The blues is undeniably one of the most influential styles of music to emerge in the common era. It is the forefather of rock, jazz, and so many other foundational genres. Yet, the blues, itself, lives on. For its loyal subjects, playing the blues is a form of expression, as well as a tradition to be upheld. One of the most prominent modern blues guitar players, Matt Schofield, uses the term ‘blues speak’ to describe how we communicate through the instrument to articulate our feelings, emotions, and tell our stories.
In his course, Blues Speak, Matt Schofield shares some of the fundamental pillars of his own playing to help inspire you and your own musicality.
Here are 8 free Matt Schofield guitar lessons from his course Blues Speak!
Simple, Not Easy: Performance
We’re going to play over a 12-bar slow blues progression in C and see how much we can get out of a few notes. We’re going to limit ourselves to using just the root note, minor 3rd and 4th. We can bend them, shape them, add vibrato, and do anything we can to extract the most out of the the notes, whilst removing our concern for running up and down scales and all over the neck. This is a great exercise to build your phrasing and timing and getting the most of a few notes. This will serve you well when you start adding more notes!
More Advanced Blues Harmony
Let’s have a go at adding some of these diminished and Mixolydian ideas over our blues shuffle. We’re going to find they work especially well moving from one chord to another. I find these ideas have the most impact when used sparingly, just enough to break up the straight blues scale sound.
West Side 12/8 Blues: Overview
I love playing this over this 12/8 groove in G. It’s somewhere between a shuffle and slow blues, and give you plenty of space to work in. You can really build the solo, with dynamics and pacing.
West Side 12/8 Blues: Performance
Let’s play through a couple of choruses and then I’ll break down what I did for you.
West Side 12/8 Blues: Breakdown
Now, let’s break down this West Side 12/8 Blues.
Slow Blues: Overview
My very favourite thing to play, a slow blues, in the key of C. You really have the time and space to express yourself freely on the instrument. It feels great to do that.
Slow Blues: Performance
Let’s close our eyes and really speak some blues on this one!
Slow Blues: Breakdown
Again, let’s break down this slow blues step by step so you can get a hang of it too.
Digging these free Matt Schofield blues guitar lessons? Check out the full course, Blues Speak on TrueFire!