Hello all, I was browsing your forum earlier and I was pleased with the small, tight knit community you have going with a strong sense of camaraderie and authentic responses/discussion.
In any case, I was wondering what some good recommendations some of you may have for materials/methods in learning the blues. Obviously John’s methods go without saying, and I have Blues You Can Use/Jazzin’ the Blues, and at some point I’ll be getting More Blues You Can Use.
Aside from those methodologies, though, I was wondering if there were any other useful books worth buying; obscure or otherwise. I have Peter Gelling’s Complete Learn to Play Blues compendium which I find to be a very strong and complementary work, and I’m aware he has dozens of other books but from what I understand they mostly contain the same material as the Complete Edition.
Post by grampalerxst on May 19, 2020 9:19:17 GMT -6
I like Keith Wyatt's books, Blues Rhythm Guitar, and Blues Guitar Soloing.
The former is physically challenging for someone relatively new to guitar--it's organized by style rather than starting with the easiest material and gradually increasing difficulty (i.e., progressive). Nothing super intricate or requiring blazing speed, but the techniques require some strength/endurance.
The latter is much more progressively organized, and the format is one I found pretty engaging.
I haven't worked all the way through either book yet, but intend to. I just seem to get distracted by an endless parade of shiny new guitar things.
The note being played at this moment *is* the song
Post by bluesbruce on May 19, 2020 16:56:49 GMT -6
Welcome, Seto! Always good to see a new member post on here. Blues Guitar Unleashed is another progressive type blues course that several of us have dabbled with. I like the Keith Wyatt Rhythm book, too, but it does not really work as a progressive lesson series. I don't have his soloing book. It sounds to me like you've got plenty of good material there. What you need to do is actually USE that material. Have you actually studied and gone all the way through Blues You Can Use? If not, I'd suggest to put all the other stuff aside and do so. Depending on where you're starting from, this may take you over a year. It will definitely improve your playing a lot to do this, but it is REALLY tough to do, as you'll be tempted repetitively by "an endless parade of shiny new guitar things" (as we all are!), or you'll see your interest and dedication wane (I fight this constantly myself). Good luck! If you are self-teaching, involvement in a forum like this can help to offer feedback, support, encouragement.
Thanks for both of those recommendations, I’m going to take a closer look at both of them! Rhythm is where a greater part of my interest lies at this stage, so that’ll probably be the first one I’ll look into.
Ahhh man, absolutely. It can be so easy to be distracted by the endless barrage of various music related things, whether that be new equipment, songs, bands and artists to check out, live shows to see, resources and lessons to learn from etc. I guess I’m just happy there is a lot of inspiration and learning to draw from, even if my focus takes a hit from time to time.
Awesome, thanks for the book recommendation Bruce, and additional input about the rhythm book, I appreciate your perspective and feedback.
I find that my focus is optimal when I have 2-4 resources to draw from at once. I have a fairly well structured “training regimen” that I have been utilizing to pretty good success over the past year and a half, success varying primarily as a matter of how much time/effort I’ve been making on a weekly basis and less due to an issue of focus. As for Blues You Can Use I’ve been using it as supplemental material this past month. I’ve managed to reach lesson 8 so far and I find it to be a very informative, precise workbook to use. I will try to leave bimonthly progress reports to share my journey with it going forward.
I guess I just find the “what’s on the horizon” mindset, imagining new blues books with new material helps me keep looking forward rather than feeling like I’m stuck somewhere. Even if I don’t plan to read or use the books for a while, I get excited by the idea of them hahaha
I have a pile of books next to my practice area, which drives my wife crazy. Right now it's Mickey Baker's Jazz book 1, Blues You Can Use, Blues Rhythms You Can Use, Blues Licks You Can Use, and Progressive Fingerpicking guitar. I tend to get bored and/or distracted so having a few things to capture my interest is paramount to me. I think you and I are right around the same lesson in the BYCU book. I've personally just picked up the last book in the John Ganapes Saga of guitar learning! I'm a big fan of the approach of learning something, and then applying it in a solo or etude. I'm about 1/2 way though the BYCU book but when i'm done, I'm going to jump to the Blues Rhythms You Can Use.
I've seen people say good things about Total Rock Guitar by Troy Stetina. It seems to use the same approach that John does with the learned piece of music. This is in my Amazon cart right now, which ill probably pick up this month.
Since you mentioned Jazzin' the Blues. If your interested in Jazz, then I would recommend a True Fire Course. This is something @phil recommended to me and it's spot on. It's a good introduction where you just learn 3 chord shapes and then Frank teaches you both the rhythm and leads of a hand full of jazz standards. It's a good easy way to get introduced to jazz and then see if it's something you want to pursue more.
Sounds like we both prefer to have a few different methods on the go! Some people might like to buckle down on just one at a time, and there’s certainly a lot of benefit to be said for that... I’ve just always found my interest remains engaged and more active/creative when I pair it with another few different methods. A structured practice routine is a useful anchor but sometimes following my whimsical nature of learning a new song or working on an older one im learning, or maybe even improvising/writing new music is what the moment really calls for. I try to balance that by feel/intuition just as often as I plan what I’m going to work on that session.
Sounds like your BYCU collection is really coming along. That’s awesome we’re at around the same point in the first book of the series, I look forward to hearing about your progress in the future. I actually only just ordered Jazzin’ the Blues a few weeks ago, it’s yet to arrive. I’m eagerly looking forward to taking a closer look at it soon
Thanks for the program recommendation, Marc. I have another Jazz book I bought about a year ago that I’m going to pair with Jazzin’ the Blues, right now I’m more concentrated in the arenas of Rock/Metal/Blues stylistically, in the fairly near future I will give Jazz a good first immersion. But until then it’s BYCU, Complete Learn to Play Blues and the Troy Stetina Rhythm/Lead series, funnily enough. In regards to Total Rock Guitar I would agree that it has a somewhat similar approach to BYCU, although I would say BYCU is a more effective method with the way it structures its lessons and gives advice for what to practice. Total Rock Guitar is still a great method though and easily worth anyone’s time. I would recommend Troys Metal Rhythm/Lead volumes ahead of Total Rock Guitar if you haven’t yet tried those, those volumes are incredibly well made, packed with a lot of information, exercises, music, theory, inspiration and very well paced.
Welcome lots a material, for learning specific songs I like the play along series, I started taking lessons though almost 2 years ago now,. Make lots of progress but I can never remember tunes, but I can tell i am progressing because its easier to learn things mostly.