Whether your tastes lie in the Delta, Chicago, Piedmont, or Texas blues, learn the techniques, progressions, and rhythmic patterns used by acoustic blues guitarists. The complete Acoustic Blues Guitar Basics guide is taught by Orville Johnson. Here you’ll find excerpts from his lessons.


Orville Johnson posing with his guitar

Swingin’ Blues Soloing with Arpeggios

One way to add a coherent sound to your soloing is by using arpeggios. This helps in two ways: the repeating chord tones are always “correct” notes and playing the root, third, and fifth notes of a chord forces you to include interval skips in your playing instead of reeling…

Play a Ragtime Blues Thumb Roll

One of Blind Blake’s signature rhythmic ideas was a “thumb roll” in the bass. This quick note before the downbeat of the measure adds a unique bounce to the groove. To pull it off, let your thumb roll off the lower string, come to rest on the next one for…