Posts Tagged ‘Free guitar lessons’

Charley Patton the Founder of the Delta Blues- The Legend Lives On

Posted by aguitarlesson on 20th May 2010 in Blues Guitar Lessons

By Bruce Lamb


Though he used to write his name as Charlie Patton, yet popularly called Charley, is considered as the father and proponent of the American Delta Blues genre of music. This style is one of the oldest renditions of blues style of music and hence it made Charley Patton as one of the oldest known figures of American Popular Music. Said to be been born in the year 1887 and have died in 1934, Charlie Patton is still considered one of the most influential figures of American music.

Charley and the Early Years of Delta Blues: The Origin of the Genre

Charlie Patton was born in Hinds County, Mississippi and had passed most of his life in the Mississippi Delta. He did most of his work on Delta Blues style from here and for that reason this style was also known as the Mississippi Delta Blues style of music. Most of that area was covered with extremely fertile land, yet poverty was rampant. The socio-economic condition became the soul of this genre. The cigar box guitar, guitar and harmonica formed the base for this genre’s music.

The Unique style that separated it from other country blues: The Differentiating Factor

Although there was not much of a subsequent rhythmic difference between Charlie Patton’s style and other country blues to have originated at the same time. Most of the areas had the same cultural background, yet Mississippi Delta Blues stood out because of its harmonic structure and theme that talked exhaustively about travelling musicians’ life, sexuality and life the delta.  Women also had a part in this style, but only a few made names for themselves. Read the rest of this entry »

Muddy Waters-The Houchie Coochie Man

Posted by aguitarlesson on 25th April 2010 in Free guitar lessons

By Bruce Lamb

McKinley Morganfield, born on April 4, 1913 and died on April 30, 1983, more popularly known among his fans as Muddy Waters, was a reputed musician of the American blues genre. Muddy Waters was generally acknowledged as “the Father of Chicago blues”.

Muddy Waters debuted on harmonica but by the age of 17 had started playing the guitar at a number of parties where he emulated two very reputed blues artists Robert Johnson and Son House. Qualities for which he got instantly noticed were his rich baritone, his ability to add dark coloration to his tone and his wonderful ability to add a lot of embellishments to the music he played.

The real success phase for Muddy Waters the Original Huochie Coochie Man began with an association with the Chess brothers Phill and Leonard Chess who had formed a music group known as Aristocrat.

In the year 1948, his music on “I Feel Like Going Home” and “I Can’t Be Satisfied” were huge hits and that was the point in time when he began to climb the popularity charts in the clubs. After this, soon, Aristocrat rebranded their name to Chess Records and instantly, Muddy Waters the Original Huochie Coochie Man’s signature tune which happened to be “Rollin’ Stone” became a huge hit among its fans.

By the time September 1953 arrived, Muddy Waters the Original Huochie Coochie Man had started recording in association with one of the more acknowledged blues groups ever in history: This group comprised Elga Edmonds who played on drums, Otis Spann who played on piano, Little Walter Jacobs who played on harmonica; and lastly, Jimmy Rogers who strummed the guitar. Read the rest of this entry »

Robert Johnson The King Of The Delta Blues Singers

Posted by aguitarlesson on 11th April 2010 in Learn to Play Guitar for Beginners

The complete recordings of Robert Johnson ranks as the most essential of all blues cds because it contains the greatest blues ever recorded. Without question Robert Johnson has been the most fascinating and revered artist in the music’s hundred year history. He isn’t just “King of the Delta Blues Singers” the title of the early sixties LPs on which these songs were first reissued. Johnson’s music was originally released as 78′s in the late 1930′s. Robert Johnson is King of the Blues Period.
When American music historians converse. Johnson’s name will be mentioned in the same sentence as the names Louis Armstrong, Jimmie Rodgers, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Woody Guthrie, Hanks Williams, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, and twentieth-century music masters whose work has helped define the scope and breadth of these giants ultimately leads to a better understanding of the American music tradition. A good place to start is with Robert Johnson.
  Read the rest of this entry »

Trying To Make It In Music May Depend On What You Choose as Your Instrument

Posted by aguitarlesson on 16th November 2009 in Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar

By Bruce Lamb

With the diversification of instruments and musical styles, it stands to reason that there are an equally diverse amount of possible gigs. What instrument you play may limit your success. Some of the more basic ones will be covered here but do not limit your horizons by not trying out other avenues that may present themselves. I will mention several types of instruments in the following article. If any are unfamiliar to you, may I suggest a trip to your local library where taped samples of the various styles and sounds may be observed.

The Guitar is now possibly one of the more requested and versatile instruments that can play so many types and styles of music. Most commonly used in restaurants, cocktail lounges, parties, one-man-shows, and any type of show where the guitarist also is required to sing, such as a coffee shop. Sometimes they may have an electronic drummer and possibly bass pedals for rhythm. Happy hour gigs will sometimes use a guitarist, but more commonly it is a keyboard artist.

Playing keyboard is probably one of the most versatile instruments around, since it will fit in to most musical styles and arrangements.

Finding solo gigs such as small parties, cocktail lounges, waiting areas, restaurants, receptions, churches, studio recording, classical, ragtime, jazz, airports, backup for singers is a good place to get started.

Joining or accompanying another musical act or being part of a trio for another group of singers in any style is a joy.

It is not uncommon to have two keyboard artists playing in the same group. While one plays piano, the other may simulate a variety of other woodwinds, brass, flute, stringed instruments or special sound effects. Most times the player will be coordinating the arrangements as the group is playing, all without the use of a musical chart. Keyboard players are the most versatile musicians in the industry, so they have a lot more opportunities to work and are a valuable source of referrals and recommendations for bookings.

