Looking for a great blues book

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Kappie
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Looking for a great blues book

Post by Kappie » April 13th, 2010, 1:10 am

Hey Guitarnoise

Last week I borrowed Micky Baker's Jazz Guitar book from a friend, he told me it would do me good. And it did. I browsed through it, and the simplicity, the straight to the point tasks you are given really gave me energy to practice lots and lots, because it gave me the idea that it was the way to go, the path to follow.

For those that don't know, the first page is 26 chords, most of which I didn't know, and he instructs you to dedicate a week to those chords before even starting. He also tells you to dedicate a week's time to most lessons, that could include playing a little chord progression in all keys, transposing some chord progressions, learning 'old' and newer jazzy chord progressions. In short, not a very complicated task each time, though (I believe) very effective.

I'm not very into jazz though, but I am willing to spend a hell of a lot of time with blues, but just need the way to go. Does anyone know a specific book I can buy, that has the same simplicity, the same pragmatic view on learning, but focuses on blues? All I can find are books that claim to teach you how to master the blues guitar, while they would include one page of turnarounds, 2 pages on chord and rhythm, and for the rest only a lot of specific artist-inspired songs (for example a "BB King" style song), that don't leave much room for improvisation and aren't very pragmatic.

I have searched the internet as well, but since I can't really judge a book by some preview pages only, and all those books I saw had that "commercial" vibe ("Impress with Blues Guitar"), I turned to here.

I am looking forward to your replies!

Thanks,

Kappie

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Re: Looking for a great blues book

Post by old lefty » April 13th, 2010, 1:30 am

I've looked at quite a few online......if you go to Amazon you can look at customer reviews for blues books and that can be very helpful. Using that method led me to Hal Leonard's Blues Guitar by Greg Koch. It has a little bit of everything and about 20 blues songs in it. I don't know if this is a large enough song book to satisfy you, but to me it's a well rounded introduction to the blues. It's also a bit of a challenge for a beginner like me as it's geared toward the intermediate player but hey, that's what makes it fun. Good luck with your search.

Brian

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Re: Looking for a great blues book

Post by rparker » April 13th, 2010, 3:58 am

Not sure if either fit the bill....

I started using a book a year or two ago called "Blues You Can Use", by Ganapes. I only got a few chapters in before something diverted my attention. I've been meaning to get back to it. This book isn't laid out like the Jazz book you describe, but it is laid out in a chapter format that shows you one common technique or skill. I have it out now and will probably hop back on it soon.

There is one other book that I used that showed some very basics of Blues. It's probably been 5 years or so. Blues for the Absolute Beginner, or something to that effect. I can't find that book right now. It's really basic, so you probably might not want that one.
Roy

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RoundI
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Re: Looking for a great blues book

Post by RoundI » April 13th, 2010, 5:08 am

I have a few blues books, The Hal Leonard one already mentioned, the Blues You Can Use and one by David Hamburger called Beginner Blues (I think).

Just about everybody raves about the Blues You Can Use and I think it is probably the best of the three. I really enjoyed David Hamburgers book as well though. The Hal Leonard one has a lot of classic Blues songs in it at the beginning that you can jump right into "Love in Vain" is a great song to learn. You can then slap a capo on th 3rd fret and play along with the Stones Version (my personal favorite version of that song).

The Blue you can use does a great job of introducing you to the Pentatonic Scale and its 5 positions which is well worth learning and for this I think it is the best book. But all three of these books are worthwhile. They all come with CD's too.

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Re: Looking for a great blues book

Post by rparker » April 13th, 2010, 5:18 am

RoundI wrote:......with the Stones Version (my personal favorite version of that song).
Yeah, man! Good stuff there. There are two versions (at least) that the Stones did on 'albums'. I like the version on the Stripped album from '95. I am normally a purist, but.....

RoundI wrote:and one by David Hamburger called Beginner Blues (I think).
That's the one I have, but couldn't locate earlier this morning. Really starts right off at the beginning, IIRC.
Roy

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

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Re: Looking for a great blues book

Post by Scrybe » April 13th, 2010, 7:24 am

The problem with Blues books (I don't own any) is that the genre is pretty much defined by it's artists. Unlike jazz, where you have whole periods of music that can be fairly accurately split up (bebop, modal, cool, etc), the difference between two blues tunes is quite often down to the stylings of each player.

The best thing I found for learning the blues is to listen to as many records as you can, and transcribe the solos, licks, and riffs you like in each one. Then figure out why it sounds god on the record (e.g. is it a lick to play over the turnaround? or on the first chord?)

