While the weather's bad and the nights short.... there is no better time to hunker down and learn to play this soulful, creative and yet simple form of music. Following on from the success of my autumn and winter jazz courses, this blues course follows a similar format.
You can start as a complete beginner, or with a range of experience, the course will be tailored to you. The real focus is to improve your playing through a blues pathway while learning some great songs. Simple!
Learn to play the Blues through learning songs and instrumentals!
Together we'll sit down and tailor-make a 12 week course for you, to move you from where you are in your playing now, to where you'd like to be in 3 months time.
The 12 week course will contain between 6 and 8 tunes to learn, each one negotiated between us to work out which tunes will suit you best to develop your playing style. This could be electric guitar, acoustic guitar, slide guitar: covering Delta Blues, Chicago Blues, Country Blues, Folk Blues, it's your call! Each week you'll study your tunes, work through the chords, the tune, the rhythm and organise your approaches for playing solos, introductions, turnarounds, outros and endings.
The tunes we select together will include those played regularly at jams sessions, including classic tunes such as Baby Please Don't Go, Dust My Blues, Further On Up The Road, Killing Floor, Phone Booth, Stormy Monday, Spoonful, Roadhouse Blues, Sweet Home Chicago, Catfish Blues, and many more. At the end of the 12 weeks you'll know the tunes inside out, along with different rhythmic styles, and great licks and lines you can use to take solos on them.
The course includes a free 1 hour introductory lesson to evaluate your starting points in technique, and experience, so we can hit the ground running the day you start your first proper lesson.
Build good practice habits for great progress
An Introductory Lesson (free) - will cover an assessment of your current technique, level of understanding and preferred learning styles. Along with discussions on what targets we set, likely practice plans and useful listening list.
The course will fall broadly into 3 areas:
Foundations - Weeks 1 - 4: typically this will include: getting your ears in gear and fingers moving efficiently around the fretboard, so you play what you want to, and what you hear, not what your fingers are limited to. Chord patterns for your tunes, the two main blues scales, double stops, blues fingerings, licks and phrasing along with the rhythm and vamping patterns that all apply to the tunes you have selected to work on. In short, building your musical scaffold. This stage also includes some visualisation and memory techniques for quicker learning of songs, licks, fingerings, rhythm patterns etc.
Build your hearing skills with musical games
Phrasing, fretboard mapping; getting a clear and simple understanding of how things really work on your fretboard. How to use the phrases you've learnt and make them your own. Fun music exercises and games that you can also use instantly into your playing. Building your rhythm and timing skills. Fun music hearing exercises - tap into the 'musical ear you didn't know you had' to make huge leaps in your playing. All of this while working on your next set of tunes.
Consolidating - Weeks 9 - 12: Building your blues vocabulary. Turning the scales, chord tones into definable licks and phrasing. Common licks used with different chord changes, how to adapt licks to fit lots of playing situations. Rhythm comping and filling out between phrases as part of your playing style. More on rhythm - getting in the groove with a great feel for the backbeat, swing, funk and gospel influences. And applying all of this to your final set of chosen tunes.
To get started simply use the contact form to the right of this page, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Fees for the course are the same as my standard rates; info on the Lessons page.