Modern blues vs traditional blues

Modern blues vs traditional blues 

I wanted to take a quick look at the more modern style of blues vs the older, more traditional style.  Now, it should be said you can’t have the modern blues style without playing something from the traditional era so to speak.  Everything is connected in someway.  Modern blues has borrowed alot from other styles like Jazz, just look at Robben Ford for that.  SRV took a lot from Jimi Hendrix.  The original blues players were largely self taught (and many of them illiterate), and one of the easiest ways to create different chords was to tune the guitar to an open chord, such as G major or E major, and then use a metal or glass slide (a pocket knife or bottle neck) to change chords.

Blues guitar can take many forms, which means that learning how to get the blues sound is an evolving process. However, by identifying specific techniques, notes, and patterns to follow, you can begin finding your own blues sound.

 What defines a blues song is the way chords are put together, or the chord progression. Although there’s no such thing as a blues chord, if you put certain chords together in a certain way, you can definitely create a blues chord progression. The most common blues progression is the 12 bar blues.  This has evolved into more complex variations, major and minor ect.  There is also now a lot more of a blue/rock combination common in todays blues acts.

Lets take a look at some of the pioneers

Robert Johnson

Skip James



And now some of the more modern players

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Kenny Wayne Shepard

Jonny Lang


Tips to spice up your blues playing

Tips to spice up your blues playing

Hi, Its Aaron here again with another blog to keep you going.

What I want to look at today is a few simple ideas, scales and concepts to give our blues playing a bit of a modern touch or spice if your bored.

Please do check back again soon for an accompanying video and pdf with some more in depth explanations and examples of the following.

So here we go, all examples in the key of A.

  •  A altered dominant scale

This scale shows the influence of Jazz/fusion on today’s blues players.  It helps create tension over the v chord. (E7) before realising the tension when you return to the I chord (A7).  This scale will give you all those tense notes you need.

Scale formula – R b2 b3 3 b5 6 b6 b7

  • A minor 6 pentatonic

Blues is built upon the minor pentatonic scale.  The minor 6 pentatonic scale is a great substitute for a regular minor pentatonic scale and gives a slightly edgier sound.  instead of a minor 7th this scale incorporates a major 6th. lovely!  The notes in A minor 6 would be A C D E and F#

  • Extending chords

It’s not all about big solos in blues.  it is essential to be a good solid rhythm player. adding extensions of 9ths, 11ths and 13ths to minor of dominant 7th chords can makeyou rhythm playing powerful and sophisticated.  Change your 7th chords to 9th chords or even 13th and hear the difference.

  • play in different keys

As guitarists we too often play In the wonderful world’s of E minor, A minor and E major.  Don’t get caught in the trap.  aways push yourself, play in new keys.  major and minor.

  • Get lessons

I know some great teachers too.

Call 07411798015 today for a trial lesson to get your blues playing modernised!

And I will leave you with the master – Joe Bonamassa

blues guitar,Guitar Lessons London,London Guitar School

blues guitar,Guitar Lessons London,London Guitar School