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
Orville Johnson delves into the style of Mississippi once more. This time around he takes a look at a song that is inspired by "Frankie and Albert".Length: 16:17 Difficulty: 3.0 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.
Hawkeye teaches several Robert Johnson licks in this lesson. These licks are played with a slide in open G tuning.Free LessonSeries Details
Lesson 7 is all about arpeggios. Danny provides discussion and exercises designed to build your right hand skills.Free LessonSeries Details
Nick explains how to play some of the most commonly used chords in the bluegrass genre.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
Mitch teaches his interpretation of the classic "Cannonball Rag." This song provides beginning and intermediate guitarists...Free LessonSeries Details
Eve talks about the boom-chuck strum pattern. This strum pattern will completely change the sound of your playing.Free LessonSeries Details
In this lesson, Freebo covers the basics of right hand technique. This lesson is essential for all up and coming bassists.Free LessonSeries Details
Miche introduces several new chord concepts that add color and excitement to any progression.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
Our electric guitar lessons are taught by instructors with an incredible amount of teaching experience.
Just like with the plucking hand, Brent-Anthony shows us the basics of proper fretting hand technique. In addition, he shows...Free LessonSeries Details
Welcome to this fresh new look at understanding the guitar fretboard as a whole! John March, a long time student of the late...Free LessonSeries Details
Emil takes you through some techniques that he uses frequently in his style of playing. Topics include neck bending, percussive...Free LessonSeries Details
This is a crucial lesson that explains tablature, how to read it, and why it's important.Free LessonSeries Details
Joel Kosche talks about creating and composing a guitar solo. He uses his original song "Sunrise" as an example.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
Tosin explains some of the intricacies of the 8 string guitar such as his personal setup and approach to playing.Free LessonSeries Details
Billy starts his artist series off with a lesson on something he gets asked the most to explain: right hand 3 finger technique.Free LessonSeries Details
Steve Stevens shows some of his go-to licks and ideas while improvising over a backing track he made.Free LessonSeries Details
Evan Brewer explains everything you need to know in order to get going with your bass guitar. Topics include the parts of...Free LessonSeries Details
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