How To Find The Best Blues Guitar Course For You

by San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

When looking for the best blues guitar lesson dvds there are two basic types. The first type contains limited but highly focused lessons that are based on learning blues music in the style of certain historical periods like the Delta, Chicago or 1960’s Rock Blues. Also, there are specialty dvds available that focus on learning to play in the style of certain artists like Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughn just to name a few.

This article will focus on the second type of blues guitar course. The kind created for students that desire comprehensive training in the fundamental skills required to play songs of many popular blues periods. These courses typically cover the essential riffs, techniques and music theory. Often these courses teach how to build interesting solos as well as being a supportive rhythm player in a live band.

General Guitar Skills Required Before Learning Blues Guitar

To get the most out of these complete blues instruction dvds it is first critical to have some familiarity with the basics of playing the guitar. Specifically, know how to play many of the major, minor and dominant seventh chords. Understand a few moveable bar chord shapes and at least one moveable major scale and minor pentatonic scale pattern. It would also be helpful to know basic fretting techniques for slides, bends, hammer-ons and pull-offs.

What To Look For In A Good Comprehensive Blues Guitar Course:


The Instructor: This is by far the most important factor in determining the value of a blues lesson dvd. Ideally the instructor will be an accomplished guitarist that has played extensively in blues bands. It is also useful if the instructor is competent in many non-blues styles of music and has written and recorded songs.

The blues course instructor must also be a gifted and experienced teacher. He must be able to identify with the learning styles and thought processes of students at each stage of their development. An instructor that is formally educated in music is ideal.

The Course format: The dvds would ideally offer continuous video and not just short segments. The videos should be accompanied by a printed support book or at least an ebook that can be downloaded from the internet. They should be well organized so that the lessons can build skills and understanding logically from one to another.

The Video Production quality: Close up shots must reveal the fingers on the fret board clearly so there is no ambiguity about what frets or what strings are being fingered. The videos should be of high enough resolution so that you can view them on a large computer or television screen without the image becoming fuzzy. Often programs that are downloaded from the internet don’t pass the sharpness test.

The Lessons Format: would include verbal explanation, full speed demonstrations, slow speed demonstrations, practice with the instructor and practice with a recorded back-up band (often referred to as Jam Tracks).

The Lesson Topics: Should At A Minimum Include: open blues chords, moveable blues chords, chord progressions, 12 bar blues format, common blues scales, common picking techniques, common fingering techniques, common blues strumming patterns, a selection of standard blues songs and how to improvise solos with a band.

Electric Blues or Acoustic Blues Instruction? Its important to know what type of blues music and therefore what kind of guitar lessons will fit the bill. Some blues guitar courses are for electric only, some are acoustic only and a few cover both.

It is worth noting that when acquiring advanced or specialty guitar lessons it is almost always beneficial to be exposed to the course teachings of many different master instructors. Each successful blues guitarist learns from past and present legends then melds those lessons into something that is unique. The more influences you have the richer your unique style can become.

One of the great advantages of video blues guitar lessons on dvd is that you can efficiently and relatively inexpensively learn a broad spectrum of standard styles, songs and artists. Now you should have a good set of criteria for finding the best blues guitar lessons for your specific interests.

Blues Guitar Courses John Mackinnon has posted detailed reviews and comparison charts to a series of popular blues guitar lesson dvds. Learn which Blues Guitar Courses are gems and which to avoid before you buy… Go to Blues Guitar Lesson DVDs

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