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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 10-31-2007, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Blues For Beginners?

Hi Folks,

I've been playing for about 2 years now, and have focused on the melodic rock/metal side of things. I recently bought a Peavey Valve-King and a Boss Blues Driver. I plan on get into bit of the gritty blues-rock like some of the easier Satriani (or simplified by me...lol) tunes, but I would like to try something COMPLETELY of the rock "field". Some completely fresh. For example, I'm thinking of those old-time blues players in smokey bars down in New Orleans (before the flood), and what they play. Preferably songs in a minor key. I haven't really listened to any of that stuff before, since I don't have any in my music collection. I don't know where to start. I need to be pointed in the right direction.

In terms of my playing ability, or lack thereof (for now), here is what I have accomplished so far:

-simple guitar solos (Hysteria-era Leppard, You Love A Bad Name-Bon Jovi)
-fast powerchord changes (Maiden...e.g. the verse of Ace's High)
-non-diatonic powerchord changes and melodies (Sabbath)
-melodies/harmonies (particulary 80's Maiden)
-pedal riffs
-a few non-powerchord diads like M3, P4, b5, M/m6 on rare occasions
-arpeggiated chords like the verse to Def Leppard's Hysteria and Black Sabbath's Planet Caravan

I am weak (read: can't do) on full-throttle traditional solos, triads, barre-chords, suspended/extended chords.

I hope that I've indicated what I can/can't do adequately so that recommendations can be formulated. Lastly, I usually download my tabs in Powertab format from the Ultimate Guitar website.

Does anyone have any recommendations for me?


Thanks in advance. Cheers.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-01-2007, 01:50 AM
 
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Re: Blues For Beginners?

you might want to check out some basic blues stuff, then branch from there, as lot has to do with fell, tone, mood and improvisation based on the scales.

check this site:
http://www.blueslessons.net/

however you should also look into get some music in this style to practice with SRV, The Blasters, the King Bees and other styles as it a whole new world.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-01-2007, 01:24 PM
 
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Re: Blues For Beginners?

Blues You Can Use by John Ganapes is a great book for diving into blues. And to learn some blues standards, get the two blues Guitar Play-Along books/CDs, volumes 7 and 38.

I was in the same boat as you, except playing for a lot longer, being a hard rock/metal player but not really knowing the blues. These helped me a lot! Plus, I picked up CDs by all these guys I had heard OF but not actually heard - BB and Albert King, Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, etc. Great stuff!
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-01-2007, 01:27 PM
 
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Re: Blues For Beginners?

I learned to play guitar through playing the blues, definitely some great stuff. I would just go ahead and do what the other guys above me have said- just get a book of blues standards and start playing!
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-01-2007, 01:47 PM
 
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Re: Blues For Beginners?

Learn all 5 shapes of your pentatonics and where the b5 (blues note) is in each shape. Then use the proper shape over the proper chord (matching root of chord changes).

The blues is a great place to work things out as it is the root of so many styles in modern music and the stuff you learn can be applied in so many places.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-01-2007, 08:42 PM
 
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Re: Blues For Beginners?

Hmm... from what it seems, you're taking blues from WAAAAAAAAAAY too much of a classical, notated approach. Blues is what I started on, and that's why I had a lot of trouble applying theory to guitar (I get it b/c I'm a clarinet player, but guitar's a whole different story...).

When playing blues, it's not about notation. A LOT of the greatest blues players had no clue on how to read music, and even a lot of modern-day blues players still can't read music. It's a very different genre.

Learn your pentatonic blues scale (in terms of notation, root, minor 3rd, major 4th, diminished 5th, major 5th, flat 7th, octave; there's a lot of sites out there with tab to help you with that scale). Once you learn that scale, you just have to improvise; a LARGE portion of my soloing is based solely on this scale; no modes, no klesmyr scales, no jazz scales, no classical scales. It's amazing how far this scale will actually take you. I'm pretty sure this scale is the ONLY one Hendrix used for soloing.

A good place to start in terms of listening is: Jimi Hendrix (funny, but he does have a LOT of blues, especially his later stuff), Stevie Ray Vaughan, Robert Johnson (the master), Eric Clapton/Cream... you get the idea. These are just generic names, I'm not sure if you want to go REAL deep blues, if you can I've got a few artists.

PM me if there's something I haven't covered.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-01-2007, 09:11 PM
 
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Re: Blues For Beginners?

Listen to Buddy Guy, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Muddy Waters, Elmore James, The Alman Bros band (particularly the filmore east album) Robin Trower, early Led Zeppelin, Jeff Becks Truth album, T-bone Walker. There's lot's more out there. Learn your blues scale front and back. It's only a 6 note scale (counting the flat 5) but if you play those notes like you mean it, you'll get a lot out of them.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-01-2007, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Blues For Beginners?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CityofBlindingLights View Post
Hmm... from what it seems, you're taking blues from WAAAAAAAAAAY too much of a classical, notated approach. Blues is what I started on, and that's why I had a lot of trouble applying theory to guitar (I get it b/c I'm a clarinet player, but guitar's a whole different story...).

When playing blues, it's not about notation. A LOT of the greatest blues players had no clue on how to read music, and even a lot of modern-day blues players still can't read music. It's a very different genre.

Learn your pentatonic blues scale (in terms of notation, root, minor 3rd, major 4th, diminished 5th, major 5th, flat 7th, octave; there's a lot of sites out there with tab to help you with that scale). Once you learn that scale, you just have to improvise; a LARGE portion of my soloing is based solely on this scale; no modes, no klesmyr scales, no jazz scales, no classical scales. It's amazing how far this scale will actually take you. I'm pretty sure this scale is the ONLY one Hendrix used for soloing.

A good place to start in terms of listening is: Jimi Hendrix (funny, but he does have a LOT of blues, especially his later stuff), Stevie Ray Vaughan, Robert Johnson (the master), Eric Clapton/Cream... you get the idea. These are just generic names, I'm not sure if you want to go REAL deep blues, if you can I've got a few artists.

PM me if there's something I haven't covered.
Wow....that's pretty thorough.

As you guessed, my approach is a classical music theory background. Even though my guitar playing isn't overly technical and/or theoritical, I been composing ambient/film-score/orchestral-type music on my Roland XP-60 synth (which has a 16-track recording facility) for the past 15 years, and have taken several classical music-theory courses at university. That's just the way my brain works.

As much as I love slick-processed-technical music, I want to do a 180-turn.....the more obscure (the REAL deep blues you are hinting at) the better.
I'm not looking to compose/create blues music, but just to cover a few players and do something different. In the long run, I don't see myself being a speed merchant....the focus is going to be a melody and feeling.


Thanks
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 11-01-2007, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: Blues For Beginners?

Thank-you to everybody who responded....it's going to provide an excellent starting point for me.


Cheers
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Tags
def leppard , eric clapton , guitar playing , jeff beck , jimi hendrix , ray vaughan , robert johnson , stevie ray , stevie ray vaughan

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