Blues song study book with play long tracks?

Messages
1,478
Hi everyone I am in search of a blue play song study book with a play along CD that has demonstrations of songs and back tracks. I have been through Barry Coates ultimate play along classic jazz book volumes 2 and 3 which have been really super helpful in studying songs, he suggests further listening and dissects the songs in depth so you actually have a wholistic understanding on what you are doing.

Any leads would be great, thanks.
 

cmstrat

Member
Messages
206
Hi everyone I am in search of a blue play song study book with a play along CD that has demonstrations of songs and back tracks. I have been through Barry Coates ultimate play along classic jazz book volumes 2 and 3 which have been really super helpful in studying songs, he suggests further listening and dissects the songs in depth so you actually have a wholistic understanding on what you are doing.

Any leads would be great, thanks.
I am afraid blues works in a different way compared to jazz. Just listen the songs you want to learn and feel them
 

Ejay

Member
Messages
4,526
I am afraid blues works in a different way compared to jazz. Just listen the songs you want to learn and feel them
Nonsense! Not a soul on earth has ever learned to play an instrument like that.

Like any other improvised music like jazz, also the blues is about learning the language...and find ways to translate that to your instrument...that doesn’t come from staring at the ceiling ;)

To the OP...idnk of any books...but how about trying to copy stuff by ear?.....and apply what you learned on one of the many. backing tracks you find online.

BB king is a great start for that, tastefull, not to technical, and relativly easy figure out,
 

JonR

Member
Messages
14,648
Nonsense! Not a soul on earth has ever learned to play an instrument like that.
LOL. Are you being serious?
Most people learn music that way, and most people always have: by listening and copying.

I agree "feel" was a poor choice of word, because one needs to learn some basic instrumental technique first. You can't "play what you feel" until you have at least some technical facility.

But once you have that, then blues is one of the best examples of a genre which is learned (and can only be properly learned) by listening and copying.
Like any other improvised music like jazz, also the blues is about learning the language...and find ways to translate that to your instrument...that doesn’t come from staring at the ceiling ;)
Who said anything about staring at the ceiling?

"learning the language...and find ways to translate that to your instrument..." - yes, and that's done by listening and copying.
To the OP...idnk of any books...but how about trying to copy stuff by ear?.....
Yes, how about that! We're in agreement! :)
BB king is a great start for that, tastefull, not to technical, and relativly easy figure out,
Indeed. He even agreed to help us all out:
 

JonR

Member
Messages
14,648
Hi everyone I am in search of a blue play song study book with a play along CD that has demonstrations of songs and back tracks. I have been through Barry Coates ultimate play along classic jazz book volumes 2 and 3 which have been really super helpful in studying songs, he suggests further listening and dissects the songs in depth so you actually have a wholistic understanding on what you are doing.

Any leads would be great, thanks.
If you want to spend money unnecessarily I'm afraid I can't help you.

"Playalong CDs" are of course valuable, but I'd recommend actual blues CDs, by your favourite blues musicians. OK, you might have to buy some, but just about any track you could want is available free on youtube or spotify. (OK you need to play a little money if you want to avoid ads.)

Blues is learned by listening and copying. Books are a distraction. And the best people to listen to and copy are, of course, the best blues musicians. Or any that you like, or any that play relatively simple stuff to start with.
Did the original blues masters learn from books? Of course not. Were they born playing like that? Of course not, They learned by copying their heroes.

The difference from jazz - the reason you don't need books or theoretical guidance - is you don't have a whole load of chord sequences and complex harmonies to get to grips with. You don't have any "chord scales" to worry about.
You have chords, obvously, but only simple triads or dom7s. And you have one scale, the blues scale (or minor pentatonic for ultimate simplicity). Then it's just a matter of listening to blues to hear how players bend the scale around to fit the chords, and how they phrase, how they use accent and dynamics - all that stuff which is basically impossible to write down in notation or in books.
 
Messages
1,478
Th
Nonsense! Not a soul on earth has ever learned to play an instrument like that.

Like any other improvised music like jazz, also the blues is about learning the language...and find ways to translate that to your instrument...that doesn’t come from staring at the ceiling ;)

To the OP...idnk of any books...but how about trying to copy stuff by ear?.....and apply what you learned on one of the many. backing tracks you find online.

BB king is a great start for that, tastefull, not to technical, and relativly easy figure out,
Thanks for baking me up a little there, I was meaning robbern ford type blues which is a bit more complicated than most blues which is easy to work out, I'ts nice having a book by someone who really knows the style and suggest all their tips, further listenings alternative ideas etc.
 
Messages
1,478
If you want to spend money unnecessarily I'm afraid I can't help you.

"Playalong CDs" are of course valuable, but I'd recommend actual blues CDs, by your favourite blues musicians. OK, you might have to buy some, but just about any track you could want is available free on youtube or spotify. (OK you need to play a little money if you want to avoid ads.)

Blues is learned by listening and copying. Books are a distraction. And the best people to listen to and copy are, of course, the best blues musicians. Or any that you like, or any that play relatively simple stuff to start with.
Did the original blues masters learn from books? Of course not. Were they born playing like that? Of course not, They learned by copying their heroes.

The difference from jazz - the reason you don't need books or theoretical guidance - is you don't have a whole load of chord sequences and complex harmonies to get to grips with. You don't have any "chord scales" to worry about.
You have chords, obvously, but only simple triads or dom7s. And you have one scale, the blues scale (or minor pentatonic for ultimate simplicity). Then it's just a matter of listening to blues to hear how players bend the scale around to fit the chords, and how they phrase, how they use accent and dynamics - all that stuff which is basically impossible to write down in notation or in books.
I have established LONG ago I don't enjoy or get much out of learning by ear especially if it's complicated, the time you use trial and erroring everything you could have studied 10 songs in depth and the techniques behind them.
 

