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The Easiest Way To Learn Blues Guitar – Musical Notation Or Tablature? | Teach Yourself Guitar Now

The Easiest Way To Learn Blues Guitar – Musical Notation Or Tablature?

During the sixties, Stephan Grossman and others invented a method of musical notation for guitar that was particular to those times. Most of the first blues musicians were dead and gone by this time, but a notable few were still around, such as Son House, Mississippi John Hurt, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Reverend Gary Davis. It was Grossman’s encounter with the singing reverend that was the spark that ignited the quest for old style blues and ragtime guitar. Many young men in those years wanted to learn and pick the real blues in the original old style, just like the blues masters. Blues guitar tabs were the backbone of this resurgence.

Blues songs have traditional foundations, and many different songs have been created using an original piece. Listen to Robert Johnson’s ‘Sweet Home Chicago’, as one example. It was originally titled ‘Kokomo Blues’ and was authored by Scrapper Blackwell. In addition to numerous permutations around a theme, new songs were created in various regional picking styles. Within the regional styles we can likewise see considerable differences between musicians, so producing a huge variety of blues guitar music. Of course, in past years, blues men would steal each others songs and additionally adapted traditional songs to their own individual style which added to the great variety of the blues. How can these old guitar songs be written down in such a way so that guitarists in future years can learn to play in the same style? We can listen to the records, but there’s that this isn’t sufficient.

Many years ago, musical notation was about the same for all instruments, and consisted of a stave, notes and an indication of the tempo. If we decide to stick with this acknowledged musical notation, then we have to know how to read it – this is quite hard! In reality, all we have to do is to know where the fingers of each hand should go. If we had some way we could read this, and listen to the recorded orginals, it would represent an enormous shortcut to performing the old picking techniques. As a matter of fact, Stephan devised a kind of musical notation known as ‘tablature’, which speeds up up the learning process.

The guitar strings are portrayed by 6 lines, and a number might be written on one of those lines. This means it should be plucked on the fret shown by the number. A line extending upwards from the number means that we should pick with a finger, and a line extending downwards means a picking hand thumb strike. The chords may also be shown over the tablature as well. Other symbols are also used, which help in defining the tempo, slide or kind of strike.The notation is simple and really simple to understand. Although it seems a bit awkward at first, most people are sight reading within a couple of weeks.

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