Robert Johnson Style Blues (Guitar Lesson)


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Eric Madis

Robert Johnson Style Blues

In this lesson Eric teaches a Robert Johnson style blues.

Taught by Eric Madis in Fingerstyle Blues and Ragtime seriesLength: 9:56Difficulty: 3.0 of 5


Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


effi zohareffi zohar replied on November 26th, 2014

i just want to thank you.it`s help me very much.

shagpileshagpile replied on December 5th, 2013

Eric this is my first day here on Jamplay and I wasnt really expecting too much to come from it while i tried out a month of playing around and seeing how it works but in the 6 lessons so far with you just today.. I already know this has been worth the monthly fee .. your a fantastic teacher and your enthusiam makes it all the more easier throughout the sessions. Brilliant work and a true profesional. Thank you for my great day of music so far! fantastic!

rarebird0rarebird0 replied on September 6th, 2013

Sir, please use a guitar with visible fret markers. No doubt your guitar has them on the side for you, but for an instructional video it makes it way easier for us to keep up with you if we can see the dots, blocks or whatever is usually on the face of the neck for association with fret number. Thanks. Otherwise great job.

tonigreertonigreer replied on July 26th, 2013

Love your instructions, you make it so easy to follow. And get all the details.I will be continuing your series. I too have been playing without a pick. When I try to use a pick it gets confusing. Thanks Eric

jdinningjdinning replied on December 23rd, 2012

Hi Love your series. I am having trouble with the B7 Bar chord! Trying to learn the Robert Johnston turnaround but my very small hands don't reach! Can you suggest another cord to use in the tagging!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on January 21st, 2013

I have taught a lot of people and I have found that problems with the barre chords are usually not due to small hands but improper arm and hand position. Whatever you do, allow your arm to move around to deal with the new positions and chords, and never rest your elbow on your lap while playing. It will decrease your arm movement and reach and will result in difficulty with chords (particularly barre chords).

mrscaryzmrscaryz replied on August 13th, 2012

Love your lessons Eric I needed a refresher on the old blues love this :)

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on September 17th, 2012

That is great to hear! George Lynch is immortal!

dconti0621dconti0621 replied on May 20th, 2012

I just want to concur about the quality of these lessons. Your style and method are very effective, at least for me. Please keep this series going.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on May 26th, 2012

Thank you!

mikeb4mikeb4 replied on May 17th, 2012

Eric, I can't tell but it looks like you don't let your fingernails grow to finger pick. Am I seeing this correctly the reason I ask is since I've started on jamplay I let my fingernails grow to learn fingerstyle believing that's the only way to get a good sound but I just as soon cut these nails if I can get a quality sound without them. I hate having long fingernails. Are you using fingernails to pick?

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on May 26th, 2012

Yeah, you're right! Fingernails dont' work for me, but that is because I like to grab the strings with my fingers and I don't necessarily care for the sound of the nail against the string for my approach. However, many great players (and friends) do use the nails and even fingerpicks. To each his own...Hey, if I could make a thumbpick work with my fingers now, I would use one. That makes it really easy to go from fingers to flatpicking. Alas though, I have yet to make that work. I used a thumbpick and fingerpicks many years ago for about a year, then gave them up.

thermonautthermonaut replied on May 12th, 2012

Eric, you are an excellent teacher !!!

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on May 26th, 2012

Thanks!

blinkyblinky replied on May 12th, 2012

Wonderful series developing here. Going to be spending a lot of time nailing these sections down.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on May 26th, 2012

We appreciate the feedback and I appreciate the kind words from you and all the others who are enjoying these lessons.

brianhbrianh replied on May 12th, 2012

Thank you, this is great! Regards Brian

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on May 26th, 2012

Thanks, Brian!

offdg3offdg3 replied on May 11th, 2012

This series is outstanding. I wish more of this instructors would use this approach. Mr. Eulberg did it some in his lessons but most of the instructors don't take the time to connect the dots this methodically. Thank you.

Eric.MadisEric.Madis replied on May 26th, 2012

Thank you very much!

Fingerstyle Blues and Ragtime

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Eric Madis covers a uniquely American style of music, the Blues. In this series he tackles the subject from the acoustic fingerstyle perspective and even throws in a bit of ragtime for good measure.



Lesson 1

The Rolling E Blues

Eric Madis introduces his Fingerstyle Blues and Ragtime lesson series. After the introduction, he starts things off with a bang by teaching "The Rolling E Blues".

Length: 14:13 Difficulty: 2.0 FREE
Lesson 2

The Rolling E Blues Phase 2

Eric Madis expands on "The Rolling E Blues," which he taught in the last lesson. This time around he adds information to make the arrangement more complex.

Length: 8:35 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 3

Monotonic Bass

Eric Madis introduces the concept of monotonic bass lines and gives an excellent exercise for practicing the technique.

Length: 7:24 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

The Rolling E Blues Phase 3

Eric Madis returns to the wonderful world of "The Rolling E Blues" and demonstrates how the arrangement can be made a bit more complex.

