Learning The Blues Online???

tdarian

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Thanks. Can you tell me more about his courses? What do you find helpful about them?

I love Tommy’s playing in multiple styles, he takes it way back to the roots, “jazz” chords, note structures within cords, early players and right up through more modern times. He’s great with in person lessons or Skype, and if you reach out to him he will guide you through his courses or customize something for you.

 

Boogie

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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.
Totally get your angle to the instrument. I took up guitar to specifically not play “clinically” and only/mostly play by ear. Already could read and played other instruments for years but couldn’t improv on them.

After 40+ years, learning new parts is still about listening to the artist or influencers, hear the parts in my head, then do my own thing. It sounds like that’s what you are doing. My only recommendation is to immerse yourself in the music of your genre’s influencers and do your own thing with it. And sometimes the younger players in a particular genre are doing something so innovative, I like it as much - if not more - than the originals.
 

CrimesAgainstMusic

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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 :(

As a fairly new PRS Maven, for a "First PRS" (They are like potato chips, you simply cannot eat just one) I would suggest a SE Pauls Guitar.

Unless you have concerns regarding hand size (as I do) something like a SE 245 (24.5 " scale length ) The Paul's is like a "jazzed up" Custom 24, but with better pickups and more switching options).
It was not available when I first got hooked ...and the 2 Custom 24's I have are just fine (after a pickup upgrade on one of them )

These are Asian imports , the SE line, and are a family of fine, value laden instruments.. An SE Paul's is not a beginner guitar (and not inexpensive) but it does represent a very good value.

Blues Lessons ? I been doing Marty Schwartz (Marty Music) it seems OK ...
 

Steve's addiction

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I spend most of my time playing against backing tracks in different keys. I want to develop my own style without too much influence from others. I do occasionally check out lessons but mostly the tracks. I guess my style (although not skill level) is closer to SRV/Gary Moore.
 

CrimesAgainstMusic

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Uh oh ... As a B.B. King Fan ... Your "First PRS" ... may have to be an SE Hollowbody ! (Comes in 3 different flavors)

Its more like the Gibson 335 BB would play, and is an awesome guitar.

I am getting acquainted with mine, Just 2 weeks together ... (A HBII with the figured maple laminate top) and I'm wildly in luv ! :)
 

OldManMark

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I love Tommy’s playing in multiple styles, he takes it way back to the roots, “jazz” chords, note structures within cords, early players and right up through more modern times. He’s great with in person lessons or Skype, and if you reach out to him he will guide you through his courses or customize something for you.

Thanks for posting the video. Also thanks for the additional information on Tommy's courses.

Totally get your angle to the instrument. I took up guitar to specifically not play “clinically” and only/mostly play by ear. Already could read and played other instruments for years but couldn’t improv on them.

After 40+ years, learning new parts is still about listening to the artist or influencers, hear the parts in my head, then do my own thing. It sounds like that’s what you are doing. My only recommendation is to immerse yourself in the music of your genre’s influencers and do your own thing with it. And sometimes the younger players in a particular genre are doing something so innovative, I like it as much - if not more - than the originals.

Thanks for the response. Yes, I expect to learn mostly by playing by ear, and by listening to some sax and trumpet players as well as the OG blues guitarists. I guess what I am looking for though is kind of a "cheat sheet" to quickly learn common "boxes" just so it is a little bit easier to navigate up and down the fingerboard. Then I would use my mediocre ear and my mediocre understanding of music theory to sort of take me further from there.

As a fairly new PRS Maven, for a "First PRS" (They are like potato chips, you simply cannot eat just one) I would suggest a SE Pauls Guitar.

Unless you have concerns regarding hand size (as I do) something like a SE 245 (24.5 " scale length ) The Paul's is like a "jazzed up" Custom 24, but with better pickups and more switching options).
It was not available when I first got hooked ...and the 2 Custom 24's I have are just fine (after a pickup upgrade on one of them )

These are Asian imports , the SE line, and are a family of fine, value laden instruments.. An SE Paul's is not a beginner guitar (and not inexpensive) but it does represent a very good value.

Blues Lessons ? I been doing Marty Schwartz (Marty Music) it seems OK ...

Yeah, the SE Pauls Guitar sounds great.

The thing is for me, I already have two very capable Ibanez humbucker guitars; an AS93 (it's like a gibson 335) and an AR325 (humbucker with the tri-sound switches for serial, parallel, or single coil tap).

