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Blues

Here's a crash course in how one of the most eclectic and influential guitarists of all time developed a unique vocabulary through speedy rockabilly licks, fuzzed-out melodies, and an otherworldly use of the vibrato bar.

Intermediate

Intermediate

  • Understand Jeff Beck’s rockabilly roots.
  • Learn how to create tension-filled phrases over a 12-bar blues.
  • Develop a more nuanced vibrato technique.
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Jeff Beck is arguably the most eclectic and ever-evolving guitar hero. He was part of the holy trinity of Yardbirds guitarists, along with Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page, and is the one who has consistently remained at the forefront of the electric guitar ever since. From John McLaughlin to Eddie Van Halen, Beck is a favorite of just about any guitar player you could name, and that includes the other Yardbirds alumni. Stephen Colbert explained it best at the Grammy awards, “You know the game Guitar Hero? He has the all-time high score—and he’s never played it.” Let’s take a look at some of the many highlights of Beck’s playing throughout his illustrious and uncompromising career.

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Rig Rundown: Ariel Posen [2023]

The silky smooth slide man may raise a few eyebrows with his gear—a hollow, steel-bodied baritone and .017s on a Jazzmaster—but every note and tone he plays sounds just right.

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Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

Eight ways to add excitement to your blues rhythms.

Intermediate

Intermediate

  • Learn classic shuffle and walking bass lines.
  • Explore chord voicings that can be combined with bass lines.
  • Develop the ability to combine different patterns to create variation in accompaniment.
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Combining bass lines with chords can be an effective way to perform solo or accompany a singer or other instrumentalist. This technique is often employed to thicken up parts in a setting where there's space to fill. While common among jazz guitar players, it is equally suitable in other styles of music, and lends itself very nicely to blues playing.

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We’re all on the same journey—to become better at guitar. Each week we post a lesson that helps you get closer to that goal. This year we covered everything from basic triads and pentatonics to Brad Paisley’s warp-speed picking and Eric Gales’ inventive chord voicings. Here’s a look at the 10 most popular lessons in 2022.
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What happens when you mix major, minor, and the blues?

Intermediate

Intermediate

  • Develop a better understanding of the blues scale.
  • Create lines that move between major and minor.
  • Understand the intervallic makeup of various scales.
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Sure, we’ve all heard the blues scale many times. It’s deeply connected to the language of modern guitar. It’s a scale that is versatile, adaptable, and in some cases, overused. We all have practiced it until our fingers became blistered. However, we always need to revisit it and refine our technique. Blues scales are used in so many genres including rock, country, bluegrass, funk, jazz, metal, and beyond. No matter what style of music you’re playing, it will serve you well to have this concept down. But parallel blues scales can help open your ear and fingers to new musical explorations within mostly well-worn paths.
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