Showing posts with label Blues. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blues. Show all posts

Saturday, September 30, 2017

RHYTHM AND BLUES GUITAR Solos - DUKE ROBILLARD Plays With Finesse!

English: Robillard rocking in 2006
Robillard rocking in 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Duke Robillard was born in Woonsocket, Rhode Island on October 4, 1948. He first decided that he wanted to play the guitar at the age of six after hearing some records by Buddy Holly and Chuck Berry. But it was not till he was twelve years of age that he got his very first guitar. In his early teens, he was influenced by different popular artists including Duane Eddy, The Ventures, and The Surfaris along with rockabilly and country guitar players James Burton and Scotty Moore. Then his guitar style became influenced by some of the leading blues guitar players including B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, and Freddie King.

After his initial graduation from high school, Duke Robillard worked for over a year in a factory. This experience made him decide to make a living as a guitarist! In 1967 he formed his group "Roomful Of Blues". Right around this time, his personal musical style began to be affected by the recordings of Buddy Johnson's rhythm and blues band. Duke then started to pay close attention to the jazz stage band recordings of Count Basie and Duke Ellington and likewise those of jazz guitar players Charlie Christian, Barney Kessel, Oscar Moore, and Tiny Grimes.

In 1969 he formed another blues band called "Black Cat". It was short-lived though and after it disbanded Robillard reformed the "Roomful Of Blues". This group was styled after the Kansas City and Southwest swing band sounds. For numerous years the group worked frequently in clubs around the Rhode Island and Boston areas. When he befriended and worked with jazz saxophonist Scott Hamilton, it was during this time that Duke was drawn further in the direction of jazz.




In 1978 the "Roomful Of Blues" band started making recordings for the Island Record Company. Since that time Duke Robillard has been associated with numerous well-known groups including "The Pleasure Kings", "The Legendary Blues Band" and "The Fabulous Thunderbirds". Duke then began recording for Rounder Records. His releases for this recording company reflect the quality of the jazz blues side of his guitar playing rather than the rhythm and blues styles of his earlier recordings.

In 1993 Duke Robillard signed a recording contract with the Stony Plains record label. Among his many albums ever since then are 2 duet efforts with jazz guitar legend Herb Ellis, a rhythm and blues tribute to T-Bone Walker, collaborating with Jay Geils and Jerry Beaudoin as "The New Guitar Summit" performing passionate performances of well-known swing standards, a duet with fellow blues guitarist Ronnie Earl as well as a tribute to Les Paul and Mary Ford.


Throughout his vibrant professional career Duke Robillard, who is also a likable singer, has always gone his own way often crossing over stylistic borders to play the music he loves. In more recent times Duke has launched several excellent instructional guitar DVDs and book collections that teach many of his recorded solos along with his playing techniques and harmonic approach to guitar.



Thursday, December 1, 2016

Best BLUES Instrumental Music of the Past


Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers
Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
Whenever I'm feeling down or just plain bad, I sometimes find it beneficial to listen to some good ole fashion blues. But not just any old blues will do. I need the music without the lyrics. Come with me now as we head out into the vast world of blues in search of the best blues instrumentals to drown your sorrows to. Here we go.

The #1 spot for out best blues instrumental music of the past belongs to "Phillip's Theme" by Hound Dog Taylor and the HouseRockers. Theodore Roosevelt "Hound Dog" Taylor was an American blues guitarist who originally played piano. He is mostly known for his electric slide guitar and get down and boogie beats. I guess what really makes him stand out besides being an amazing blues guitarist is that he had 6 fingers on his left hand.

Blues guru John Mayall, from a concert at the ...
Blues guru John Mayall
(Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
Moving on down our chart we come to #2 on my blues instrumental music chart with "The Supernatural" by John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers featuring Peter Green. John Mayall was not only a talented multi-instrumentalist, but a song writer and blues singer. He pioneered English blues and has a history that spans over fifty years. He has influenced tons of other mucisians like Eric Clapton, Peter Green, and Mick Fleetwood to name a few.