If I actually do get another guitar, it would be to replace the Ibanez AR325.

But the more I think about it, the more I would probably just want a straight-ahead Strat-sounding guitar, since my humbucker guitars sound good already (for humbuckers).

And at this point, I really just need to focus on practicing more.

I spend most of my time playing against backing tracks in different keys. I want to develop my own style without too much influence from others. I do occasionally check out lessons but mostly the tracks. I guess my style (although not skill level) is closer to SRV/Gary Moore.

I certainly appreciate that. And yes, playing against backing tracks is definitely the next step. Gary Moore seems to be one of the great "underrated" guitarists... at least among the general public, not necessarily amongst musicians.

Uh oh ... As a B.B. King Fan ... Your "First PRS" ... may have to be an SE Hollowbody ! (Comes in 3 different flavors)

Its more like the Gibson 335 BB would play, and is an awesome guitar.

I am getting acquainted with mine, Just 2 weeks together ... (A HBII with the figured maple laminate top) and I'm wildly in luv ! :)

Glad to hear it's a great guitar.

I actually have an Ibanez AS93 which is similar to a Gibson 335 guitar, and which I (and my 15-year-old son) like to play on. So I am kind of good there.

Also have another Ibanez with humbuckers (AR325) and am now thinking that what I really might like is a "pure strat" sound to compliment them.

The other guitar I have lying around is a Suier Bullet (cost all of $125 after taxes and new strings), so I might just mod that guitar a bit in the meantime.
 

Em7

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As I have mentioned several times, I personally do not consider SEs to be real PRS guitars. SEs are built by Cort, not PRS. For 50% more, one can have a solid-color S2 594, which is a guitar that one will not outgrow. It is buy once, cry once purchased. An S2 will hold its value better than an SE because an S2 is a real PRS guitar.
 

Em7

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Okey dokey, but Jack Higginbotham sure does, so....just sayin.

Jack Higginbotham is a corporate sales man. Of course, he is going to pitch SEs. Businesses are in business to make money.

You call an SE a PRS all you want, but at the end of the day, an SE is not built by PRS employees in a PRS-owned facility; therefore, it is not a true PRS guitar. An SE is a contract guitar. It is typical of Asian-built contact guitars today. The build quality, while decent quality, is inferior to that of a real PRS. Cort uses different processes and tooling than PRS (not to mention veneers over plain maple caps and multi-piece backs) . That is easy to see by viewing the PRS factory tour video alongside the Cort tour video.
 

CrimesAgainstMusic

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Well, since PRS is a small, privately held company we will probably never know what is true about its financials, but it would be interesting to see just how much the SE line contributes to the PRS "bottom line" ...

That without SE revenue, just how big would the MIM (Not Made in Mexico) part of the business be ? Could it support itself on the relatively low production numbers the Maryland plant can churn out ?.

And relative to Cort, which is larger ? As Cort makes instruments for many other firms all over Asia, could Cort buy PRS, and put them in a back corner warehouse ?

Without SE income, would PRS just be a small, boutique builder ?

Without having access to PRS's financials, I would dare say that these "counterfeit PRS " sales, makes the high end boutique stuff possible ...

But, without access to what is surely proprietary , closely controlled information, one can only speculate

BUT ... if it were as Em7 was saying, would PRS allow itself to be so cheapened by these sleazy imports, if they were not essential to supporting the elite small volume end of the business ?
 
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Draconomics

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Well, since PRS is a small, privately heldcompany we will probably never know what is true about is financials, but it would be interesting to see just how much the SE line contributes to the PRS "bottom line" ...

That without SE revenue, just how big would the MIM part of the business be ? Could it support itself on the relatively low production numbers the Maryland plant can churn out ?.

And relative to Cort, which is larger ? As Cort makes instruments for many other firms all over Asia, could Cort buy PRS, and put them in a back corner warehouse ?

Without SE income, would PRS just be a small, boutique builder ?

Without having access to PRS's financials, I would dare say that these "counterfeit PRS " sales, makes the high end boutique stuff possible ...

But, without access to what is surely proprietary , closely controlled information, one can only speculate

BUT ... if it were as Em7 was saying, would PRS allow itself to be so cheapened by these sleazy imports, if they were not essential to supporting the elite small volume end of the business ?
Alway heard here and there the SE line was actually their biggest seller. Not sure if thats concerning quantity or financially.

