Learning The Blues Online???

OldManMark

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Jul 31, 2021
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29
Sooo... I need to practice more. A LOT more.

Right now, just trying to learn to play like B.B. King and Albert King, simple and soulful (and yes, I recognize their styles are distinctly different). Eventually, branch out to play a bit like some other simple and soulful blues players.

Any suggestions for any good online tutorials?

What I think i need mostly is just learning the various "boxes" so that I am not just playing JUST the minor pentatonic or the major pentatonic three frets down.

I have watched a bunch of tutorials on youtube by Active Melody. I like the licks he plays (simple and tasty), but it's like his case of attention deficit disorder is worse than MINE. He tends to jump around and goes off topic too much for me.

So it would be great if there is a more structured approach / tutorial / youtube channel somewhere.

Alternatively, if there is a good source of Tabs for B.B. King's solos, that would also be nice.

One of the weird things about me is that I have a halfway decent ear, a good understanding of basic music theory, and can read music... just not on the guitar. I am one of those people who can "say" the names of the notes in sheet music, then have to spend several seconds finding them on the fretboard.

Thanks in advance.
 
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Dogs and Guitars

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May 9, 2021
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6
Hi - I had the same need and used these guys:
https://yourguitaracademy.com
What helped me are the "master your fingers" gym workout to get the shapes nailed fluidly, alongside the dedicated blues courses. Practicing the major and minor shapes with a metronome really helped me, along learning more "standard" licks to put into improv.

There is also a BB King specific course which is excellent and I would suggest you do after you have done the beginner blues course to get the most from it.

Good luck!
 

matonanjin

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Jan 4, 2017
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Omaha, NE
I will second the recommendation of Blues Guitar Unleashed. Great source of information and I suggest you seriously look at it. (This is not a comparative statement. I have heard great things about TBA as well. Purely accidentally I came across BGU first and as a result am using it (and recommending it)).
If you want to work acoustic blues, slide blues, blues rock, electric blues, BGU has a course on it. Here is his course listing. I started with his flagship course, Blues guitar Unleashed. It is great but have put it aside, temporarily, to work Acoustic Blue guitar Unleashed. You can also get a flavor of his teaching from his daily blog. I've never seen him miss a day. Lastly, he has a very active forum and most folks on there are helpful. On my browser tabs the tab for BGU forum is right next to the tab for this forum. I'm not sure what that tells you:confused:

If you have any specific questions, ask here or pm me. I own quite a few of his courses so can probably provide more detailed answers.
 

OldManMark

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Jul 31, 2021
Messages
29
Hi - I had the same need and used these guys:
https://yourguitaracademy.com
What helped me are the "master your fingers" gym workout to get the shapes nailed fluidly, alongside the dedicated blues courses. Practicing the major and minor shapes with a metronome really helped me, along learning more "standard" licks to put into improv.

There is also a BB King specific course which is excellent and I would suggest you do after you have done the beginner blues course to get the most from it.

Good luck!

Thanks so much. I appreciate the suggestion. I will look in to the site and the courses.

One question about the courses though: Is it just tab based / pattern based teaching, or do they also use actual note names and explain a bit about the music theory as well? My preference is for a course that would get me up to speed on the various boxes / patterns but wouldn't neglect the actual not names and would also include some of the theory behind it as well.

I will second the recommendation of Blues Guitar Unleashed. Great source of information and I suggest you seriously look at it. (This is not a comparative statement. I have heard great things about TBA as well. Purely accidentally I came across BGU first and as a result am using it (and recommending it)).
If you want to work acoustic blues, slide blues, blues rock, electric blues, BGU has a course on it. Here is his course listing. I started with his flagship course, Blues guitar Unleashed. It is great but have put it aside, temporarily, to work Acoustic Blue guitar Unleashed. You can also get a flavor of his teaching from his daily blog. I've never seen him miss a day. Lastly, he has a very active forum and most folks on there are helpful. On my browser tabs the tab for BGU forum is right next to the tab for this forum. I'm not sure what that tells you:confused:

If you have any specific questions, ask here or pm me. I own quite a few of his courses so can probably provide more detailed answers.

Thanks so much for seconding the recommendation of Blues Guitar Unleashed. I will definitely check out his daily blog. And the fact his site has an active forum makes it appealing.

As for a specific Blues question, I have kind of a noob one. For the MINOR Pentatonic scale, they say there is a "hidden" blue note, which it turns out to be the Tritone (Augmented 4th / Diminished 5th) note of the scale.

Does the MAJOR pentatonic have a "hidden" blue note as well that is commonly used as well?

More noob questions to follow I am sure.
 

OldManMark

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Jul 31, 2021
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If you want to start from the beginning Justin's guitar has a blues section.

I checked out his youtube channel last night, and while it is kind of "basic" I do like his teaching style as he is very straightforward without being boring. Also picked up a few things from his VERY basic lessons, so I will definitely be going through his Blues videos playlist. Thanks again.
 

SinSir

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Sep 7, 2020
Messages
2,108
I checked out his youtube channel last night, and while it is kind of "basic" I do like his teaching style as he is very straightforward without being boring. Also picked up a few things from his VERY basic lessons, so I will definitely be going through his Blues videos playlist. Thanks again.

