The Bitter Blues

This series covers an original Blues song titled "The Bitter Blues." The song was inspired by Led Zeppelin, and Jimmy Page, and as such is an excellent study in modern electric blues. Chris will break down the song into 30 easy to digest sections. Each section can be learned individually, and them combined into a full song.

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This series covers an original Blues song titled "The Bitter Blues." The song was inspired by Led Zeppelin, and Jimmy Page, and as such is an excellent study in modern electric blues. Chris will break down the song into 30 easy to digest sections. Each section can be learned individually, and them combined into a full song.

Lessons in this Series:

Lesson 1

Introduction to the Bitter Blues

Chris Liepe introduces "The Bitter Blues," a unique blues composition inspired by Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Page. In this intro segment, Chris talks about how the song will be taught.

Length: 4:45 Difficulty: 2.5 Free Sample Lesson
Lesson 2

Full Song Demonstration

Chris Liepe demonstrates the entire song from start to finish. This will help you master the phrasing of the individual licks.

Length: 6:40 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 3

Lick 1 : The First Tear

From the first note and the first bend, the mournful whisper of the guitar sets the stage for the tumultuous conversation between voice and strings. Bend slowly.

Length: 2:29 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 4

Lick 2 : Drag Your Feet

You’re holding back. You know what you want to say but you’re tiptoeing around it. Finally, the definitive resolve comes at end of the sentence. Play it like you’d speak it.

Length: 2:39 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 5

Lick 3 : Speak Slowly

There is much more resolve in this statement. What might the guitar be saying now? From the pregnant pause in the middle, to the reaching, slow-to-arrive bend, there’s a lot of phrasing to study here.

Length: 3:30 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 6

Lick 4 : Speak Firmly

The frustration comes out in this lick! After a few phrases that tread lightly, this statement is just put out there. Strike that double stop! Lash out a bit with your playing.

Length: 2:39 Difficulty: 2.5 Member Only
Lesson 7

Lick 5 : An Early Apology

Perhaps too much was said in the last lick...and a bit too forcefully at that. How about this soothing minor chord and some soft whining bends as an attempt to make amends? Get your pick hand fingers involved and think about the contrast with passage 4.

Length: 3:20 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 8

Lick 6 : I Meant That!

It’s hard to hide true feelings. Opening up for the first time can be messy. Think less about the tempo and more about the ending notes for each phrase in this passage, particularly the last bend. Get the bar involved.

Length: 4:28 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 9

Lick 7 - The List of Hurtful Things

With each held note, it's as if there are offenses being moaned out. Give it all you’ve got here without getting ahead of yourself. Play slowly and fiercely.

Length: 4:30 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 10

Lick 8 - A Calculated Transition

Finish the rant and say all the words you feel you need to before taking some time to listen and react. This first guitar solo has come to an end, and now it's time to connect with the vocalist. Practice active listening. React emotionally and intelligently.

Length: 5:46 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 11

Lick 9 - Affirming the Listening Ear

You’re not restating anything yet, just making it clear that you’re now here to listen. Fill the hole quietly and retreat.

Length: 2:45 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 12

Lick 10 - Uh Huh

You’re about to get an earful of notes, so brace yourself and keep it brief. Just let it be known that you’re still tracking. Control and precision with harmonics and bar bending are needed.

Length: 7:53 Difficulty: 2.5 Member Only
Lesson 13

Lick 11 - On the Same Page

Follow every nuance of the voice as closely as you can. Match the pitch, the inflection, the pitch bend, and the dynamics. One of the best ways to learn phrasing is to practice copying other instruments.

Length: 4:19 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 14

Lick 12 - The Role of Accompanying

In this guitar/vocal duet, you must make direct statements, and you must learn to dance while partially being in the background as an accompanist. This is the first of many opportunities to do just that.

Length: 3:07 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 15

Lick 13 - On the Defensive

Now you’re being lashed out at. Loud inquisitions are being blasted at you. You’ll react strongly at first and then calmly as if to say that you don’t really need to defend yourself after all. Instead, you just need to be present and equally interesting.