Btw, wanted to mention about blues playing. When I began learning I would watch Eric Johnson videos. I couldnt play his stuff, still cant, but learning about how the pentatonic/blues scale can be broken up into simple string skipped patterns that can be moved around the neck was revolutionary to me. He shows a way of soloing using those scales that makes them sound unconventional.
 
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CrimesAgainstMusic

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Old Man Mark ?

Sorry, but you originally asked about the cool place to take On Line Blues Lessons ...

I ... picked up on the fact that you had not yet bought a PRS guitar, so I suggested a few. Hey, If you want to spend $3,000 on your first PRS (actually I think Amurrican made S2's start around $1,600, like my S2 McCarty 594 Thinline) then have at it !

But this idea that the import lines (every maker has them in order to survive) are bad for music ... well :oops:

Here is some maybe researched market information from the New York Times that talks about where the market is heading.https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/08/style/guitar-sales-fender-gibson.html

I would bet, these folks accounting for giant market expansion (read $$$) are not buying $4,000.00 guitars ...

But in case it was lost , check out Marty Schwartz' Marty Music . I think they may be easier (maybe too rudimentary) than Fender Play which is mentioned in the article

But I'll look again ... but I did not see our lovey PRS mentioned in the article ...o_O
 

OldManMark

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Well... I am quite sure the I will never outgrow even the WORST guitar that PRS ever made themselves, or had made by a third party. No matter the model, the weakest link won't be the guitar :)

Every time I get frustrated playing my $125 Squier Bullet and catch myself thinking, "Man... if Only I had a better guitar than this. Then the world will see!!!" then I check out some random youtube video where some guy or gal is absolutely SHREDDING on a box-stock squier bullet.

Which is just kind of a long-winded way of saying that I am going to practice for a while first and worry about a new guitar later.
 

OldManMark

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As I have mentioned several times, I personally do not consider SEs to be real PRS guitars. SEs are built by Cort, not PRS. For 50% more, one can have a solid-color S2 594, which is a guitar that one will not outgrow. It is buy once, cry once purchased. An S2 will hold its value better than an SE because an S2 is a real PRS guitar.

Thanks for the input. I am sure the American-made guitars are "worth it" for the numerous players who are far more talented than I, but as Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick once said, "I can make ANY guitar sound bad!"

So for now, I am in a holding pattern on buying a guitar and will instead focus on lessons and improving my playing.

Btw, wanted to mention about blues playing. When I began learning I would watch Eric Johnson videos. I couldnt play his stuff, still cant, but learning about how the pentatonic/blues scale can be broken up into simple string skipped patterns that can be moved around the neck was revolutionary to me. He shows a way of soloing using those scales that makes them sound unconventional.

Thank you for the suggestion!!! Eric Johnson is a name I have heard many times but I am unfamiliar with his music, so I will have to go educate myself on him.

Anyone else that you might suggest? I know the Three Kings, Clapton, Hendrix, SRV, Joe Bonamossaidon'tknowhowtospellhislastnamepleaseforgiveme, Jeff Beck, and John Mayer, and that's about it. If someone has a unique take on the blues, then would love to know about them.

Old Man Mark ?

Sorry, but you originally asked about the cool place to take On Line Blues Lessons ...

But in case it was lost , check out Marty Schwartz' Marty Music . I think they may be easier (maybe too rudimentary) than Fender Play which is mentioned in the article

Thanks for the input. I have "learned" a few songs from his specific song tutorials. I will look for specific blues lessons from him. I haven't been to his site yet. Only know his work on youtube.
 

Draconomics

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Thank you for the suggestion!!! Eric Johnson is a name I have heard many times but I am unfamiliar with his music, so I will have to go educate myself on him.

Anyone else that you might suggest? I know the Three Kings, Clapton, Hendrix, SRV, Joe Bonamossaidon'tknowhowtospellhislastnamepleaseforgiveme, Jeff Beck, and John Mayer, and that's about it. If someone has a unique take on the blues, then would love to know about them.
Definitley look Eric up. His playing is incredible, but once he breaks it down youll see its actually based on very simple ideas. If you ever feel like youre stuck in the pentatonic box shapes, he shows you how to break out of them without doing anything crazy.

Another recommendation, Robin Trower. Im a huge fan of his. Slow as molasses, but fantastic touch and though not everything he does is blues, pretty much all of his solos are blues based.

