Essential Blues or Blues-Rock repertoire?


New Member
Aug 18, 2012
Hi Guys
This might sound funny but I'm just now getting around to actually learning some songs. I wanted to ask if any of you could suggest some essential blues or blues-rock songs for a basic repertoire?

Thanks in advance!

I don't think it sounds funny. I admire you for asking a sincere question. I'm going to give you a sincere answer, although it may not be as direct as what you're looking for.

I suggest that you make it a point to get and learn, or at least become familiar with, all of Robert Johnson's recordings. There aren't that many of them, (including alternate takes, etc. there are only about 40), and they've been released in various forms over the years so they're easy to find. They are literally the foundation for most of the music you will ever hear or make, especially if you're a guitar player. So much of the music we love has its roots in Africa, which translates into The Blues. And most everyone will agree that the starting point of The Blues is Robert Johnson. If you learn those songs and always keep them in your heart and mind, then you'll be ahead of the curve.

Whether it's Santana, Rush, Marilyn Manson, George Jones, or even the latest star-of-the-moment Britney/Gaga/Justin whomever, all of their music has roots in The Blues. Sometimes it's so diluted that it's hard to find, but it's in there somewhere. You get Robert Johnson down, and you'll be surprised how often it pays off for you.

I agree that Robert Johnson is a good place to start to feel the blues, but I would hate to have to replicate it before moving on to others.

I found BB King a good starter. Playing his stuff is not at all demanding technically.
I also found SRV very accessible. His soul and sound is hard to match, but for the most part his music is doable.
Santana is hard to match note for note at times, but most of Supernatural is playable and gives a decent variety of style.

I would recommend trying anybody I liked listening to.
Pick some songs you like and learn the main riffs. I don't know your taste but the main riffs of many Led Zeppelin songs are fun to learn, Blues based and satisfying to play...
"Rock n Roll " has one main riff that moves around, sounds harder than it is and everybody knows it! :D

Here's three video lessons, so find the instructor you like:


With tab to go with the lesson:

This guy is one of my favorite teachers..he sounds like he's up too early after a long night at a gig, but he knows his stuff:,7114,1.html
Cant go wrong with Vanderbilly Expat!

Lot of folks post lessons there (Including myself) and you'll find a load of blues / blues-rock lessons i'm sure. The quality can waver, but the site is free. As Rango said, give the Doc's videos a good look.
Free--All Right Now. Every band knows this song, doesn't take much skill to play it recognizably. Then I might add Funk #49 by the James Gang, Tush by ZZ Top, Hideaway by Freddie King, and pretty much any Hendrix song you like.