Blues for Jimi (Guitar Lesson)

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Kenny Ray

Blues for Jimi

Learn Kenny's original song "Blues for Jimi." Kenny wrote this song with Jimi Hendrix in mind.

Taught by Kenny Ray in Electric Blues with Kenny seriesLength: 10:07Difficulty: 3.0 of 5

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Member Comments about this Lesson

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

davidldaydavidlday replied

Hey Kenny - I worked my Butt off on this one. Man I keep coming back to your lessons to learn to play the blues. Thanks a million! Check out my tribute to you at

kickkick replied

Thanks Kenny real great lessons you give us, you are great thanks.

toneacustoneacus replied

Love your lessons, really good instruction. Thank You

bubsterbubster replied

Thanks for sharing such a beautiful song Mr. Blue Ray another great lesson.

MSbluesmanMSbluesman replied

thanks Kenny i have wanted to learn this song since i first heard it on your alblum

seasonedcitizenseasonedcitizen replied

Thanks Kenny great song,great lesson.

mike4370mike4370 replied

i've been waiting a long time for this lesson, thanks so much for teaching this one!

Electric Blues with Kenny

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Kenny "Blue" Ray will guide you through the world of electric blues. He will cover styles of many of the blues greats as well as throw in his personal library of knowledge.

1st and 2nd ScalesLesson 1

1st and 2nd Scales

Ladies and gentlemen, JamPlay is proud to present an amazing electric blues player appropriately named Kenny "Blue" Ray. Kenny has been playing for over 40+ years and is bringing his knowledge forward...

Length: 11:43 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
3rd Scale Tips and Albert King's StyleLesson 2

3rd Scale Tips and Albert King's Style

Kenny brings forth the next step in electric blues. Here he demonstrates the 3rd scale and provides some tips on playing Texas and Chicago blues. In the second half of this lesson, Kenny ties scales 1-3...

Length: 17:12 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Style of Albert CollinsLesson 3

Style of Albert Collins

Albert Collins brought a lot of style to the blues scene. In this lesson, Kenny breaks down Albert's style for you to learn.

Length: 10:31 Difficulty: 1.5 FREE
Bending and Soloing Techniques in the Key of ALesson 4

Bending and Soloing Techniques in the Key of A

Kenny uses the key of A to demonstrate bending techniques and soloing options in the Texas and Chicago blues styles.

Length: 16:11 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Working On TurnaroundsLesson 5

Working On Turnarounds

Kenny brings us some great information regarding turnarounds. He demonstrates some of the most common blues turnarounds and explains how to achieve some of the sounds created in Texas and Chicago blues.

Length: 12:48 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Style of T-Bone WalkerLesson 6

Style of T-Bone Walker

Kenny is back in full stride in lesson 6. Kenny explores the style of T-Bone Walker and how he created his own unique blues sound.

Length: 12:48 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Rhythm and Lead TogetherLesson 7

Rhythm and Lead Together

Kenny shares some great tips on how to incorporate both rhythm and lead guitar together in your blues playing. These tips will enable you to create a massive blues sound in any environment or situation.

Length: 19:49 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Tension Notes and Some HistoryLesson 8

Tension Notes and Some History

Kenny enlightens us as to how tension notes are used in blues. He demonstrates the theory behind these specific notes and how they are used. Kenny also delves into his past with some great personal stories...

Length: 6:01 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Style of Hubert SumlinLesson 9

Style of Hubert Sumlin

Here, Kenny "Blue" Ray provides an overview of Hubert Sumlin's style. This is a lesson filled with history and blues guitar that can be applied to a variety of blues styles.

Length: 16:48 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Style of John Lee HookerLesson 10

Style of John Lee Hooker

Kenny continues his Blues Guitar Series with a lesson on the style of John Lee Hooker.

Length: 14:26 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Style of Freddy KingLesson 11

Style of Freddy King

Kenny introduces JamPlay to the style of Freddy King. Kenny recalls some great licks and information about his style.

