Billy Gibbons said, “you can’t lose with the blues”. And in Guitar International’s interview with guitar legend George Benson, George talks about how his early boss, Brother Jack McDuff, instructed him to “put some blues in” because no matter where you are in the world, if you play blues, people understand it.
Foggy Bottom Break Down is an etude from a few years back. I wrote it for my students to help develop left hand strength and independence. The discipline is maintaining the bass line on strings 5 and 6. Including double stops, rapid changes between finger groupings, and some decent stretches too.
The Lydian dominant scale is a very common scale used in jazz and fusion music, and has a very unique, easy to recognize character, which characterizes a lot of fusion players, such as Allan Holdsworth and Frank Gambale.
In this guitar lesson I’d like to introduce a picking method I use to perform rapid scalar runs on the classical guitar, in the fashion of John Mclaughlin and Al Di Meola acoustic works.
When we think of blues guitar, it’s often a blues from the delta in the key of E that comes to mind, the bending and whining high notes punctuated by the constant driving bass rhythm of the picking thumb.
This exercise is based on a jazz standard written in 1939 by Oscar Hammerstein and Jerome Kern called “All The Things You Are.” I’ve singled out the chord changes, without melody, and stocked them with various melodic arpeggio patterns using all the CAGED chord shapes.
To start off this short study of the use of dropped D tuning in acoustic blues guitar picking, I play a short interpretation of Blind Willie McTell’s.
I start this session with a short excerpt of a blues played in A in the style of Robert Johnson. This song is played using a monotonic bass technique and the sound is muted heavily with the palm of the picking hand after each strike.
The newbie acoustic blues guitarist is faced with several choices when deciding to learn how to pick the blues in the old style.
As the first in a series of guitar instructional videos I’ll be presenting at Guitar International, I thought I’d start out with a video with about the classic Big Bill Broonzy song ‘Hey Hey’, in which I attempt to copy that swinging Chicago acoustic blues sound that he developed.