I try not to toot my own horn very oftenΒ (after all you’re here to learn to play guitar and it’s not about me…)

But when I was learning I always enjoyed and got a lot out of watching my teacher perform, and I’ve come to believe that having a teacher that actually gets out and performs and does more than teach is important.

So the other day my band and I entered and performed at the local International Blues Competition near here in Long Beach…

We didn’t win (we never do… and that’s a whole different conversation) but we had fun and I think you’ll get a kick out of it.

In case you’re interested, I wrote all 3 tunes. The first is a shuffle in F with some fairly intricate riffs, and the 2nd tune is in A minor while the last one is in D. If you want to noodle along I encourage it πŸ™‚

And thanks to MikeSRC for the footage!

    114 replies to "Check Out “Teach”"

    • ed sheeran latest song

      i would love to get some free calendars on the internet, are there are sites or company that gives one?’

    • Philip Carney

      I don’t normally comment on your band or anybody for that matter I felt that every body was playing for them self and they had to show off instead of listening to each other and getting into that groove that pulls the band tougher with more feeling. I know I’m going to get in trouble with this comment


      Alot of praise here as well and a suggestion,try to dress down a little,hat ,torn pants,beads,scarf,cape,find that something people can ID you.Like to follow e-mails.

    • Wade Sprague

      I like it! Lot’s of Fun!

    • Michael Wright

      Hey Griff…
      There was some fine pickin’ throughout the 3 songs…and I didn’t even hear a touch of Robert Cray…
      I did, however, hear some real outside burnin’ on that 2nd tune, but you were wonderful on all 3!
      Gimme more Griff…Gimme more…please?!?!

    • si

      when are you gonna teach us the facial expressions? ha

    • TXSeve

      Were you channelling Robert Cray??

    • Steve Lang


      Sounded like you were channelling Robert Cray a bit! How about it?

    • Steve Lang


      Sounded like you were channelling Robert Cray a little?!!! How about it?

    • Norm

      Great performance. The recording quality didn’t do you justice.
      I didn’t realize that you were such a good vocalist.
      Why are you always 2nd place? Too many strings on the bass guitar? LOL

    • Guy Thomson

      Gonna have to make that trip down to see you sometime Griff. Looks like a great time was had by all and listening to a bunch of great blues artists all day …yeah, thats a special kind of heaven . Maybe , maybe, we can jam a bit too if that opportunity comes along . =)

    • Spenner

      Great to see you performing with your band Griff.Your not just a great guitarist but a great teacher too.Thanks for all the teaching courses.

    • Frankie

      Great jammin by you and your band , Fantastic !!!

    • Thomas

      Love to see you getting into it

    • Greg

      Man you were smoking on those solos! However,I think the acoustics of the place did not do your whole bands’ sound justice, but everyone performed excellently, especially “teach”. It’s good to know I’m learning from somebody that really knows “how” to play and actually does perform. This validates “ol’ teach’s” credibility. Keep on jammin’!!!

    • Rich

      Cool Griff !! I must say that couple dancing up front should win the worst dancing award in history , LOL Hey I know at least they were up their having fun !! God bless everyone !! Good Show !! PS your wife is cool up their together with you living the life , congrats , Aloha Rich

    • Hay Griff will you ever come to Denver acculturation Lakewood would love to learn some new blues you see I was injured 1and have years ago doctor says playing music is good for me even thou I'm in my fifths and have going on 12years with Colorado dementi

      Good Job with the Blues Grifff

    • greg smith

      dang Griff you smoking the good stuff great you need a better manager!

    • Bob Fikes

      Badass dude!

    • Steve

      Next year, wear a hat. You’ll win. You need to put some funk on that pinhead. But remember – PRACTICE WITH A HAT ON! Sounds great. Just needs a hat on that singer. The gal on sax could use a hat too.

    • Darren Goodpaster

      Awesome!!! That’s all I got. Oh, except, that keyboard is one bad ass mofo!!!

    • Sam

      Great show, Griff! Thanks! Song number 2 had a bit of Gary Moore vibe in it. Loved the vocals! All three tunes were great!

    • Len

      Hey Griff,Thanks so much,this really shows what a talented group your band is,Love it,Len.

