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#1 Daultonio

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 08:34 AM

Hey iam looking for a site where i can learn to play some blues i have not tried it since i started playing and i think it is time for me to give it a go.
does anyone know where i can learn or learn some simple TABS etc to get me playing some blues
cheers (keep rocking)

#2 dadfad

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 09:09 AM

Acoustic or electric? Are you familiar with what a 12-bar blues progression is and/or a "shuffle" rhythm?

Un-plugged is not the same as never-was-plugged-in-to-begin-with.

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When the roll is called up yonder he'll be there...


#3 Daultonio

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 09:53 AM

sorry acoustic i sort of am familiar with it but iam starting basic on blues

#4 dadfad

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 10:28 AM

Okay. There are a few very basic things that upon becoming familiar with them makes most blues much easier to understand. For example the 12-bar blues progression, which is the basis for a large proportion of blues, especially Delta-style and more modern urban styles (Chicago, etc). Most blues is largely made up of using that progression and then adding (whether as a solo guitarist, as a duo or as a full band) different chosen notes (often from the pentatonic minor scale of the key) and chord-fragments around it. I'm trying to think of a well-known tune that demonstrates a 12-bar progression using a common "shuffle" rhythm... Okay, the Led Zepplin cover of Sonny Boy Williamson's tune "Bring It On Home." The first part of that tune uses a classic 12-bar type shuffle, with a few extensions and embellishments (if memory serves me, in the key of E). Are you familiar with that tune?

Un-plugged is not the same as never-was-plugged-in-to-begin-with.

jacksontz.jpg

 

John Jackson -My Teacher and My Old Friend

When the roll is called up yonder he'll be there...


#5 Daultonio

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Posted 02 April 2008 - 11:05 AM

not really but i will youtube it

#6 caprico

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 01:57 AM

while we are at the blues..

i would really appreciate if some one gave me a list of Essential blues songs to learn sorted with the level of difficulty...
both acoustic as well as electric blues...

wtf is that noise?

youtube.com/user/caprico82

#7 rob295

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 04:45 AM

There is a great book, I think it's called the blues bible you can buy. Lots of simple stuff to learn getting a bit harder. If you are learning blues find out the type you want to learn. Its a big genre.

#8 caprico

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 04:52 AM

well i'm more into neo electric blues like eric clapton, SRV, allman, govt mule, rory gallagher etc...
but i would definately love to explore old delta and chicago blues

as i said i would like a list of essential blues songs...

Edited by caprico, 03 April 2008 - 04:56 AM.


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#9 rob295

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 05:06 AM

QUOTE (caprico @ Apr 3 2008, 09:57 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
while we are at the blues..

i would really appreciate if some one gave me a list of Essential blues songs to learn sorted with the level of difficulty...
both acoustic as well as electric blues...


See site for good blues CD, should be findable in your local shops: http://www.unionsqua...amp;LABEL_ID=13

Good blues songs to learn:

- Anything Robert Johnson. You must learn at least one of his. (Hellhound on My Trail is Good)
- Big Bill Broonzy - "Midnight Special"
- Leadbelly - "The Bourgeois Blues"
- Muddy Waters - "Rolling Stone", Also done by Henndrix as "Catfish Blues", plus original can be found by Robert Petway
- Howling Wolf - Killing Floor - difficult tho
- Henndrix - "hear my train a-coming" - do accoustic version
- Stevie Rai Vaughen - Pride and Joy
- John Lee Hooker - I'm in the Mood
- BB King - not sure of a specific one

#10 dadfad

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 06:03 AM

This is kind of how I first approached blues (and still do). Of course you need the necessary skill-level for whatever you are going for, but I didn't exactly approach it tune by tune. I went more artist by artist. Blues, being an extremely improvisational style, I would take a specific artist (For the sake of simplicity, and availability, let's say Robert Johnson.) and then listen extensively to all of his recordings, picking out key "signiture licks" and nuances of his style. His use of rhythms, how he approaches his changes, his favored positions, voicings and inversions... all the stuff that makes Robert Johnson sound like Robert Johnson. (He could be playing... "Puff the Magic Dragon" but you'd know it was Robert Johnson by his style and how he played it.) I'd get fairly comfortable using as much of that stuff as I could, and then I'd take one of his tunes. Whatever... "When You've Got a Good Friend" (which is a good one because it has lots of his signiture licks, phrases, use of sevenths, etc, all woven through it) and start to play it. At first just a basic 12-bar I-IV-V, and then start adding Johnson-esque stuff to it, more and more. I wouldn't necessarily try to play it note-for-note (neither did Robert!), but I'd try to play it what I call "style-for-style." I'd improvise it, using the things Robert would use when he improvised it himself (which he did, I'm sure a bit different every time. Only the actual recording he did on that Monday in 1936 has been "set in stone" as the "definitive version." And so I don't try to copy the tune exactly. I can never play it exactly like Johnson did (even if I played it note-for-note) so I just try to play it "style-for-style."

