Back Door Woman Blues by Scrapper Blackwell show-cases the blues-man's impressive fingerpicking skills. Played in dropped D tuning, the rhythmic alternating bass pattern is broken up by inventive single string runs and unusual percussive techniques.
The keyword here is variety - Blackwell was the musical partner of Leroy Carr, and his musical abilities were no-doubt stretched by accompanying the blues piano player. The piano is much more complex with a bigger range, challenging for a guitar player to deliver the same rich variety.
Reverend Gary Davis was the undisputed King of blues fingerpicking. Any style was at his command, but he preferred to play Gospel in his later years. Death Don't Have No Mercy is a dark piece starkly explaining the painful truth for all of us - Death is coming and you'd better get ready chil'en! It's played in regular tuning with plenty of simple but doleful minor chords. The fingerpicking detail is slow, so it's a great song to get into the Reverend's playing style.
From the ragtime and gospel king to the Delta Blues King, Robert Johnson. I chose a bottleneck tune for this example of Johnson's work. As with many of his songs, it isn't particularly complex, but emotional intensity is what we're trying to capture in copying Johnson's style. Open G is a wonderful tuning for bottleneck and this slow-pace thriller will take you back to the roots of the blues.
Ragged and Dirty by William Moore is one of those songs that stands alone. It doesn't seem to have a genre are fingerpicking style associated with it. I would say it's kind of slow Piedmont, a bit like Floyd Council's work, as the feel is 'raggie', but the pattern is unusual with some inventive finger strokes used to create a unique sound. It's in regular tuning with the capo on the 4th fret. Not only does this suit most voices, but it gives it a feel very different from when it's played lower down the neck.
The last song in this pack is How Long Blues by Leroy Carr. It's a great piece to play around with and it was a staple part of my repertoire. It's a simple chord structure and leaves plenty of room for improvisation.
#fingerstyleguitar #blues #acoustic #guitar
- Students should be competent in basic fingerpicking acoustic guitar and want to learn more blues styles
- Fingerpicking blues guitar acoustic style - 4 songs from Scrapper Blackwell, Rev Gary Davis, William Moore and Robert Johnson
- Learn to play Come On In my Kitchen by Robert Johnson
- Learn to play Back Door Woman Blues by Scrapper Blackwell
- Learn to play Death Don't Have No Mercy by Reverend Gary Davis
- Learn to play Ragged and Dirty by William Moore
Fingerstyle Acoustic Blues Guitar Lessons In The Old Style
Acoustic blues guitar teacher Jim Bruce was voted Number 2 top guitar instructor on Truefire in 2013 (Number 1 for acoustic blues lessons). Jim still plays blues guitar on the street in Europe and also gives concerts - plus teaching old style finger picking wherever he goes!
Now online students can benefit from over 40 years of real experience playing blues guitar in the authentic way. If you want to play real blues guitar just like the old blues men, then is where you come to find out how. Keep it real with Jim Bruce and play blues guitar like it was originally played using these state-of-the-art acoustic guitar lessons.
A word from Jim - " My playing career goes way back, to the folk clubs on the UK in the sixties, clubs pubs and bars in six countries, and on the city streets of Europe. This is how I learned my trade.
One day someone asked me to slow down a lick to show them exactly what I was doing with my hands. As I tried to do this, I found that I was doing much, much more than I realized. It was these tiny hand movements that make acoustic blues so exciting when it's performed properly. This is the main focus of my lessons - to show students exactly how to play blues guitar in great detail. "
Peace, Jim Bruce
Jim's blues guitar lessons online on Udemy follow a well proven and award-winning formula guaranteed to have you playing the blues in the shortest time possible. Learn blues guitar with a pro and sign up now!