Blues Accelerator - 21 Days to Blues Guitar Mastery
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Blues Accelerator - 21 Days to Blues Guitar Mastery

Learn to improvise guitar solos over the 12 bar blues in a variety of blues styles.
4.8 (6 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
79 students enrolled
Created by - Mark Thomson
Last updated 1/2014
Price: $50
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 7 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
What Will I Learn?
  • By the end of the course, you will be able to solo over the 12 bar blues in a variety of styles, from Chicago blues, to a Gary Moore kind of minor blues, and so on.
View Curriculum
  • An electric guitar, ideally with an amplifier

The aim of Blues Accelerator is to take someone with little formal knowledge about blues guitar playing, and turn them into a confident blues player. The ultimate goal that we're headed towards is the ability to play over the 12 bar blues, which is the bread and butter of any blues musician. If you want to sit in with the real players, you need to have a rock solid grasp on playing over the 12 bar blues....and by the final lesson of this VOl. I, you will have mastered soloing over the 12 bar blues.

Depending on your skill level coming into this course, you might find the first lesson a bit easy. Nevertheless, please follow along. Each lesson in the course builds upon the lesson that precedes it. Skip a lesson, and you risk missing an important aspect of blues soloing.

As the title suggests, you can finish the course in 21 days.

Who is the target audience?
  • Beginners and Intermediate players
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Curriculum For This Course
45 Lectures
Promo Videos
3 Lectures 48:50

The Blues 3rd is the single most useful technique you can add to your playing to immediately boost the quality and authenticity of your blues solos. It's easy to learn but hard to master. Check it out...

How to Play the Ultimate Blues Note: The Blues Third

Believe it or not, the pentatonic scale is NOT what the pros really use when creating authentic blues solos. IIn this video you'll learn about the blues arpeggio...the real tool in the blues guitar player's toolkit.

Preview 18:31

In this video you'll learn how pro blues players structure coherent solos using what's known as Question & Answer (or Call and Response) phrasing. It's easy to do and sounds great!

Preview 14:54
The Four Magic Notes
4 Lectures 32:48

In this video you'll learn the four notes we'll be working with as we try our hand at improvising over a simple chord progression. Yes, it's only Day 1 and we're already going to be soloing! Check it out....

Creating Solos with the notes C - D - F - G

In this video, we learn about the importance of alternate picking. The two exercises we learn here will really help your chops. Check it out...

Technique Training: Alternate Pick or Die

In this video, we're going to learn how to play's groove, which is similar to Freddie King's "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone." Enjoy!

Groove Video 1

Ear Training Exercises: Stage 1
Imitating the Voice with Your Guitar
4 Lectures 19:14

In this first video, we'll be adding two more notes to what we learned in Lesson #1. We'll also be learning how to add slides....and why. We'll then be putting this all to work for us over a new jam! Check it out....

How to Play Vocally

In today's technique video, we work on developing strength and dexterity with each pair of fingers. It's a tough workout, but great for your long-term chops. Have fun, but don't keep going if you feel serious pain.

Technique Training: Two Finger Torture

Play This Blues Groove

Ear-Training Exercises: Stage 2
How to Apply Hammer Ons to Your Solos
4 Lectures 36:29

Welcome to Lesson 3. We cover lots of stuff in today's lesson...I hope you're ready! We'll be playing in a new position, adding some new notes, and jamming over a cool, Hendrix-style progression. And most importantly, we learn about those infamous hammer ons and pull-offs. Okay, let's get started!

Hammer of the Gods

In this technique video, we learn the kinds of hammer on and pull-off licks that let the experienced guitarists play so fast. This is need-to-know stuff!

How the Pros Play So Fast

In today's groove video, we learn how to play "All Along the Watchtower"....It's an excellent jam tune. Be sure to call it out at your next jam session!

Watchtower Groove

I really hope you've been doing all these ear training sessions. Developing your ear this way is vital because it's a skill shared by all top level musicians: the ability to play what you hear. It starts by being able to play the things your hear others play....but ultimately it will allow you to play the phrases you hear in your head. So dive into this next installment of our ear-training series!

Ear-Training Exercises: Stage 3
How to Apply Bends to Your Blues Solos
4 Lectures 34:31

Welcome to Lesson 4. Our main topic today is bending...the ultimate blues guitar technique. Easy to learn, but it takes a long time to truly master! By the way, a lot students worry about breaking the string when they bend. It happens, especially as your strings get older. Might even startle you the first time, but you'll get used to it. So, breaking strings when you bend is normal, but really wont happen that much. Anyway, let's get to it. Please watch this first video to get an inside look at bending!

The Secret to Great Blues Bends

In today's technique lesson, we'll learn lots of cool bending phrases and licks. These are absolute classic licks!

Technique Training:Classic Blues Licks

Today's groove video teaches a variation on Kenny Wayne Sheppard's "Blue On Black". It's such a great tune!

