I'm stuck . . .

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I'm stuck . . .

Postby estragon » Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:01 pm

Hey folks,

I'm stuck with my blues playing and REALLY need help!

I can play basic stuff in standard tuning, usually in E but sometimes in A, i also have been experimenting with Open D with a little bit of slide.

I am having trouble knowing how to progress, the internet is full of stuff for the absolute beginner but im a little beyond that, there seems to be nothing for me.

I've tried books (Grossmans Mississippi John Hurt Book and Arnie Berle's Beginning fingerstyle blues) but i find them hard to follow.

I have no players around me so i cant benefit fro meeting up with someone better than me who could maybe show me some stuff (i am good at learning quickly when shown something in person, once i get it i can usually figure out variations etc).

Can anyone help?

im in need of exercises to help develop independence of thumb and fingers on my plucking hand (alternating bass etc),

i also need help with slide stuff,

any ideas?

many thanks!

:D
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Re: I'm stuck . . .

Postby Old Stella » Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:42 pm

People learn in different ways. For me (and maybe for you) simply observing a guitarist might do the trick.

I'm not one to tab licks and store them in my memory, or copy a certain song note for note. I'm best at doing my own thing, but of course you can NOT ignore the masters.

Try watching all the performance clips you can on YouTube.

Figure out which key they're in and watch closey for those little specialized chords that only bluesmen use.

Instead of watching for the 'right' way to pick or chord, watch for the unique differences in each performer.

Learn how to feel the beat from your head to your toe and follow THAT.

Take a little from each clip and mess around with it.

And if you're stuck, then make up a song about being stuck. Maybe that'll unstick you.
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Re: I'm stuck . . .

Postby zhyla » Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:21 am

There's tons of good stuff on youtube... here's a fun one to play, has that thumb thing going on:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=bl4K06lR_EI
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Re: I'm stuck . . .

Postby OldWailer » Thu Feb 05, 2009 6:04 am

There's tons of good stuff on youtube... here's a fun one to play, has that thumb thing going on:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=bl4K06lR_EI


That link is Keni Lee playing--he also sells a DVD on ebay that is good for slide stuff.

Also--check out http://www.homespuntapes.com/ They have tons of video lessons there by the real masters of
whatever style you want to try. About $30 a DVD--cheap for something really good. Homespun is run by a guy named Happy Traum--
I bought my first book by him back in the 60's--he's been a mentor for me on guitar for over 40 years--his lessons are graded
and you can see a preview of them right on the site. . .
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Re: I'm stuck . . .

Postby CashWiley » Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:29 pm

I very much dislike Grossman's tab style, for some reason it really threw me off. I like Brozman's stuff. One reason I haven't jumped both feet into playing acoustic as it seems a lot of folks here do, is I come from a rock background and it's like playing alien-style. I would love to, but it's a pretty steep slope for someone to learn new tricks after 25 years of playing :) Anyway, I occasionally bang my head against the wall with these books:

http://www.amazon.com/Beginning-Fingers ... 0825625564
http://www.amazon.com/Art-Contemporary- ... 0936799005

Since you're a visual learner, you might want to check out some instructional DVDs. I like Ernie Hawkin's stuff, his own, his Gary Davis (he learned from the Rev himself), his Lightnin' Hopkins disc. He's also a wicked nice guy and loves teaching. If you can find him in your area, he'll give you some lessons! (He also has a CAGED DVD for the fretboard system I mention next)

Also, I recommend learning the CAGED system of the standard tuning fretboard. I like this book:

http://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Fretboard- ... 0634049011
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Re: I'm stuck . . .

Postby rustyslide » Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:50 pm

I've been fingerpicking for 20 years, but I just sort of went that way as I kept losing my pick in the guitar as a child.

I've just started to learn alternating bass, as I really want to play Payday, and I really, really couldn't. Sitting down to learn technique again is hard, but worthwhile. Same as it always was, accuracy is more important than speed, so I go slowly.

I would suggest you just pick a song that you can't already play, but sounds accessible, and learn it. And that you can find tab/sheet music for.

Mine YouTube.
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Re: I'm stuck . . .

Postby Old Stella » Thu Feb 05, 2009 4:27 pm

Some of my fave clips........

Doc Watson - alternating thumb
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQ_aeax2eHA

John Hammond - Robt Johnson style
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHQ1Kt62 ... annel_page

Keb Mo & Corey Harris - shuffle
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TgTpP7y2MA

Big Bill - incredible drive with not too fussy bass notes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fm1qtX7Mz5w
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Re: I'm stuck . . .

Postby zhyla » Fri Feb 06, 2009 6:33 am

rustyslide wrote:I would suggest you just pick a song that you can't already play, but sounds accessible, and learn it. And that you can find tab/sheet music for.


On the flip side, it's sometimes helpful to take tunes you know in standard tuning and rearrange them for slide.
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Re: I'm stuck . . .

Postby De Ferre » Fri Feb 06, 2009 8:36 am

Try to play along with CD's, imitating the phrases you hear. That's how I learn most I know.
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Re: I'm stuck . . .

Postby estragon » Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:34 am

Hey thanks folks,

Really appreciate the support being offered here, truly good vibes,

Im looking at all the clips youve suggested (please suggest more!!)

Also, re: the homespun stuff, ive seen a clip from The Blues Guitar of Keb Mo and found it useful, has anyone here seen the whole thing? is it all good? im definitely considering buying that one.

also the brozman 3 part slide series sounds good but ive heard mixed reports about it, any thoughts on that too?

Once again, thanks so much for your help!

:D
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Re: I'm stuck . . .

Postby OldWailer » Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:40 am

Also, re: the homespun stuff, ive seen a clip from The Blues Guitar of Keb Mo and found it useful, has anyone here seen the whole thing? is it all good? im definitely considering buying that one.


Yes, I have that one and it is wonderful! My favorite one on it is "You're a Perpetual Blues Machine." I would have paid the price for the DVD just to learn that one alone. There is a version of "Hard Hearted Woman" there that changed the course of my guitar fingerpicking forever--it's that good.

Keb Mo is engaging and helpful--with more soul than the law allows--just fun to work with the lesson. He gives you these very simple little gems to play that just sound so cool!

I also have the second one--it is good too--but not as much a favorite for me. The version of "America, the Beautiful" is a slide guitar piece I'm still working on--it is worth the price by itself too.

I don't think you could go wrong with Keb Mo--you might have noticed that I am a fan! :)
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Re: I'm stuck . . .

Postby estragon » Sat Feb 07, 2009 4:42 pm

I've just taken the plunge and ordered the DVD, i will let you know how i get on.

I must say, the little i learnt from the youtube clip was invaluable and that was about 1 minute long!!

The whole dvd is about 75 mins i think!So ive got high hopes!!

:D
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Re: I'm stuck . . .

Postby bottleneck » Sat Feb 07, 2009 9:35 pm

i KNOW that you say there is nobody around you to learn from.even in antartica there would be other players.i have learned a great deal from players that are not as well thought of as me.a little riff here or there.

i think even if you want to be a solo player,playing with and networking with other players is key.see as much live performance as possible.

and of course youtube,haha

www.myspace.com/shakeylyman
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Re: I'm stuck . . .

Postby maxx england » Mon Feb 09, 2009 11:15 am

Clapton is on record as saying that Hendrix went to see pub bands, just in case there was that one little thing they had that he didn't. And if it was good enough for Jimi, well.....
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Re: I'm stuck . . .

Postby ricochet » Mon Feb 09, 2009 2:23 pm

How'd you like to be playing a pub gig and see Jimi come in and sit down?
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