Rick CD

Member
Messages
696
100% agree with @JonR above. I don’t have specific book recommendations but honestly book/CD combo things have become a thing of the past. Not to mention many are filled with inaccuracies. I’m not one to be preachy or anything, but ear training, and thus the ability to learn by ear, is as important as learning how to hold a pick. Like anything else, it’s a lot of work but WELL worth the time and energy. Learning to hear and recognize a 1-4-5 or a 1-6-2-5, or whatever will take you so much further than memorizing tabs out of a book. Sorry, I’m not really answering your original question, but if you need someone to walk you through it there are a zillion online tutorials, paid and free. Try TrueFire.
 

Megatron

Member
Messages
1,615
Not sure it fits the play along category, But the Blues You can Use stuff is good and worth the time. I use it with some of my students that I'trying to get to branch out a bit in other styles. Usually they're already improvising and have fundamentals down. Some of it is just review at that point. But I have them play the 'tunes' and solos right over the top of the examples.

Honestly, if you've been working with some jazz play alongs- there's no reason you shouldn't grab recordings of your favorite blues tunes and start lifting licks and riffs-that's the best way, by a mile.
 

ZENTISH

Supporting Member
Messages
345
Robin Ford gives lessons on truefire.
If you want to learn finger picking blues check out Justin Johnson's teaching videos.
He has dvd's to purchase or you can download for a little cheaper.
 
Messages
2,825
I have established LONG ago I don't enjoy or get much out of learning by ear especially if it's complicated, the time you use trial and erroring everything you could have studied 10 songs in depth and the techniques behind them.
You will get more from transcribing and analyzing 1 song by ear than you will from learning 10 songs from a book. Your ear will be better and the next song you study will be easier.
I won’t lie to you it’s hard at first but it gets easier the more you do. The added benefit is that if you are learning by ear, you have the entire universe of recorded music available to you. Also you don’t have to wait for Hal Leonard or Mel Bay to decide to include your favourite song in a book.
 
Last edited:

mastercaster

Member
Messages
332
Alright, this is a little different. If one is new to Blues there are quite a few ideas for many different Blues styles to be found within. You also get an idea of how little piecesgo together to make a whole.
The loops are fun, in my experience, but a lot of the book is full of filler'

 
Messages
1,478
You will get more from transcribing and analyzing 1 song by ear than you will from learning 10 songs from a book. Your ear will be better and the next song you study will be easier.
I won’t lie to you it’s hard at first but it gets easier the more you do. The added benefit is that if you are learning by ear, you have the entire universe of recorded music available to you. Also you don’t have to wait for Hal Leonard or Mel Bay to decide to include your favourite song in a book.
I just can't put myself to do it, now how I operate but I honestly see the virtue in it and a lot of good guitarist seem to advise it. rewinding a tune, analysing, trial and error just seems too much and it it's a big enough task trying to get my fingers to do what I want.
 
Messages
1,478
LOL. Are you being serious?
Most people learn music that way, and most people always have: by listening and copying.

I agree "feel" was a poor choice of word, because one needs to learn some basic instrumental technique first. You can't "play what you feel" until you have at least some technical facility.

But once you have that, then blues is one of the best examples of a genre which is learned (and can only be properly learned) by listening and copying.
Who said anything about staring at the ceiling?

"learning the language...and find ways to translate that to your instrument..." - yes, and that's done by listening and copying.
Yes, how about that! We're in agreement! :)
Indeed. He even agreed to help us all out:
I have never liked bb king for some reason til this video, he's phrasing is beautiful and vibrato is totally unique. Cheers for that.
 

pats

Supporting Member
Messages
524
I just can't put myself to do it, now how I operate but I honestly see the virtue in it and a lot of good guitarist seem to advise it. rewinding a tune, analysing, trial and error just seems too much and it it's a big enough task trying to get my fingers to do what I want.
It seems like too much because you haven't done it enough.

Transcribing is an essential skill learn it now.
 

Jeff Stocks

Member
Messages
842
I just can't put myself to do it, now how I operate but I honestly see the virtue in it and a lot of good guitarist seem to advise it. rewinding a tune, analysing, trial and error just seems too much and it it's a big enough task trying to get my fingers to do what I want.
One note at a time, like every other guitarist who ever tried to get better. If it takes three months to learn an Albert King solo, so what? You'll have enough vocabulary to form a great foundation in doing what you want to do.

There's never been a good guitarist ever who didn't get their ass in a chair, open their ears, and learn the stuff they love. Not one. It's how humans learn to play music.
 

jogogonne

Member
Messages
206
I just can't put myself to do it, now how I operate but I honestly see the virtue in it and a lot of good guitarist seem to advise it. rewinding a tune, analysing, trial and error just seems too much and it it's a big enough task trying to get my fingers to do what I want.
The tricky thing about copying is ... if you copy it wrong, out of time, out of context, then that becomes part of your vocabulary and you build on that.

If you learn it from a teacher and a book, it goes in correct, assuming you can read music. But most people can transcribe before they read.

I used to work with Stevie Ray Vaughan, Kenny Wayne, and Jonny Lang books. They got me into the blues. You can find tablature books and then play along with the records. I'm also quite sure you can get backing tracks for all those guys. Buying the tab book and having the CD is almost the same as having a play-along.

I definitely would recommend some transcribing, I myself went a little overboard with it.
 
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mudster

High Prairie Wrangler
Silver Supporting Member
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3,239
There is a T-Bone Walker book on Amazon that has downloadable backing tracks and they are really good. It's called "T-Bone Walker Guitar Play Along Vol. 160."
 




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