Length: 13:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Style of Magic SamLesson 12

Style of Magic Sam

Kenny continues his blues series with an informative lesson on the style of Magic Sam. Learn and understand how Magic Sam played guitar and how he influenced the blues music scene.

Length: 9:58 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Blues Based RhythmsLesson 13

Blues Based Rhythms

Kenny breaks into a world of blues based rhythms. Here, he introduces his passion for these lessons by demonstrating some blues rhythms he has picked up over the years.

Length: 13:59 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
T-Bone Walker Rhythm StyleLesson 14

T-Bone Walker Rhythm Style

Kenny quickly dives straight into a T-Bone Walker rhythm style in the key of A. He begins with a more simple rhythm and progresses to advanced rhythmic techniques to round out your creative bag of tricks.

Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Backward Shuffle RhythmLesson 15

Backward Shuffle Rhythm

Also known as the flat tire rhythm, Kenny demonstrates different styles that the backward shuffle can be applied to.

Length: 6:32 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Kenny on Robert Jr. Lockwood and Robert JohnsonLesson 16

Kenny on Robert Jr. Lockwood and Robert Johnson

Kenny "Blue" Ray breaks down the rhythmic styles of Robert Jr. Lockwood and Robert Johnson. This lesson features blues rhythms that have withstood the test of time.

Length: 12:27 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Great Blues ArrangementLesson 17

Great Blues Arrangement

Kenny reviews one of his own favorite rhythmic arrangements. By pulling from influences such as Jimmy Vaughn and Doyal Bramhall II, Kenny is sure to bring out that inner blues player.

Length: 6:25 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
8 Bar BluesLesson 18

8 Bar Blues

Kenny plays through a sample of the 8 bar blues. This is a short and sweet lesson packed with some new rhythms that can be applied to the 8 bar form.

Length: 4:41 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Blues 7th / Jimi Hendrix ChordsLesson 19

Blues 7th / Jimi Hendrix Chords

Kenny adds some 7th chords into the mix along with classic Jimi Hendrix style chords. He also explains the advantages of shortened 7th chords and their practical applications in the blues.

Length: 13:36 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
13th Chords / Shaking TechniqueLesson 20

13th Chords / Shaking Technique

Kenny expands on the previous lesson and introduces 13th chords. He demonstrates the techniques necessary to fretting and "shaking" these chords.

Length: 11:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 21

"Lumpty" Box Patterns

The "Lumpty" is essentially a bass line played within a simple box pattern. Kenny demonstrates some of his favorite patterns as well as some practice routines that will loosen your fingers up.

Length: 11:04 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 22

"Boogaloo" Style Rhythm

Derived from the Latin genre, the Boogaloo is a unique rhythm that fits surprisingly well in the blues. It became popular during the 60's and can be heard in other musical genres such as jump blues, R&B,...

Length: 7:08 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
KBR on Slim HarpoLesson 23

KBR on Slim Harpo

Kenny breaks down the style of Slim Harpo. He introduces the sounds that made Slim famous such as his tasteful use of tremolo. Every aspiring blues guitarist will thoroughly enjoy this information.

Length: 10:12 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Bass RunsLesson 24

Bass Runs

When playing with another guitarist, bass runs can be used to round out the overall arrangement of a song. Kenny explains how to use bass runs effectively in this lesson.

Length: 15:59 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Working with Other GuitaristsLesson 25

Working with Other Guitarists

Jam session? Live gig? There are many situations one may encounter that will require playing with other guitarists. Kenny explains how to create a fuller arrangement by using different chord voicings from...

Length: 5:59 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Two Note Chords / Hubert Sumlin Rhythms Lesson 26

Two Note Chords / Hubert Sumlin Rhythms

In lesson 26, Kenny introduces simple two note chords. This lesson also details the rhythmic styles of Hubert Sumlin.