As all good things must end, here we are at our final spot on my best blues instrumental music list with none other than "Little Wing" by Stevie Ray Vaughan. A Jimi Hendrix cover song spoken through an amazing blues rock guitarist Stevie Ray. I love this instrumental rendition of Hendrix's song "Little Wings". Stevie Ray Vaughan is known widely for his warm bluesy rock sound and was ranked #7 by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

As we close my best blues instrumental music of the past, I just want to say you can never have to much instrumental blues. With that said, go out into the free world of blues inspiration and bring back a little for yourself. And remember once your hooked, there ain't no cure for the blues. Until next time...



Sunday, October 30, 2016

Blues HARMONICAS

The harmonica is a very common element in blues music. It has the depth to go with the rhythm and for many people it is what makes it what it has become. Learning to play the blues on the harmonica is much harder than one might think. Yet once you do so you will be very happy with yourself. 

English: American blues harmonica player Georg...
American blues harmonica player George "Harmonica" Smith
 (Photo credit: 
Wikipedia)
One significant difference between blues harmonicas and others is the fact that the blues features twelve holes instead of the traditional ten that is found on others. This can take some getting used to when you pick up a blues harmonica if this isn’t the style that you first learned to play on. It is important to have the right type of harmonica in order to play the blues.

When it comes to playing the blues on the harmonica you have to be able to feel the music. You also need to know the basic notes on the instrument so you can apply them. This can be frustrating but make it a routine to practice at least 15 minutes each day. Try to play listening to a blues song you are attempting to copy. This will guide you to show you where you need to continue working as well as were you have certain parts of the song down correctly.

Many individuals who own blues harmonicas are more than willing to help others learn too. You can find them hanging out on the porch on warm afternoons working with each other. Many younger generations have learned the value of patience and bonded with older family members during the process of learning to play a blues harmonica. In fact it is also common for these older musicians to buy young children a blues harmonica so they can start picking it up from a very young age. 



You will discover in your quest to buy a blues harmonica that there is no shortage of them out there to choose from. Take your time to try out several models that you can find at local music stores. You want to be comfortable with what you are going to be playing. Plan on spending at least $200 or more for a very good blues harmonica that you will love playing every chance you get. 



Musicnotes.com


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Dreaming Of Playing BLUES GUITAR Chords Like A Pro?

You know what they say: ”If you’ve got the blues, you’ve got the juice.” Indeed, blues guitar music is the Mecca of all guitar music. After all, you can’t get any better than that head bobbing and feet tapping rhythm that courses through your very soul like a fine wine or a hot cup of coffee.

English: Picture taken from taking barre chord...
Picture taken from taking barre chord on guitar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Blues guitar chords and guitar lessons, anyone?

There are several reliable blues guitar chords and guitar lessons online and offline.  These are all managed by experienced and schooled guitarists. Online sites can have you playing the blues faster than ordinary lessons.  Once you sign up for instructions, you will be regularly provided with progressive guitar coaching. There are also sites that offer 200 lessons for exclusive members.

If you want to learn speed guitar playing with your blues guitar chords, the Internet is a minefield for sites that hasten your accomplishments with the trickier aspects of guitar playing – fingering, phrasing, and picking, useful techniques if you dream of playing like the greats, such as BB King, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and blues rocker Anna Popovic.

The homepages of several sites have a list of lessons for beginners, intermediate, advanced, and legendary. Each category is marked by a number of guitars graphic. Two to three guitars indicate the difficulty level of the lesson, so start with the appropriate tutorial. And no, skipping levels won’t help you. You’re only fooling yourself.

Learning blues guitar chords

Learning blues guitar chords online affords you flexibility of time. You can schedule the hour for your training according to your free time. Learning or slacking, it’s your call. Take note, however, that you have to be consistent with your lessons. A daily dose of guitar instruction will have you playing like a pro in no time.

Of course, you must have a guitar to practice on. If you don’t have one, well, go get one, otherwise you’re a sitting duck. Playing blues guitar chords are often demonstrated online to give you an idea how the chords are played. The instructor gives explanations before, during, and after the demonstration. Your background information, basic guitar skills, and understanding of the triads are essential tools for your advanced training.

