Resources for learning to play the Delta blues?
April 13, 2013 7:16 AM   Subscribe

I want to learn how to play the Delta blues/blues slide guitar.

I've picked up the guitar again, and I've decided I want to learn how to play slide guitar and the Delta blues. I took guitar lessons as a kid for a long time with good teachers, who made me practice all sorts of different styles, so although I'm out of practice now, I've noticed I pick up things pretty quickly. Also it turns out that barre chords are easier to play when you don't have a crappy guitar and 12-year old fingers. I knew how to read music once, and although I've forgotten a lot of it, I still prefer written notation to tablature (or at least written notation to go along with the tab). Can you recommend good song books, online tutorials, etc? I'm looking resources that will teach me specific songs, as close as possible to the originals, rather than give me a general introduction to "the blues" or teach me generic blues riffs. Blues guitarists I'm particularly interested in: Fred McDowell, Blind Willie Johnson, Charlie Patton, Robert Johnson, Son House, Mississippi John Hurt, and Blind Willie McTell. Extra bonus points for stuff about Leadbelly, even though I know he played a 12-string. I'm looking for resources aimed at playing everything on an acoustic guitar. Thanks for your help.
posted by colfax to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Consider "Bottleneck Blues Guitar" by Woody Mann. If you visit Amazon UK, you can look through the table of contents.
posted by obscure simpsons reference at 10:42 AM on April 13, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ry Cooder is a font of knowledge about this stuff, including the specifics of technique. I know there's some interviews & articles out there where he gets very specific & in depth into the delta guys.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:03 PM on April 13, 2013

The book I got (CD included) is by Bob Brozman.
posted by Obscure Reference at 1:40 PM on April 13, 2013

Best answer: Homespun Tapes has all you need.
posted by captainmickey at 3:10 PM on April 13, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks very much for the suggestions! For other folks who are interested in this topic: I did some research on my own question, and I came across Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop, which looks like a good resource. They have a YouTube channel and they have a set of books tailored to specific blues singers/styles.
posted by colfax at 1:12 AM on April 14, 2013

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