    • alan

      Really enjoyed. You walk the walk and talk the guitar.
      Who is the saxophone player?

    • John England

      Great to see you and your band in action Griff. I had a great time playing along, putting BGU into practice. A few years ago I would have played things a little differently over the same backing. As BB King said about the blues ‘easy to learn, difficult to master’. Thanks again Griff.

    • Michael Chappell

      Hey Griff,
      Fantastic songs and a great sound. You should include some of your songs in your Video lessons especially your licks.

      As you said it is always great to watch & learn from your teacher so keep us all up to date on your gigs and record them on youtube just like you do for the lessons.

      You make your Guitar sing as well as you do.

      I would like to hear you and your band play some songs such as Tore Down, Sweet Home Chicago, & Pride & Joy. With the Tab Sheets.

      Michael – Sydney- Australia

    • Ed wilkinson [Wizard]

      ya ya ya that’s the stuff nice job griff

    • John

      Love seeing you guys play live, great group of musicians. I do believe the over all sound would of been better if you could hear the bass player. This coming from a guitar player, just one mans opinion.

    • Big Dan

      Awesome blues Griff! Where can I pick up some of your CD’s? Would love to add you to my huge collection of blues. You got my email address. Have Annette send me some info. And keep those great lessons coming!

    • GFord

      Great show Griff! Also, great songs… since you wrote those and its your band, could you build a lesson/ course (e.g., “BGU Live”) where you provided the video and tab to really teach a “how to play blues guitar live with a band” BGU Course?

      This would be so awesome to reinforce your comping and mini-chord lessons, as well as sharing the time/ space between the other band members and the vocals…

      I think it would be awesome and I’d buy it!

    • Nigel Fernando

      Lovely, I really enjoyed watching your Video, You guys rock the blues and do it effortlessly. Like to see more of your performance videos. Let us know when they come out. And Griff, it was nice to see you singing and playing other than watching your instruction videos. Long live the Blues

    • Jean Dominique

      Man. You sure made that guitar talk. I am proud to say this is my teacher. Did that last piece has a little latin beat on it. What kind of rhythm is it? I enjoyed it….And thanks for sharing.

    • Neil

      Awesome Griff but im sorry to say I saw Walter Trout tonight and wow what a lesson I got in playing the fiddle. Why isnt the Trout more recognised for his flawless guitar and song writing he truly is a living ledgend that is not truly recognised he beats Clapton any day and im British. Good gig griff awesome.

    • Seth Tyrssen

      AwwRIGHT! Well done Griff! Hey, ya GOTTA blow your own horn now and then, otherwise how will the rest of the world know how bloody wonderful ya are, right?

    • Guitar Mark

      When you going to get to Grand Rapids? I would sure love to see you guys in person. Your Guitar was a little low. I think you should drive it more like Gary Moore or SRV…but, all that aside, you guys are pretty damn good! If I ever get to see you, I’ll make sure I have a designated driver…cuz I am going to be partying for sure!

      • AL Friesen

        Smokin Band!!!! Keepin the Blues Alive.God Bless you and your Players.

    • Mike

      You come to Austin and you might not leave. Very cool Griff. Great for us that haven’t seen you perform yet. Honestly, behind your back playing? That never gets old

    • Ron miller

      Griff,Great sound fantastic band.That sax your wife was playing looked really cool.Thanks for the video I really like your original song gotta learn it.
      Great stuff Griff…

    • Abe

      Hey Griff thanks for sharing great stuff just one observation and I’m not sure how much control you have over the mix but your guitar needs to come out a bit more it’s definitely too low for my ears

    • Don

      Ok I’m 57 and I am always amazed to see you do what you do. Sometimes I thing I’ll never get there. Keeping the faith…..

    • W.J.

      Hey, Grif, a hat with turkey feather, a vest and some wilder animation and I see SRV, Thanks for sharing, I too think you should bring the band to Austin. Jimmy Kimmel just had a great run there, and he can’t even sing!!!

    • Kip Child

      I really liked that original second piece you did. Your band was real good. I’d be interested in knowing which performance won the competition.

    • Bob White

      Not to rain on your parade, but after listening here to yourself with the band, I understand why you never win. You alone with the backup music are terrific – singing and guitar. When you bring in keyboard and horns, much of your talent is overshadowed. I suggest to you a much smaller band and you’ll start winning, because you alone are as good as Eric Clapton!

