100 Blues Lessons (Hal Leonard)

Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,743Member
I'm pretty sure this is the way to go in my improvisation on electric guitar. It's not going so well as I find it a struggle to pick up, however well intentioned I mean to be.

All the licks are authentic and impressive.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/100-Blues-Lessons-Guitar-Goldmine/dp/142349878X

And then there's this: Fretboard Mastery by Troy Stetina.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fretboard-Mastery-Troy-Stetina/dp/0793597897

Again: Totally authentic and well structured. All that's lacking is my will but I know this is the way to go. Both books come with CDs and are excellent. (I've bought hundreds of books and been disappointed with most of them.)

Comments

  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,629Member
    Yep, willpower is the key :-)

    I'm very much a licks based player when it comes to blues and rock'n'roll. I jest about it here, but there's a lot of truth when I say I only know three licks. But I do know them really well. I cut them up, play fragments, play them in different positions and all keys, and half the time folks don't realise I'm playing exactly the same thing from song to song.

    I would like to improve but experience has found that it's really hard to get even one more lick into the vocabulary. It's okay at home - I have tons of licks I can play at home in the gentle morning light, whilst sitting on the sofa, with a cup of coffee at hand, and my Telecaster on my lap. But in the heat of a gig when the song's going by faster than I'm used to and someone calls for another solo... it's then that my mind goes blank and I revert to the tried and tested trio of licks.

    So perhaps I'll join you in the journey for improvement, starting with finding one new lick and playing it to death...
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,743Member
    I hear ya !

    I think most of us reach our plateau very quickly. The rest is showmanship.
  • The23rdmanThe23rdman Posts: 1,560Member
    Derek_R said:

    Yep, willpower is the key :-)

    I'm very much a licks based player when it comes to blues and rock'n'roll. I jest about it here, but there's a lot of truth when I say I only know three licks. But I do know them really well. I cut them up, play fragments, play them in different positions and all keys, and half the time folks don't realise I'm playing exactly the same thing from song to song.

    I would like to improve but experience has found that it's really hard to get even one more lick into the vocabulary. It's okay at home - I have tons of licks I can play at home in the gentle morning light, whilst sitting on the sofa, with a cup of coffee at hand, and my Telecaster on my lap. But in the heat of a gig when the song's going by faster than I'm used to and someone calls for another solo... it's then that my mind goes blank and I revert to the tried and tested trio of licks.

    So perhaps I'll join you in the journey for improvement, starting with finding one new lick and playing it to death...

    Far better to be able to play one thing really well than lots of things half-arsed.

  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,743Member
    And guitarists often do play the same thing over and over. I think there is a bit of autism in most of us.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,743Member
    At Mansons the other day - a beardie-weirdy banging out something artlessly on a Faith.

    "This'll keep me going 'til I'm 90. Pickin' and grinnin', pickin' and grinnin' "

    He did it well enough but over and over... aaargh !
  • Derek_RDerek_R Posts: 1,629Member
    Yeah, I know what you mean. There I was in Manson's the other day, scratching my beard, and trying out a Faith...
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,207Member
    I found in my few years trying to get to grips with blues based music, mainly on electric guitar, that books just didn't work as a medium for my learning. I needed video lessons by someone that could show how the basic principals worked - then things would progress much better.

    I also admit to a basic problem with taking "licks" on board however they were taught. I just couldn't get motivated to play someone elses standard patterns. Stringing a load of the licks together just didn't make me feel I was putting anything of myself into the music - however lacking my own input might be.

    For better or worse, mainly the latter, I like to try and express something of myself in playing. This goes some way to explain my lack of success in the blues genre and my branching off into more general modal based playing. It still leaves me a feeling of having failed mind you.
  • MegiMegi Posts: 6,748Member
    edited May 19
    I have "100 Jazz Guitar Lessons" - or at least the title is something like that, very possibly by the same authors. That one's a really great book as well, although each of the lessons could easily be expanded to cover at least a month or two of practice material - at lot of them just kind of get you going with a concept and then it's up to you. But that's good of course, and it is an inspiring book. The examples in it sound like real music that would work in real life, which sadly isn't the case with some books I've looked at. So maybe I should check out the blues one too.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 2,743Member
    edited May 19


    Perhaps this approach is more to your liking, Mark.

    Seconded, Megi. So many books are a disappointment and lack authenticity or usefulness.

    I also dislike the 'play along' band backing with tabs approach - the vocals are missing and so you end up with an empty version of the music which goes on for too long. What I think that would really sell well is something that you could do as a short party piece.

    Say you want to play in the style of Hendrix and show if off to your friends. Well - a whole rendition of Little Wing is going to get a bit boring without the vocals (which are not provided.)

    How about a book with CD which works towards a final 3 minute showcase of some of the artiste's techniques - with the trademark licks and phrases fitted in to an entertaining and not overly long melody, bypassing the need for vocals ?

    That's what I crave anyway, as a non singer. I have many books of full version backings which are sitting wasted as it is so difficult to keep time without the vocal cues - the method should work in theory but doesn't - demotivation sets in quickly.

    (Hank Marvin's book/CD works really well as a useful stand-alone tutorial I might add.)
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,207Member
    Aye Kevin - you've hit the nail on the head. That IS the sort of lesson style I like most and find most productive and enjoyable! :smile:

    It's certainly a lesson I'd be looking at getting ideas off if I was still playing electric.
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