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Rocking The Blues

Our fascination with the guitar started about 8 years back, a friend of mine used to play and loaned me an acoustic guitar to learn. We took it up rather seriously considering we did not have much to do at that time, bought a few expensive guitars picked up tab books and started listening to Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen and other guitar virtuosos. I would like to believe that we were very good at playing the guitar, but in reality we sucked big time, could barely play a few phrases and even those were played in some whack timing…..anyways, post a few years of playing, life took over and we pretty much forgot about playing the guitar.

So why am I telling you this? Well, post our very eventful birthday in October, we have rediscovered playing the guitar. We also got a brand new acoustic guitar and started learning the instrument the correct way. This time around, we decided not to go the rock way, instead basis our love affair with the blues, we decided to learn the style. I do believe I have learnt more in the last month alone than I had learnt playing for 3 years; The reason is simple – better learning tools, the Internet and the fact that I am older and things are slowing down. Learning an instrument can’t be hurried, the slower you go the better it gets.
If like us you are into the blues he are some awesome tips to pick up this awesome style –
  1. Listen to the blues, learn to appreciate the music….if you don’t like the style you can’t play it.
  2. Start off with popular music: Eric Clapton, B.B King, Muddy Watters and so on. Don’t jump the gun…. Buddy Guy, Hubert Summlin, Howlin Wolf will come later…you need to develop a liking for the blues first.
  3. Start with the absolute basics, a 12 bar progression and then the minor pentatonic scale.
  4. Find a great teacher online or offline. There are few self taught guitarist in this world. Always learn from someone who knows better – we recommend Guitarjamz.com.
  5. Always use a metronome or a drum machine. If you have a smartphone or a tablet, there are dozens of free apps available for the same.
  6. Convert whatever you want to learn into an exercise. Play it ridiculously slow and don’t speed it up until you can play it in your sleep.
  7. Watch Cadillac Records and Nothing but the Blues.
  8. If you are playing the guitar for the first time, we would recommend you go in for an acoustic cut away. This will help you build strength in your hand and also ensure you can play beyond the 12th fret.
Take it from us playing the blues or any other style will take time and will require you to invest a fair bit of it. To start off, try 15 minutes in a day, but if you want to get any good let it go up to at least an hour. Don’t give up if things don’t come naturally, eventually you will pick it up. Playing the blues is probably the most relaxing part of the day and will definitely put a smile on your face. Hopefully, our post will inspire you to pick up the guitar or fall in love with it all over again. Check out some awesome videos to get you started and inspired below :-). If you have some crazy bluesy riff, share it with us in the comments below.

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Posted by on November 8, 2012 in Helmets & More

 

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