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Must Hear Finger Style Guitar Player Mary Flower

Posted by aguitarlesson on 6th November 2009 in Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar, Learn to Play Guitar for Beginners

By Bruce Lamb

I have had the amazing pleasure of taking guitar lessons on finger style guitar blues and ragtime, lap style and Slide Guitar lessons from one of the best teachers out there and her name is Mary Flower. I have also had the pleasure of producing three DVD’s for her in their different styles of guitar mastery.

I first met Mary Flower at the guitar seminars work shop that was run by two other astounding guitar player Woody Mann, and Bob Brozman and I also want to mention Trevor Lawrence who pretty much ran the back end of the workshop and is also a great player.

The three DVD’s I produced for Mary teach three different styles of blues guitar. The first one in on playing blues guitar in the Key of E. The second DVD is playing Ragtime Style of Blues guitar. The third DVD is playing guitar in Dropped D Tuning.

Many blues guitarists feel that the key at E is both the most accessible and expressive key for deep blues sounds. Blues in E is a sound as old as the blues themselves. In this video, Mary shows you how to reach deep into the blues bag by teaching the licks and tricks that have kept this genre interesting and fun.

Going beyond mere role demonstration, she also explores the 12-bar blues structure and offers tips on creating your own arrangements. Starting with the Delta style where the thumb pounds out ifs steady, compelling bass, Mary shows you how to add single notes, up-the-neck bends, moveable chords, and powerful boogie-woogie patterns. Then she walks you through a plethora of blues turnarounds, the figures that add color and spice o your arrangements when you use them as fills between vocal lines.

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Learning To Play Blues On Guitar Using The Blues Progression

Posted by aguitarlesson on 31st August 2009 in Learn to Play Guitar for Beginners

By Bruce Lamb

When you first start or begin to learn how to play the blues it is a very good idea that your first know what type of blues you want to learn to master. There are several types of blues that have been developed in this country. Many regions around the United States have their own style of blues guitar playing. There is Chicago Style of Blues, there is Texas Style of Blues, The Delta Style, also New Orleans Style of Blues Guitar, and the Piedmont Style of Blues that comes for the mid east coast up to Delaware style.

A very first and most important thing in my opinion is knowing what a progression is. The blues is comprised of a kind of pattern or order of notes that are played. This is the blues progression patterns. The blues progression is a one, four, five progression (1-4-5-). I’ll try to describe what this means so pay close attention. There are seven major notes in playing music. These notes are A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. Now here is where it gets kind of tricky. If some one says they are going to play the blues in the key of A, this simply means that the A is the (One Chord) or the very first chord in the song. The next chord to be played in the song would be the ( Four Chord) or the second chord that would be played. And then the next chord is the (Five Chord) this is the 1 4 5 progression.

Looking at the 7 major chords A, B, C, D, E, F, G, start counting from the left you will notice the first chord is the A chord the fourth chord is the D chord and the fifth chord is the E chord. Now lets look at a song in the key of E. Can you figure out what the progression is? Read the rest of this entry »

Learning to Play Chords on a Guitar

Posted by aguitarlesson on 21st August 2009 in Learn to Play Guitar for Beginners

By Bruce Lamb

One of the first chords a new guitar player will have difficulty with is the Fm7 or F major 7th. To play this chord your fingers will get a work out but it is a chord you must learn so I would not put it off. Start off with this chord because it will help your guitar playing and you will learn and progress much faster if your hands are in playing shape.

There is definitely some stretching going on when you play this cord. This is an important lesson particularly for beginners because you will soon see that the stretching that your fingers will go through will help you with all of the other difficult chords you will learn.

I should first start off by explaining how the strings are numbered. As you hold your guitar the smallest string is the first string. Then each string is numbered 2nd, third, fourth, the fifth and then the sixth string is the top string or the thickest and bass string.

The Fm7th chord starts off with your third finger on the fourth string just above the third fret. If you don’t know what frets are, they are the little metal bars that go across the neck of your guitar. Now place your second finger on the third string just above the second fret. Now place your first finger on the second string over the first fret. Read the rest of this entry »

Tunings of Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar

Posted by aguitarlesson on 8th July 2009 in Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar

 Tunings of Hawaiian Slack Key  from

 by Bruce Lamb

If you have read one of my earlier articles on how I got started playing guitar and in particular Hawaiian Ki ho ‘alu Hawaiian Slack Key Guitar I mentioned how us young teenagers livinge in Hawaii on the Island of Oahu would gather on the corner at night under a big mango tree and share our different music. I also mentioned we would play the popular music that was on the radio. Acoustic Blues was always my favorite style of music:

  I liked the deep pre-war acoustic stuff that was mainly played by some of the older black community. I think the only reason you could find this music in Hawaii at that time was that the late nite DJ was a black Guy.  And as it turned out most of the lyrics and progressions were remade by the hot new bands at theat time. Bands like the Rolling Stones were doing some of those old black songs like I can’t get now satisfactions, and I followard her to the station.  Also Eric Burden and the animals were also redoing old blues songs. Ok I know I’m showing my age now at 60 years old and it’s hard top believe that those songs by these new artist are over 45 years old now.

  Then i mentioned that the Hawaiian guys would always end the evening with a more traditional style of music by retuning their guitars. I could never get them to show us how or what they did but there was a siolent code between them.  While one guy was talking story or noodeling around with his guitar the other guy would be retuning. before long they were both in this new tuning. I think it gave them great satisfaction in keeping this secret from us.  As it turned out both guys would be in tune and would begin to play and sing Hawaiian songs. It was so enchanting and captivated me and I really wanted to try and play along but I could never figure out why my guitar was always so out of tune all of a sudden. It took me almost the entire summer to realize my old Stella guitar could be tuned in this magical type of tuning. Read the rest of this entry »