Btw, for what its worth a PRS SE is a PRS, so if you ever buy one never feel like its some kind of imitation. Shoot, I drive a Jeep made with international parts from ten different factories. Still a Jeep. At my job I sell Traeger BBQs. American company, but since 2010 everything's from China. Still a Traeger.
 
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OldManMark

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Definitley look Eric up. His playing is incredible, but once he breaks it down youll see its actually based on very simple ideas. If you ever feel like youre stuck in the pentatonic box shapes, he shows you how to break out of them without doing anything crazy.

Another recommendation, Robin Trower. Im a huge fan of his. Slow as molasses, but fantastic touch and though not everything he does is blues, pretty much all of his solos are blues based.

Btw, for what its worth a PRS SE is a PRS, so if you ever buy one never feel like its some kind of imitation. Shoot, I drive a Jeep made with international parts from ten different factories. Still a Jeep. At my job I sell Traeger BBQs. American company, but since 2010 everything's from China. Still a Traeger.

Thanks for the note. Yeah, Robin Trower is a name from the past I am somewhat familiar with.

As an aside, just to give you an idea where my head is at now, I am not a big fan of SRV. in the limited examples I have seen online. I guess I like his SINGING better than his guitar playing (which may sound sacrilegious). As the musically ignorant Emperor Joeseph II said to Mozart in the movie Amadeus, "Too many notes." Different strokes for different folks I guess.
 

Draconomics

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Thanks for the note. Yeah, Robin Trower is a name from the past I am somewhat familiar with.

As an aside, just to give you an idea where my head is at now, I am not a big fan of SRV. in the limited examples I have seen online. I guess I like his SINGING better than his guitar playing (which may sound sacrilegious). As the musically ignorant Emperor Joeseph II said to Mozart in the movie Amadeus, "Too many notes." Different strokes for different folks I guess.
Right. I still like SRV, but what makes him special to me is the attitude. Most of his blues playing is limited to pentatonic boxes (the more jazz flavored ideas were pretty cool), but the grit he had made it special. Try listening to "Riviera Paradise". One of my faves of his.

Another cat you may enjoy is Roy Buchanan. He is sort of a country flavored blues player, but lots of clever ideas and attitude for miles.
 

alantig

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Robin Trower is still touring (pandemic times not included) and producing good music. I've seen his last few tours that came here, and I have tix to see him in April (as currently scheduled). The first time I saw him, I was very unfamiliar w/his back catalog (still am, really), but I went because I knew my buddy liked him. I think the show was close to two hours, I was never bored once.

Another newer player to check out is Christone "Kingfish" Ingram. A little more to the expanding/experimental side than straight traditional, but a phenomenal player.
 

OldManMark

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Right. I still like SRV, but what makes him special to me is the attitude. Most of his blues playing is limited to pentatonic boxes (the more jazz flavored ideas were pretty cool), but the grit he had made it special. Try listening to "Riviera Paradise". One of my faves of his.

Another cat you may enjoy is Roy Buchanan. He is sort of a country flavored blues player, but lots of clever ideas and attitude for miles.

Thanks for the tips about Riveria Paradise, and about Roy Buchanan. His is another name I remember from the past, but I guess I associated him as strictly country. I'll be sure to check out his work.

I think I understand what you are saying about SRV's grit. There are times when I listen to his playing, and he will throw out a quick lick that sounds GREAT, but then he almost immediately breaks in to a scale run right afterwards, where I think (my own personal taste only) he could have made more impact if he had sort of "rephrased" the lick. Anyway, not meaning to besmirch the man, just saying when I listen to him, that is one thing I lament.

Robin Trower is still touring (pandemic times not included) and producing good music. I've seen his last few tours that came here, and I have tix to see him in April (as currently scheduled). The first time I saw him, I was very unfamiliar w/his back catalog (still am, really), but I went because I knew my buddy liked him. I think the show was close to two hours, I was never bored once.

Another newer player to check out is Christone "Kingfish" Ingram. A little more to the expanding/experimental side than straight traditional, but a phenomenal player.

Thanks so much for the tips. Will definitely checkout "Kingfish" and look more in to Robin Trower.

Kirk Fletcher is another you can follow on Facebook, he’s an incredible guitar player and all around nice guy. He’s got plenty of lesson videos on FB and YouTube.


Thanks so much for the tip and video link. Just watched that video and right now, that is EXACTLY the type of blues phrasing I am looking to learn.

I will branch out more later, but right now, I really like Mr. Fletcher's style as shown in that video.
 
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