Styles: Blues

Blues is a particular passion of mine. I have an extensive collection of recordings and writings covering historic pre-war recordings through the electric blues boom stuff of the 60's & beyond into the modern era.

Listening is very much the key to this style, as the essence of the idiom is easily lost in the transcription process. Fortunately, recordings from the 1920's onwards are now readily available, so whether you favour the solo acoustic player or the electric guitar "hero" there are plenty of models to learn from. In addition to developing soloing skills, I would help you to explore the various riffs, licks & phrases that make up the musical language of these players.

If you are fairly new to the blues, try exploring chronologically backwards from the familiar, perhaps starting with modern bluesmen like Joe Bonamassa and Matt Schofield, Stevie Ray Vaughan, or 60's/70's stars like Clapton, Hendrix & Page. The first obvious stop might be the "three Kings": B.B., Albert, and (my particular favourite) Freddie. And do check out Muddy Waters, who provides a useful link from the electric to the acoustic era, preparing you for Robert Johnson, Charley Patton, Blind Willie McTell etc. It's worth exploring lesser known artists too: some of my favourite recordings from the pre-war era are by artists who only left a handful of sides!