Everything I say, or play, or teach is simply my take on the Blues. I don’t proffess to be anything other than I am. A guy who has always been fascinated by the Blues, it’s music, it’s people and it’s history.
There are a lot of great players out there who have attained a depth and proficiency I never will. I’m ok with it. I have always played for me. The Blues has always been a puzzle I’ll never solve.
I get more out of teaching someone something I’ve figured out than out of anything else, except for playing myself.
I always recommend you listen to the original to really get the feel for the song or the lick. Buy the discs and listen to them often just for the joy of listening.
I know there are a lot of people on youtube and elsewhere trying to making a living teaching guitar and kudos to them.
I will never charge for any lesson and don’t dis on them for doing so. I give lessons in my home for free too.
To me the Internet is about sharing information. And I love to share what little I know about playing the blues.
If I do make an Amazon suggestion on my videos it’s because I have that disc or book or DVD.
The most important thing is that you get something out of the lesson. If only one of you does then that’s good enough for me.
Open D is such a loud ringing and rich tuning to play in. I can never get enough of it. Once you learn beyond the 1-4-5 basics and some other chords be they minor or major you can site for hours just improvising and exploring open D. I just teach some basic chords and licks in this video for Open D Tuning.
There are so many different types of music that use open D tuning to great effect. In this video I go through all the basics to get up and running and composing quickly, because composing has to be one of the funnest things to do in this tuning.
Remember in the beginning if you are a beginner that it takes time and practice. It all sounds mechanical in the beginning for anyone just starting out.
Just keep banging away at it. If you love Blues stuff then give “Blind Willie Johnson” a listen. His voice was really gravely and some people don’t like it but his slide playing in open D was really spooky sounding. He probably had the best vibrato in this tuning I ever heard.
This next 40 min lesson is on some of the commonly used licks and chords used by Charlie Patton, Son House and Robert Johnson. I think it’s important to learn them your own way.
I understand that some people want to learn a particular song or lick exactly the way it was played by a certain person at a certain point in time. I get it, I really do.
Here’s the problem for me. I’ve done that. Being the improviser I am I have twisted and rearranged so many of these songs and licks over the years that at times I would have to go back to the record and relearn it.
In my blues journey I finally y came to the conclusion…..and as a result of watching these guys on concert videos… that it doesn’t matter. They usually played that lick or phrase or song that way once and it got caught on recording and so everyone emulates it.
No two Blues guys ever sounded the same. There were echoes of each others music back and forth and through out all of their recordings but that’s it.
The Blues is a living changing and growing thing. It’s still evolving to this day and has long left the Delta and spread out into the world.
Learn where the old guys played, learn their songs, but don’t be rigid. Throw some of “you ” in there as well. A lot of “you!”I recommend the below disc because I have it and listening to it over and over again can really help you with the feel of the music. A bonus to listening to these discs is the fact you have the added dimension of being able to play in their style.
Playing slide guitar in standard tuning is difficult. Because you’re not in an open tuning the overtones sound terrible if you’re not damping properly.
In open tuning you can have overtones ringing and they’re in tune because the guitar is tuned to a chord.
The important thing is not to get discouraged. It sounds like crap in the beginning for everyone. When someone has been playing slide/bottleneck in standard tuning for years it looks and sounds easy. It’s not.
I started playing slide/bottleneck in open tunings and it wasn’t until I was at a friends gig and hear him playing in the key of G in standard tuning that I really got interested in it.
One of the many benefits of playing slide/bottleneck in standard tuning is you don’t have to re-tune the guitar. You can just improvise on the fly. It takes some practice but once you get the damping and intonation down the fretboard is wide open.
The Video advertised above mine is one I own and recommend because it shows the old guys playing. Because they are all gone now we can’t see them in concert. This is the next best thing.