These articles are excerpted from Acoustic Guitar magazine’s instructional series, Arranging Folk and Blues Songs. Learn to play folk and blues songs on guitar and learn how to create your own arrangements using these written and video lessons as guides.

A musical group pictured in black and white.

Learn to Play the Blues Classic ‘Careless Love’

Excerpted from Arranging Folk and Blues Songs “Careless Love” is a classic blues tune from the early-20th-century New Orleans jazz songbook. New Orleans’ trumpeter Buddy Bolden’s band, one of the pioneering groups in Dixieland style jazz, was known for its version of the song. The song has since been recorded…


Fred McDowell with his guitar

Acoustic Guitar Gospel Blues: The Devil’s in the Details

This groove-heavy gospel-blues song is a lil’ bit of heaven and a lil’ bit of hell. “Don’t Let the Devil Ride” is one of many songs that collide at the intersection of gospel and blues history. As musician/pastor Reverend Elijah Ott describes it, “To me there’s two kinds of music.…