      Bob White

      • Mike

        Don’t think it’s all about the winning bob. Can’t see Griff wanting to put his mates out of work. On a 2 hour
        set he’ll need a full band for backup. Some people love sax keyboard etc.
        Just another opinion Bob.

    • Bill Walker

      Really good stuff. Good to see people loving their craft. Inspires me to keep on practicing and jamming. From Aussie.

    • Ron Baird

      Dude… when are we gonna see you in Austin by god Texas?????? You
      need to come down and shake this town up !!

    • Bill

      Hey, great music… I really enjoyed listening/watching.
      Now how about bringing your band down this way. Queensland has some good musios and there is some good blues played… you and your group would fit right in.
      Thanks for sharing……..

    • cookie

      Hey Griff Fantastic stuff I thought it was great the way u and the keyboard guy were bouncing off each other not to take anything away from the other great artists in your band.

    • Will Keener

      Whoever said “those who can’t, teach,” needs to be eating those words today!

    • Richard Maylam

      Griff , Is that your daughter playing the saxophone ?

      Richard .

    • Edward bargery.

      Hi griff yes it was great watching teach , perform with the band the horn section blowin, their stuff the key board and Bassist real good and yourself Griff some brilliant guitar whoever won the show must have been something else !! As the saying goes but a faultless set from your band so for some one like you thanks for the Videos the supportive blogs for us over here thanks for including us. With your undoubted style and class I am forever a guitar man Edward Bargery Pymouth England

    • Joyce Larson

      Fantastic!! Great band! Thank you for sharing!

    • Seamus

      Stunning gig, and great to see you in action at last. What a great voice too.

      Would love to see more of you guys in performances like this.

      Thanks for sharing the event.

      Seamus (New Zealand)

    • Sam Iacono


      This is great…


    • Rudy Esparza

      Wow that was cool Griff watching you play solo’s behind your back. Thanks for the lessons and i’ll keep practicing. You have a great band.

    • Terry Miller

      Finally got to see my teacher rip it up. Excellent job and great vocals. Would never had know you sang like that based on the lessons. Cheers!

    • John Berriman

      I heard you loud & clear in Ryedale, North Yorkshire, England, through my 500W in house system. Turned it up! BRILLIANT ! Thankyou all so much for sharing this with us ALL over here. JB

    • Larry Hoskins

      Hey Griff, Great set !! Great voice!! Great band !! Thanks for sharing your sound.

    • Gary Hylton


      As usual a stellar performance both vocally and instrumentally.

      Now, who in the band enjoyed playing the most? My vote goes to the lady on the sax whom I presume was your wife Laura. Take note that she was pulling for everyone in the band and just having a good time which in turn translated to others having a good time.

      Mike suggested that you pen a song about Paris which I think is a great idea! May we offer our prayers to those who have suffered so much from the tragedy there.

      Griff and Clapton – two of my favorite guitar players.

      Old School & Still Rockin’

    • ade challenger

      Hey Griff… brill trio of tunes, so glad you teching me to play guitar.. ya need a bigger stage to perform on mate.. and i thought all the songs, and the group were great.. could see them all having fun there. thats what its all about yeah.. you guys were winners in my eyes, and thanks for teaching me to play.

    • Dominic

      The cans had a cool groove going on… Now you need an Alto sax but I live on the other coast. Thanks for all your help with my guitar lessons

    • Mike

      That’s a great set, Thanks for sharing, inspiring all the time.

    • Dick Frederick

      Hi Griff and fellow bloggers. Guys ,about the mix. Quityourbitchin! I’m just grateful someone record this bit of blues history, made it available to Griff and he gratiously shared it with us. Thanks Griff. One question sir. Did the blues fairy touch Laura’s T.Sax and leave all that glitter or what? I want some glitter for my horn too! I enjoyed the creative blues compositions. Good job.God bless you and your family.Dick aka fearless freddy

    • Jake Whicker

      Thanks, Teach! You inspire us in so many ways.


      Hi Griff–I thorughly enjoyed the whole presentation,.you really are a tremendously accomplished artist and you play the way every guitarist wishes and dreams he or she coulld play. Your singing suits that style of music to a tee. THANK YOU SIR!
      This comes from someone who spent 30 years on stage and has recorded 4 albums with European orchestras.