Welcome! He's a good instructor and happy to help.. I'm glad you started this thread. I'm a blues guy myself and looking forward to suggestions.
 

OldManMark

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Jul 31, 2021
Messages
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I see no mention of your guitars, but since you're here, figure you must play PRS. If so, keep reading...

The hardest part is not the blues, it's getting your law degree and passing the bar exam so that you can truly fit in here.

LOL!!!

Sadly, I don't own a PRS Guitar (yet), although I do like them a lot and was thinking of getting one (leaning toward an SE custom 24).

I do own a Squier Bullet though (cost all of $125 after tax).

I have a couple of Ibby's as well :)

Sadly, no law degree either :(
 

alantig

Zombie Four, DFZ
Joined
Apr 28, 2012
Messages
12,941
I see no mention of your guitars, but since you're here, figure you must play PRS. If so, keep reading...

The hardest part is not the blues, it's getting your law degree and passing the bar exam so that you can truly fit in here.

I thought the hardest part was admitting you weren't smart enough to be a lawyer so you had to become a dentist instead. :p
 

Em7

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Apr 27, 2012
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Location
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I would skip B.B. King at first. He is an odd one when it comes to the blues in that he plays in a lot of major keys. Minor blues is where one should start. Albert King is a minor blues player and so are most other blues players. Here is an exercise based on a Am, Dm, Em, i-iv-v, minor blues progression. The blues is about playing phases that contain the notes over the chord being played.

Strike the Am chord, now lead the solo with the seventh fret of the A string. That note is E, which is the 5th of the Am chord. You then play the 5th fret on the D string (the note G) followed by the 7th fret on the D string (the note A) followed 5th fret the of the G string (the note C) while apply vibrato (hold for a second) before finally landing back on the 7th fret of the D string (the note A). What you have just played in note form is the chord Am7 (A,C,E,G), which you have played over the i (minor 1) chord, Am(A,C,E), in the progression. Now, we need to make a transition to the Dm chord (D,F,A). We do that in a blues way by fingering the 8th fret on the B string and bending it up a full step to the note A while applying vibrato. This note is the 5th of the Dm chord. We cannot play an arpeggiated version of the Dm chord because the minor pentatonic scale is missing the 3rd (F) from the Dm chord, so what we are going to do is release the bend and strike the unbent note (G) before walking down the minor pentatonic scale to the 7th fret on the D string (A note), which sets us up to go back to Am (this walk down includes the note D). It will probably sound awkward at first, but as you learn how to put feeling into these two phrases, you will start to recognize them as staples in blues guitar. That's the blues in a nutshell. It is about playing phrases over the chords that contain the notes in the chords. The ending note in each phase leads the chord that follows. People tend to over think the blues. The blues is not about the notes a person plays. It is about the notes a person does not play. It is about space, feel, and phrasing.
 
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DreamTheaterRules

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Nov 20, 2013
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LOL!!!

Sadly, I don't own a PRS Guitar (yet), although I do like them a lot and was thinking of getting one (leaning toward an SE custom 24).

I do own a Squier Bullet though (cost all of $125 after tax).

I have a couple of Ibby's as well :)

Sadly, no law degree either :(

Ok, then. As long as you promise to buy a PRS soon, we'll let you slide on the law degree. :D
 

OldManMark

New Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2021
Messages
29
I would skip B.B. King at first. He is an odd one when it comes to the blues in that he plays in a lot of major keys. Minor blues is where one should start. Albert King is a minor blues player and so are most other blues players. Here is an exercise based on a Am, Dm, Em, i-iv-v, minor blues progression. The blues is about playing phases that contain the notes over the chord being played.

Strike the Am chord, now lead the solo with the seventh fret of the A string. That note is E, which is the 5th of the Am chord. You then play the 5th fret on the D string (the note G) followed by the 7th fret on the D string (the note A) followed 5th fret the of the G string (the note C) while apply vibrato (hold for a second) before finally landing back on the 7th fret of the D string (the note A). What you have just played in note form is the chord Am7 (A,C,E,G), which you have played over the i (minor 1) chord, Am(A,C,E), in the progression. Now, we need to make a transition to the Dm chord (D,F,A). We do that in a blues way by fingering the 8th fret on the B string and bending it up a full step to the note A while applying vibrato. This note is the 5th of the Dm chord. We cannot play an arpeggiated version of the Dm chord because the minor pentatonic scale is missing the 3rd (F) from the Dm chord, so what we are going to do is release the bend and strike the unbent note (G) before walking down the minor pentatonic scale to the 7th fret on the D string (A note), which sets us up to go back to Am (this walk down includes the note D). It will probably sound awkward at first, but as you learn how to put feeling into these two phrases, you will start to recognize them as staples in blues guitar. That's the blues in a nutshell. It is about playing phrases over the chords that contain the notes in the chords. The ending note in each phase leads the chord that follows. People tend to over think the blues. The blues is not about the notes a person plays. It is about the notes a person does not play. It is about space, feel, and phrasing.

Thanks for the reply.

Yes, I do realize that B.B King most often played a Major scale instead of Minor, and that a lot of the greats played minor. But I still find his phrasing to be amazing.

I will try out the exercise you wrote down. Thanks for taking the time to write it out.
 
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