Los Angeles, CA (May 9, 2013) -- Learning to play the blues has never been easier with the release of Alfred’s Learn to Play the Blues Guitar by Steve Trovato and Terry Carter. The first section of this method covers blues rhythms, with more than 50 rhythm patterns, including medium shuffle, uptown blues, slow blues, blues-rock, and mambo.
As one of the most well-known styles in music, this original American art form has influenced the development of many other popular styles, including Rock 'n' Roll, Rhythm & Blues, and Country.
As part of Alfred's ongoing commitment to improve the environment, this book is printed on 100% recycled paper.
The bebop blues sequence is different from basic blues in that it contains many II-V sequences. A moment after writing the title of this article, up popped an image of John Lee Hooker smiling and shaking his head. In my last article I bypassed the fruitless attempt to define jazz and will do likewise with the blues, but we can still amuse ourselves by googling it. I’d argue that it’s not necessarily melancholic and we’ll discuss the form later in this article.
When a potential student asks to be taught to play blues piano I have to admit to a rather grouchy response.
I see my job as preparing students for a variety of blues tunes that they are likely to encounter at a gig. A blues sequence can take on a number of guises, varying in time signature, length and chord structure. The next example is a more ‘jazz’ version of this sequence, where, at bars 9 and 10, the V and IV chords are replaced with II – V. I should point out that when I describe the above sequences as ‘basic’ I’m referring to the amount of chords rather than suggesting that they are in any way inferior or easier to perform.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of blues variations but, hopefully, demonstrates that there is more to the blues than 12 bars and 3 chords.
I don’t believe that most of us can learn jazz piano by instinct alone and bebop scales should be a part of your vocabulary.

In order to make these downbeats fall on the chord tones, we can add one extra note to the scale. Because the bebop dominant scale is paired with a dominant 7 chord, our starting scale is the Mixolydian mode. Once again, we will be adding an extra, chromatic passing note, but this time between steps 7 and the root of the Mixolydian mode. A good place to start acclimatising yourself to the sound of bebop blues is Charlie Parker’s Blues For Alice. I realise that it takes me quite a while to produce each lesson but it’s the only way I can ensure a high quality.
In general you can use it on every chord but above all on minor seventh and dominant 7th chord. Minor blues is much more expressive than major blues structure, because it has minor seventh chords on the first and fourth degree. This new book and DVD method is perfect for any musician with a basic understanding of the guitar and music theory concepts and is interested in learning how to play authentic blues guitar. The second section teaches soloing techniques for playing blues lead guitar, such as slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs, bending, vibrato, rakes, with MP3 play-along accompaniments. Historically, the guitar has been a primary instrument associated with playing the blues, and providing harmonic and rhythmic accompaniment for blues vocalists.
Sponsored Content is clearly labeled everywhere it appears, and Premier Guitar's editorial department has no involvement in its creation. As this is an article rather than a book, I’ll just be focusing on varying blues structures rather than chord choices, scales, licks etc. In the 40’s the Bebop players took this to its logical conclusion, giving the sequence a complete makeover. No longer can your rely on the blues scale, because this sequence is packed full of II-Vs that twist and turn through an array of key centres.
It contains easy-to-understand lessons and written exercises that include solos in the styles of blues legends like Eric Clapton, Albert Collins, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert King, and B.B.

All examples are written in standard notation and TAB, and every lesson and music example is clearly demonstrated on video by renowned educator and guitarist Trovato. Alfred's Learn to Play the Blues Guitar concentrates on the most essential elements and examines how they function in blues guitar-playing, including a brief history, blues form, rhythms, timing of notes, call and response, and tablature reading. Blues is a feeling, something you have to live.” I tried explaining that I’m a jazz piano teacher and that teaching the blues is part of my job but the image faded.
But for teaching purposes I find it unhelpful to separate them into two distinct compartments. In other words, rather than pointing to their tonics (1) these dominant 7s stand in their own right.
But in this case the blues key is minor and so the blues chords on the I and IV degrees are minor seventh chords.
However it is similar to the major blues and it is also based on the relationship among tonic-subdominant and dominant.
I suggest to every musician to deepen the study of the blues forms that are among the more ancient musical existing forms. If we have to take a stab at separating them, it could be said that, say, Muddy Waters is in the blues camp. In Blues and Blues-Rock styles the voicings are simple: they use the first four notes of a chord (root, third, fifth and seventh) while in Jazz-Blues the musicians use to add tensions like ninth and sixth.
But as soon as we try attaching a ‘jazz only’ label to jazz musicians it becomes nigh impossible to assert that their music has no connection with the blues.
There is, perhaps, less of a blues influence in the playing of Bill Evans than, say, Oscar Peterson.
It could also be said that some European jazz has evolved through influences other than the blues.

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