Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
Excellent value history of the blues for guitar
on 6 November 2013
Excellent book of the blues. 88 songs well presented.
The layout is similar to the "play your favourite songs with only x chords" series of books. You get chord diagrams at the top of the page with chord names printed above the lyrics.
The bonus in this book is that for certain songs you also get the main guitar riff. I haven't seen this before and it is a welcome addition instead of the "E5 ad lib" you usually get for the intro. The riff is not in tab, it gives you the string name and fret number and is easy to figure out. It even gives you the tuning if this is not standard (tune down a semitone for 'Pride and Joy' or open-G tuning for 'Death Letter Blues' for example). I would like to see a time signature given but that is a minor point.
the text has been shrunk to fit in this smaller format but I can read it fine with my reading glasses. It fits into a jacket pocket, great for taking and reading anywhere.
there are old blues classics from the likes of robert johnson, ledbelly and bessie smith; covers of classics from cream and led zepplin; and later originals from stevie ray vaughan, gary moore and the black keys. The songs credit the writer and give copyright details which is a great reference tool.
Most styles are covered including acoustic, jazzy, chicago electric and modern overdriven rock. It is nice to see the more jazzy keys (A-Flat - Crosscut Saw - Albert King) maintained when it would be easier to use a (possibly) more well known cover in a more guitar-orientated sharp key (eric clapton's version of crosscut saw for example). This a history of the blues in a small easy-to-read package. If you know how to play the basic barre chord shapes (or like me know which one of a few blues bass guitar patterns to apply) then you will be playing along as soon as you open the book.
The book is well bound, pages do not look as if they will fall out. The black vinyl cover looks like it will take tha battering it will get in my rucksack. I carry this book everywhere with my notebook and I am never short of inspiration.
Okay, you may want biographies of the artists or a written history of the blues but that would take volumes, cost a lot more and never leave the coffee-table.
Besides, open up this book and start playing and you will feel what the music of the blues is all about.
The best combination of range of content, number of songs and value for money I have seen.