Today’s video is in response to a common question about how to play “real” blues songs in a solo context (meaning, just you and a guitar, not a band.)

This is a pretty common thing to want to do and highlights the difference between a song and an arrangement, or a specific recording of a song.

If you just want to play a song, you just may already have the tools to do it.


    14 replies to "How To Play “Real” Songs By Yourself"


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    • Willem

      Thanks , it looks like a lot of fun while sitting around playing .it also is great for learning a lot of different liks.

    • TSGordon

      Griff inspired me to buy a sweet Les Paul by Epiphone. This forced me to consider the need for an acoustic. First time out I see an premium $200 vintage Ibanez Ragtime Special with lousy action. I simply had to get the bridge adjusted so she plays in tune at the 12th. I think the stiffer strings that came on it forced me to voice chords more carefully. Fortunately, I actually sounded like a real player when I went back to the electric. Then, like a junkie, I’m back to the music store where I nabbed a ’99 Fender Princeton Chorus that literally looks like it just came out of the box. Wow! -TWO Inputs! ..won’t be long ’till the amp is singin’ the Blues for a vintage Tele with a well worn maple neck!!

    • David F

      Now that’s what I’m talking about!!!

    • Andrew

      Great lesson. I’m new to this and following your Playing on the Porch. Quickly realised that it gives me the basis to play Before You Accuse Me which I love.

      • Griff Hamlin

        Totally! I absolutely could have done that song the same way, and have on many occasions.

    • Dale Scherfling

      Did you provide a tab l can download for this lesson? For some reason I am having a problem logging in. This is a first-time problem for me on your site.

      • Griff Hamlin

        There isn’t a TAB for this lesson, it’s more of something to get your ideas flowing. If you have courses like the ones I mentioned, you can easily find the TAB for those particular building blocks.

    • Kyle D

      How to Jam the Blues Alone is another great course by Griff that goes along with this concept. I would recommend it along with ABGU.

      • Griff Hamlin

        Thank you, I’ll just add that it’s not the best choice to do first since it assumes you’ve learned many of the building blocks in ABGU.

    • SRQDean

      Thanks, Griff. Great lesson today. Several light bulb moments for me. This video cleared up several things for me that have been causing me heartburn.

    • Alan H

      Hey Griff, you pointed out one time the fact that the distance between my pointer finger and my pinkie will never increase and it’s an uncomfortable stretch. What’s the work around for playing that rhythm ?

      • Griff Hamlin

        It’s not a workaround, but if you lay your guitar flat on your lap with the strings down, you’ll find that you can make the stretch easily… so the trick is to maintain that hand position while it’s upright. That usually means getting the guitar much higher so that your wrist can drop and make the stretch.

        • TSGordon

          Works for me.

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