How To Play Blues With More Feeling

In today’s video we’re going to talk about how to play the blues with more feeling…

Now, obviously, I can’t make you feel more or less – that’s not really what we’re talking about.

Nor am I going to tell you to ride more freight trains and have more pain and sorrow in your life – again, no one can teach you that.

But even if you had 50 years or more of experience to draw from, that wouldn’t help you get it out through your guitar any better. You have to have both. And I think most of you watching this video have plenty that you want to say, and just need some help making it sing. So that’s where we’re heading.

Now, there are 3 things that will GREATLY impact the feel of what you play – and not a one of these things will require you to learn anything new (like a new chord or a new scale.)

I’m assuming that you can already play a minor pentatonic or blues scale, and in fact, I’m not even going to talk about using sounds outside of that scale. Sure, playing the major blues sound or a mode will change the feel… but in my experience, those things don’t have nearly the impact that these 3 things will

And those 3 things are:

1. Timing – how your notes fall in the groove
2. Attack – how you strike each note
3. Phrasing – how long or short your phrases are, and how you space them apart.

And in case you don’t want to write down all of the ways you can attack a note:

1. Palm Muting
2. Sliding Into a note
3. bending into a note
4. sliding down to a note
5. Pre-bend and release to a note
6. raking down
7. raking up
8. slurs (hammer ons and pull offs)
9. Tremolo Picking – not necessarily super fast, as fast as makes sense
10. Picked vs. Finger Snap
11. Artificial Harmonics – topic for another video but certainly another option

There’s a lot of good stuff to play with here… so get on it!

Download this video HERE

29 Comments

  • Michael Chappell

    Reply Reply February 13, 2018

    Hey Griff, This Video lesson has just taught me how to experiment much more with Box 1 Pentatonic Scale/Blues scale and the same for Box 2 through to 5. Your 1-11 ideas awsome..I did not know about playing Behind the Beat or Ahead of the Beat but unless you are counting it this can be confusing.Playing On the beat sounds also great. I like your explanation of the Phrasing as well as the Raking..Massive Lesson all bundled..Thanks so much.

    Michael- Sydney -Australia 13th Feb 2018.

  • steve

    Reply Reply February 6, 2018

    Great lesson Griff! It’s just where I’m at with my playing trying to add sugar and spice! Great advice to slow down and not try and cover every single bar which is what I am guilty of at the moment.
    Easy to follow and great knowledge – Thanks once again

  • ChrisGSP

    Reply Reply February 4, 2018

    Hi Griff, I LOVE the groove in that first 26 seconds when you are soloing. Is there a Jam Track of that backing? Even just that one chorus, and we students could loop it and play away!
    Cheers from Australia, ChrisG.

  • steven siegel

    Reply Reply February 3, 2018

    superb lesson on the real tactics of guitar articulation of how and why

  • jean dominique

    Reply Reply February 2, 2018

    One thing I learned from this video is that you do not have to be fast to play well. I was always intimidated when Griff plays, thinking I should be as fast. Thanks for bringing that up.

  • john lawson

    Reply Reply February 2, 2018

    Thanks Griff….glad you addressed the ‘breathing’ aspect…working on that now…adding this to my (ever growing) list. John.

  • Johnny Botelho

    Reply Reply February 2, 2018

    Thanks alot Griff , that was an awesome video and very helpful . It is just what the Dr. ordered and what I really want to improve on getting more soulful. I have ordered some of your instructional videos and have learned alot from them . You are great player, thanks for what you do man .

  • LC Overton

    Reply Reply February 1, 2018

    Wow, as everyone above has stated, this was a big help. I knew most of the things you talked about, but really didn’t have a good name for them. It inspired more ways to practice and also made me realize where I needed to work harder.
    It’s a lot of fun to learn with you Griff!

    Thanks

    Intrepid Traveler

  • Jim

    Reply Reply January 31, 2018

    Great teaching style, it really helps. Thanks Griff!

