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Teach Yourself Real Deal Blues Guitar | Teach Yourself Guitar Now

Teach Yourself Real Deal Blues Guitar

Do Your Want To Play ‘Real Deal Blues Guitar – What Does That Mean ?

Son House once stated that many musicians ” … make up some little shuffle in A and say it’s the blues – well it’s not !” When asked by someone “What’s the blues?”, Big Bill Broonzy answered “If you need to ask you’ll never know”. How did the old blues guitarists make this great musical style? How can we learn old sounding acoustic blues guitar – ‘the real deal’ ? In this article I’m going to examine a few classic blues musicians styles and how we can learn these finger picking techniques.

Ragtime and Blues Guitar – From The Roots – Blind Arthur Blake

I always thought it a bit unusual that there is only one photograph of Blind Blake, the King of Ragtime Blues. He produced over a hundred tracks for Paramount during his playing life and was extremely popular. It seems logical to me that other snaps must be around somewhere? Even the great Robert Johnson had 2 photos taken and , in his time, he seemed less well known and celebrated than Blake.

Ry cooder says he thought Blake played using a light touch, but other sources related that he developed a hole in his right thumb, indicating that he had a heavy touch. On some of his songs he shouts ‘boot that thing’ – which also indicated that he could have had a heavy touch. I’ve tried playing Blake every way possible, using a gentleand heavy touch on various sized strings, raising or lowering the guitar bridge height accordngly. It’s incredibly hard to match the bouncy feel of some of his ragtime tunes in G, like That’ll Never Happen No More or Too Tight Blues.

You Can’t Have Enough Of Big Bill!

Take Big Bill Broonzy’s music, as an example – it’s fairly easy to work out where our left and picking fingers should position themselves, but that amazing swinging feel is a different kettle of fish entirely! It’s almost magical. Here’s a quote from Broonzy discussing timing – ” you can either ride the front of the hoss, or on back of it and that’s what I do when I play my guitar”. His right hand thumb rhythm stays slightly behind the beat and creates the swing. Easily said, but attempt to play it! At the same time, he’s using only one finger for the high strings to lay down some syncopation.

How Do We Learn To Play Blues Guitar ?

The reply is inevitably ‘from a guitarist who can play it like it was played’. There is a great amount of guitar tuition videos advertised on the internet, with various styles and cost. Many can be found for no cost! (A word of caution – mostly in life, nothing of value is given free.) Very frequently, the tuition packages offered don’t match up to expectations. Some times, for example, the picking doesn’t even match the musical notation given! Some packages offer riffs or tricks to give your playing a ‘bluesy feeling’, but is it the blues?

Find a guitarist who can really play this stuff. Look in your local area, or search the internet. When you’ve found your guitarist, ask him for lessons. If he doesn’t give tuition then listen to his music and follow him around, if you have to. Like most things in life, if you want it badly enough, you have to go for it. Most real blues men are not interested in taking a lot of money for their tuition.

Don’t listen to too many modern blues guitar players . The old styles can become diluted and adapted too much, particularly that great timing and accents on the beat. Hear to as many classic blues guitar recordings as you can, specially if there is film of the person performing . For example, you can get a lot by just seeing Big Bill Broonzy play Hey Hey repeatedly.

Practice, practice, practice – concentrating on the basic picking patterns. Control the movements of that picking thumb! One hour in the morning and then again at night is the very minimum. You don’t suppose Robert Johnson sold his soul to the Devil do you? Of course not, just like Clapton, he took himself away for a couple of years until he could pick with the intensity we can clearly hear from his classic tracks.

For me this is crucial – when you play blues , BE that piece you are performing or that person who sang the original. The lives of these men were difficult and very unlike ours. That said, we all get the blues from time to time and this is how we can relate to these artists. The real blues is all of these – a woman, losing your job, bad kids, rainy weather, mortality and many other events. Express it with your guitar.

Learn the techniques first, don’t take it too fast with the basics and finally, put your soul into it.

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