This new lessons package includes Country Blues Guitar Volume 1
Lesson 1: Country Blues Guitar- Introduction
The *Introduction* starts with an overview of the entire volume, continues with a bit of blues theory regarding key signatures and common chord progressions, and concludes with a brief discussion on some of the players who popularized the style.
Lesson 2: Country Blues Lesson 1- Basic Concepts and Techniques
*Lesson 1* covers some basic concepts and techniques, starting with an explanation of the shuffle rhythm commonly used in blues, continuing with discussion and demonstrations of right hand positions and techniques, and then heading into some left hand techniques like string bending and vibrato. This lesson then introduces some exercises to get you started on keeping a steady bass pattern going while playing a few simple licks. Even an absolute beginner could master Exercise #1 with a little practice. The subsequent exercises expand on the first and are followed by Play Along segments for each one, all done with a metronome to help develop good rhythmic techniques and habits.
Lesson 3: Country Blues Lesson 2- The Key of E
In Lesson 2 we learn a couple of songs in the key of E. These expand on the exercises in Lesson 1 by combining them with some chord changes and arranging them in a pattern of measures. *Smokestack Blues* is an 8-bar progression over 1 chord and is a variation of Howlin’ Wolf’s Smokestack Lightning. *Blues Man* takes the idea a step further and branches into a 16-bar progression using chords I-IV-V in the key (E-A-B). Both songs are done using the Mono Bass technique in a style similar to pieces by Big Bill Broonzy, among others, and would be considered Level 1 and 2 respectively. The lesson concludes with a segment on experimenting with your own licks.
Lesson 4: Country Blues Lesson 3- Mississippi Blues
Lesson 3 introduces a song the key of A and adds the technique of Alternating Bass notes. *Mississippi Blues #3* uses some hammer ons and passing bass notes between chords and is a bit more folk-blues, in the style of Mississippi John Hurt. This song is an example of a 24-bar progression, mainly because the first 8 measures are essentially repeated as the last 8 measures. It is a bit more advanced than the songs in Lesson 2 and would be considered a Level 4 song.
Lesson 5: Country Blues Lesson 4- Sand Dollar Blues
In Lesson 4 we look at *Sand Dollar Blues, a 16-bar progression in the key of G. This uses the Alternating Bass technique as well, and introduces the idea of syncopated melody notes being played before the chord changes, an anticipation by musical definition. We also discuss chord inversions; chords with bass notes other than the root, sometimes known as ‘slash’ chords (D7/F#). Sand Dollar Blues is a Level 4 song and is similar to pieces by John Fahey and some simpler ones by Reverend Gary Davis.
Lesson 6: Country Blues Lesson 5- Summertime Strut
Lesson 5, Summertime Strut is another 16-bar progression, but with a ragtime feel like more complex pieces by Reverend Gary Davis, Blind Blake, Blind Boy Fuller, and even a touch of Arlo Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant. This lesson is in the key of C and addresses the theory of using chords outside the key signature. It includes some quick changes and other left hand techniques that will require a little more time to master- stretching and moving separate fingers in different directions at the same time, and the option of using your left thumb to fret notes on the 6^th string. It is a Level 5 song and completes Volume 1 of the Country Blues Guitar course.