Length: 2:39 Difficulty: 3.5 Member Only
Lesson 16

Lick 14 - The Shouting Match

This is another opportunity to copy the phrasing of the vocalist. This time, you get to do it while shouting instead of talking under your breath. Study the nuances of the voice!

Length: 4:16 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 17

Lick 15 - Are We Really Listening?

The flurry of notes seems to suggest that hands are being thrown up and walls are being built at this point in the argument. Don’t let the need for subtle speed take away from the following accompanist role.

Length: 4:16 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 18

Lick 16 - Fall Back

You’re still here, but you're licking some wounds and finding comfort and camaraderie in the rhythm section. It's time to play some arpeggiated chords and fill holes in a very subtle way.

Length: 4:14 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 19

Lick 17 - Pacing Back and Forth

The rhythm playing and intensity grows and the unsettling octave line paints a picture of someone pacing back and forth as guilt trip from the vocals continues. Listen to your band! They are your support and your context!

Length: 2:45 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 20

Lick 18 - Now It's Your Turn

You’ve heard the singer’s side, had a little time to form your thoughts, and now it’s your turn to lay it all out. You start slowly and gracefully while paying attention to every statement you make. The smallest detail counts and makes a difference in terms of how you are heard by your...

Length: 4:04 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 21

Lick 19 - New Thoughts

You offer a new angle and a new thought. Many times in arguments we end up going around in circles unless new ideas are brought to the forefront. How about a little harmonic minor?

Length: 2:45 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 22

Lick 20 - A Long Night

There’s a lot that could be said, but choosing your words carefully is more important than simply speaking your mind. The more care you put into your words, the more likely you are to be heard.

Length: 3:16 Difficulty: 2.5 Member Only
Lesson 23

Lick 21 - There Still Feelings

As if to reach out for affection, you cry out repeatedly to make sure you are understood. Make those high notes weep! Demand a strong reaction!

Length: 4:52 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 24

Lick 22 - Say What You Mean

This could be a flurry of frustration, a jumbled thought in the midst of what you thought was clarity or just a passionate phrase describing your feelings in the most intense way you know how. Precision and aggression are needed.

Length: 3:39 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 25

Lick 23 - Reveal Yourself

These are the boldest and most soaring notes to be played yet! It’s as if you are saying how you REALLY feel and showing your true colors in this mess of an ordeal. Let It Sing!

Length: 3:10 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 26

Lick 24 - Don't Back Down

As emotions run high and the anticipation of some sort of true resolution is almost too much to take, you need to keep the tension and wait to see some more effort from the other side. This passage is asymmetrical, and the timing can be difficult. Practice slow, but know that it really only...

Length: 4:55 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 27

Lick 25 - Just You and Me

The back and forth continues, but this time it’s without the band. It seems that there really are some deep roots in this relationship. There’s screaming and there’s whispering. Make sure the difference is felt and heard.

Length: 3:58 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 28

Lick 26 - We Are One

Be one with the vocalist one last time. Translate the brokenness in the vocal sound into intentionally messy unison bends. Match the vocal timing exactly.

Length: 3:23 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 29

Lick 27 - We're Both Steaming Now

You're accompanying now, but you are not backing down. You’re fuming. Your energy is almost too much to contain, yet you translate that to the guitar by playing aggressive, in-the-pocket chords!

Length: 4:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 30

Lick 28 - Pretty and Ugly

The dissonance with the band and the vocalist seems to suggest that the situation may be falling apart. Now the relationships with others could suffer too. Playing the established and familiar hooks over a more shifty bed is a good way to create more tension.

Length: 3:54 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 31

Lick 29 - I’m Not Finished Yet

You’re both left panting. You’re partially gasping for air and partially grasping for one another. This final run sets up the last attempt to bring closure to this melancholy musical exchange between the two musicians.

Length: 4:08 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
Lesson 32

Lick 30 - One Last Attempt

You get one last chance to soar, but you don’t get the final words. Many times, how you choose to end things is the most important part of something that was meant to be beautiful.

Length: 4:14 Difficulty: 3.0 Member Only
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