If you have just started fundamental lessons or still feeling your way around guitars, learning the blues guitar chords will definitely not be a piece of cake. But fear not because frequent practice makes perfect. Set an hour or two for added lessons in blues guitar chords. Know the basics, practice and prepare, then go learn those blues guitar chords. And yes, definitely in that order.

How do I learn the tricks with blues guitar chords?

First, you need an acoustic or electric guitar. These should have steel strings and have the standard tuning of E-A-D-G-B-E. You must have the aptitude to read tablatures. A good chord book and some blues music CDs, preferably of your blues heroes, will help you along, or at least, inspire you. The last and most significant tool you need is your ability to discern the tonal quality of the guitar.

The step-by-step blues guitar tutorials will take you along the 12 chord progression, via audio examples, blues tablature, MP3 jam tracks, detailed instructions, and video demonstrations.
You will need to master the primary elements – pentatonic scale, chord structure, and the different right hand rhythm styles. As you go along, make sure you are absorbing the blues guitar chords dictionary, including visualizing chord arrangements on the guitar.

When you are ready, you will be introduced to the more complex diminished and augmented chords.  Some cynics scoff at the idea of guitar scales lessons. But little do they know that the great guitarists have learned to add depth to their blues by applying their extensive knowledge and appreciation of scales. This also boils down to learning the organization of the fret board.

Playing the solo

Playing the solo starts with learning the rhythm part of the blues guitar chords. It can be compared to the blueprint that is used as a guide for solo blues artists. In solo playing, the notes are played one by one, and this is accompanied by the rhythm guitar. In contrast, the rhythm plays the note of one chord all at once or is plucked in progression.

So, with all that said, do you think you can be the next Jimi Hendrix with your blues guitar chords?




Monday, August 22, 2016

The Influence Of BLUES GUITAR On Modern Music

Anybody interested in modern music sooner or later asks the question, "Where did it begin?" Well, if you leave blues guitar music out, you will not have much of an answer. So let us look at where the blues came from, where it went and who it met on the way. We will also take a look at the "blues guitar sound" and how it has its unique effect on our feelings.

El considerado rey del Blues con su inseparabl...
El considerado rey del Blues con su inseparable Lucille.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The blues as a musical phenomenon began around 1911 when W.C. Handy published popular songs, notably "Memphis Blues" and "St Louis Blues", which affected the hearts and souls of the black people. By the nineteen twenties the general population were beginning to hear this new music through its influence on jazz. Early blues singers like Bessie Smith and Billie Holiday sang with jazz bands while others played with "jug bands" accompanied by fiddle, kazoo and washboard.

Of course to people like W. C. Handy who were brought up singing in church, the piano was the natural instrumental accompaniment to their songs. But the guitar is portable and always was popular so it had to have a place in blues and jazz. Blues guitar players like twelve string guitarist Leadbelly and future electric guitar player B.B. King were making sure the guitar would be an integral part of the blues. Other blues guitarists made their living in smoky saloons playing slide guitar using a bottle neck or the blade of a knife to fret the notes.

After the Second World War young artists like Elvis Presley and Bill Haley were wrapping the blues in a new package called "rock'n'roll" and the players of the electric blues guitar like B.B. King were heralding the arrival of the lead guitar, soon to be a great attraction for both musicians and audiences. Throughout the evolution of the blues the guitar had always taken its turn for solos in jazz bands but now it competed with the singer for the attention of the audience.

Blues guitar can be played in any key that takes your fancy and comes in three basic forms: eight bars, for example "Heartbreak Hotel", sixteen bars like "Saint James Infirmary" and  twelve bars like  "St. Louis Blues". For some reason the twelve bar blues form is way more singer-friendly and popular with audiences than the other two, and it is the basis of many great songs outside the blues idiom.

If you go poking around the internet you will find that the blues scales are just your garden variety major and minor scales except that the third, fifth and seventh notes are played flat. However, you may be astonished to learn that blues players managed for centuries without knowing about European musical theory. They learnt to sing and play from their families and friends just as many of the young white blues players of the nineteen sixties learnt from imitating the artists they heard on records.

