Pickin' The Blues

The Basics - Thumping Bass

A lot of delta blues has a thumping bass accompanying the picking on the higher strings. This short video shows you how to play that bass, and how to practice playing the higher notes along with it. Be sure to start slowly until you feel comfortable with where the bass notes intermingle with the high ones.  Once you have it down slowly, speed it up in small increments. Eventually it will become second nature.  Remember, you are not only developing mental memory; you are also developing muscle memory, and that is best done by starting slowly.  

Below is Lightnin’ Hopkins using his thumb, with a thumb pick, to play the bass while also playing high notes on top of it.  Note that sometimes he stops the bass thumping and just plays high notes.  The blues is not always a steady pattern. Pulling the bass in and out creates drama and dynamics. 


Learn to play Lightnin' Hopkins In Key of 'A'.


Play guitar like Johnny Shines.


Play Guitar Like John Lee Hooker.


Learn to play guitar like Texas bluesman Lightnin' Hopkins.


Learn to play guitar like Robert Lockwood Jr.

Big Joe Williams

Learn to play guitar like Big Joe Williams.


The Basics - Slide Guitar Technique


Learn to play guitar like R.L. Burnside.

Li'l Son Jackson

Play Guitar Like Li'l Son Jackson.

Blind Lemon Jefferson

Play guitar like Blind Lemon Jefferson


Play Guitar Like Robert Johnson

Mance Lipscomb

Play guitar like Mance Lipscomb


Play Guitar Like Tommy McClennan.

Fred McDowell

Learn to play guitar like Fred McDowell.

Jimmy Reed 1

Learn to play guitar like Jimmy Reed.

Howlin' Wolf

Some Jimmy Reed Rhythms in Key of 'D' - A Different Sound


Play Slide Like Muddy Waters/Robert Nighthawk.

Jimmy Rogers

Learn to play guitar like Jimmy Rogers.


Play Louisiana Blues Like Muddy Waters.


Learn first position pentatonic blues pattern.


Learn relative minor pentatonic blues pattern.

Little Walter

Accompanying blues harmonica.