Two Of The Best Blues Guitar Lessons Online
Hello my esteemed guitar students, welcome to the October, 2018 edition of our post on the 2 most popular blues guitar lessons courses.
Every month, I like to dig into Google Analytics and analyze what’s been happening on the site, what you guys have been learning, and so on. I share this info with you each month hoping that it will motivate you in learning new songs.
Lots of students, just like you, are learning songs on TheBluesGuitarist.net at this very moment. Learning new songs and techniques is a great way to keep your guitar studies interesting, and it will help you become a better player.
If you already know how to play a few songs, that’s fantastic. Never stop learning new ones though, otherwise you will stall and not get better.
Now lets have a look at the most popular guitar song then we will dive into the best blues guitar lessons online.
5. One Love – Bob Marley
What better way to start off the list, than with a classic Bob Marley song. This one will give you a great barre chord workout, so if you are struggling with barre chords, make sure you learn to play One Love. It is made up of barre chords from beginning till end. I know that doesn’t sound too motivating to a lot of you, but keep in mind that barre chords were hard for everybody at some point. Just like all other guitar techniques, they will get easier with practice.
The Smoke on the Water riff is one of the first riffs electric guitar students learn. It sounds great, and it’s not that difficult to play. Have you ever stopped to think about the fact that one of the greatest riffs of all time is actually a very simple riff? This just goes to show you that no magic fingers or lighting moves are needed to create great music.
How interesting, this style was in the same position last month. I guess you guys are really digging this style of playing, which is awesome. I have lot of 12 bar lessons on my site, so if you want to dive deeper into the genre, I compare 2 courses and give you my recommendations just towards the end of this post, so it’s worth checking out.
2. I’ll Be There For You – The Rembrandts
I was in high school when the TV show Friends was all the rage. My buddy, Tyler, would rent the newest season, and we would binge watch each tape. Oh yeah, they had tapes back then. Most kids don’t even know what tapes are The theme song to the series was understandably a huge hit, and it seems many of you still want to learn it. Good on you! It’s loads of fun, and the cover below is very authentic, even for a single guitarist.
And the winner, the most watched, top number 1, best song this year is…..
An Adele song? Well, that’s a first
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a nice song, but I wouldn’t have thought it would ever be the most watched one. Maybe there was some Adele news out there in 2018, don’t know. Anyhow, this is a great song to learn even for beginners, so if you don’t know how to play it yet, here is your chance.
Hope you found a few songs to practice in the list, remember to practice a lot, that is key to getting good at guitar. If you have any questions, comments, requests, please let me know via email or the comment form.
GUITARTRICKS.COM BLUES LESSONS
The guitar lessons offered by GuitarTricks can be split into 3 main sections.
- Style course (Level 1 and Level 2)
- Mini courses
Let’s have a look at each.
Style Level 1 & 2 (Core learning system)
The core learning system is GuitarTricks.com’s recommended path for learning guitar. After the fundamentals, you have the chance to learn the intricacies of blues, country and rock.
Each Level is split into Chapters, and each Chapter is split into a series of tutorials revolving around a given topic.
This sounds weird written down, but it’s actually very intuitive:
When you look at the table of contents, you can immediately see the amount of thought that went into structuring the course.
Each lesson builds on the prior, and as a guitar teacher of 15+ years, I can’t think of any blues skill/technique I would teach to aspiring blues players, that is not covered within the course.
It is safe to say that completing GuitarTricks’s blues style lessons will get you to an early-advanced level of playing.
Blues Level 1
Chapter 1: 12 bar blues, blues shuffle rhythm, turnarounds, chord voiceings
Chapter 2: power chords, barre chords, playing in different keys
Chapter 3: minor blues, minor chords, dominant chords, 12 bar blues variations7
Chapter 4: various blues strumming patterns and grooves, intro to regional blues rhythm styles
Chapter 5: blues lead techniques, blues scale
Chapter 6: getting a blues tone on various guitars & amps, and the effects you would use
As you can see, Level 1 covers basic blues concepts and techniques. Once you are comfortable with these techniques, you would turn things up a notch and move on to the next level.