Of course you have to have the necessary skills and understanding, just like you do with any music. If I was just getting into blues and had little knowledge of the general basics I'd never jump in and try to learn Bo Carter or Big Bill Broonzy or Blind Boy Fuller right from the jump. I'd first work on simply putting together 12-bars properly, get the hang of the shuffle rhythms, a few little minor-pent licks and things like that. In a fairly "non-specific" way. Just putting together 12-bars decently in several keys and building on it, maybe using some simle lyrics from fairly well-known tunes like maybe "Rock Me Baby" or "Baby What You Want Me To Do" ("Let It Roll") or even making some up. Just lyrics to use more for timing purposes to work with my rhythms and my changes and such. And then take it from there a step at a time.

Although there are lots of different progressions in blues, the 12-bar is by far the most common (and even that has several variations). And the "shuffle rhythm" in it. (Which is basically just the simple added alternating fifth-to-sixth or fifth-to-sixth-to-flat7 within the chord you find in simple blues and classic rock'n'roll. The "dunt-da dunt-da dunt-da dunt-da" thing in... from Lightnin' Hopkins to Chuck Berry.) And so I'd start with putting together a decent 12-bar progression in several keys first.

(Sorry if this is like way too basic, but I'm going under the assumption of almost total unfamiliarity with playing blues.)

I have a few (probably more than a few) old posts I did in the past for a couple of people that are pretty basic that I think I can find. I'll put a couple of them below...

QUOTE
One of the most common uses of the I-IV-V progression is in the construction
of a 12-bar blues (whether used as a blues or a rock'n'roll or whatever).

The most common form of the 12-bar blues progression
(and there are several) is (using the Key of A):

I (A) = Four bars
IV (D) = Two bars
I (A) = Two bars
V (E) = One bar
IV (D) = One bar
I (A) = Two bars



A 12-bar blues is often shown as being 7th chords but it rarely is.
You may choose to use one or more 7ths, but generally it is not only or
always 7ths being used. Major or mostly major chords is more common.

Next to a simple beat on the major or power-chord in time with the rhythm,
the next most complex (and probably most popular) beat is the "shuffle".
The shuffle can be done very simply or more complexly, depending on
skill and just how you want it to sound. (Keep in mind that just because
a guitarist doesn't want complexity in a given tune, it doesn't mean he
has a low skill level. He may just want simplicity for a reason). A
shuffle, in its simplest form, is alternately adding and omitting a
6th note in time with the rhythm. For example, an A-chord (or partial A)
held like this X02220, X0222X or X022XX. If you hold those strings down
with your first finger, you can alternately add and omit the 6th note (F#)
like this (use 2 short half-beats each figure):

X0222X
X0422X
X0222X
X0422X

The same can be done to the IV chord (D X00232) like
this (again, two half-beats each):

X00232
X00432
X00232
X00432

And the V chord (E 022100 or 022XXX):

022XXX
042XXX
022XXX
042XXX


Each one of those groups above is ONE BAR
(4 beats) of a common 12-bar blues.Think of
a bar as "One-and-Two-and-Three-and-Four-and..."
(8 half-beats=4 beats)

X0222X =One
X0222X=and
X0422X =Two
X0422X=and
X0222X=Three
X0222X=and
X0422X=Four
X0422X=and

That's one bar....


A complete 12-bar progression is:

I (A) = Four bars
IV (D) = Two bars
I (A) = Two bars
V (E) = One bar
IV (D) = One bar
I (A) = Two bars

And that's a twelve bar blues shuffle in its simplest form. Often the
last bar of the twelve is walked into the V (E) position. This is known
as a "turnaround" and leads into the next 12-bar verse. This simplest 12-bar
shuffle can be advanced one more step by also adding the (flat) 7th note to
the "shuffle" like this (2 beats each):

X022XX (2 beats)
X042XX (2 beats
X052XX (2 beats)
X042XX (2 beats)
(repeat, etc)

(That above was one bar, I position, of a 12-bar blues rhythm.)

An so on in the same way through all the other chords. I chose a 12-bar
in A for an example because it can be shown with all open chords at the
nut. This same "shuffle" figure can easily be done anywhere on the neck
in any key by using barre-chords in the common E-barre or A-barre shape,
and then alternately adding the 6th/7th notes to it. I apologize if this
first example of a blues rhythm is too simple for some people reading this,
but I've often found guitarists that could burn out some mixolydian lead
or something who didn't understand the concept of a 12-bar shuffle, the
seminal basis of blues and rock'n'roll (like Chuck Berry ). A great example
of this shuffle, with a few rhythm-embellishments that I'll explain later
when I have a little more time (I'm at work), is the Led Zepplin cover of
the old Sonny Boy Williamson tune "Bring It On Home". Anyway, I hope this
helps a little.



******************************************************


Now I'll "up-grade" that shuffle another step. If you've listened to
Bring It On Home (in E) you'll notice a few bassy-sounding walk-in notes added
to that shuffle. In the key of A, adding them to that shuffle I posted
on the previous page, you could play it like this:

X022XX (2 beats)
X3XXXX (1 beat)
X4XXXX (1 beat)
X022XX (2 beats)
X042XX (1 beat)
X022XX (1 beat)

This is one bar. You keep your index finger barring the 4,3,2,1 strings
and use your middle then ring fingers to do the "walk" on the fifth-string.

