As the driving force behind Ten Years After, Alvin Lee was a brilliant blues/rock guitar player…

Admittedly, I’m only recently becoming familiar with his work, but I’ve been devouring it lately, and this song came up.

The Bluest Blues has a great set of chord changes that gives some options both for playing the chords, and soloing over them.

So I hope you’ll take some time and play around with this tune and add it to your repertoire, it’s a good one.

    55 replies to "The Bluest Blues"

    • Warren Hummel

      Hi Griff I looked at this lesson when you sent it , great , I for one love Alvin. wonderful guitar player , Just funny that the next day I got a email from Gibson, and guess what it was about they have a reissue of alvins 335 ,awesome sounding guitar. just thought you would like to hear that. Can be found on u-tube.

    • William J. Kerr

      You could not have picked a better person than Alvin

    • Allan

      Griff have a listen to Going Home on the Woodstock set by 10 years after.

    • Ron Dobson

      4th, 5th and SEVENTH !!! on the G string Get it right!!

    • Alexander Aliganga

      Wow. Man, I have to learn the modes. Excellent lesson and I’ll listen to him. Thanks

    • Terry B

      Finally got around to watching this, great lesson Griff! I don’t disagree with you often but “I’d love to change the world” is a great rock song with the aforementioned acoustic intro walking down the E and A strings and E, G, A, C, B progression followed by some killer E minor pentatonic soloing …. I’d like to see a BGU lab focusing on Alvin’s work…

    • Donovan Hulbert

      Would have bet a million bucks he was black. Heard of him, listened to him, never knew he was white until today when I looked up the song on You Tube. Good song. Very different for a blues song.

    • Warren Hummel

      Hi Griff How did you miss ten years after, Alvin has a lot of music out there . Guess you have some catching up to do , he was just an amazing guitarist. going home from Woodstock is what got me turned on to ten years after . Spotify has all his stuff . thanks for all the great lessons .

    • Dan

      Can’t believe no one had seen the movie “Woodstock”. Alvin Lee played a song called “going home” and it put he and his band, “10 years after” on the map. Listen to this song, bluest of blue by Alvin Lee, and there is another underrated guitarist playing slide with him, George Harrison.

      • Dan

        Meant bluest blues

    • Chris

      I thought Alvin was in the Chipmunks.

      • Ronald Pepe

        What are high dude ,Alvin lee at the time was known as the fastest fingers on guitar ,songs live I’m going home …slow blues in C live ….TEN YEARS AFTER RECORDED LIVE ALBUM

    • Tony

      Unbelievable that you only just now found out

      The best album is the 1970 live at Filmore which is a late release

      Help me

      • Ronald Pepe

        What are high dude ,Alvin lee at the time was known as the fastest fingers on guitar ,songs live I’m going home …slow blues in C live ….TEN YEARS AFTER RECORDED LIVE ALBUM ,….good rock ….griff is good but as consistently faster than under rated …..lee Pickens of blood rock , bloodrock 2:…..songs like the lead in children’s heritage , and dier not a lover ….Pickens littering kicking butt….on a old gold top les Paul …..also blood rock live ….you gotta roll

    • Tom

      Is there a tab for this?

      • PAUL


    • Rick Price

      As someone that has been trying to play the blues for 50 years, (I am truly in love with it) I have made it a point to listen to everyone, you included. I also listen to other players as you can really pick up some cool riffs and someone that falls into this category is Alvin Lees brother Albert. Try following HIM ! He is just as good but in a different genre.

      • Ronald Dobson

        Alvin’s brother Albert??!! Christ, that’s a severe case of jaundice! Haha!

    • Mike

      This is one of your best quickie lessons Griff. Simple andbeautiful. It just unlocked Jimi’s version of All Along The Watchtowers for me too.

    • hans

      Briljant lesson…. On a briljant guitarist who, since Woodstock, came up with many of the best bluesrock songs and blues interpretations ever. Check out Slow Blues in C. Also briljant… And many others….

    • Randall

      Unfortunately Alvin Lee is gone but his music will live on as one of the best British guitarists equal to Clapton, Page, or Beck, among others in my opinion, though more of a purist of electric blues than experimental. I grew up listening to Lee from the Woodstock tour de force as well as the forementioned guitar greats, however Griff you might also want to add Kim Simmons to the list as well since he also influenced at least a few other axe grinders and he is still kicking and touring. He was the heart and soul of Savoy Brown before they changed personnel and metamorphosized into Foghat and other iterations. His most recent works are like a flashback to the Seventies with his amazing chops and energy but still keeping the blues pure and uncompromising as in “I Can’t Stop the Blues”.

      • bob

        Great comment Randall. Savoy Brown is another favorite of mine from days gone by; it made me think of Street Corner Talking. Haven’t thought about it in years; great stuff.

      • EffFlat

        Wow, haven’t thought of Savoy Brown years. Thanks for jogging that memory.

    • DaveyJoe

      By the way, you gotta dig the way his fingers fly in his rendition of “Slow Blues in C”. Check it out on YouTube.

    • DaveyJoe

      I love the way you break this all down, Griff. Cool stuff!

    • Ray Souter

      You are such a noob. Not!
      Really, thanks for teaching all us baby boomers how to emulate the greats from our childhood!
      So much music, so little time.
      I did love the 60’s.