Length: 11:17 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Rhythm Style of Bo DiddleyLesson 27

Rhythm Style of Bo Diddley

Bo Diddley was known as "The Originator" because of his transition from blues to rock & roll. Kenny covers his rhythmic style in this quick lesson.

Length: 6:38 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Backing up a Harmonica PlayerLesson 28

Backing up a Harmonica Player

Harmonica players are a staple of blues music. Why not pick up some tips and tricks and join the fun with your guitar? Kenny demonstrates some some popular blues accompaniment figures used to back up a...

Length: 8:41 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Soul, R&B, and 60's Style GuitarLesson 29

Soul, R&B, and 60's Style Guitar

Kenny indulges in a lesson packed with soul sounds and sounds of 60's. Hope you packed your time machine!

Length: 8:54 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Buddy Guy Solo and LeadsLesson 30

Buddy Guy Solo and Leads

Welcome to Kenny's 30th lesson! To celebrate, Kenny has decided to demonstrate Buddy Guy's lead style. This lesson is a great opportunity to pick up on some classic leads as well as some American blues...

Length: 17:44 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Style of Stevie Ray VaughanLesson 31

Style of Stevie Ray Vaughan

Kenny grabs his guitar and digs deep into the style of Stevie Ray Vaughan. Here, Kenny demonstrates SRV's rhythm style and some of his signature licks. This one is a must see and is sure to open some...

Length: 17:09 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Letting Notes BreatheLesson 32

Letting Notes Breathe

Kenny takes a deep breath in Lesson 32 of his blues series. Here he demonstrates the importance of leaving space between phrases. Less really is more!

Length: 8:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Ending of the SongLesson 33

Ending of the Song

KBR takes us to the light at the end of the tunnel. You can write a killer song, but it's the ending that ties it all together. Kenny covers a few well known endings and provides some insight on how to...

Length: 9:57 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
More Rhythm TechniquesLesson 34

More Rhythm Techniques

Kenny demonstrates more blues style rhythm techniques. He uses some examples from other artists to help you understand their application.

Length: 11:25 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Muddy Waters Birthday SpecialLesson 35

Muddy Waters Birthday Special

We had the pleasure of filming Kenny on the same day as Muddy Waters birthday, April 4th. Kenny presents a special "Style of Muddy Waters" lesson to honor this day.

Length: 17:32 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Howlin' WolfLesson 36

Howlin' Wolf

Kenny breaks down the rhythmic style of Howlin' Wolf and demonstrates how a little style of SRV can be blended into the mix.

Length: 13:25 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Starting on the 5Lesson 37

Starting on the 5

There are plenty of different ways to start a blues song. Kenny covers some ideas that begin with the V chord of the progression.

Length: 15:18 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
John Lee HookerLesson 38

John Lee Hooker

Kenny draws heavily from the influence of the great John Lee Hooker and has even had the pleasure of playing with him. This lesson demonstrates some of Hooker's guitar style.

Length: 16:45 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Modern RhythmsLesson 39

Modern Rhythms

Kenny presents some modern rhythm techniques and patterns while utilizing 9th chords.

Length: 16:31 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
8 & 12 Bar ProgressionsLesson 40

8 & 12 Bar Progressions

Welcome to Kenny's 40th lesson! In this lesson, Kenny covers some unique 8 and 12 bar blues progressions inspired by some of his favorite players.

Length: 12:57 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
2 Note ChordsLesson 41

2 Note Chords

Time to play around with two note double stops! Kenny demonstrates many different examples and how they can be applied in blues music.

Length: 15:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Magic SamLesson 42

Magic Sam

Kenny covers the style of one of his long time guitar heroes, Magic Sam.

Length: 12:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lead Blues GuitarLesson 43

Lead Blues Guitar

Kenny dives into some great blues lead guitar concepts in "positions" 1 and 2.

Length: 21:29 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Position 3 SoloingLesson 44

Position 3 Soloing

Kenny continues his blues lead ideas by covering the 3rd "position." Kenny also touches on some B.B. King licks to help with his demonstration.