    • norman w carter

      I must admit that I have never heard your band sound better, you should have won. But I did not hear the others, they must have been awesome.

    • Ed

      Hey Griff, that was great music, I loved it and the songs were great but listening to you play made me think of 2 things,
      1.) Guitar solo needs to be more on top of the mix, like the vocals. 2.) A saying I heard from somewhere that goes “Just because I taught you everything you know doesn’t mean I taught you everything I know” Man you were really laying down the sounds! Thanks for sharing and for the great teaching, you have helped me so much.

      • Derek

        I agree Ed. Griff’s music and playing was great. Makes me wonder if my guitar should be on e-bay. But it could have been even better with improved sound balance. Mind you his was close to perfect. I wonder if Griff has a course for sound-men, with maybe a real-time script a bit like the ralley navigators use?

    • jim

      …and you didn’t win?! The only thing I can offer, in terms of constructive criticism, is the attire! You can’t possibly improve the music, so up the appearance! Lose the blue jeans and t-shirts. Dress the horn section appropriately. Griff, I think you need a Gold jacket! The only thing missing is a schtick…gotta have a schtick!

    • Gary

      Had a garage sale last Saturday and sold a guitar to a guy who said he knows absolutely nothing about playing a guitar. I told him “Don’t worry. Just go on line and search for Griff Hamlin and then you’ll be on the right road to being a guitarist.”

    • Jeffrey Hardy

      Tooting your own horn ?? NOT. I been waiting to see you on stage. Super voice as well. great job Griff

    • Kevin OSullivan

      Good stuff Griff & strong vocals- but boy are those people walking around in front of the camera a pain

    • Kevin

      wow Griff…..knew you could play but nice voice as well! You guys sound great!

    • Tony (UK)

      Oh Yeah!!! Thanks Griff and congrats to all the bnd.

    • Ben J

      Great stuff Griff…just like you say…nothing like seeing the ‘teach’ actually doing what he preaches!!
      Thanks for all the inspiration, the daily prompts and the great lessons.
      An earlier post talked about starting in your retirement. Like him I’ve improved more in the last year than in the previous 60+!!
      Thanks again!

    • JiB

      Great stuff as always Griff. I haven’t gotten to come hear you guys play live yet, but you guys sound great.

      Really dig your courses and the joy and passion you bring to what you do.



    • Mike

      Loved the set Griff,

      When are we having the behind your head lesson?

      If I played like you and didn’t win, I would want a Stewards enquiry.

      It must be the love of performing that keeps you going back.

      How about a song for ” Paris “. With your talented Band I reckon it would be fantastic if you could pen a blues number,

      and help a lot of people in pain at the moment. Regards

    • John K

      WOW….Were you and Eric Clapton separated at birth ?

    • John Berkeley

      Good job Griff .. Thanks for sharing , that was awesome !

    • Jackson Seal

      Griff this is the first time I have responded to anything on your site. I do own several of your courses, the best being BGU of course. It sent my playing years ahead in just a few months and I want to say thank you for that. I have been playing guitar for over 40 years. I started bluegrass, then rock, and now blues. I still play bluegrass, but now my true love is blues and your courses have played a big part of that. Your band sounds great and I would love to see you live but I live on the other side of the USA in NC in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, thus the bluegrass influence. I love the horns they are a great addition to your band. Keep playing, keep teaching, and keep teaching some more, but Most importantly keep learning. Wonder where I heard the part about keep learning ?
      Thanks for everything Griff,
      Jackson Seal

      • Diane Voyentzie

        Really cool, Grif.. loved seeing you live. .I have learned so much from you..great player and teacher….love your videos, and this old girl is really enjoying the guitar.

    • Joe Accardo

      Awesome video, fun to watch you and your band perform. Very inspiring to all of us.

    • rick S

      Thanks Grif for sharing your set with all of us. You are an awesome guitar player and teacher. I started the Blues journey a little late in life but your teachings have really helped me. Keep up the good work and playing the Blues.