    • Moe

      Love it, love it, love it!!!!!
      Thank you.

    • Gillman Royce

      Wow, a bit surprised you missed Alvin Lee until now, but then again you’ve admitted to not being much of a Beatles fan so I’m guessing there are others you’ve missed as well. When I first heard ” I May Be Wrong But I Won’t Be Wrong Always ” recorded live, I was hooked.

      • Henry

        The name of the album that was on is ‘Undead’ done way before all the Woodstock hype. They were loud, rude and killer.
        Their rendition of ‘Spider in my web’ was and still is classic blues. They were a kick-ass Blues boogie band.

    • bob

      Thanks so much Griff, this one of my favorite songs.

    • Wayne

      Great lesson Griff. Thank you

    • Jeff Ginalias

      What amazes me is Alvin Lee does not make most lists of 100 greatest guitarists, or even 100 greatest British guitarists. Unbelievable…

    • Guerra

      I first saw Ten Years After when they opened for Janis Joplin in her Big Brother days at the Fillmore in 1968. No one had heard of Alvin Lee but Joplin couldn’t follow his guitar playing or his vocals. Ten Years After stole the show.

      Lee’s daughter runs a recording studio in Soho, London. Its walls are covered with pix of her dad and great psychedelic posters.

    • Frank

      Alvin’s vocals in Goin Home were just outa the park as well his guitar playing

    • cowboy

      kinda an unknown blues artist…liked him in Ten Years After (saw them live) but I really like his slow version of “Help Me”…some very sweet blues playing in that song…maybe a “Challenge”?…later.


    • Erik Berggren

      Am scale same as C.
      Minor 3rd down from major scale.
      All the same chords.
      In Am the F is usually major 7 but if you make it F7 this is a tritone substitute for B7 which leads you to the E7 which is the 5 (7) of Am.
      So the substitute chord (F7) which shares the exact same tritone with B7 steps you down chromatically to the E7 which steps you down 5 (or up a 4th since we usually say the alphabet forward and not backwards) to the A minor which is typical of harmonic A minor because the G sharp (in the E chord) is the leading tone in the a minor harmonic scale.
      Many if songs do this from Bach to Beatles (you never give me your money)..
      To Autumn leaves..
      To Fly me to the Moon
      When Eva Cassidy does Autumn leaves she ends with the F7 to E7 to A minor.
      Very beautiful.

    • John

      His solo in “Woke Up This Morning” is one of my all time favourites – as well as my ring tone! Please, please, please do a lesson on that…..

    • Mark

      Fantastic lesson Griff. Seeing Alvin Lee was my first ‘grown up’ concert 43 years ago – he had gone solo by then. Great guitarist. Off to see Albert Lee next weekend in Manchester (UK), isn’t the life of a blues fan just awful? Thanks for all your time and help over the years too

    • tony

      I learned a lot of his tunes as I began playing at 12 . I am 60 now and still remember most of that ten years after . You should listen to ten years later also . Okay to the lesson see what I do not know . I still have the record .

      • tony

        A space in time . Was hoping that was where You were going . That record is awesome. hard monkeys once upon a time and I`d love to change the world of course . I am unfamiliar with this work I like it . almost has a Spanish sound . I will have to listen to the tune thanks Griffin.

    • Mike

      Griff you da man!!

    • Mike

      Great scale

    • Mike G.

      Ssssh Ten years after is a great album I grew up with. Give it a good listen. Peace

    • Rob

      “I’m Goin Home” from Woodstock. YOU MUST HEAR!!

      • rob

        YEAH!!! Where were U?

    • Mike G.

      Alvin Lee is so much more than this song. I’ve been a big fan from the 60’s. Alvin Lee is the man!

    • Gene Baldwin

      Saw group during “Undead” period at small venues and at Wdst festivel. Great versatile guitarist. A privilege to see up front and see the man work his instrument. Thanks

    • Robert Schneider

      Griff, you couldn’t have picked a better example of Alvin Lee’s work to pass along. For personal reasons I listen to this song a few times a day.

    • Jan

      I was fortunate to watch him live a couple of times in Denmark in the early 70’s where his band were frequently playing, awesome musician!

    • Dace

      My favourite Alvin Lee track, superb guitarist, pleased you are finding him

    • johnnie

      I watched Alvin Lee and TYA in the Woodstock movie, a year later I saw them live at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle. I listened to their albums endlessly. I dreamed of being able to play his licks and I loved is stage presence. So long old friend, “Going Home”.

    • Gene Dufault

      How many people get George Harrison to compose and perform the slide part of their song. It actually made Alvin slow down his leads. Thanks Griff Alvin does not get the credit he deserves . Listen to “Undead. “

    • Denny Mac

      Hey Griff, guess you must have missed Woodstock. Ten Years After gave arguably the best performance of the entire weekend. The acoustic intro for Change the World is acknowledged as one of the best. You could see his feel for the blues back then and as he aged he became a complete blues player.Love this song.

    • Eddie Lee

      He’s like Peter Green, in a way…

    • Serge

      he certainly was a great guitarist, he even did some jazz and showed an amazing versatility, and man could he play fast

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