The Building Blocks of Blues and Beyond with a nod to the “Masters of the Blues”

Level 3

In this class, you will learn to create the blues from the ground up. From the simple 12 bar shuffle to sophisticated jazz blues sounds; we will look at common chord progressions, chord sequences, and all the little licks and tricks that tie them together into an improvisation or arrangement.

We will focus on the guitar styles of many of the great blues pioneers, such as Blind Blake, Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy, Mississippi John Hurt, and others. Besides being the foundations of blues and much of American Music these artists had beautiful aspects to their styles that can be used in your own guitar playing. With the foundation in place, we will then explore how you can adapt the styles of the masters into your own playing and composing.

From the two beat alternating thumb style of Hurt, to the powerful thumping bass style of Broonzy, to the early electric stylings of T-Bone Walker and Muddy Waters, there is something great and useful to be learned from these masters.

Turnarounds, intros, endings and left and right hand "moves" will be studied with an eye toward expanding your blues vocabulary; thereby, making it possible to play many styles of music more spontaneously and professionally.

This workshop is geared to the intermediate to advanced guitar players. Students should be sure to bring a recording device, a notepad and of course their guitars.

  • 05/18/18 - 05/21/18
  • The Building Blocks of Blues and Beyond
  • FULL


Pat has been obsessed with the guitar since he first picked one up at age twelve and began learning simple chords and melodies from a Pete Seeger instructional book. His background as a drummer in a garage rock band helped with the transition and he never looked back. As a youth, the St. Paul, Minnesota native pestered guitarists playing at Twin Cities coffee houses and blues venues, seeking tips on playing. Borrowing bits and pieces of the styles of finger picking pioneers he admired, he taught himself to play, building a repertoire flavored by Blind Blake, Django Reinhart and Chet Atkins.



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