Today's Groove: Blue on Black

Ear-Training Exercises: Stage 4
How to use the Diamond Shape to Create Authentic Solos
4 Lectures 32:42

This is an extremely important lesson because it introduces three fundamental blues concepts simultaneously: Up til now, we really haven't played an official blues least not the 12 bar blues. We've been playing over "bluesy" jams, and learning blues phrasing and blues licks, but now it's time to do so over the 12 bar blues. Secondly, we're going to add the vital Blues 3rd to our arsenal. Now, if you watched the videos I made during the launch of Blues Accelerator, then you saw the lesson on the Blues Third. So, yes, some of this will be a review, but there's one more very important thing we'll be learning today: The Diamond Shape. The Diamond Shape is great because it's easy to use, easy to remember, and it's very authentic sounding.

So let's get to it! Please watch this first video...

The Diamond Shape and the Entire 12 Bar Blues

Sequencing is one of my favorite tools to give to students because it's a way to immediately create your own licks, riffs....even songs. Virtually all musicians -- from Bach to BB King -- employ sequencing in their music. So please watch this video to get in on the secret....

Technique Training: Sequencing Builds Great Chops

In today's groove video, we're going to learn how to play the 12 bar blues. This is the classic blues groove that countless blues songs rely on. Learn this, and you basically will have learned how to play thousands of blues songs.

How to Play the 12 bar Blues Progression

Ear-Training Exercises: Stage 5
How to Add the Blue Note (aka the b5) to Your Blues Solos
4 Lectures 33:27

In the last lesson we learned about the all-important Blues 3rd. Today, we'll be adding the Blue Note (aka the b5) to our phrases. If the Blues 3rd is all about giving a sense of hope to a downer song, the Blue Note is about emphasizing the pain the blues musician is feeling. Let's see how it works. Watch this video....

Mastering the Blue Note

In today's technique lesson, we'll learn lots of classic licks (starting with a Jimmy Page one!) featuring the Blue Note.

Technique Training: Blues Note Licks and Advanced Bends

Let's learn today's groove. This is something I created just for this lesson, so feel free to add to it and make it yours!

Cool Blues Groove

Ear-Training Exersises: Stage 6
How to Play BLues in the Style of B.B. King
4 Lectures 35:22

If you had to pick the musician most associated with the blues, most people would choose B.B. King. Among other things, he's famous for "doing more with less." In other words, he can play just a few notes and convey more feel, more truth, than someone else playing a thousand notes. But how is that? How does he do it? Can it really be learned?

I think so. Watch this video and see!

Mastering the B.B. King position

In a recent technique video, we discussed something called sequencing. It's a great method for generating your own licks. And here is another very powerful lick-generating tool for your soloing toolbox. It's called: Pivoting. See if you can figure out how they work...

Technique Training: How to Create Flashy Blues Licks Using Pivoting

In today's groove we learn a very typical way to play the 12 bar blues. This is definitely worth learning, to add contrast to your rhythm playing.

A New Way to Play the 12 Bar Blues Groove

Ear-Training Exercises: Stage 7
Digging Deeper in B.B. King's Style
4 Lectures 35:20

In today's lesson we'll continue our look into the soulful playing of B.B. King. Take a moment to warm up your hands by running through some of your favorite phrases, and then dive into this first video...

How to Play Advanced B.B. King Phrases

It's been a long time since we've talked about picking. Granted, some styles of blues playing aren't too demanding on the picking hand, but just listen to any Stevie Ray Vaughn or Eric Johnson solo and you'll soon feel the need for monster picking. So please watch this video to give your picking hand a workout...

Technique Training: Advanced Picking Drills

In today's groove, we'll learn to play that cool fingerpicking groove I was playing. It's another great rhythm to have in your bag-of-grooves!

A Fingerpicking Blues Groove

Ear-Training Exercises: Stage 8
How to Play A Back Porch Blues
4 Lectures 37:48

This next video is a How-to on tuning down to Drop D. If you've ever had trouble tuning your E string down to Drop D, check out this video...

How to Tune Your Guitar to Drop D

This lesson is really cool because we're going to use the things we've learned to create our own Back Porch Blues. A Back Porch Blues is what I call any blues piece you can play truly solo, because you're playing both the lead and the accompaniment. It's the kind of thing you'd play, well....just sittin' on the back porch. So, this is a fun lesson because you'll be learning a new piece, and really you'll be improvising your own song. But it also acts as a review of everything we've covered up to now.

Down 'n' Dirty Back Porch Blues

In this technique video we're going to work on something called subdivisions of the beat. Eric Clapton, among others, does this so well. It's like switching gears in the middle of a phrase -- and players use this to speed up or to slow down. It's a very cool effect! Watch...

Technique Training: Accelerating With Subdivisions of the Beat

Ear-Training Exercises: Stage 9
2 More Sections
About the Instructor
-  Mark Thomson
4.9 Average rating
16 Reviews
540 Students
3 Courses
Professional Guitar Instructor

I've been a professional teacher my entire adult life. I have taught thousands of people over the years to play all levels and all styles. A music composition major at Arizona State University, I also graduated from L.A.'s Guitar Institue of Technology. In the late 80's I was featured in Guitar Player Magazine's SPOTLIGHT column, and in the early 90's was George Lynch's guitar instructor. (He of DOKKEN fame.) I created George's instructional series for R.E.H. videos and worked with George on other projects. For the most part, though, I was one of the lead instructors at the Music Store in Mesa, Arizona where I taught thousands of students over the years. I currently reside in Sevastopol, Ukraine where I moved to master the Russian language and to share American rock and blues with a part of the world that knows little about it.