Length: 13:16 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Bending StringsLesson 45

Bending Strings

Kenny "Blue" Ray breaks down proper string bending technique. He also demonstrates how to apply string bending to blues lead guitar.

Length: 14:09 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Albert KingLesson 46

Albert King

Kenny takes an in depth look at the style of Albert King, one of his favorite artists.

Length: 12:19 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
5 NotesLesson 47

5 Notes

Kenny explains how to get maximum mileage out of the 5 notes of the major pentatonic scale.

Length: 9:06 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Rhythm & Lead CombinationLesson 48

Rhythm & Lead Combination

Kenny breaks down some ways to combine both rhythm and lead playing to develop more of a complete sound.

Length: 15:50 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
For Stevie & JimiLesson 49

For Stevie & Jimi

Kenny teaches a song he wrote inspired by Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix. This is one you'll definitely enjoy learning!

Length: 11:47 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Rock & Roll StylingLesson 50

Rock & Roll Styling

Kenny demonstrates some classic rock & roll rhythm and lead ideas.

Length: 11:10 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Pull The StringsLesson 51

Pull The Strings

Kenny demonstrates another original song called "Pull The Strings."

Length: 14:05 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Open TuningsLesson 52

Open Tunings

Kenny opens up the world of open tunings and how they can be applied in the blues genre.

Length: 12:19 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Blues for JimiLesson 53

Blues for Jimi

Learn Kenny's original song "Blues for Jimi." Kenny wrote this song with Jimi Hendrix in mind.

Length: 10:07 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Playing in ELesson 54

Playing in E

Kenny introduces several blues ideas that can be used in the key of E.

Length: 12:34 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Mississippi/Chicago Blues in ELesson 55

Mississippi/Chicago Blues in E

While staying in the key of E, Kenny demonstrates some Mississippi and Chicago style blues techniques.

Length: 19:14 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Tasteful Ideas for Minor BluesLesson 56

Tasteful Ideas for Minor Blues

Kenny dives into minor scales and will demonstrate how to spice up you blues ideas when playing in minor keys.

Length: 13:09 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Slim Harpo: The Use of Double StopsLesson 57

Slim Harpo: The Use of Double Stops

With the help of influences from Slim Harpo, Kenny demonstrates some double stops that are frequently used in blues music.

Length: 16:18 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Building Knowledge (Key of D)Lesson 58

Building Knowledge (Key of D)

In lesson 58, Kenny provides additional information pertaining to the key of D major. Rhythm patterns and lead ideas are provided.

Length: 20:16 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
12 Bar Blues: The Quick ChangeLesson 59

12 Bar Blues: The Quick Change

Kenny explains how the "Quick IV," also called "The Quick Change," fits into the standard 12 bar blues progression.

Length: 19:25 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Guitar Building RecommendationsLesson 60

Guitar Building Recommendations

Kenny takes a step back and breaks down how he has built his guitar, and offers insight on some tips and pointers on what to look for when shopping for parts for your custom guitar.

Length: 6:35 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Soloing Tips: Changing PositionsLesson 61

Soloing Tips: Changing Positions

Moving to different positions on the neck during a solo can be a bit tricky. Kenny provides some insight and tips on how to accomplish these movements a bit more easily.

Length: 16:15 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Rake TechniqueLesson 62

Rake Technique

This lesson provides insight on how to apply the rake picking technique within the blues genre.

Length: 9:54 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Soul & Funk Blues GuitarLesson 63

Soul & Funk Blues Guitar

Kenny presents some tasteful ideas on how to apply 60's soul and funk guitar inspirations into your standard blues techniques.

Length: 12:19 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Adding Minor to the Key of ELesson 64

Adding Minor to the Key of E

Kenny covers some basic blues progressions in the key of E major and demonstrates how E minor pentatonic ideas can be incorporated into them.