Length: 6:23 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 5

The Rolling E Blues Phase 4

Eric Madis returns to "The Rolling E Blues" and teaches an even more complex variation.

Length: 5:33 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 6

Robert Johnson Style Blues

In this lesson Eric teaches a Robert Johnson style blues.

Length: 9:56 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

Robert Johnson Style Blues Part 2

Eric Madis returns with the second part of his lesson on the Robert Johnson style blues.

Length: 10:51 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 8

Blind Willie McTell and the Piedmont Style

In this lesson, Eric Madis talks about the Piedmont blues and the musical stylings of Blind Willie McTell.

Length: 12:54 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 9

Blind Willie McTell and the Piedmont Style Part 2

Eric Madis returns with the second part of his lesson on the Piedmont style and Blind Willie McTell. This time around he makes the arrangement a bit more complex.

Length: 8:52 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 10

Improvisation Opportunity

Eric Madis demonstrates some opportunities for improvisation within the Blind Willie McTell/Piedmont style arrangement he taught in previous lessons.

Length: 11:59 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 11

The Memphis Diads

Eric Madis introduces a series of diad patterns he calls "The Memphis Diads" and shows how they can be used as chord substitutions.

Length: 11:06 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Idea Application

This time around, Eric takes the ideas from the past few lessons and ties them together effectively within a blues progression.

Length: 8:23 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 13

The Style of Mississippi John Hurt

In this lesson, Eric Madis begins teaching the style of Mississippi John Hurt. He talks about the signature syncopation technique Mississippi John Hurt used and discusses playing with the G chord.

Length: 12:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

The Style of Mississippi John Hurt Part 2

Eric Madis takes the ideas taught in the last lesson and expands upon them. He talks about taking these ideas and playing melodies similar to what Mississippi John Hurt would have played.

Length: 9:59 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 15

Robert Johnson Theme

Eric Madis begins teaching a common theme in the style of Robert Johnson. This theme will span several lessons. This time, Eric teaches a signature turnaround that gives the theme its flair.

Length: 5:29 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 16

Robert Johnson Style Blues Part 2

Eric Madis continues with the Robert Johnson theme. This time, he finishes up the first variation of this 12 bar blues arrangement.

Length: 8:20 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 17

Robert Johnson Theme Part 3

In this lesson, Eric teaches a brilliant variation to the Robert Johnson theme taught in the last lesson.

Length: 6:39 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

Robert Johnson Theme Improvisation

In this lesson Eric talks about improvising using the Robert Johnson theme he has been teaching in the past few lessons.

Length: 11:04 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 19

The Rolling E Blues Phase 5

Eric Madis takes knowledge he has taught in past lessons and applies it to an update of "The Rolling E Blues" that features exciting improvisational variations.

Length: 4:48 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 20

The 7th and 9th Chords

In this lesson, Eric Madis talks about using the 7th and 9th chords in blues progressions. He uses "The Rolling E Blues" to demonstrate these chord options.

Length: 9:12 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 21

Big Bill and the Reverend

Eric teaches a Piedmont blues number inspired by Big Bill Broonzy and the Reverend Gary Davis.

Length: 14:59 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 22

Big Bill and the Reverend Part 2

In this lesson, Eric Madis returns to a piece he calls "Big Bill and the Reverend". This time around, he teaches ways you can embellish the song to make it more interesting.

Length: 9:57 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 23

Big Bill and the Reverend Part 3

In this lesson, Eric returns to the tune "Big Bill and the Reverend" and talks about D chord substitutions.

Length: 12:25 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 24

Big Bill and the Reverend Part 4

In this lesson, Eric shows several interesting improvisational techniques you can use with the E chord and shows how they can be applied to "Big Bill and the Reverend".

Length: 11:17 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 25

Baby Please Don't Go

Eric Madis teaches a traditional blues tune entitled "Baby Please Don't Go".

Length: 9:29 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 26

Baby Please Don't Go Part 2

In this lesson Eric discusses variations that can be used when playing "Baby Please Don't Go".

Length: 10:36 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 27

RJ's Lament

Eric Madis will have you sounding like Robert Johnson in no time with this amazing blues progression entitled "RJ's Lament".

Length: 10:44 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 28

RJ's Lament Part 2

In this lesson Eric Madis teaches a version of "RJ's Lament" that contains Robert Johnson's signature musical flair.

Length: 8:10 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 29

Mississippi John Hurt Tribute

In this lesson, Eric teaches a 16 bar blues progression that honors blues musician Mississippi John Hurt.

Length: 8:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 30

Mississippi John Hurt Tribute Part 2

In the second part of his "Mississippi John Hurt Tribute," Eric Madis teaches several interesting variations on this 16 bar progression.

Length: 9:41 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 31

The Americana Rag

Eric Madis teaches a traditional blues and ragtime theme he likes to call "The Americana Rag".

