August 6, 2020

The Building Blocks of the Blues

Chops: Beginner Theory: Beginner Lesson Overview
• Learn the primary elements of a 12-bar blues.
• Understand the essential strategies that cross into a well-crafted solo.
• Develop a deeper appreciation for the playing of B.B. King, Muddy Waters, and Michael Bloomfield. Also have a look at Best DJ Lights

Click here to down load a printable PDF of this lesson's notation.
Most musicians of our modern-day generation had been motivated by using the blues in some manner. The blues is an critical source of have a look at that can upload impact and intensity in your track. Simply taking note of gamers like B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Michael Bloomfield, and others will now not simplest provide you with a better information of the genre however it's going to help to form your personal style as well.

Playing blues guitar is essentially primarily based on feel, however what exactly is it? Words can’t safely describe the blues, since it’s invisible until a player animates him or herself with it. Some humans appear to have it in abundance. As an 18-year-antique guitarist inside the early ’70s, I noticed Muddy Waters on the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach, California. The band worked their manner thru a lot of Muddy’s maximum well-known songs and I concept to myself, “I guess those are just popular songs?” I didn’t get it.

Then the band went into a gradual blues close to the stop of the set and Muddy eventually broke out a solo. Oh man! His pink Tele got here to existence through that Super Reverb, and he just lit the place up. I’d never heard everyone play remotely like that. Everyone went crazy—even the alternative musicians on stage. It became as if the sound came from out of the clouds. The way he linked with the audience become something special. It changed into that night that inspired me to research as a great deal as I can about blues guitar. In this lesson, I’m going to share a few foundational strategies to get you on the right direction.

By some distance the most not unusual blues music form is the 12-bar blues. You can cross everywhere within the global and speak to a “blues in G” and all and sundry will realize exactly what’s going on. In Ex. 1, I’ve written out a way to comp through a 12-bar blues with a combination of easy and complicated chord voicings.

Each of the following examples progresses via a slow 12-bar blues inside the key of C. I would work on one riff or workout till I had it down, on occasion for hours. A classical guitarist I understand said he practices with the aim of gambling it twice as appropriate as needed in a overall performance. That way although he’s having a bad night it nevertheless sounds suitable.

Ex. 2 is a should-understand intro riff. Everything that goes into this is vital to present it its difference. Country appears like usa, jazz appears like jazz, so blues has got to sound like blues. Practice and listen carefully to as many gamers as you can. This riff will kick off a blues in C, but learn how to flow it round so you aren’t stuck in a single key.

Click here for Ex. 2

Bending in music is an vital ability no matter what fashion you play, however it could make or damage a lick like Ex. Three. When going from the tenth be troubled at the 4th string to the bend on the tenth worry on the 3rd string, use exceptional arms, just like the 2nd finger to the 0.33 finger. Then, put the primary, 2nd, and 1/3 arms all at the third string for the strength bend.

Click right here for Ex. 3
This next riff (Ex. Four) needs notable approach to be able to use it. Notice the big wobble over the last sustaining bend. Good vibrato is a totally hard element to develop. Some humans depend upon the whammy bar for this, however we need to use our left hand. It takes arm and finger electricity. Grrr!

Click here for Ex. 4
Extended blues riffs are basically combinations of short riffs played in succession and linked to every different. Piano gamers can’t bend notes, so that they construct melodic ideas instead of relying on the type of guitar tricks we use. There’s lots to be learned from that type of wondering. Notice it’s a simple eighth-note rhythm over the triplet hi-hat discern, which makes it elaborate to get, so lay again and don’t rush (Ex. Five).

Click here for Ex. 5
Ex. 6 demonstrates a way to play over modifications. In other words, over the G9 chord I use a G minor pentatonic with a herbal three (G–Bb–B–C–D–F) and rather than sticking with that over the F13, I flow it down a whole step (F–Ab–A–Bb–C–Eb).

Click right here for Ex. 6
Turnarounds normally arise in the final measures of a 12-bar blues. It’s a topic that alerts to all and sundry that we’re on our manner again to the top of the shape. In Ex. 7 I’ve written out a riff that makes use of a series of sixths that descend chromatically.

Click right here for Ex. 7
These are a few cool ideas to get you started out on this rich lifestyle. Once you’re cozy with those licks, ensure to move them to other keys. Take some time and truely consciousness on the feel. The blues is straightforward, but that doesn’t suggest it’s clean!