You may be familiar with Stefan Grossman from the many guitar instruction videos and books. One of my all time favourite guitar albums is called Thunder on the Run and I particularly like Stefan Grossman and John Renbourn playing duets together. Stefan has also done brilliant work with Duck Baker.
Apart from being a guitar historian and teacher, Stefan is a magnificent guitar player who gets a beautiful tone from his instrument, Franklin guitar.
In this Tutorial stefan is showing how to play a simple blues in E. There are many musical cliches in this but the way they are executed is what seperates Stefan out from the bunch.
Note how he uses the repeatative alternating bass part, also take a close look at the outro and how hie finishes on the E7#9 chord.
The blues can be very simple and even broken down to one chord or riff, the most common blues are generally three chords; or you could go to the other extreme and play a jazz blues with numerous chord changes. Regardless whether we play a complex or a simple blues, the end result needs t be be music with feeling. My feelings are, a good way of measuring a players musicality is to get them to play ab blues.
I found this youTube video by Eric Bibb and the first thing that struck me was the texture of the guitar, he’s using a twelve string, it has a small body, the sound is incredibly sweet. Eric Bibb has a very smooth voice and he plays gospel as well as a sort folk style at times, but in most of his music there is blues underlying his tunes.
Have a listen to the chords he ues at times throughout this song ‘aint No Cane On the Brazos’ , what I like is he dares to be a little different in his harmonizing of songs. Eric Bibb has a beautiful sense of time and at times has so musicality that it scares me. His music is simple in structure, quite frankly I think he will be one of the most influencial blues players over the next so many years. We can all take a musuc lesson from him just by listening to his approach. We can all learn from the different ways that other players take something that is very simple and stretch it to make it their own.
One guitar, one voice, perfect in its execution.
Eric Bibb Hompage