Beginning Blues Guitar

If you find yourself teaching an advanced class that allows independent study on a given style, consider motivating your student with a focus on blues.                                                                                                                                                  

Beginning Blues Guitar: The Complete Electric Blues Guitar Method, by David Hamburger, is an Alfred Publication. The book, by itself, is a bit theory heavy at the front end. But use it as a starter for your student, and follow up with quizzes or workbook exercises to confirm understanding. 

Essential to making this method work is David Hamburger’s accompanying DVD, which serves as an auxiliary tool – explaining the content for students who struggle with method book text or just need the sound of a voice.

For direct instruction, I find the book useful beginning with page 28 where it demonstrates simple power chord patterns. Before you know it, he’s introducing the concept of palm muting (again the video is essential here), and variations on shuffle patterns.

Chapter 4 digs into the blues scale, basic riffs, phrasing, improv soloing and root targeting.

Chapter 5 focuses on left-hand technique: hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, bends, and vibrato.

He addresses rhythm styles in chapter 6.

Chapter 7 is all about intros, turn-arounds and endings. And follows with a chapter going deep in improvising. 

Chapter 9 talks about practice strategy overall.

It’s a terrific resource, whether you’re guiding the lesson or providing it as an independent study for the student who’s hungry for it.