Blues Level 2
Chapter 1: more blues lead guitar, building riffs, playing in different keys, minor scale, jamming
Chapter 2: the styles of Albert King, B. B. King and Freddie King
Chapter 3: blues phrasing, call and response, differing vibrato styles, bending concepts
Chapter 4: targeting chord tones, playing with a slide, blues mixed with other styles (jazz, rock, reggae, funk)
Chapter 5: advanced blues rhythm, various turnarounds, 8 bar blues
Chapter 6: regional blues styles (Jazz, Delta, Chicago, Texas, New Orleans, British)
All lessons in the blues style courses are taught by Anders Mouridsen, who is one of the best teachers on GuitarTricks.com. His calming personality is mixed with his enthusiasm for the guitar, which makes the lessons very enjoyable.
Blues song tutorials
After tackling the blues core learning system, what better way to practice and refine your newfound knowledge, than to learn to play popular blues songs?
GuitarTricks has an impressive collection of lessons on blues songs from many classic and contemporary blues artists. At the moment I counted about 100 blues songs in the list from artists such as:
- BB King
- Stevie Ray Vaughn
- Eric Clapton, T-Bone Walker
- Muddy Waters
- Robert Johnson
- Howlin’ Wolf
- Albert Collins
- The Allman Brothers
Seeing how the masters use all the blues techniques you learned in the Level 1 and Level 2 blues style sections will help put it all together and move you forward.
Blues mini courses
GuitarTricks has a bunch of what I would call “mini courses” for beginners on various guitar styles, including the blues.
These mini courses are taught by different teachers, and are relatively short in length. Around 5 to 30 minutes, depending on the course.
These are great for quick practice sessions when you don’t really have enough time to dive into something too deeply.
What kind of mini courses will you find?
- Blues riffs
- Blues rhythm techniques
- Blues orchestration
- Using major notes in minor pentatonics
- and so on…
Pros of GuitarTricks’s blues lessons
- Well structured for beginner to intermediate blues players
- Great collection of real blues songs to learn
- Fun jam-along videos
- 2 week free trial, yippie ?
Cons of GuitarTricks’s blues courses
- No really advanced material
- Few acoustic fingerstyle blues lessons
- A few of the mini courses must be older and thus are not HD
TrueFire.com is an absolute monster website, with more guitar lessons than anybody could ever go through. They offer many individual courses in all genres and difficulties.
The company was founded in 1991, and they initially released lessons on tape and DVD. Than came the Internet.
TrueFire has an immense number of guitar lessons. At the moment of this writing, it has 177 courses full fledged blues guitar courses with almost 14,000 individual lessons in them.
Picking out each course of interest is useful for advanced guitarists.
“Blues Guitar Learning Path”
Beginner blues guitar players are offered a more structured way of learning, called the “Blues Guitar Learning Path”. Below you will find links to these 4 core courses.
If you already know several chords and strumming patterns, and can also play some songs and single note lines, then you’re ready to take on this quick-start guitar course.
About TrueFire’s Play Blues Guitar 2: Rhythm & Lead FundamentalsLearn Blues Guitar Rhythm & Lead with this Blues Learning Path Core Course
This Blues Learning Path core course is presented by 3 top TrueFire educators: Jeff McErlain, Corey Congilio, and Jeff Scheetz.
They’ll guide your development of the essential skills and get up and running quickly — no reading music, no boring exercises, no tedious theory to struggle through. In fact, you’ll play your way through the entire course.
This Blues Learning Path core course is presented by 7 top TrueFire educators: Robben Ford, David Grissom, Jeff McErlain, Corey Congilio, Jeff Scheetz, Matt Brandt and Brad Carlton.
The Rhythm Principles curriculum is comprised of select blues guitar lessons from the educators’ existing TrueFire course libraries.
All these Learning paths are made up of 4 stage, with lessons increasing in difficulty.
