My Teacher And The 4 Note Blues Guitar Solo

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Published: 06th January 2011
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It's pretty aggravating to sign up with a guitar teacher only to find out he or she claims to be able to teach all styles of guitar playing. I wanted to play blues guitar and it took a lot of mistakes to find the right blues guitar music teacher. Here is how to avoid the mistakes I made.

If you are a novice blues guitar player, you must start with a book or DVD course for beginners because only after learning basics will you be able to find that perfect teacher to match your personality. Such books or courses should have clear illustrations and photos that give you a solid foundation to understand the basics of blues guitar playing. The reason for this is simple - how can you relate to a teacher if you are a total dummy about blues guitar? You would not be able to relate to a calculus teacher if all you know is basic math, right?

This does not mean that you have to be an accomplished player before you seek out a blues teacher. It simply means you should know something about chords, scales, fingering, and so forth. Just the basics are good enough to ensure that you speak the same music language as your teacher. I have to stress that learning this musical language is as critical as learning any spoken language. Try speaking English to a native Italian and you will get what I mean. There will be a breakdown in communication.

Think of the guitar not as an instrument but as a communication device. You will use it to communicate emotions to an audience through well chosen musical language (think notes) and musical phrasing. You will literally play a story to your audience via the music. Of course, if there are lyrics, they add to the color of the piece but, when you play that solo riff, you will be taking communication to an even more intimate level.

Blues guitar has a very special way of generating emotion. Blues music is said to be the basis for most of today's rock. Even rappers understand how a blues-based melody can generate strong emotion in an audience. Learning basic blues guitar is not always an easy process just as learning a new language is not always easy but, with practice and persistence, you will get to a level where you will be able to find the blues music teacher you need.

How Can You Find The Perfect Blues Guitar Teacher For Your Personality?

An easy way to find the perfect blues guitar teacher is to go where blues players perform. You will be surprised that many blues guitar players also teach when they are not performing. Listen to a set by the band. If you are moved emotionally by the lead player, ask the lead player when they go on break if they are willing to teach you to play for a fee. At the very least they may refer you to someone they know who teaches the style of blues they played.

You may have to hear several blues bands before you find that perfect teacher so don't give up looking. There is likely a teacher in your town that you can relate to. Now, I must say, I did find a teacher that way but, as it turned out, the hours he was available were not the same hours I was available. What did I do? I turned to the Internet and found the perfect teacher for the sound I wanted and who could teach in a way that I could understand.

Learning to play guitar, not just blues guitar, is a very personal experience. Many people, frustrated by a bad teacher or just the pressure of life situations, give up trying too soon. They might believe they just cannot master the first steps or they think that the people who play guitar well have some secret ability they were born with and we are lacking. Nothing is further from the truth!

Now, don't misunderstand. I am not claiming that you can be the next Buddy Guy or Robert Plant. I am saying that you can learn to be an credible blues guitar player in your own right if you stick with it, get over the beginning basics, and find the right teacher. I believe just about anyone can even become good enough to play in a local blues band and get paid for it.

Is There Such A Thing As A Gifted Blues Player?

We have all seen movies and TV shows that portray someone gifted in musical talent. That is true to some extent. Classical pianists, opera singers, great violinists, may all be called gifted but, the truth is, all of them spent most of their waking hours learning and practicing fundamentals so they "appear" gifted. An NBA star, for example, appears gifted but we do not see the years spent on the court practicing free throws and jump shots. Gifted performers must learn the fundamentals before they can add their own twist so they appear to be gifted. This is the same with playing the blues.

There is a big difference between being able to play blues guitar and appearing to have a gift for playing blues guitar. The difference comes from the amount of time put into practice and improvisation. You will be pleased to learn that even the gifted blues players are doing nothing more than playing from scales! That's right! They know the scales and are able to use the notes of the scales to create their own style of music. One style can make a gifted player while another style makes a mediocre player. And, worst case of all is the player who tries to copy the style of a great player.

Remember, I said that music is a personal experience! You must find your own musical style and express it. You must be unique to be considered great. You only get to that point by learning the fundamentals and finding a teacher who can help you explore your own style of blues guitar playing.

It's pretty easy to copy just about any blues lick especially if you have a video and diagrams to follow but your goal should be to expand on licks to make them your own. The perfect teacher can show you how to use Clapton and Plant licks, for example, as a foundation and teach you how to add your own twist to them. In this way, creativity will be triggered because you will have the basics mastered.

To get started learning blues guitar, check out the famous 4 Note Blues Solo Video at 4 Note Solo. It's pretty easy to learn and play. And. for more free guitar videos plus articles about playing guitar, visit the

Blues Guitar blog

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