Do the same thing basically to the IV (D) and V (E) positions. Like this:

X00232 (2 beats)
X03XXX (1 beat)
X04XXX (1 beat)
X00232 (2 beats)
X00432 (1 beat)
X00332 (1 beat)

Holding the D-chord with your first and middle fingers and using your
ring and pinkie for the "walk".

Same type thing for your E-chord (V pos):

022XXX (2 beats)
3XXXXX (1 beat)
4XXXXX (1 beat)
022XXX (2 beats)
042XXX (1 beat)
022XXX (1 beat)

Bar the 5,4,3X,2X,1X with your first finger and do the walk with your
middle and ring fingers.

Each one of those little groups was one bar in a 12-bar blues shuffle.
Arrange those figures into the 12-bar progression as shown on the last
page and it's starting to sound more and more Bluesy.

When I get a little more time, I'll start getting into "substitution
chords". Those are slightly different voicings of the majors used above.
Different "voicings" of a chord can color and dictate the "feel" of your
tune. It can make it "harder-sounding" or jazzier or lighter. Knowing a
number of different "voicings" in different locations lets you personalize
a tune and make it different from any other version. Anyway, hope the
above helps.


***********************************************

Okay, now that the 12-bar shuffle and a few simple variations have been
gone over pretty well, these are a few "substitution chords" for that
progression. Chords that work well and can be used to color the feel of
the tune. The major chords used previously were A, D and E majors. In
place of them you could use these:
A-sub=X05650 or XX565X
D-sub=X54555 or X545XX
E-sub=076777 or X767XX (with any X's played open)

That's an A7 form and D and E ninth forms. Keeping the same rhythm as
the shuffle, whether fast or slow, these chords can be put into the
progression. They can all be put in, or just one or two of them using
a major(s) chord too. These sub-chords above are often slid from the
fret before (or after) to the actual played position. For example,
the A-sub can be slid from X04540 to X05650, the D-sub from X43444
to X54555, E-sub from 065666 to 076777, etc. Or,as I mentioned, they
can be slid from the OTHER direction too (like X65666 to X54555 for
the D-sub, etc). They can be walked/slid from one postion to another
where the chord change comes in the progression. Like when going
from E to D you can go X767XX to X656XX to X545XX. You can experiment
with these in any combination, sometimes using them or sometimes the
majors. Whatever feels best for what you want to put across in the
tune. And of course these shapes can be used on any fret to substitute
any chord for tunes in other keys as well. They're a very often used
chord-form in blues. Especially the 9th-shape. Almost like the barred
power-chord is the main-stay in much of rock. They're easy to form
once you get used to them (open or un-played 6-string, middle finger
on the 5-string, first finger on the 4-string, ring on the 3-string
or ring and pinkie barring the 3,2,1 etc. Very easy shape to make and
moveable up and down the neck. Extremely versatile chords. Just remember
the middle finger is always on the tonic-note of the chord you want to
substitute it for. So that's another way to start to improv as you
approach blues rhythms.

Un-plugged is not the same as never-was-plugged-in-to-begin-with.

jacksontz.jpg

 

John Jackson -My Teacher and My Old Friend

When the roll is called up yonder he'll be there...


#11 Hobs911

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 07:38 AM

Stormy Monday- Allman Brothers Band

Gov't Mule- Look over Yonder Wall, 32/20 Blues

Eric Clapton from "Me and MR. Johnson" album- "Come on in My Kitchen, 32/20 Blues)

Stevie ray Vaughan-Look at little sister

I know it can be hard to understand all this when you start out but blues is very simple. To start just play an "E A E B7 A E" chord progression and practice soloing in you E key in frets 12 and 14. That will get you able to improvise over a progression in no time youll be soloing over any key.

Edited by Hobs911, 03 April 2008 - 07:39 AM.


Hobs911
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Harry: That's a special feeling.
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#12 Gomez36

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 09:38 AM

QUOTE (dadfad @ Apr 2 2008, 07:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Okay. There are a few very basic things that upon becoming familiar with them makes most blues much easier to understand. For example the 12-bar blues progression, which is the basis for a large proportion of blues, especially Delta-style and more modern urban styles (Chicago, etc). Most blues is largely made up of using that progression and then adding (whether as a solo guitarist, as a duo or as a full band) different chosen notes (often from the pentatonic minor scale of the key) and chord-fragments around it. I'm trying to think of a well-known tune that demonstrates a 12-bar progression using a common "shuffle" rhythm... Okay, the Led Zepplin cover of Sonny Boy Williamson's tune "Bring It On Home." The first part of that tune uses a classic 12-bar type shuffle, with a few extensions and embellishments (if memory serves me, in the key of E). Are you familiar with that tune?


Johnny B. Goode by Chuck Berry simple 12 bar song base.

#13 misterhat

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Posted 06 April 2008 - 01:43 AM

JSP has a nice five CD box set of everything recorded by Charley Patton. Get that.



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