Length: 9:35 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 32

The Americana Rag Part 2

Eric Madis returns to "The Americana Rag". He teaches the melody portion of the song and how to add it into the basic arrangement taught in lesson 31.

Length: 7:53 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 33

Walking Bass Lines

Eric Madis teaches the concept of walking bass lines within a new blues chord progression.

Length: 11:11 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 34

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah

Eric starts teaching his blues/ragtime rendition of the classic song "Glory, Glory, Hallelujah". This version he teaches is in G6 tuning. He explains this tuning and the first section of the song.

Length: 12:26 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 35

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah Part 2

Eric Madis returns to this song and teaches the second part of the melody.

Length: 5:52 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 36

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah Part 3

In this lesson, Eric teaches another melody that can be used with this song. This time the melody features a bit of Hawaiian slack key flair.

Length: 8:02 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 37

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah Part 4

In this lesson, Eric teaches a version of this tune that is inspired by Mississippi John Hurt. Mixing this variation in with the others will have you sounding like a blues god in no time!

Length: 9:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 38

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah Part 5

Eric Madis teaches you how to incorporate some Memphis lead ideas into the arrangement of "Glory, Glory Hallelujah" that he has been teaching.

Length: 6:36 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 39

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah Part 6

Eric teaches another way to play this song that includes arpeggio techniques often employed by Chet Atkins.

Length: 5:45 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 40

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah Part 7

Eric Madis teaches what he calls the "Blind Blake and Merle Travis" section of the song. Basically this is a version of the song taught in their styles.

Length: 7:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 41

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah Part 8

In the final lesson on this song, Eric teaches the ending and then demonstrates the entire song using all of the different arrangements from previous lessons. These may have seemed like small and easy...

Length: 8:35 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 42

Maple Leaf Rag

Eric Madis teaches a fingerstyle version of the classic ragtime tune "Maple Leaf Rag". He begins with this simple introduction arrangement and moves on to teach more difficult portions in later lessons.

Length: 8:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 43

Maple Leaf Rag Part 2

In the second part of his series on "Maple Leaf Rag," Eric teaches a basic version of the melody for the A section of the song.

Length: 6:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 44

Maple Leaf Rag Part 3

Eric Madis teaches the next major portion of the melody for "Maple Leaf Rag". This melody is a bit more difficult to play, but the sound is worth it.

Length: 11:23 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 45

Maple Leaf Rag Part 4

In this lesson, Eric teaches the third part of the melody to "Maple Leaf Rag". When combined with the intro, these three parts form a nearly complete arrangement of this classic ragtime tune.

Length: 8:53 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 46

Maple Leaf Rag Part 5

Eric wraps up his rendition of "Maple Leaf Rag" by teaching the ending segment of the song. Afterwards, he puts the entire song together and talks about performing it.

Length: 8:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only

About Eric Madis View Full Biography Eric Madis is a guitarist, singer and composer, a versatile artist whose playing and compositions reflect his diverse and thorough background in American music. Whether performing in an ensemble or as a soloist, he exudes a love and a mastery of the blues that have been refined by years of experience in jazz, country, rock, and even Hawaiian music. What results are performances that include authentic renderings of old rural blues, personal interpretations of modern urban blues and jazz standards, and original music that defies strict categorization, but that draws heavily from these traditions.

Eric lives in Seattle where he leads his own ensemble, performs as a solo act and performs in the Seattle Swing Trio. He has released four CDs on Luna Records, and is currently working on a fifth. He is on the faculty of the National Guitar Workshop and Dusty Strings Music and teaches guitar privately.

Eric lived his formative years in Colorado with a family that was musical (his mother was an accomplished opera singer), and began his music study on the piano at the age of nine. He began performing shortly after picking up a guitar at ten years of age. By the age of sixteen, he was performing in Chicago-area coffeehouses. He has accompanied artists as diverse as bluesmen Big Walter Horton, Sunnyland Slim, Deacon Jones, Hawaiian luminaries Irmgaard Aluli, Kekua Fernandez, Emma Sharpe and author/poet Nikki Grimes.

He has led bands in Illinois, Texas, Colorado and Washington. He has opened shows for Robben Ford, James Cotton, Little Charlie and the Nightcats, Mem Shannon, Hawkeye Herman and author Sherman Alexie. Eric's four albums have received critical acclaim, including regional airplay and nominations from NAMA and Washington Blues Society (WBS). He has received 16 Best Blues nominations from WBS, was a finalist in the New Folk Awards at the 1981 Kerrville National Folk Festival, a finalist in the 1991 Seattle Guitar Starz competition, and has music featured on five film soundtracks. Eric has taught guitar classes at Denver Free University, University of Washington's Experimental College, Northwest Folklife Festival, National Guitar Workshop, and Canada's Guitar Workshop Plus.

Whether performing in a group or as a soloist, at a concert or a small club, teaching privately or a large workshop, Eric is a dedicated professional, with commitment to the quality of his art and to his audience.

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