During this mornings session we recapped the work covered during the course with run a through of some of the pieces performed as a group.
1. Minor blues riff
2. Walking blues
3. Deep south slow blues (slide)
Video of the day #1
Minor Blues Riff
Video of the day #2
Video of the day #3
Deep South Slow Blues
The class spent much of the day jamming together and working on their own blues pieces and arrangements. Everyone had an individual one to one with Richard and were given a 6-9 month practice plan that they could take away and make the most of the material learnt on the course.
This morning we looked at harmonising the major scale in thirds and sixths. We played through two simple blues pieces (key of E and G) with a static root note (I, IV, V – E, A, B) and a melody harmonised in thirds.
Video of the Day!
During our mid-morning session we looked at a slow major blues, similar in style to Stevie Ray Vaughan’s track ‘Lenny‘. We also spent some time learning various extended chord voicings for Major, Minor and Dominant chords including; 6, 7, 9, 11 and 13 chords.
After a wonderful lunch of couscous salad, barbecued sardines and a delicious apple, ginger biscuit and yogurt dessert we settled back into our afternoon session. We took a look using a slide in the dropped D tuning (D-A-D-G-B-E) and after a deep south blues jam we decided to end the day early to soak up the sunshine beside the pool and do some individual practice.
Ce n’est pas grande chose
Yes! My car is off to the garage because it will not start. Driving back to England may prove to be a little adventure. Fingers crossed for an inexpensive repair bill tomorrow.
This morning we played through a T-Rex inspired blues after a discussion at the dinner table last night about the similarities between ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol‘ by Oasis and ‘Bang a Gong (Bring It On)‘ by T-Rex. I have to say the jam was enjoyed by all! (Video below)
Video of the day #1!
After our morning blues jam we looked at an 8 bar blues progression with particular attention to an acoustic rendition of Gary Moore’s ‘Walking By Myself‘.
Firstly we whipped through a simple walking bass blues (bass line: R, 3, 5, 6) with a call and response melody on alternate bars before playing through a slightly more advanced Major walking bass piece (bass line: R, 3, 5, 6, R, 6, 5, 3) with work on coordinating the RH finger style thumb and fingers.
Tom & John
Trish & Angela
One to one lessons with Richard while students jam in the music room.
The final afternoon session culminated in a dominant walking blues jam from the mornings blues piece, which included some students playing chords, others playing the bass line and Scott on solo guitar!
This mornings session began with a recap of yesterdays final session on the Mixolydian mode and the chords built from the scale – Dom7 through Dom13.
We started to learn a simple blues riff using both riffs and call and response licks, which will carry us in to session #2 later this morning.
We looked at octave shapes to locate and unlock the notes on the fret board, which was a perfect link to the ‘CAGED’ chord shapes and Mixolydian mode work done previously.
We also completed the blues riff and the class performed it for video (below).
Video of the day!
Afternoon jam session
Sessions #3 & #4
During the afternoon sessions the students booked themselves in for a 30 minute one to one lesson with Richard, focusing on specific areas of learning unique to each individual student. The remainder of the group had a collective jam and rehearsed their morning blues tunes – Blues riff #1 and blues in A.
Excellent first session – An introduction to the blues including; twelve bar blues structure (I, IV, V), blues harmony – Major, Minor, Dominant, the blues scale, chord tones, scale tones, call and response, expressive techniques – hammer-ons, pull-offs, trills, bends and slides.
Session two began with a look into chord voicings using the ‘CAGED’ system, with particular attention to the ‘D’ shape and ‘A’ shape dominant 7 chord shapes. We then moved on to the ‘C’ and ‘A’ shaped voicings in the key of E before a delicious lunch.
During session 3 I asked the group to pair up and head out in to the sunshine, or under one of the many cherry trees for some shade, and to arrange a blues track.
Tom & Paul
Trish & Scott
Angela & John
The class jamming
The group were keen to focus some attention on chord scale relationships. Our main focus for today was a dominant blues in the key of E so the group learnt how dominant 7 chords related to the mixolydian mode and the later dominant 7 arpeggio.
The class practicing
Video of the day
The class began today with a ‘Blues in E’, here is a short clip from session #2.
…presenting the Acoustic Blues guitar course 2010 with Richard Perkins
The Blues and Beyond
Dig up the roots of jazz, soul and rock and you’ll find the blues.
The guitar was there at the birth of the blues and has been the machine that has driven the development of the genre from its folk roots to contemporary funk, rock, jazz and fusion styles.
Aims of the course
The aims and objectives of this five day residential course are to:
Develop and improve your guitar playing techniques
Develop knowledge and understanding of common blues progressions
Expand knowledge of chord voicing
Encourage playing with others, in duos, trios and bands
Experiment with a variety of tempos and rhythms, boogie, shuffles, swing etc
Provide the opportunity to work on and develop on an individual or small group blues project
Experience performing and recording musical projects
Develop solo and improvisation skills
The five day course will consist of four one hour group sessions per day
and will follow the development of blues music in a loose historic structure.
Examples of ‘standards’ and blues players from each period will be used to illustrate the development of the genre.
Early roots; use of the thumb pick, fingerstyle, open tunings and bottleneck and slide styles
Jazz influences; jazzin’ the blues, swing, boogie
Urban blues; Chicago, deep south, shuffles
Rhythm & blues; blues riffs and more blues riffs
Blues ballads; 32 bar structures, more complex chord voicing
Participants will be given individual and group tuition in a relaxed and supportive environment. Group members will be encouraged to learn from each other’s experience by exchanging riffs, licks and other musical ideas. The evenings will form an important part of the week and there will be plemty of time to jam and work on blues projects with other course members.
This course will include practical demonstration throughout with supporting handout materials written in standard tablature, music notation and chord slash sheetes.You are not required to read music.
Who’s it For?
Perhaps you’re returning to the guitar now the children have grown up or reached retirement and looking for a new challenge. Maybe you’re a keen enthusiast or a more accomplished player and want a new experience. Whoever you are, the Acoustic Blues Course will cater for you.
What do I bring?
Guitar, (acoustic or electro-acoustic and/or electric).
Bottleneck slide (metal or glass)
Plectrums (standard & thumb pick)
Note pad and pen