Why Hello there

This is The First Fret webpage, and the objective here is to help teach you how to get started playing blues guitar.

This page will aim to teach in a practical, hands on manner. I am not looking to teach you music theory or sweeping arpeggios. One of the things that make the blues so timeless is how accessible and universal they are. These are the qualities I hope to exploit here. Whether you need to impress a girl, or a way to express yourself after a like-wrecking exam, guitar playing is a great place to turn and this is a great place to start.

Story of the Blues

Blues music originated in the United States emerging from the South and the Mississippi River Delta region in the early 1900's. Its first forms were a call and response, where the musician would sing to his guitar and play a bit in response. This first form was called the Country Blues or Delta Blues. The music started to spread across the nation and it has influenced some of the most popular bands and music revolutions of all time, like rock and roll. Bands like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Led Zepplin and artists like Jimi Hendrix were all heavily influenced by the blues. Over time, the blues also started to change, evolving into a more elaborate setup with a fullband and electric guitars. By the 1940's, the majority of the blues in the nation was being played on electric guitars. This new electric style is usually called the Chicago Blues. This evolution in the blues eventually led to a style called the Texas Blues, characterized by artists such as Stevie Ray Vaughn, who happens to be one of my favorite blues artists.

Below is a youtube clip of Stevie Ray Vaughn. While we won't be doing anything this complex, it still goes to show how versatile the blues can be. If you are looking to delve into guitar playing in general, the blues is a great place to start because so many other styles of music have roots in the blues. Speaking of influence, do you recognize the song he is playing? It is a blues rendition of Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing."