Launching The Blues!
You've gotta start somewhere and the Blues is the best place to start!
It's impossible to overstate the importance of the Blues to popular music. The 12-bar Blues form is found in all genres. The Minor Pentatonic Scale (the most common scale used for soloing in the Blues) is found in every culture on the planet. Not to mention the Blues genre itself, which has worldwide appeal.
The Blues is the staple of jam sessions everywhere. Wanna sit in? Ya gots to know yer Blues!
In this lesson series you'll learn the ubiquitous shuffle feel. The Shuffle will be applied to the basic 12-Bar Blues, along with several common variations to the 12-bar form, and...
You'll be able to play it in any and every key!
On May 9 I used the monthly newsletter to announce the launch of Unit 2 of my guitar method, Vertical Truth: Chordal Mechanisms for the Guitar: Unit 2 - The Blues.
I talked about how the Blues is a seminal genre; it occurs in all forms of popular music. No matter what kind of music you're into, a working knowledge of Blues song-forms and scales will serve you well.
I gave you the Table of Contents as well as a short promo video - here's the promo again; it includes the Table of Contents as well as all the stats on pages, fretboard diagrams, videos and so on. Check it out to see how this download looks:
Last week I sent you 3 emails.
In the first email I started a free preview of the 1st lesson, which is called, The Shuffle Pattern. The Shuffle is the foundational rhythmic and chordal mechanism of the Blues. It consists of alternating 5ths and 6ths. See the videow below:
In the 2nd email I mentioned that students usually have some issues with being able to play a Shuffle consistently and that I have several technique tips that greatly enhance strength and stamina. So here they are:
Because the guitar is a fretted instrument there is a certain latitude for finger placement. However, there needs to be precision for optimal sound and efficiency. Fingers should be placed right behind the fret - as close as possible.
When the fingers are placed as close to the fret as possible, very little force is necessary. All that's needed is to push the string down until it touches the fret wire. How much strength does that take? Almost none. The issue is never strength; the issue is fine motor control and efficiency.
If your pinky is waving around and having to move a lot to play on beats 2 and 4 (as in The Shuffle) your hand will become fatigued very quickly. You must gain control of the pinky and keep it directly over the note it's going to play at all times.
"Staccato" means, "silence between notes." Playing beats 1 and 3 staccato helps create the shuffle feel. To produce staccato you must release the pressure on the strings. When you release the pressure there is a split second of relaxation. Twice a bar, on beats 1 and 3, you are relaxing for a split second. Those split seconds add up over time, increasing stamina.
Check out the video below for a demonstration of the above techniques:
In the 3rd email I talked about "Sandbagging a Shuffle."
Sandbagging a Shuffle entails hitting open strings on the "and" of beat 4 while you're moving to the next chord. You would think it would sound bad to do that but it usually doesn't. Most listeners don't realize it's happening. It can even enhance the rhythmic feel with a percussive drive to the next chord. It gives you more time to switch to the next chord thus reducing the potential of breaking time. Breaking time is the ultimate sin in music. When you break time the music goes away. So Sandbag the Shuffle and don't break time!
Keep in mind that all the above is merely the first lesson - out of 12!
Ok - HERE'S THE DEAL!
The retail price for Unit 2: The Blues will be $79: This will be for the public-at-large; anyone can get it.
The Members-Only Price will be $39: That is half-price and one of the many benefits of being a Site Member. Among those benefits is access to this one-time limited time launch price:
This week only (May 22-26) the Special Launch Price will be $29!
Even at full retail price it's still a great deal. If you took personal lessons from me and did a lesson a week you'd spend $300 for the same stuff you get here and now for only $29!
OFFER ENDS FRIDAY, MAY 26 AT MIDNIGHT, CENTRAL DAYLIGHT TIME
Wait - There's More!
You may have noticed that this lesson series deals with the rhythm part of the Blues. "Where's the soloing stuff?" you may ask. Well, that's a good question!
The soloing stuff is contained in a separate lesson series, Concepts for Basic Improvising. Everything in Concepts for Basic Improvising is related to the Minor Pentatonic Scale in a Blues context; no fancy chords or confusing modal theory - just easily applicable concepts to a scale you probably already know, the Minor Pentatonic.
Now, if you believe you have a handle on the rhythm stuff and just want some help with your soloing, just go to the Concepts for Basic Improvising page and check it out.
If you want both, the combined retail price would be $179. With the Site Member discount applied to each lesson series the price would be $88.
However, for this launch, I'm offering a Combo Pak consisting of both Unit 2: The Blues AND Concepts for Basic Improvising for only $58!
That means you're getting Concepts for Basic Improvising for only $29 - That's lower than the Site Member discount ($49). That's even LOWER than what the Launch Price was-$39!!!
So if you want the Blues/Concepts Combo Pak for just $58 click on the button below.
OFFER ENDS FRIDAY, MAY 26 AT MIDNIGHT CDT
One more thing:
Just on the off-chance you are a Site Member and have NOT gone through the 5-Lesson Foundational Series, I'm going to give it to you here. NO PURCHASE IS NECESSARY!
Every lesson I have presupposes the 5-Lesson Foundational Series, including Unit 2: The Blues as well as Concepts for Basic Improvising.
If you do not have a method to be able to find any note anywhere and everywhere on the guitar neck, this 5-lesson series will do just that, without having to memorize note names on every string - many of my students achieve this in 2 weeks - or less.
This offer is independent of anything else, you can download the Foundational Series for FREE whether you make any purchase or not. This is a $39 value - for free!
OFFER ENDS FRIDAY, MAY 26 AT MIDNIGHT CDT