I just wish somebody would pay me to write a blues book. It's about the only thing I'm actually qualified to do...besides politics, of course. :roll:
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Kappie
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Re: Looking for a great blues book

Post by Kappie » April 13th, 2010, 8:30 am

Well thanks guys. So far those books aren't exactly what I'm looking for, but maybe I'll buy one of them.

On what scrybe said; I already transribe licks frequently, what do you advise for rhythm parts? I'm very interested in that, but those are a lot harder to hear on records, and transcribe even harder.

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Re: Looking for a great blues book

Post by bobblehat » April 13th, 2010, 10:53 am

Blues you can use is excellent.Really easy to follow and makes learning enjoyable.You get staight to the good stuff without wading through chapters of theory.Thats in there as well if you want it.

bob
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Re: Looking for a great blues book

Post by Scrybe » April 13th, 2010, 11:38 am

Kappie wrote:Well thanks guys. So far those books aren't exactly what I'm looking for, but maybe I'll buy one of them.

On what scrybe said; I already transribe licks frequently, what do you advise for rhythm parts? I'm very interested in that, but those are a lot harder to hear on records, and transcribe even harder.
The main thing is to get the rhythm down - there's a few rhythms that show up time and again with small variations in the actual pattern, so you can do fine with just copping the general outline and ad-libbing from there. The 12/8 shuffle is a key one to learn, I'd expect any blues book to have that in it. Another key thing is to approach the 4 chord from one step above. So, a blues in A would go....

A7- A7- A7- A7-
D7- D7- A7- A7-
E7- D7- A7- E7-

Between the last A7 of the first line and the D7 starting the second line, throw in an Eb7 and slide down into the D7 from there. Another trick frequently used is to slide into the 7th chord from one step (one fret) below. You can do this second trick on all the chords in a 12 bar.

If I can find the time in the next few weeks, I'll notate a few key blues rhythm parts and send them to you. PM me about it in a week or so to remind me. Once you try them out, you'll spot them on record after record, they're so well used.

Remember, a lot of blues guys often didn't play with a keys player or second guitarist on a regular basis, so they'd stop playing while singing and just play lead fills between their lines (e.g. BB King and SRV both do this extensively) - aint nuthin' wrong with that. And it can be a great entry-point to soloing, too, as you'll be developing licks but don't have to worry too much about playing lead for an extended period of time.

Oh, the other well-used trick is to harmonise a line in 6ths. If you check the Theory section of the forums, there's a thread or two on 6ths in there where I explained a fair bit about it quite recently. 6ths get used heavily in blues and soul music.

I have a few really cool blues licks. And I have been meaning to notate my own material on a regular basis for practice so, if I pull my finger out on it all, I'll jot those down for you as well.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Looking for a great blues book

Post by Gotdablues » April 13th, 2010, 3:12 pm

What has helped me Immensely is a slow down program, like amazing slowdowner. Where i can be sure to identify
the notes Exactly, and a special note for the blues you want to pick notes the player is bending, and try bending
along with, trying to do it as exact as possible. Sounds like a pain in the behind and all but, slow it down try it.

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tinsmith
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Re: Looking for a great blues book

Post by tinsmith » April 13th, 2010, 3:44 pm

I use that program.....I got ta have it..

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Re: Looking for a great blues book

Post by rparker » April 13th, 2010, 4:27 pm

What's the software you use? Someone was asking me a few weeks back if I knew of one. I know only of Audacity and a user effect.

You can adjust pace of a song in either Power Tab or Guitar Pro, but that's user community "composed" stuff. Some is good, some isn't. If it's a good file, it's a great tool to watching and learning. You can see what is supposed to be played, and what exactly a particular phrase looks like on paper and sounds like in song.
Roy

"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin

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Re: Looking for a great blues book

Post by bandit_matt » April 13th, 2010, 5:05 pm

BestPractice is another piece of software that I like to use; you can slow down and/or adjust pitch, set a song to loop certain parts, etc.

I wrote a piece of software like this in school; is was really hard and definitely didn't have near the features BestPractice does!
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Scrybe
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Re: Looking for a great blues book

Post by Scrybe » April 13th, 2010, 6:13 pm

Transcribe is the programme most people I know use for slowing down and looping phrases.
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RoundI
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Re: Looking for a great blues book

Post by RoundI » April 14th, 2010, 3:37 am

I use Amazing Slow Downer & I really like it. It is cheap and easy to use. It also plays itunes format directly (maybe they all do that) which makes life a little easier.

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