Blues is my favorite music style and one of the most influential guitar and vocal genres. Additionally, it is complex and full of emotion. Adding these features up, it is easy to understand why the best blues guitarists held such an important role and why they influenced so profoundly our music today.
It all started at the end of the 19th century when the African-American communities of Southern US began playing and singing blues for the first time, which led to a domino effect that culminated with what we know today as blues.
And it is for this reason that I want to introduce you to the best blues guitarists, who shaped the music we consume today. It is by no means an objective or complete list, and it mostly consists of the artists I listen to on a daily basis.
Muddy Waters is the first music magician I want you to discover. His passion for the blues is incomparable, and the emotion he transmits through his sound captivates me each time. I can’t help but feel like I am teleported to a land of smoke and sadness each time I put on any of his records.
He was an American blues musician, and one of the most successful artists of this genre, and he was considered “the Father of Chicago blues”. Muddy moved to England in 1958 where he shocked audiences with his loud, exciting, amplified electric guitar sound. His beats were alert and unique, and this instantly led him to become an inspiration and a muse for the British blues explosion.
The next name on my list shouldn’t come as a surprise, especially if you know a thing or two about music in general. B.B. King was a God of sound. He was also American, and he was cherished for his songwriting abilities until his death in 2015. He reached fame with the help of his loyal electric guitar, which is why Rolling Stone magazine listed him at number three in the top of the best guitar players of all time.
What set him apart from other musicians was his sophisticated style, his clarity, and elegance. He performed solos, based on fluid string bending with a touch of vibrato. Many have tried to imitate him, but very few have succeeded even if at a smaller scale than the original, which makes sense.
The last great guitarist I want you to discover is Jimi Hendrix. While he isn’t exactly a blues musician and fits more into the rock genre, he was greatly inspired by electric blues and the unique sound of a warm and dirty overdriven guitar. He is considered by many one the greatest electric guitarists of all time.
Although his career started on the rhythm and blues music scene, his style shifted more towards rock, but his blues tunes are absolutely unforgettable.
I suggest you look at all of these grand artists on any music provider like iTunes or Youtube because it would be a shame to miss the opportunity to find your next favorite musician.
As with all other creative hobbies, playing the guitar is a lot harder than it looks at first glance. However, I also think it is worth the effort you put into it. It’s one of the – if not the most rewarding things I’ve ever learned, and I will recommend it for the rest of my life. The only problem is, like all things in life, finding a starting point.
It’s quite puzzling to learn it on your own, and that’s why I’ve decided to put together a list with some of the classes that have helped me understand this instrument better. You have quite a nice selection, with resources that cover all grounds, from Youtube to smartphone apps, because in this day and age we don’t have to be limited by just one thing.
The first thing I want to recommend to you is apps. We all heard of them, and we’ve all used them. And when learning how to handle the guitar, they could be lifesaving. You can pretty much find hundreds of cool apps, for both Android and iOS. Moreover, they will help you not only learn the notes but also tune your instrument, which is something that I still haven’t really mastered.
My favorite app is Real Guitar, which I have both on my phone and my tablet. It is simple to use, and I’ve tackled the app to teach myself how to play my acoustic guitar, and in all honesty, I’ve never sounded better. It is very intuitive, and it features a digital guitar which you can play for hours on end without your fingers hurting.
Next on my list is Shred Academy. This is a free guitar learning resource, which I stumbled upon on YouTube, in my search for good online teachers. This channel features more than 100 guitar learning videos, ideal to get you started on the basics of the craft. What I like about it, believe it or not, is that you can choose your preferred instructor, genre, or technique, for a super personalized experience. And there’s no better way of learning something then seeing it with your own eyes.
Another equally awesome Youtube channel is Dolphin Street. The famous guitarist Robert Renman runs it, and it includes a unique thing on this website – a virtual library of information. It teaches music theory, to take your lessons to the next level. There are even Q&A sessions where you can leave your comments in case you need something explained in detail.
And the last one is the ever-so-famous Ultimate-Guitar. If you’re into learning by experiencing rather than from theory, using tabs is the way to go. Ultimate-Guitar is the best source out there since it has been around for a while now, and it has a fantastic selection of songs for you to choose from.