Strum it Up with Chris Liepe

Live Blues Course - Roots to Rock

This Course is Complete Get Access Access all live courses and 5,000+ HD Lessons

Develop your foundation for playing the Blues! Learn the basics, and then see how extremely simple ideas from classic Blues players have influenced modern, more contemporary players. Get some ideas from such Blues greats as Stevie, Jimmy, Jimi, Buddy, Muddy, Chuck & more! It's not about how many notes you can play. Notes were expensive in early Blues and the players worked with a little to create a lot! Keep this in mind as you take this course. We won't be shredding or using stopwatches. We'll be looking at how to play notes and grooves so that they have attitude and character.

Here are few highlights of things we will cover in this course:

  • Forming the Blues
  • Internalizing the "Blue" Note
  • Speaking with the Instrument
  • Lead Phrasing
  • ZZ Top, Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and more...
  • Get Access Now

About our Live Courses

We have upgraded, revamped, and organized in-studio, live weekly workshops broadcasted in 1080p. These focused, task-based workshops include full tablature, interactivity with the instruction, and even homework each week. We are bringing live, educational instruction into the next generation with this platform.

5,000 Lessons

In 2016, we completely re-engineered our recording studio with top of the line gear, including a full suite of 4k cameras complimented by a new audio outfit. The result is beautiful live streams to your computer, in qualities as high as 1080p!

79 Instructors

Each live course is supplemented with full tablature, music notation, and even backing tracks. Our live lessons are focused, planned, and even give you homework options on how to improve and look forward to the following week.

Live Lessons

Our staff fields questions from the audience throughout each section, and opens the "classroom" up for questions throughout each course. You also have the ability to call in live with your own video stream!


Our live platform has been a major focus over the past 18 months, and we are very excited to fully unleash it's capability! Attend any of these courses with a full JamPlay subscription and get the benefit of full interaction with our instructors in a focused, planned course. We even have the ability to field your questions with live video call in!

Full Course Schedule

And of course, we keep everything, so if you miss a week you can always watch our archive of live courses. Tabs, backing tracks, and a full course PDF are provided for students, along with homework for each week! Interact with other students along with Chris and get the instruction you need to advance your playing.

Date Topic

Week 1

2/4/16 at 6pm EST Get Access

Forming The Blues

Playing great Blues is about adding feeling to the familiar. It's not really about scales, licks and chords. It is about how you can use, in some cases only one or two notes, to make your guitar talk and sing for you! Let's get some basics in our brains and under our fingers so that we can start forming musical sentences with our guitars! In this session, we're going to look at Blues forms, 7th chords and define what a turnaround is.

Week 2

2/11/2016 at 6pm EST Get Access

Your Main Tools

No shredding in this series, but we do need to be comfortable moving around the neck a bit. Don't count the notes. Learn to feel and internalize each note as you learn or become re-acquainted with these scale positions. We're going to do a fun ear training drill as well!

Week 3

2/18/2016 at 6pm EST Get Access

Steady Steady Slow Hand

Taking no more than what we have learned in the first two sessions, we're going to work on phrasing. What is phrasing, you ask? It is merely HOW you use what you already know to let your playing SPEAK. You're going to learn how to be lyrical with your notes. Don't be afraid of simplicity! Embrace it. Be willing to commit to even just one note and give it all the 'feel' in the world!

Week 4

2/25/2016 at 6pm EST Get Access

Notes In Between Notes

If you're hooked on phrasing (and you should be by now) you're going to totally geek out with this session. We'll look at tasteful ways to use Chromaticism, or the notes between the notes in the pentatonic scale. We'll get even more familiar with each individual tone of the scale and revisit the 4 note drill using some new sounds and flavors!

Week 5

3/3/2016 at 6pm EST Get Access

Tell Your Story

Moving to the key of E for this session, we're going to combine chords with scale ideas and learn how to move between each communication vehicle with ease. To start out with, we won't pay much attention to keeping time. We'll be aiming mostly at setting up the next chord in the progression with some tasty choice notes. This will further exercise our phrasing muscles!

Week 6

3/10/2016 at 6pm EST Get Access

Muddy Waters Meets ZZ Top

The minimal, laid back rhythm playing of Muddy Waters makes for some nice, swampy, dirty long-bearded rhythm playing in more contemporary bluesmen. Keep the classic vibe, but add some gain and some hard hitting drums and you'll have a very nice combination!

Week 7

3/17/2016 at 6pm EST Get Access

John Lee Hooker Meets Stevie Ray Vaughan

There's no mistaking that struttin' percussive Texas Shuffle sound. Stevie really made it shine, but other players before him laid the groundwork. Learn a solid rhythm part with some really meaningful notes and riffing thrown in.

Week 8

3/24/2016 at 6pm EST Get Access

Buddy Guy And Eric Clapton

If you do some searching and surfing, it won't take long for you to find an excerpt of Eric Clapton crediting Buddy Guy as a prominent influence. Buddy Guy's lead technique is intense yet catchy, and shows up in many later 'virtuoso' Blues guys. Learn some classic and more modern licks HERE!

Week 9

3/31/2016 at 6pm EST Get Access

Jimmy Page And Modern Rock

Led Zeppelin was described as "Metal" in their time, but they had clear roots in the Blues. Their twist on the Blues can be heard in pretty much any riff-based modern rock that followed their reign. We'll look at some strong, in-your-face riffing as well as a couple staple licks that seem to show up just about everywhere!

Week 10

4/7/2016 at 6pm EST Get Access

Chuck Berry and Eric Johnson

Chuck Berry's influence is obvious within the straight Blues sound, but it shows up in almost every style of soloing, even in a more Jazz-Fusion environment. We'll look at some classic playing put in a chill, vibey context.