The Blues Guitar Style Of Big Bill Broonzy
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The Blues Guitar Style Of Big Bill Broonzy

Learn To Play Blues Guitar Big Bill Broonzy Style
5.0 (4 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
27 students enrolled
Created by Rick Payne
Last updated 11/2019
English [Auto]
Current price: $16.99 Original price: $24.99 Discount: 32% off
5 hours left at this price!
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This course includes
  • 35 mins on-demand video
  • 17 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • The Blues Guitar Style Of Big Bill Broonzy
  • About Big Bill Broonzy
  • Broonzy Style Warm Ups And Riffs
  • Seven Big Bill Study Tunes Including:
  • Broonzy Blues
  • St Louis Blues
  • Hey Hey
  • House Rent Stomp
  • Guitar Shuffle
  • Glory Of Love
  • Slow Blues
  • Students should be able to play the basics of fingerstyle guitar.
  • Read Tablature For Guitar.
  • Read Chord Windows
  • Be Able To Download Resources Like PDFs And Powertab

Big Bill Broonzy was one of the undisputed kings of Ragtime Blues. Along side players like Blind Blake and The Rev Gary Davies he can be rated among the greatest exponents of this style. He was an accomplished player of all the guitar styles of the day and served a long and established career as a Chicago sideman to some of the most famous musicians in the boom time of blues and jazz in the 30's and 40's.

In this course you'll be exploring mainly his unique solo acoustic technique using six classic Broonzy instrumentals such as 'The Guitar Shuffle', 'Hey Hey', and 'House Rent Stomp' and one of my own Broonzy style tunes called 'Broonzy Blues'. If you're new to fingerstyle blues there are lots of Broonzy warm up exercises to prepare you for his thumping guitar style. I'll be playing the complete pieces and then giving you bar breakdowns so you can see how it's done.

Who this course is for:
  • All guitarists who have an interest in learning the authentic styles of Big Bill Bronzy
  • Advanced beginners, intermediate and advanced players are all welcome!
  • Players who want to expand their knowledge of fingerstyle blues.
Course content
Expand all 18 lectures 35:16
+ Introduction
1 lecture 01:12

An introduction by Rick Payne. Please download the accompaning PDF file.
Windows users should download free Powertab Player from
Mac users should download the free app TEF View from the Mac Store to play the Powertab files that are  associated with the  study tunes later in the course.

Preview 01:12
+ Notes On Big Bill Broonzy
1 lecture 00:23

Check out this condensed but vital biography of the great Big Bill Broonzy. Follow the links and learn more!

Preview 00:23
+ Broonzy Warm Ups
2 lectures 07:28

If you're new to fingerstyle blues and ragtime it would be a good idea to try the following exercises. Big Bill's style involved using a thumb and finger independance routine. The thumb would keep a very steady four beat pattern, or alternating pattern, whilst the fingers picked or strummed an independant, syncopated arrangement on the top strings. It takes a bit of practice to do this but is an essential part of his great, stomping style

Preview 04:44
+ Broonzy Study Pieces
14 lectures 26:13

'Broonzy Blues' is my own tribute to the stomping style of Big Bill Broonzy and is a fairly easy piece to play. It's based around the three chord blues progression in A and uses very typical Broonzy
style chords which differ from the conventional shapes. These chords are played against a constant bass pattern for maximum Broonzy effect.

As with all the study tunes and breakdowns please download the PDF resource file and Powertab file.

Preview 01:48

Check out these tips for Broonzy Blues.

Broonzy Blues Breakdown

This popular Broonzy instrumental has had various titles over the years - 'Guitar Rag', 'Guitar Boogie' and 'Shuffle Rag' to name a few. It uses the ragtime progression in the key of C

Guitar Shuffle

Check out these highlights for the Guitar Shuffle.

Guitar Shuffle Breakdown

This piece has cropped up in various forms as either a vocal accompaniment or an instrumental. Popularised on the Eric Clapton album 'Unplugged' it's one of the best demonstrations of Broonzy's playing.

Hey Hey

Check out these bar breakdowns.

Hey Hey Breakdown

Originally released in 1927 as a B side to Big Bill's first recording 'Big Bill's Blues'. it has also been known as the 'Guitar Shuffle' and 'Guitar Rag' and was a staple tune in his solo performances.

House Rent Stomp

Essential bar breakdowns.

House Rent Stomp Breakdown

Originally written by Billy Hill and popularised by both Benny Goodman and Big Bill Broonzy, this tune has once again had numerous cover versions, both instrumental and vocal. It was one of Big Bill Broonzy's most well known ragtime blues adaptations and another in the key of C

Glory Of Love

More highlights.

Glory Of Love Breakdown

This is one of the most popular blues tunes of all time. Written by W.C. Handy in 1914 it has been covered using all the main styles of blues, jazz and ragtime. It was played as an instrumental by Big Bill Broonzy at many of his concerts.

St Louis Blues

Follow these bar highlights.

St Louis Blues Breakdown

This tune gives you an idea how Broonzy played great songs with this typical accompaniment.

Slow Blues

Last of the bar breakdowns.

Slow Blues Breakdown