Blues Lesson Section

<<:See lesson listings below:>>

The Blues.  Truly, where it all comes from!  With its earliest roots in Africa, the Blues has influenced nearly every style world-wide in the past 100+ years!  Even Bluegrass which, to the uninitiated, sounds rather ancient, is really just a more modern invention from the 1930-40’s that mixes European folk fiddle tunes with the Blues!  With improvisation at it’s core, it lead to the invention of Jazz, and it is often also said that “the Blues had a baby, and it’s name is Rock ‘n’ Roll!”  That’s a pretty important pedigree!

“Does playing the Blues make you sad?” 

…it’s a classic question I’ve heard many times… I heard it expertly answered once while on a gig with Buffalo, NY-based Blues guitarist John Brady when a woman came out of the audience on a break to ask it… John simply said, “No Mame, the Blues makes us all feel BETTER!”  A Classic answer to a classic question!  John later explained his feelings on the subject by calling the Blues “cathartic,” in that everybody feels and experiences troublesome things in their lives, but somehow when we all feel, sing, play, listen, dance, and toe-tap about it together; we ALL feel better, together.  It’s like group therapy! ;~)

Some think that the Blues is overly simple and not worthy of serious musical study.  Simple it is… though JOYFULLY so!  Though I most definitely encourage you to follow your own personal interests and passions, I also strongly encourage you to consider the concept that: if you can not find the joy in the simpler things, then you probably will have trouble finding joy in the more complicated! 

Some love the Blues so much that they choose to play ONLY the Blues for life.  If that is what “does it” for you… welcome home!… if not, I still encourage you to to explore and assimilate it into your own playing and personal style preferences.  It is personally something that I “call upon” in nearly every style I play, and every musician I know that is considered “great” by others does the same!

Some popular sub-genres of the Blues are: Delta Blues (Robert Johnson), Piedmont Blues (finger pickin’ guitar style), Chicago Blues (Albert Collins, Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy), and Blues-Rock (Stevie Ray Vaughn, Joe Bonamassa).  My personal favorite era of the Blues was the 1950’s when Chicago Blues artists like Jimmy Reed and Little Walter were trying to bring the style into more popularity by writing songs that were not the standard 12 bar form.

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Here’s an auto-generated sort list of every lesson that has the “Blues” category assigned to it.  Note: not all of these lessons will be straight Blues songs.  Some of them may just use an element of the Blues… like the Blues scale.  Either way… enjoy!

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