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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted Help: Help with 'beginning blues books' (7) RE: Help: Help with 'beginning blues books' 12 Apr 00

Stefan Grossman's website is

The website for Happy Traum is

I don't have a Guitar Workshop catalogue with me at the moment; but Stefan Grossman has one set of beginning blues guitar lessons and one called something like "Essential Fingerpicking" which is based on fingerpicking blues pieces. They also offer some lessons on beginning blues guitar by Fred Sokolow. I have owned these lessons for a while and have just looked at them. If your friend wants to learn to sing and play, I think these Sokolow lessons are the best. They consist of three tapes and a booklet. He has about eight songs of different types. The first type starts out with you strumming the chords and singing along with different strum patterns and keys. The second tape takes essentially the same songs and has you doing more complicated accompanyment. The third tape has you playing an alternating bass, fingerpicking accompanyment while you sing.

One of the great problems in learning to sing the blues is that the accompanyment is so complicated and syncopated that it is hard to get the voice and guitar parts together. With these lessons you get the feeling of how the songs fit in with the chord changes before you try to sing with a complicated guitar part. I think one can learn to figure out the chords from hearing unknown songs and then graft into the method to make a sophisticated guitar part.

Most blues guitar lessons tend to teach you the guitar parts and leave it to you to fit in the song. You have to be pretty comfortable with the guitar before you can master the parts and then learn to sing with them.

Homespun Tapes (Happy Traum) offers a lot of beginning tapes; but I haven't tried any of them. Both offer video lessons too; but I haven't tried them either.



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