And this is where the blues takes another direction. After years of imitating their idols something odd happened to the white blues guitar players in Britain and the USA. They developed their own authentic, original styles. The older blues players even began using the new arrangements of classic songs and adopting some of the unbluesy musical innovations introduced by young white guitarists like Eric Clapton. So the beat goes on. A foreign culture influences American popular music and in turn gets fresh input from a new generation of guitar players from all over the world.



Saturday, April 9, 2016

The Development of BLUES MUSIC

Jazz, rock music and country and western are just some of the styles that owe a lot of their progression from the original blues. The contribution of Blues music to the development of many other genres of music is very significant. Blues was originally grown out of the hardships endured by many generations of African Americans, and first arose from the rural Mississippi region, around about the time of the dawn of the 20th century. The style developed from work shouts (known as arhoolies), and became the vocal narrative style that we associate with blues music today.

John Lee Hooker at the Long Beach Blues Festival
John Lee Hooker at the Long Beach Blues Festival (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jazz, rock music and country and western are just some of the styles that owe a lot of their progression from the original blues. The contribution of Blues music to the development of many other genres of music is very significant. Blues was originally grown out of the hardships endured by many generations of African Americans, and first arose from the rural Mississippi region, around about the time of the dawn of the 20th century. The style developed from work shouts (known as arhoolies), and became the vocal narrative style that we associate with blues music today.

Industry was progressing, and by the 1920's Blues music was also developing - affecting the everyday lives of people involved. There was by this time a very particular style, based around a three-line stanza. The stanza contained just one line of verse, repeated, and then finished with a final line of rhyming verse.

The style also included a repeating blues chord progression, which was the basis of the harmony. The usual rule of thumb was a 12-bar pattern utilizing the 3 major chords of a scale. The text was set to a 12-bar chorus, and typically was between four and eight stanzas in length.

In typical cases, the melody is formed by flattened third, fifth and seventh notes of the major scale. The outcome is the 'bent' notes that lend Blues music that distinctive sound - the bittersweet emotional impact that lacks in other genres. For the majority of blues music the focus is on the vocals - contradicting the fact that performers will often improvise instrumental solos over the Blues chord progressions.

Many itinerant musicians (the majority of which were men), travelled from one community to the next, singing songs that focused on love, freedom, sex and the general sorrows of life. Often referred to as 'Delta Blues' (in tribute to the Mississippi Delta were they first originated), country blues arose from the Southern rural experience, particularly influenced by the impact of emancipation.

Classic Blues
African Americans began to migrate, mainly looking for work. Areas such as Memphis and New Orleans began to become more populated, and these people brought their own brand of music with them. As they settled in these areas, it led to Blues music becoming much more urban-orientated. The music evolved as their way of life evolved. Male or female vocalists began to appear more regularly, and there was now the addition of a single piano.


The audience also grew, and Blues became more mainstream. Throughout the country as a whole, Blues music could now be heard in dancehalls and barrooms. The music industry as a whole started to take note, and more and more compositions and marketing arrangements emerged, as people began to take notice. The popularity of this kind of music grew exponentially. What would become known as Classic Blues became so popular that many songs were released with the word 'blues' in the title to capitalize on this, even though they bared little or no relation to the style of music.

Its center, previously clustered around Memphis and New Orleans, began to migrate, and soon cities such as Chicago became the central point of much of the music. The appetite for the style of music known as the Blues was quite voracious.

The end of the Second World War brought a new revival into the genre, and artists began to develop the music, primarily through adding a bit of extra emphasis on the bass drums and cranking up the guitar sounds. Artists like Elvis and Bill Haley began to incorporate the Blues methods into their own unique brand of rock n roll. By the 1950's this style was no longer centered around the African American community, and was universally practiced across all races.

The influence that Blues music has had on the music industry as a whole is undisputed, and yet Blues music is still evolving, still developing, and still evoking the stirrings of the soul to anyone who cares to listen! The incorporation of the Blues style into different genres still exists today, and Blues music in its own right continues to go from strength to strength - many top selling artists maintain the original styles.

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