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Blues Guitar Lessons: Introduction To Advanced

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[MUSIC]
Welcome back.
Now it's time to get deep.
We're gonna get deep
into the advanced blues.
I kind of have to laugh when I say that,
cause to me,
blues is advanced from day one, and
its also just straight
up natural from day one.
That's good blues right there.
It's deep and it's also direct, but
what we're going to learn in this
section of the curriculum is
built on the previous sections,
the techniques, the rhythm patterns,
the soloing concepts, and
so as we go forward we can kind
of start layering knowledge,
and you learn something over here and
then you see it come back around again and
applied in a different context,
but its the same basic approach.
And in that way you can explode your
ability to learn because it isn't starting
from scratch each time, it's really
just kind of learning new applications.
So, first place we'll go in the advanced
realm here is into slow blues,
and you'd say, well wow,
that sounds relatively easy,
you get to slow it down finally,
take your time.
But as you'll discover slow
blues is a real challenge
because you have to be
able to play not only.
It's not the tempo per se.
[MUSIC]
It's the fact that when you slow it down,
you create all this open space.
[MUSIC]
Right?
So the details of your skill, your.
[SOUND] Your vibrato, your string bending.
[SOUND] Your touch, they're all exposed,
they're laid out there, and
so if you skipped over some stuff earlier
on, when you go to play slow blues, bang.
There it is staring you in the face.
So it's a real test of your ability
to think of ideas, to create lines,
and put everything together
in a coherent way, and
tell a story, and we've all had the
experience, you go see a blues artist and,
usually the emotional high point of
the show is gonna be that slow blues,
that's the time when everybody
just lets loose, and,
if you've got the goods,
you can be that guy.
Now from the slow blues, we're gonna
go in a slightly different direction,
more high energy blues and
talk about building the shuffle, and
you know there's a shuffle pattern that
you're probably all familiar with.
[MUSIC]
Right?
I remember when I heard that for
the first time it was one of
those head spinners, you know?
Like what?
Who?
Who?
Who's doing that?
And took awhile to figure out how to
integrate all the parts there, so
it's the type of a rhythm part that should
sound just as natural as falling off
a log, but
it actually has an intricacy to it.
So we'll talk about how to
build that rhythm part up,
make the pieces come together,
even play it in other keys.
[MUSIC]
Right?
We'll play it sort of
in the Chicago style.
[MUSIC]
So we're again, layering stuff,
we know how to play bass patterns.
We know how to play shuffle patterns,
but you put them together, wow.
Something new.
Pretty cool.
Taking the Chicago concept a little
further, we'll talk about melodic rhythm.
Which is where we integrate melody
notes into the chord patterns, and
when done artfully and with the proper
respect for the groove and for
the dynamics, it's a beautiful thing.
[MUSIC]
Right, not really necessarily involving
a picking technique like
I'm using there but
I'm creating the whole
ambiance of the thing.
So we'll talk about melody parts
as they relate to chord patterns,
along the same lines, double stops.
Double stops, what is that?
Well that's where you
play two notes at a time.
[MUSIC]
Right?
A sound that was popularized definitely by
Chuck Berry, but was not exclusive to him,
and he picked it up from other people.
So we'll learn about playing
melodies two notes at a time,
tracking the melody up and down the
strings and following the scale patterns.
Same thing with sixth intervals.
[MUSIC]
A style that we associate quite
often with rhythm and blues, but.
[MUSIC]
Rhythm and
blues is just a cousin of
the down home blues, so
we'll figure out how to play melodies
that incorporate those sounds.
A famous one.
[MUSIC]
Freddie King.
We'll see how that stuff is put together.
How about taking it even a step
further and soloing with chords?
[MUSIC]
All
right.
Thinking of how to play melodies and
chords at the same time so
that the top note of the chord becomes
the melody, and you can play three
notes simultaneously and move it around
in a pattern sounds very intense.
It's kind of reflecting the old, old
pre-electric guitar style of Delta Blues,
but interpreted on the electric.
[SOUND] Now we'll also talk about
some different soloing concepts,
ways of expanding your range as a soloist.
Accompanying yourself like this where.
[MUSIC]
I'm playing my
own accompaniment, but
in the context of a band.
