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Blues music

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by MasterChief, Dec 25, 2003.

  1. MasterChief


    Feb 4, 2003

    I love Blues music. It's my favorite. I was wondering if there were some web sites I could use to help me become a better Blues musician on the electric bass guitar and the electric guitar. I can't really afford to purchase any books yet.

    I'm also interested in knowing something; How did most Blues musicians learn how to play the Blues?

    Son House
    Bob Dylan
    Blind Willie McTell

    Thank you. Happy holidays everyone!
  2. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    Listen to Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue. It's an acoustic jazz sextet, but it's mighty bluesy.

    Learn theory, I promise it will make you a better musician.
  3. 20db pad

    20db pad

    Feb 11, 2003
    I been everywhere, man...
    None. At all.
    Historically, the original bluesmen learned everything by word-of-mouth, from each other, as well as a whole lot of on-the-job training.

    My favorite Blues sites are :

    www.torvund.net/guitar/Blues Guitar/index.asp

    A playing-oriented site


    A history site

    I'm not a Bluesologist by any means, but the common path is to start with an attentive ear to Robert Johnson, who was the originator of many Blues styles. Willie Dixon is also an architect of the style as a bassist and songwriter.
  4. For blues bass lessons look at activebass.com. Go to lessons and you will find an entire section of blues bass lessons. There are over 280.

    Most blues musicians learned by ear. Either they had relatives or neighbors or friends who played and the tradition was passed down to them. My wife, who is one of our nation's preeminent blues singers, was singing Howlin' Wolf when she was six. Her father was a blues singer and she heard blues being sung when she worked in the cotton fields of Mississippi as a girl. Her grandmother owned a juke house and she would sneak out of bed on weekends and go down to the blues jams and listen until all hours of the morning. There was no formal musical training in this world. You picked up bits of theory from whoever taught the blues to you.

    That said, most blues musicians ended up with a remarkable grasp of basic music theory. Check out the guitar lesson with B.B. King in the December 2003 Issue of Guitar World. The man knows what he is doing.

    There is a very strong rhythmic sense in the blues. After all, it is a combination of African rhythms and European harmonies. The reason why I switched to bass from guitar is that my wife could care less about the guitar (or keyboards for that matter). To her the most important instrument in the band is the bass followed closely by the drums. Every other blues singer I know would say the same thing. Good blues bass players are hard to find.

    Without question the most important blues bass player today is Willie Kent. Listen to anything you can by him. He has his own band, Willie Kent and the Gents. His record label is Delmark. Every year Willie wins the Handy award (the blues equivalent of the Grammy) for being the best blues bass player. He is an awesome player and one of the nicest human beings on the planet.

    If you e-mail me your address I would be happy to send you a copy of "Nora Jean Bruso Sings the Blues." It is my wife's latest CD and the bass player is none other than Willie Kent.

    Good luck and if there is any more I can do for you do not hesitate to ask.
  5. MasterChief


    Feb 4, 2003
    Eric Cioe: I actually received Mile Davis' Kind of Blue CD for Christmas. :D

    I'll check out the web sites you gave me then I'll ask here if I have any questions.

    Blues Basser: I sent you a private message.
  6. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    I can't really add much, especially since Blues Basser wrote it so well!:bassist:

    I will say, though, in my experience as a bass player who loves Blues and lives in Chicago, is that I've learned a lot from simply listening to it. I go to Blues shows as often as I can. I've even become friendly with a few.

    The most important thing in Blues is to understand the basic 12-bar Blues progression. If you can understand that, play (usually) in a minor key, you're half-way there.