Your ul­ti­mate blues work­out

In­thisspe­cialfea­ture, JohnWheatcroft get­sy­our­blues­mo­jowork­ing with­no­men­tiono­fadeal­dow­natthe­cross­roads.Here’sev­ery­thing youneed­to­pre­pare­forthat­big­blues­gig,jamor­record­ingses­sion.

Guitar Techniques - - • Contents • November 2014 • -

John Wheatcroft’s guide will pre­pare you for any up­com­ing blues gig, record­ing date or jam. No deal with the devil re­quired…

Guy,we’ve­had­nu­mer­ous­gen­er­a­tionsof blues­me­nand­wom­en­car­ry­ing­th­etorch.

To­takeabrief­s­nap­shot,con­sid­erthe ef­fectofthe60sBri­tish­blues­boom,as­cene that­gave­birth­toEricClap­ton,Jef­fBeck, Jim­myPage­an­de­ven‘HonoraryBrit’Jimi Hen­drix,and­howthe­selinksinthechainof tra­di­tion­havele­dus(vi­aSRV,GaryMoore, Bon­nieRaitt,RobertCrayetal)tocur­rent artistssuchasSu­sanTedeschi,GaryClarkJr, The­Black­Keys,Jack­White,Mat­tS­chofield, Joan­neShawTay­lo­rand­load­smorebe­sides.

Ify­oudon’tknowthe blues­there’sno­pointin pickingupthe­gui­tarand playin­ganyother­for­mof pop­u­lar­mu­sic.

strong­core­ofim­pro­vi­sa­tion­atit­s­heart.So treatthe­se­ex­am­ples,ex­er­cis­esand­short piece­sas­the­be­gin­ningofa‘new’mu­si­cal jour­neythat­startshere,aim­ing­toin­t­er­nalise anyspeci­f­i­cap­proach,con­cep­tor­phras­eso that­in­timey­ouwill­be­able­toac­cess­these ideasatwill,asand­whenit’sap­pro­pri­ateto doso.Fur­ther­toallthep­rac­ticey­ouneedto doony­ourin­stru­ment,it’svi­tal­toaug­ment thiswith­lis­ten­ing,in­order­toim­merse your­selfin­tothe­genre.

It’sunavoid­ablenot­to­be­in­flu­encedby your­sur­round­ings.Weall­must­know some­onewhoseac­cen­thaschangedafter mov­ing­toanewc­i­ty­or­coun­try.Wepickup then­u­ance­so­fare­gional­dialectwith­lit­tle con­scious­in­ter­ven­tion–un­less­de­lib­er­ately as­sim­i­lat­ingth­e­se­in­flu­ences­foraspe­cific rea­son,asan­ac­tormightwhen­re­searchinga role.Thi­sisverysim­i­lartofind­in­gour­foot­ing with­anew­mu­si­cal­style.And­whilewe­canget close,the­se­of­tentiny­in­flec­tion­sare­all­but im­pos­si­ble­todefini­tive­lyindi­ca­teon­awrit­ten score–they’dbeprac­ti­cal­lyun­read­ableeven ifitwere­pos­si­ble.Sothere’sno­sub­sti­tute­for get­tingy­our­head­phones­o­nan­dlis­ten­ingto the­blues­greats–oldandnew–or,bet­ter still,get­tingy­our­coa­to­nand­get­ting­downto th­e­lo­cal­blues­jam­to­joininthe­fun.

Many thanks to World Guitars of Stone­house for the loan of this ’56 LP Reis­sue cover star!

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