Each stage is made up of “core courses” and also “supplementary courses”.
FYI the core courses are lessons that build fundamental blues guitar knowledge and skills, while the supplementary courses are stand-alone courses digging deeper into specific blues guitar aspects, like Jazz blues progressions, or 30 blues Americana guitar licks.
Stage 1: Beginner to Late Beginner
This stage isn’t blues guitar specific. It teaches basic guitar skills to beginners, so I’m not sure why it’s even included in the Blues path.
Anybody looking to learn a specific genre of guitar should have a sound knowledge of the basics already.
Stage 2: Late Beginner to intermediate
This stage of TrueFire’s blues course covers basic blues guitar concepts and techniques. If you don’t know anything about blues guitar, this is a good place to start.
- Quick start for beginners: blues shuffle, 12 bar blues, 7th chords, blues turnaround
- Rhythm and lead fundamentals: blues soloing basics, minor pentatonic scale, blues scale, 7th barre chords, 9th chords
- Tools and techniques: all 5 patterns of the minor pentatonic scale, blues licks, major pentatonic scale, more turnarounds, blues in specific styles (rhumba, minor, funky)
TruFire gives several recommended supplementary courses with stage 2. The ones that are blues specific any I would recommend a beginner blues student to cover are:
Stage 3: Intermediate to late intermediate
The next stage of TrueFire’s blues course builds onto stage 2 and provides more examples, rhythm patterns, licks and techniques.
It’s important to note that unlike the stage 2 lessons, the lessons in this stage were not developed specifically for this blues course. They are actually individual lessons picked out of their massive library of existing courses, and presented in a structure that help build your blues skill-set one lesson at a time.
- Rhythm principles: slow blues, 12/8 blues rhythm, 12 bar shuffle variations, blues styles (boogie woogie, rhumba, funky, New Orleans, country)
- Rhythm approaches: more blues rhythm studies, rhythm techniques with loads of example grooves
- Lick vocabulary: building your own blues licks using the minor and major blues scales, mixing the minor and major blues scales, more lick examples, texas blues licks
- Lick lexicon: licks to use over the I & IV & V chords, loads of blues licks
- Soloing principles: soloing concepts and techniques, hybrid picking, solos in differing blues styles
- Soloing approaches: double stops, adding chromatic notes, call and response blues, loads of soloing examples
- Slide approaches: the specifics of playing slide guitar in the blues, licks
- Fingerstyle approaches: acoustic blues guitar, fingerstyle blues essentials, lots of example licks and patterns
There are a lot of supplementary courses recommended by TrueFire with stage 3, most of them blues specific. They entail specific courses on blues licks, soloing, rhythm and theory. I won’t be listing all of them here, you can see them for yourself on TrueFire.com.
Stage 4: Late intermediate to advanced
As in stage 3, the core courses of stage 4 are a collection of individual lessons from other TrueFire courses. They were picked and structured to advance your blues skills in a logical manner.
If you learn everything in this set of core courses, you can call yourself a professional blues guitar player.
- Advanced rhythm principles: guide tones, comping, jazzy blues chords and rhythm
- Advanced rhythm approaches: funky blues, advanced rhythm ideas
- Advanced lick vocabulary: advanced licks, “in the style of” lessons
- Advanced soloing principles: jazzy blues soloing, diminished scale, advanced improvisation
- Advanced soloing approaches: more soloing examples, motivic development, altered scales
There are many blues specific supplementary course recommendations with these courses as well, some of which are very advanced.
Pros of TrueFire’s blues lessons
- Absolutely massive knowledge bank of blues concepts
- Covers all areas of blues guitar
- Supplementary courses provide deep insight into specific topics
Cons of TrueFire’s blues lessons
- The stage 3 and 4 core courses are a collection of lessons from existing courses
- Some older lessons are not HD
- Lesson pages and video player loads the slowest our of the 3 companies reviewed
- Not enough “in the style of” lessons in case you wanted to learn the specific style of BB King for example
- No tutorials on specific blues songs