  • JT

    Reply Reply January 31, 2018

    Great video! thanks

  • Peanutbutter

    Reply Reply January 31, 2018

    Hi, great lesson! I’ve been wondering about those tricks that BB and other blues players use to get that sound…Now I see its usually 3 or 4 tricks in the attack used to get it. This video is an excellent reference point! You explain it and I get to see it in SLOW MO:)

  • M.K

    Reply Reply January 31, 2018

    Timing,attack,phrasing.Put your self on this three things and you got your self a blues player.I think this lesson is the soul of blues.Thank you for share this with us.(forgive my english)

  • Tom Hopsicker

    Reply Reply January 31, 2018

    Good stuff. Thanks!

  • Jackpuzzle

    Reply Reply January 31, 2018

    Fabulous video!

  • Mark d.

    Reply Reply January 31, 2018

    I read somewhere that the bars hold the tiger, the space between the bars hold the music.great video Griff, I won’t forget it. Thanks B-)

  • Sam

    Reply Reply January 31, 2018

    Great lesson, I will refer to this one often.
    Thank you Griff

  • Chris Babcock

    Reply Reply January 31, 2018

    Griffin, excellent lesson!

  • Klivvy UK

    Reply Reply January 31, 2018

    Great vidio Griff couldn’t wait to have a go Thanks

  • Lewis Bell

    Reply Reply January 31, 2018

    This lesson is very important for students and often overlooked by instuctors. Great clip as usual!

  • Memphis Matt

    Reply Reply January 31, 2018

    Currently, I’m working thorough the 4 Note Solo course. It has helped me do something I couldn’t do – play a short solo that makes sense. And this video is great reinforcement.
    Thanks.

  • KBee

    Reply Reply January 31, 2018

    Mystery solved. “Playing something fast has a tendency to homogenize the timing, attack, and phrasing.” You’ve just explained why so many rock/metal guitarists I’ve watched never seem to breathe any emotion into their playing. Fast, yes; real emotion, no. Speed by itself is very one-dimensional.

  • Greg

    Reply Reply January 31, 2018

    Excellent reminder of all the arrows available in a blues guitar player’s musical quiver. This video should be required viewing for anyone who wants to attempt to play the blues. Before bar cords, licks, etc we newbs need to understand what makes the blues music we enjoy listening to “bluesy,” and this video does just that.(Maybe it can go in BGU 3!)
    Thanks Griff!

  • Dave Chaffe

    Reply Reply January 31, 2018

    Hi Griff, great point, we get so caught up with learning everything else and forget about the emotions. It makes me recall from classical guitar comparing Julian Bream with Christopher Parkening. Julian’s playing was full of emotion while Christopher, more technically correct, lacked the feeling. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Lionel

    Reply Reply January 31, 2018

    Hey Griff, Great stuff, I need to save this and watch often.
    Thanks

  • Gaz

    Reply Reply January 31, 2018

    Nice lesson Griff, been an acoustic player for thirty years , get up my first jam the drummers yells I’m taking up to much space.
    Now a year on electric , and some great comping , little chords ,( I’m to scared to go on the E and A strings ) lessons from you I’m getting his drift.

  • Mark Wales uk

    Reply Reply January 31, 2018

    Cheers Griff
    For the tips 😎🎶

  • RichardH

    Reply Reply January 31, 2018

    Great lesson Griff! It’s just where I’m at with my playing trying to add sugar and spice! Great advice to slow down and not try and cover every single bar which is what I am guilty of at the moment.
    Easy to follow and great knowledge – Thanks once again.

  • Daniel Blackburn

    Reply Reply January 31, 2018

    Great advice Griff
    Got alot out of this lesson

  • cowboy

    Reply Reply January 31, 2018

    great video…shows what makes the real difference(s)…and creating your own “style”…thanks…later.

    cowboy

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