. Not even using modes (which I also have down) or pentatonic scales.
*le me *le forum person
uto998
Classic Rocker
Join date: Feb 2013
634 IQ
#16
Good stuff, man. Thanks. @guitarbluesmart
*le me *le forum person
_tim*
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2013
687 IQ
#17
Also guys I recommend you to listen to Fred Chapellier. He's a french blues player, and honestly, he's one of my favourite guitarists. Nobody knows him, but he's just fantastic IMO.

Here is a song he wrote for Gary Moore. It's just amazing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3k3dkBCEao
Last edited by _tim* at Sep 17, 2014,
Sample246
Registered User
Join date: Dec 2007
1,416 IQ
#19
I don't think I've ever heard anyone say "Man this metal is too easy! I need to challenge myself with some blues!" Unless you were just chugging power chords or something....

To me, playing blues was just learning the blues scale, learning some licks, and then improvising over 12 bar blues backing tracks over and over until you got a feel for it.
_tim*
Registered User
Join date: Apr 2013
687 IQ
#20
Actually i think both can be difficult. I mean, Metal and Hardrock stuff requires a higher technical level, but when it comes to blues, you have to create an emotion, an it can be really difficult too. I'm satisfied with my technical skills, but I still work on the emotion i want to create. I'll probably work on it during my whole life.
reverb66
Registered User
Join date: Mar 2014
30 IQ
#21
Quote by Sample246
I don't think I've ever heard anyone say "Man this metal is too easy! I need to challenge myself with some blues!"


Try to play SRV's Rude Mood or Little Wing or Texas Flood - blues can be insanely difficult, and in ways more difficult than metal due to the mastery you need on the attack and articulation of the notes.
uto998
Classic Rocker
Join date: Feb 2013
634 IQ
#22
Quote by Sample246
I don't think I've ever heard anyone say "Man this metal is too easy! I need to challenge myself with some blues!" Unless you were just chugging power chords or something....

To me, playing blues was just learning the blues scale, learning some licks, and then improvising over 12 bar blues backing tracks over and over until you got a feel for it.


I actually have found metal to be easy. For the most part. I've pretty much built up (as anyone else has) my ability to do lead parts and solos and have learned (and with the exception of sweeping, mastered) every textbook skill that I know of. I just think that blues requires more...knowledge if you will to know how to make whatever sound on the guitar you want in order to generate an overall ambiance. That is what I meant.

I also agree with _tim* that both are equally difficult in their respective ways. I don't think you can say either one is easier than the other because you will always come across some song that you will think to be harder than the previous one you learned. The journey of learning guitar never stops and I just decided to take a break from rock/metal/whatever you wanna call it and decided to become comfortable with blues. That's all.

And again, thanks to everyone else for all your comments.
*le me *le forum person
mycus
Tab Contributor
Join date: Jan 2013
201 IQ
#23
Hey!! You got to help with a tab?
Paleo Pete
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2007
33 IQ
#24
Check my post on page 3 and a few others in this thread...ignore the argument about theory.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1685845

In addition to the list Ignore posted I'll add a few

Clapton
Billy Gibbons
Joe Walsh
Duanne Allman
Jeff Healley
Johnny Winter
David Gilmour
Robin Trower


Blues is all about getting a message across. It's not about technique, scales, speed, technical ability. It comes from somewhere inside, let your fingers do the walking and try to make it say something.

A few specific songs are listed in the other thread in my post. Also look up some old standards

Rock Me Baby
Stormy Monday (Allman Brothers did a great version)
Key To the Highway (Clapton's Layla album, several other good ones)
Sweet Home Chicago
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
wolflen
one note away from satori
Join date: May 2008
11 IQ
#25
start with Robert Johnson and work up to muddy waters and howlin wolf..there will be several hundred players in between...

one name not mentioned...Roy Buchanan..a very special treat if your not familiar with him
play well

wolf
Paleo Pete
Registered User
Join date: Sep 2007
33 IQ
#26
OH damn I didn't think of that, Roy Buchanan is a great player...or was, he's not with us any more, suicide in a jail cell if I remember correctly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY2Z0juP-ag

I like the studio version better...you might see if it's there too.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
edg
Registered User
Join date: May 2005
2,035 IQ
#27
Blues is really simple. Almost stupidly simple. Major blues is just 3 chords for the most part, over and over and over again. I really don't like listening to a lot of it because it wears my ear out pretty quick as its all the same. I'd rather listen to a lot of Korn, Slipknot, Clown Posse... whatever . But for teaching I like blues because it IS so simple.

For starters, I wouldn't even think about the pentatonic scale. Just try and play really strong, simple notes (the 1-3-5 major notes) and play the chord changes. If you get good at expressing that, which is not very hard, add pentatonic and other scales after that. If you hit the changes with authority, it REALLY sounds like you know what you're doing to those listening, and you don't even have to think about it very much with a little practice.
jerrykramskoy
Lesson Contributor
Join date: Sep 2014
1,914 IQ
#28
Quote by _tim*
Also guys I recommend you to listen to Fred Chapellier. He's a french blues player, and honestly, he's one of my favourite guitarists. Nobody knows him, but he's just fantastic IMO.

Here is a song he wrote for Gary Moore. It's just amazing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3k3dkBCEao



Can hear loads of Gary Moore influence here.

Very good friend of mine played keyboards with the Gary Moore band up till he passed away.
https://soundcloud.com/jerry-kramskoy-1