Chicago Electric Blues Guitar with 6 Great Masters

Buddy Guy, Arlen Roth, Ronnie Earl, Jay Geils, Cornell Dupree, Otis Rush

This Hot Licks digital lesson is composed of 6 separate individual Guitar instructionals with 'added features'. Its diabolically designed to make you want each of the blues guitar lessons from which they were taken. Each segment opens in its own unique blues guitar lesson story line independent from the others.

The Cornell Dupree and Otis Rush presentations are the only such I am aware of and in and of themselves are worth the price of admission. I mean this is Otis Rush himself live teaching you and if you are a lefty you need this. The Cornell Dupree guitar lesson makes me want to pick up the phone and order now!

We all owe a great debt to Otis Rush for his minor blues All the Lovin thats Lovin which has been covered by John Mayall and Eric Clapton and many others. Otis, like Albert King and Jimi Hendrix plays lefty and upside down and croons as well. Here he showcases Earl Hooker and B.B. King.

In the key of F, Cornell Dupree is an another unsung guitar hero and a true master of the fret board. He plays for us a Bill Butler number called Honky Tonk and its a up beat shuffle whose bass line opens the show. Playing Blues Guitar you must learn the bass or you should be learning it as it usually outlines the scale in the key of the song. The bass line turnaround completed, a melody note or two is inserted and then he resolves towards the floor on a high string triad shape. A cadence and call and response lead to a Honky Tonk solo and groove. Mr. Dupree is a real Rhythm and Blues hero and session man of great experience with over 2500 recording dates to his credit in many styles too!

Jay Giles had a great band back when although he is shown solo here in this too short excerpt. Jay is a superb blues guitarist showing us tricks for sustain and vibrato used by B.B. King and T-Bone Walker in the key of C.  Using a flat pick Jay has a nicely balanced sense of melody and time and makes for satisfying arrangements and phrasing just like BB and T-Bone had. Maybe even better. Way to go Jay!

Ronnie Earl shows us in a calm, relaxed manner, variations in the style of finger picking delta blues players but using a pick mostly which is my preference. There are several turnarounds in styles evoking Lightning Hopkins and Robert Johnson and Ronnie simplifies them comfortably for us in guitar friendly keys. He uses his fingers to pinch and roll notes and his thumb for bass lines so you can see how its done. Want more!

Buddy Guy runs us through some jazzy T-Bone orchestral chords that dress up the blues. Using inner 9th chords that don't have the root in them makes this a smokier style. Taking out the root means your chords are wider and thinner and can go major and minor more easily. Ideally you imply the root with your bass player or own rhythm changes and try to throw in a lead here and there the way T-Bone did and you see how hard it is. Its good to play the bass line with the chord changes making the root note swing. He throws in that dissonant A9th chord too and plays T-Bones' Stormy Monday one of the first songs many learn. See my Buddy Guy review of this one!

Arlen Roth is the producer of this lesson and is one heck of a guitar player himself. He has some righteous licks and finger style technique to share with us which behooves us all to know - Turnarounds in the blues tradition that are of great practical value. We as guitarists need to collect turnarounds. Arlen, no question, is a finger style as well slide guitar devotee. We learn to appreciate his superlative teaching technique which juxtapositions harmony and dissonance and resolves so effectively. Makes me want more, more, and more!!!

What can I say? 6 great blues guitar players each with their own style - you cant go wrong.
You can bet they paid their dues too. Don't buy this as your very first exposure to guitar - your second perhaps.

Role Models

Paint pictures with sound. First, find your white—the deepest, roundest sound you can play on the guitar. Then, find your black—which is the most extreme tonal difference from white you can play. Now, just pick the note where you’ve got white, pick it where you’ve got black, and then find all those colors in between. Get those colors down, and you’ll be able to express almost any emotion on the guitar.--Les Paul