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Friday 7th January 2011 13:03:00

Guitar Lessons

I'm often asked if I give lessons, and the answer is yes! If you want to learn finger style blues and slide guitar that is. I can give a few pointers on the jazzier end of things too.

Overall Approach:

My approach is to explain and demonstrate my overall philosophy of playing, encouraging the student to find their own style and develop their won version of the blues. With that in mind then I won't be tabbing out your favourite blues artist for you, rather I'll show you techniques and ideas of ways to create your own version of the song, true to the original yet unique to you. Also it's important to be able to play with others so often we'll start with a more generic blues piece and explain how to accompany and embellish / improvise over it. Then move on to more specific pieces that the student might be interested in.

Video / Recording Lesson:

As I said above I don't always tab or score things out for the student, even simple blues often looks over complicated on paper and anyway it should never be the same two times in a row! However the student will often need something to refer to whilst practising, so I'm more then happy for them to bring a video camera or tape recorder with them and for them to record as much of the session as they like. I only ask that they ask me beforethey share it, (I'll most likely say yes).

Lesson Duration And Cost:

Lessons are typically 40 minutes long for which I'm currently charging £20.00. And you get a free cup of tea with that! Alternatively you can block book 5 lessons for just £15.00 a lesson (a total of £75.00).

Email me: or phone me on 07051 170 874 to book a lesson now.

Below is a sample lesson that would suit the slightly more adavnced student, but I do teach all ability levels:

Sample lesson: Walking Blues In G

Here is a short clip taken during a recent lesson. The technique being demonstrated is a jazzier blues with a walking bass line in the key of G.

The chord progression used is

G  /    /    /   | G  /  /  /  | G  /  /  / | G /  /  /  | C9 /  /  /   | C9   /  /  / |
G  / Am7 /  |  Bm7 /  Bb 7 /  | D9 /  /  /  | C9 /   /  /  | G /  /  /  | D7#9 /  / | or G7 to end

The G major chord is fretted with the third and fourth fingers on the 5th (B) and 6th(E) strings at the 3rd fret, leaving the first and second fingers free to play the walking bass line. Listen to the rhythm, and notice how I play the chord alternating with the bass in a syncopated swing rhythm, don't play it too even or it'll sound like country music!

When I move to the C9 the third and fourth fingers move to the 4th (G) and 5th (B) string again at the 3rd fret the first bass note is the C at the 3rd fret 2nd (A) string and then I play an ascending pattern that starts with the open E bass string and moves in semitones up to the G at the 3rd fret , then to the open A string and again in semitones up to the B at the 2nd fret (Musical credit: I first heard that idea on a song called Marrying Blues played by Isaac Guillory and my own version can br neard on the Blue Graffiti CD).

The next sequence gives a jazzy sound to the piece and as you can see from the video is two beats each of G Am7 Bm7 and Bb7 to lead into the D9

Watch the video closely to see the way the D9 slides down to the C9 to give a nice smooth transition, the bass notes used here are D A D Db C G F F#.

The sequence then ends with a simple walk G (3rd fret 1st(E) string)) B C C# on the 2nd(A) string fretted individually, that is I'm not hold a chord down at the same time, this leads nice into the D7#9 for the turnarround of the G7 for the ending.

Have fun!

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