    • John

      Fun to watch you perform

    • richard

      great sound loved the tunes but as primary a bass player was disappointed i could not hear the bass at all. was he miming??
      poor guy was playing away and not heard a big shame as hearing the bass is a must in any band.
      just love the brass section
      well done griff you can put your money where your mouth is.
      regards to you and your band from the u.k.

      • JimJ

        Richard I listen off the internet here in the US and I could hear the Bass player just fine. That six string bass is coming thru and true. Sorry you could not discern it from the rest of the band.

    • Roy

      Griff that was just so annoying your singing is as good as your guitar playing! sounded terrific, really enjoyed it the pianist was pretty special too.
      When are you coming to Blighty?

    • Ivan T

      You and your band,wow is all I can say,made my day. Bucket list says I see you live someday soon. Thanks Griff.

    • Mike

      Great set, thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚ Too bad everything nowadays is a contest, though. πŸ™ It kinda diminishes and contradicts the meaning of the blues-idium. IMHO

    • Danny

      Best I’ve heard live in a very long time

    • Alan

      Thanks for sharing Griff sounded great even from here in Australia.

    • Gary Stroming

      Your guitar was too low gotta crank it up !

      • JimJ

        Griff, I’m with Gary on this point. When U do your lead run U need to turn it up~!

    • Andy

      That’s my ‘teach’!

    • Bradley Luft

      Just one more thing. I know you have a lot going on there already and I’m sure it was kicked around but a little cross harp goes a long way in a blues song. Especially your third. I’m sure one of horns could drop some in.
      I think it will help you take first next year.

    • Bradley Luft

      Hey, Thanks for sending the link.
      Congrats on your performance it sounded great off the computer, I’m sure it was awesome live. I can tell you have been working on your singing. Good for you! Well done.

    • Gerry

      Great band Griff. Love those horns, great addition to a powerful sound.
      You are NO.1 in my books. Must be politics involved in the selection of a winner.

    • Pete from philly

      Take it on the road Griff. I’d love to see your band doing standards n originals like I just heard. Honestly, when was the last time you seen a horn section. Not since the Blues Brothers I think! Speaking of which, Akroyd n Jim Belushi are on the road as our beloved Blues Brothers with dates in New York and north Jersey. Griff, your band would be the perfect opening act. Just say’in.

    • John

      Great band you have there.keep up the wonderful music.Thanks for your emails.I enjoy listening. I am a novis on the guitar and your lessons have inspired me to learn.

    • Vince Koepp

      Good stuff Griff

    • Mark Arnold

      Awesome three song set what a tight band you guys have been doing this thang for some time yea I too liked the second song it’s my love of slow blues what I hear from teach is a heavy Clapton influence in your soloing thanks for the clip Griff you Rock !!!!!

    • Kaminski Daniel

      Belle prestation , belles Musique , bons Musiciens
      Merci du bon moment Griff H

      Dany K

    • Mark Wales uk

      Well done guys interesting shuffle beat on the first track like all 3 songs and the behind the neck job Gfiff you can play that strat some wicked runs

    • tony

      Original material takes awhile to capture the the ears to the brain . Lots of poeple do not get it at first that magical journey . I do not like to rate someones work ,but, were the other bands that nite have more than one vocalist? The harmony goes a long way if there is more than one singer ,but , thats my opinion . An I am the lone vocalist in my band . Get this chick bands are on the rise and demand . Get that Wife of yours to help you out next time maybe?

    • Janusz Hamerski

      awesome πŸ˜€

    • Roger

      Smoking set and band Griff. Is that your wife on sax? Great playing.

      • pwndecaf

        I was going to mention the same thing.

    • Bobby

      2nd place? Really? 1st must have really been something. Been there, don’t that. SMH
      Your band is GREAT! Great players! Love the horns!
      Keep your head up and keep on PLAYING!!! I wouldn’t change a thing!

      • stan-in-usa

        The band that won most likely paid off the judges.

      • Glenn47

        1st place must have been playing electric guitar while standing in a bucket of water and survived!!:-}

    • geoff

      Very cool love it
      one hell off a bass

    • Eduardo Schwery

      Hi Griff,

      The 2nd music is great !
      Very good.

    • Chuck

      Man, How does that only get 2nd! You and the Band killed it!

    • Ron Friedman

      How cool and inspiring to all of us. Thanks Griff for all you do and share with us.

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