Length: 7:17 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Kenny Ray

About Kenny Ray View Full Biography Kenny is a blues veteran of 40 years whose pedigree includes recording and appearing with artists the caliber of William Clarke, Little Charlie and the Nightcats, Charlie Musselwhite, Smokey Wilson, Albert Collins, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Kenny Ray was born in Lodi, California on January 11, 1950. His interest in music was forged by his father, who played guitar, harmonica, accordion, piano and fiddle. Seeing Elvis perform on the Ed Sullivan show in 1956 sealed Kenny's passion to play guitar. His father bought Kenny his first guitar in 1958 for $7.00, His dad later bought Kenny his first real Electric guitar, a 1959 black Danelectro for $38.50, In Stockton, California.

Kenny's obsession with the blues was triggered by the infamous Wolfman Jack, when as an eleven year old, Kenny would lie in bed listening to the radio to the sounds of Jimmy Reed B.B. King and Howlin' Wolf on XERB-FM, from Chula Vista, California, and was inspired by music that Kenny claims "just totally blew my mind." Seeing his hero, Keith Richards in 1964 in Sacramento, also was a big decision in going professional, The Guitars in the Stones say a lot, and work well together, ala Jimmy Reed/Eddie Taylor, & Robert Jr & Luther Tucker (a Friend Kenny met in 1976). Kenny and his guitarist friends would skip school to learn Albert King's album, "Born Under A Bad Sign" and B.B. King's live album, "Blues Is King" in the mid 60's developing licks and vibrato from the masters.

Serving in the Air Force from 1969-72, Kenny was based in South Ruislip, London, England, and worked in RAF Hillingdon) where he hooked up with ex-Jr. Walker band member Ferdnand Jones in a nine piece soul review called El Jade, where they covered Al Green, Aretha Franklin and "lots of blues."

On his return to the States, Kenny spent two years touring California with the Paul Herman Band. In 1975 he joined Little Charlie and the Nightcats, which at the time was fronted by Charlie Baty on guitar, harp and vocals. Rick Estrin joined the band in 1976, It was a great sound, but Charlie could play so much, Kenny wasn't needed in the Night Cats and not long after, Kenny left and moved to Los Angeles where he became a member of the houseband at Smokey Wilson's Pioneer club, backing artists like Big Joe Turner, Pee Wee Crayton, Lowell Fulson, and Big Mama Thornton.

The late 70's were a productive time for the blues in LA, and Kenny became immersed in the Watts scene and made his recording debut with William Clarke and Hollywood Fats ("Diggin' My Potatoes") and Finis Tasby (a set "Get drunk and be somebody" which remains unreleased) in 1978. William Clarke was a master on the blues harp, and it was a great experience with Bill.

In 1980, Kenny moved to Austin, Texas, where he joined the Marcia Ball Band, touring with her for four years on the Crawfish Circuit and appearing on her 1984 Rounder release "Soulful Dress", which also featured, Stevie Ray Vaughan on Guitar with Kenny on the Title track. During this time Kenny met and became friends with Stevie Ray Vaughan. Further recording sessions followed with Greg "Fingers" Taylor ("Harpoon Man"), Marcia Ball on Varrick, Mitch Woods, Charlie Musselwhite, Ronnie Earl and the Roomful of Blue Horns on the Blind Pig release, ("Solid Gold Cadillac"), and sessions with Tommy Castro, Gary Smith, and others. Blues Harp is a favorite and Kenny had the great honor of working with James Cotton, Little Charlie & The Night Cats, William Clarke (Kenny's favorite), James Harman, Shakey Jake Harris, Rod Piazza and Gary Smith.

Kenny's biggest influences on guitar are Albert King, T-Bone Walker, John Lee Hooker, Albert Collins, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Lockwood, Jr., B.B. King, Freddie King, Kenny Burrell, Wes Montgomrey, and Johnny "Guitar" Watson. Kenny also digs Jimmie Vaughan and Anson Funderburgh.

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