Here's the intro to Mississippi Fred McDowell's 'Gravel Road Blues' a lovely little song based on a very simple blues lick, the whole thing is built around the minor 3rd and the flat 7.. playing on that minor / major tonality in the blues. Have a listen to his version! Such a wonderful groove which really swings and pulls its weight from beat 1 onwards. Its in open G tuning with the capo on the 1st fret.
Here are the opening 4 bars to Willie Brown's master piece 'Mississippi Blues' - recorded on the LSF-59 library of congress LP. The intro features these great chord inversions and a lovely descending bass line make sure you check out the rest of the song as its got some great alternating bass and contrapuntal guitar lines.
Here is a great little outro lick to get round your fingers! Its taken from Willie Brown's masterpiece 'Ragged and Dirty' which can be found on the Library of Congress record LSF-59. If you want to play along to the record make sure you stick the capo on the 7th fret. Its got some great stuff in that song that I'm still getting my head around so no doubt we'll probably revisit this one later in the year!
This week I decided to look at arguably Robert Johnsons most famous song - Kind Hearted Woman Blues. I love the changes between the Dom7, Dim7 and Min6 all derived from one simple chord shape. These chord changes have become pretty much synonymous with blues guitar and are a must to learn for any budding blues guitarists! Have fun!
This awesome little lick comes from the intro of 'Terraplane Blues' - one of Robert Johnsons' big hits selling 5000 copies when it was first released. Its a great song littered with lots of sexual innuendo and metaphor about his car not working properly anymore. I expect he used to play it with a slide in open A tuning E A E A C# E with a capo on the 2nd fret, but I'm playing it in standard with a capo on the 3rd fret. This is mainly because I suck at slide and altereed tunings!
For this weeks #DeltaBluesMonday I've looked at the into to 'From Four Until Late' by Robert Johnson. It was made famous by Eric Clapton and is a great example of Robert Johnson playing around with the blues. The harmonic movement from C7 - F/A - Fm/Ab - G7 is very reminiscent of rag time guitarists like Blind Blake, Big Bill Broonzy or Lonnie Johnson. Make sure you listen to the original to get an idea of the swing and groove in the the 4th measure.
This intro to 'Sweet Home Chicago' contains all of the classic Robert Johnson turnaround patterns. It moves between the I-IV-I-V chord changes in the two measure phrase and uses that classic shuffle rhythm. I love the chord voicing for the B7 chord too - the 5th in the bass really adds a lot of dirt to the chord. Check out Robert Johnsons 'Sweet Home Chicago' here: https://youtu.be/O8hqGu-leFc
This week I've decided to amalgamate a bunch of licks from the fingers of Ishman Bracey into a 12 bar blues. This is like a short hand version of what he plays for the song 'Saturday Blues'. I love the way it moves between swung and straight and is really heavy on the downbeat.
This slinky little lick comes from the amazing fingers of Son House from his 1930's recording of 'Dry Spell Blues'. Due to my woeful lack of skill in the slide department I've attempted to arrange his lick to work in Standard tuning with a capo on the 1st fret. He plays it in open G tuning (DGDGBD) with a capo on the 3rd I expect. Anyway, check out his version and play along!
This lovely little lick comes from the amazing fingers of Robert Johnson. Its the intro lick to 'Phonograph Blues (Take 1)' - its a lovely song that really hasn't recieved the amount of attention it deserves I think mainly because of its similarity to 'Kind Hearted Woman Blues' which is by far the one of the most well known blues' in his repertoire. Anyway if you want to play along with him don't forget to put the capo on fret 2! I hope you enjoy it!
This lick is based on barre chord shapes so you can move it around the guitar neck with relative ease - very useful to memorise so you can play it in multiple keys. The phrase built around the D7 chord makes a good finger strengthening exercise for your little pinky too! Have fun!
It’s #deltabluesmonday time! Grab your guitar and crack on with this beauty! This is a lovely lick that uses a triplet rhythm to give it a nice skip in measure 3 (watch out for the timing!) I also love the B7#9 sound in the opening; very Hendrix-y.
Get out your guitar guys and learn a great lick all the way up in the dusty end! Great fun to play once you get the timing sorted. I love the way it switches between swung quavers, straight semi-quavers and triplets. Have fun!
Its that time of the week again when I tell you all to get out your guitar and spank the plank. This weeks #DeltaBluesMonday features all of those lovely colour tones b3, 3, 4, b5 and b7 but it also shows how you can use one idea to cover 4 bars. Less is definitely more! I think its always good to play something twice if it sounds good and it can be really interesting hearing how the functionality of the intervals change with the chords.
This lick makes full use of the colour tones! The b3, b7, b9 and the 11th are all used over these 4 measures. I also like how it moves into the upper register of the guitar - good to get moving up the dusty end! Try coupling this with lick #5.
Here's a great line that uses the b9 of the D7 chord - jazzy but still very much in the Delta blues vibe. Take care with the rhythm of the bass, its very easy to slip into playing on the beat and not the swung 8ths.
I love this lick because of its use of the b5 - the devils interval! This particular interval was banned from being used in churches in the mediaeval times apparently. I happen to love the sound of it and its all over this lick either as a passing note on the opening phrase or as a cheeky hammer on in the second phrase. Enjoy! Get the FREE FREE TAB / SCORE
Its Monday! So that means its that time again to learn a new blues lick. Grab your guitar and check out Delta Blues Mondays #9.
This one is a proper groovy little thing. Great to play over 2 bars of A7 and E7. I love this lick because its got that bluesy hammer on/pull off thing going on and then switches between straight 16ths and swung 8ths which really gives it an edgy feel. Hope you like it!
Here's a little something different. We've been doing 4 bars of a dominant 7 chord for about 7 weeks now, so I thought we could look at the next four measures of a 12 bar blues, so here is 2 bars of A7 and 2 bars of E7. I like this lick because of its simplicity more than anything; you can get a lot out of simple ideas. This is effectively the same lick on the first two measures but playing with different rhythms.
Its #DeltaBluesMonday time! I've kept this up for 7 weeks so far, hope you guys are digging it. Free TAB and score below! This one has a bit of an extension in the TAB / Score where you get to learn this lick in 5 positions (you lucky things) using the CAGED principle! Let me know what you think!