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  1. #1
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    Default Best blues player to learn licks from?

    Who should listen to and take licks from? I'm still new to the world of blues. Played guitar a few years but then discovered the blues and fell in love. Looking to continue to growing as a player. Suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Jimmie Reed...so simple and tasty.
    T-Bone Walker for a little jazzy feel.
    Both of those players, the notes are easy...but the groove might take you a lifetime to cop!
    Also...when I have a student who wants to play Blues, I insist he/she get a copy of the first Fabulous Thunderbirds album "Girls Go Wild".
    Again...nothing mysterious...you can hear and steal every note...but the FEEL!!!

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  4. #3
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    Yeah, I agree with the post above, you really need to specify whether its acoustic or electric blues you're interested in because they are totally different worlds. Also do you play slide? Because that adds yet another dimension. If you do play slide then you have to get the Paris Texas soundtrack by Ry Cooder, it is a veritable treasure trove of slide guitar licks to die for, actually even if you don't play slide you should still get that album.

    I'm an acoustic player so can really only make suggestions in that area, however as regards electric guitar, if I were to start playing electric there is an instrumental track by Ike Turner called Ho Ho which would be one of my first missions to try and emulate. The track is more about having fun and he seems to go through every possible trick that he can in sequence. When people say that the blues is sad I would ask them to listen to this and then defy them not to be happy by the end of it.

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    You should learn from the guys that most connect with you. IMHO that's the only way to do it. Doesn't matter if it's Charlie Patton or Gary Clark Jr... find what you love and learn it. Now, some things might be too hard for your ears to pick out at first, but most players have at least little pieces you can steal and build on. As your love of blues keeps growing you'll find more and more players that move you. Then you can steal from them and get a nice, broad palette, and discover your own sound along the way. But you have to start with what moves you.

  6. #5
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    I would go onto YouTube, type in something like ''blues compilations'' - listen to as many different artists as you can; and write down the names of the ones you really like. Then type in that artists name and ''guitar lesson'' - see what comes up. If you can only learn 2 or 3 riffs then that's still a good start. If you get it wrong, but like what comes out; then you've just invented a riff.
    Personally I think that's it's more about finding your own style - expression. This isn't classical music, it's about the feeling.
    Hope this helps - good luck.

  7. #6
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    If you're talking electric I'd say pretty much what Charlie said but don't overlook Freddie King. Hideaway is an instrumental that many club bands use as a break song and most blues players know it. Almost any of Freddie's songs have a bunch of tasty licks. Hubert Sumlin who played with Howlin' Wolf. Robert "Jr." Lockwood is another great player both electric and acoustic. Watching him play Robert Johnson licks is a revelation as to how simple it is to play a lot of Johnson's stuff once you get that thumb bass rhythm going on.

    Acoustic? I'd start with Brownie McGhee, Lightnin' Hopkins for Texas style and of course Robert Johnson. Robert Johnson plays simply but effectively and his stuff is hard to execute properly but there are many tutorials out there to show where the licks are. As I said before, look at Robert Lockwood's videos on Youtube.
    "The business ain't nothin' but the blues!" - Roland Kirk
    http://mike-wilhelm.com

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    Joe Bonamassa is an amazing artist. Check his stuff out, I don't think you'll be disappointed.

  9. #8
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    To help clarify, I was referring to electric blues. I will check out all your suggestions, thank you!

  10. #9
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    This is a great textbook. Lots to *cough* steal *cough*:


  11. #10
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    Jimmie Reed is a great starting place - simple yet subtle and as bluesy as it gets.

 

 

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