So in effect, if there's no rhythm
guitar player to help me out, well,
I'll step in and be my own accompanist,
and it makes the solo sound that much
more swinging, and
it kinda gives it that special call and
response feel that we like to
hear all the time in blues.
Also talk about the difference
between soloing up the neck,
we've got all these patterns now,
patterns galore,
but how to retain the down home blues
sound by soloing in open position.
[MUSIC]
Key of E.
Key of A.
[MUSIC]
Using open strings
even in other keys like G.
[MUSIC]
Gives your phrasing a distinctive sound
when you use the whole range of the neck.
And peaking of using the whole range
of the neck, you're a spectacular
guitar player like Stevie Ray Vaughan and
he swoops up and down.
Hendrix did the same thing.
How do they get there?
How do they tie all those things
together into one package so
it just seems like the entire neck
is open season for your phrasing.
So we'll talk about getting up and
down the neck and integrating the open
positions with the positions up on the
neck higher, playing multiple choruses.
How do you play a solo
that lasts two choruses or
longer that still sounds interesting, and
doesn't just repeat itself over and over.
So it's just mental concepts.
Tremolo picking.
[MUSIC]
Combining that.
[MUSIC]
Combining that rapid picking style with
chords and single notes to come
up with different textures.
Alternate picking,
we've avoided that so far.
[MUSIC]
And so on.
Picking every note,
you know downstroke, upstroke,
in Blues we don't use that technique
all the time, but it sure is handy when
you're able to coordinate your left and
your right hands and be consistent.
Pedal points.
[MUSIC]
Right, another different texture way of
combining melodies and
harmony in an interesting way.
Chicken Picking.
[MUSIC]
Who wouldn't wanna be able to do that?
One chord solos.
There's a challenge.
How do you play over one chord?
There's no changes.
There's no five chord to tell
you that the solo's over.
You got to come up with the whole idea
yourself, and organize your phrases, so
that it sounds interesting for
a stretch of time while
the band's playing behind you.
Different challenge.
Different challenge.
How about playing over different changes?
Minor blues.
[SOUND] Right?
In a sense, that may be a more familiar
sound to many of you, based on your
background, than the shuffle was with
the dominant chord right at the beginning.
Lots of very popular blues songs have
been based on minor progression.
So we'll crack the door open
on playing over minor chords.
Now jump blues was a style that really
was the commercial style of urban music
in the 1940s, and it borders on,
I guess I would sit it on
the border between swing,
which evolved in the direction of jazz,
and rock and roll.
Jump blues was right there, and jump
blues sort of veered more in the rock and
roll direction, I guess I would say, in
the end, but it's playing faster tempos,
playing aggressively, and figuring out
how to keep your head screwed on when
the tempo's really ripping and you're
playing in some weird key like E flat.
How do you play over the boogie?
[MUSIC]
It's a popular groove,
we hear it all the time.
It's a challenge to get the feel just
right and also play those one chord solos.
That's tricky.
How about when it's so
fast that you can't even count the beat,
cuz your foot gets tired.
[MUSIC]
How do you tap your foot?
I mean, literally, literally.
Called the two beat blues.
Great technique for handling those
kind of intimidating tempos.
Self accompaniment.
What are you doing,
sitting around the house all by yourself?
You don't wanna be playing scales.
I mean, come on, right?
[MUSIC]
Figure out how to play that what we call,
dead thumb accompaniment.
And also, a.
[MUSIC]
Expand on that idea with
an alternating base pattern.
Great ways to just feel
like a complete musician.
We look beyond the guitar and
we look at other inspirations.
Well, what about saxophone,
harmonica, piano?
What can we learn from
those musicians that will
make our own playing more interesting.
And finally, we'll rap the whole
thing up by taking the blues uptown.
We've talked about down home blues and
playing the real rootsy styles and
we've been playing the hardcore
heart of blues the shuffles you
know the kind of driving stuff.
Jump blues aggressive, aggressive blues.
What about when you mellow it out and
you've got some chord changes and
the band is playing real cool.
How can you play that stuff and
feel like you maintain your identity and
use all the tools that you have by
putting it in that new context.
It's gonna be a lot of fun,
I look forward to it.
I'll see you in the first lesson.
[MUSIC]