All posts by FredFraser

Tony’s Acoustic Challenge

I took the acoustic challenge a couple years back. I have to say it improved my dexterity and speed but it never translated into music for me. If you’re looking for something to take the boredom out of practicing with a goal to develop technique, speed and dexterity and break through to a new level of playing this is a great site.

Personally I’m a little old to worry too much about such things and just want to make music.

JamPlay

It’s been a year since I was a member of JamPlay. The site is packed full of a ton of content. Songs and courses of all sorts. That said there are a ton of songs out there and I struggled to find ones I really felt I wanted learn. The teacher led lessons never worked for me. When you’re learning from a teacher its nice to be able to say this song not that one. You can’t really do that and since I assume the lessons are progressive I found myself learning songs I didn’t want to learn to make progress. I can recommend this site to anyone looking to learn songs and likes the selection of song specific lessons.

https://www.jamplay.com/


I’ll probably be back at some point in time for another year as I’m sure they have added more content but right now I’m taking a different approach. These days I find songs I love and learn them, not songs I can learn to see if I love them.

Jerry’s Guitar Bar

Jerry’s guitar bar is an awesome collection of song specific lessons. There are even some free ones. The lessons cover strum or picking patterns and seem quite true to the original songs to my ear. The full lessons include a play through the song and tabs. Here is a sample of the lesson part from youtube.

I have to say I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every lesson I’ve downloaded from Jerry’s guitar bar. Do yourself a favor and pick up a free lesson and learn a new song. Here is the link: https://www.jerrysguitarbar.com/

Jim Brynes

If you’re looking to kickback with some fine acoustic blues Jim Brynes may be just what you’re looking for. Here is a fine mellow take on the classic Crossroads Blues

Here is another great cover. Now I love Doc Watson but I just like things a little raw like Jim Brynes does here.

Maybe I like the less polished sound because I can imagine playing it myself. So speaking of playing tunes here is a sort of cool lesson for this song that also provides some useful insight as to what it takes to learn a song like this.

Willie Dixon

Willie Dixon’s autobiography is entitled “I am the Blues” . So I’m not sure what to make of that statement but according to Wikipedia he wrote over 500 songs so you have thank him for one heck of a contribution to the blues music scene.

Here is a list of some of the most recorded Willie Dixon tunes:

  • Hoochie Coochie Man
  • I’m Ready
  • I Just Want To Make Love To You
  • Spoonful
  • Little Red Rooster
  • Bring It On Home
  • Wang Dang Doodle
  • Same Thing

Here is an awesome documentary on YouTube ” Willie and the new generation of blues. Documentary from the Berlin jazz festival 1977″.

If you’re wanting to kick back and hear the jazzy and bluesy side of Willie Dixon here is a full 2 hours of the best of Willie Dixon.

Thanks to Willie Dixon for all that wonderful music.

Tom Waits

I frequently find myself reflecting on an artists work as maturing and mellowing with age. Like fine wine musical tastes get more refined and in my case at least lean towards the mellower melodic soothing sounds. That’s probably why I like Tom Wait‘s older stuff more than his performing arts of recent years. I never actually realized that my favorite songs are the title tracks to the albums but I can honestly say there is not one song I don’t love on each of these albums. So with that in mind here are my favorite three Tom Wait’s albums and a song from each.

From the 1974 Album The Heart of Saturday Night the title track (Lookin’ for) The Heart of Saturday Night.

From the 1978 album Blue Valentines album the title track Blue Valentines.

From the 1980 album Heart Attack and Vine.

My favorite Tom Wait’s quote is “there’s only reason you write new songs: you get sick of the old songs“. Tom’s an original there is no doubt of that. When I listen to his musical trajectory its like he started where most of us end up and he’s going towards a more raw but still very entertaining performance. He’s like the Benjamin Button of my musical tastes.