The blues is a distinctly American style of music. Many popular genres such as jazz, rock, and country music draw upon basic blues concepts. Consequently, it is advantageous for any guitarist to study the blues.
In this lesson, Orville introduces one of the basic fingerstyle techniques - the alternating bass technique.Length: 14:49 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Orville Johnson teaches his interpretation of the piano-based song "Winin' Boy Blues" by Jelly Roll Morton.Length: 29:33 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Orville Johnson introduces turnarounds and provides great ideas and techniques.Length: 16:30 Difficulty: 2.5 FREE
Orville Johnson teaches the fingerstyle blues song "Payday Blues."Length: 19:04 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson demonstrates how to play a walking bass line in conjunction with chordal accompaniment.Length: 18:33 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson teaches his take on a blues standard entitled "One Dime Blues."Length: 13:46 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson teaches the classic gospel tune "I'll Fly Away" in the Piedmont style.Length: 18:40 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson teaches the classic gospel song "Beulah Land."Length: 12:40 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Orville Johnson teaches "Make Me a Pallet on the Floor" in the Piedmont style.Length: 17:58 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville teaches the a fingerstyle version of the classic blues number "How Long, How Long."Length: 23:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson teaches a common blues melody that has been used in several classic songs including "Louis Collins."Length: 15:09 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Orville Johnson reviews an original tune he calls "St. Johnny" in this lesson.Length: 44:09 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In this lesson, Orville Johnson takes a look at the style of Blind Blake with some fun tips and tricks.Length: 12:50 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
In this Fingerstyle Blues lesson, Orville Johnson uses the 12 bar blues in C to talk about chord substitutions.Length: 35:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
To demonstrate the relationship between gospel and blues, Orville Johnson teaches an arrangement of an old gospel tune called "Softly and Tenderly, Jesus Is Calling".Length: 20:22 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson is back with another fantastic lesson on chord substitutions, this time in a minor key.Length: 19:03 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Orville Johnson demonstrates Mississippi John Hurt's style using an old spiritual song called "When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder".Length: 10:18 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Orville Johnson explores the style of Skip James in open G tuning.Length: 19:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson takes another look at the style of Skip James, this time in cross-note (D Minor) tuning.Length: 25:08 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson takes a look at the style of blues artist Bo Carter in this lesson.Length: 15:35 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson walks through "Jelly Jelly," an original piano blues style song.Length: 22:14 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Welcome to part one of a two part lesson bundle where Orville breaks down Travis Picking, a fingerstyle pattern made famous by the great Merle Travis.Length: 21:51 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
This is part two in Orville's Travis Picking demonstration. Orville now teaches how to increase speed with the picking hand. Then, he explains how to improve synchronization between the picking and fretting...Length: 23:10 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Welcome to part one of a two part mini series on the great guitarist known as Scrapper Blackwell! Orville tackles the unique techniques Scrapper utilized.Length: 28:15 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Now that Orville has introduced Scrapper's style, he covers some more difficult techniques that he used.Length: 17:56 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
About Orville Johnson
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Orville Johnson was born in 1953 in Edwardsville, Illinois and came up on the St. Louis, Missouri music scene, where he was exposed to and participated in a variety of blues, bluegrass and American roots music. He began singing in his Pentecostal church as a young boy, in rock bands in middle school, then took up the guitar at 17,with early influences from Doc Watson, Rev. Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt, and Chuck Berry. In the early 1970's, Orville spent several seasons playing bluegrass on the SS Julia Belle Swain, a period-piece Mississippi river steamboat plying the inland waterways, with his group the Steamboat Ramblers.
Orville moved to Seattle, Washington in 1978, where he was a founding member of the much-loved and well-remembered folk/rock group, the Dynamic Logs. Other musical associates include Laura Love, Ranch Romance, File' Gumbo Zydeco Band, Scott Law, and the Twirling Mickeys. Johnson, known for his dobro and slide guitar stylings and vocal acrobatics, has played on over 100 albums. He has appeared on Garrison Keilor's Prairie Home Companion, Jay Leno's Tonight Show and was featured in the 1997 film Georgia with Mare Winningham. His musical expertise can also be heard on the Microsoft CD-ROMs, Musical Instruments of the World and the Complete Encyclopedia of Baseball. He teaches as well at the International Guitar Seminar, Pt. Townsend Country Blues Week and Puget Sound Guitar Workshop.
Orville released 4 recordings in the 1990's: The World According to Orville (1990) Blueprint for the Blues (1998) Slide & Joy (1999) an all-instrumental dobro tour de force and Kings of Mongrel Folk (1997) with Mark Graham. He also appeared on 4 discs with the File' Gumbo Zydeco Band and produced Whose World Is This (1997) for Jim Page and Inner Life (1999) for Mark Graham. In the 21st century, he has released Freehand, a new Kings of Mongrel Folk disc, Still Goin' Strong, and been featured in the soundtracks of PBS' Frontier House and the Peter Fonda flick The Wooly Boys as well as the compilation cd Legends of the Incredible Lap Steel Guitar.
Our acoustic guitar lessons are taught by qualified instructors with various backgrounds with the instrument.
Jessica kindly introduces herself, her background, and her approach to this series.Free LessonSeries Details
Jim Deeming discusses how to use a metronome for practice, skill building, and speed building.Free LessonSeries Details
New fingerstyle instructor Don Ross introduces himself, his background, and what you should expect in this series.Free LessonSeries Details
In this lesson Justin introduces his series on playing with a capo and dishes out some basic tips, including how to properly...Free LessonSeries Details
Lesson 40 takes a deeper look at slash chords. Mark discusses why they're called slash chords, and how they are formed.Free LessonSeries Details
Marcelo teaches the eight basic right hand moves for the Rumba Flamenca strum pattern. He then shows you how to apply it...Free LessonSeries Details
Nick explains how to play some of the most commonly used chords in the bluegrass genre.Free LessonSeries Details
Pamela brings a cap to her first 13 JamPlay lessons with another original etude inspired by the great Leo Brouwer. This is...Free LessonSeries Details
Rich Nibbe takes a look at how you can apply the pentatonic scale in the style of John Mayer into your playing.Free LessonSeries Details
Mark Nelson introduces "'Ulupalakua," a song he will be using to teach different skills and techniques. In this lesson, he...Free LessonSeries Details
Our electric guitar lessons are taught by instructors with an incredible amount of teaching experience.
James explains how to tap arpeggios for extended musical reach.Free LessonSeries Details
Chris brings his ingenuity to this lesson on the American folk song called "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" Also known as...Free LessonSeries Details
Brendan demonstrates the tiny triad shapes derived from the form 1 barre chord.Free LessonSeries Details
In this lesson Eric talks about playing basic lead in the Memphis Blues style.Free LessonSeries Details
Albert Collins brought a lot of style to the blues scene. In this lesson, Kenny breaks down Albert's style for you to learn.Free LessonSeries Details
Berklee College of Music Professor Danny "Mo" Morris brings a unique balance of music theory and creative thinking to the...Free LessonSeries Details
This is a crucial lesson that explains tablature, how to read it, and why it's important.Free LessonSeries Details
Lisa breaks into the very basics of the electric guitar. She starts by explaining the parts of the guitar. Then, she dives...Free LessonSeries Details
Get an in-depth look into the mind of virtuoso guitarist Andy James. Learn about Andy's early beginnings all the way up to...Free LessonSeries Details
Jane Miller talks about chord solos in part one of this fascinating mini-series.Free LessonSeries Details
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