I entered the following search into the all-powerful Google -
blues guitar lessons in Chicago - and came up with a couple of million hits.


t's true that it's an obvious choice to try to find local blues guitar lessons in Chicago, but there are always hard choices to be made. You're never quite sure how good the teacher might be.

On the other side of the coin, if he is (or was) at the top of the tree, he could be really expensive - I'll leave you to guess what an hourly rate will do to your finances.

More and more people are choosing blues guitar lessons from the internet (even if searching for ' blues guitar lessons in Chicago ') and of course this brings other problems, not least the fact that there are hundreds out there.

The 'Jim Bruce Acoustic Blues Guitar Course' is sweeping the internet and is fast becoming the level to reach for acoustic blues tuition.

Jim is a working blues man, still playing blues in the cafes and on the streets of Europe.

Jim Bruce - The Working Blues Man

blues guitar lessons in Chicago Jim Bruce

The lessons deal with the old blues legends, such as Big Bill Broonzy, Lightnin' Hopkins, Robert Johnson and Blind Blake, to name a few. The variety in style and expertise is very impressive. Read the independent review below to see if this kind of tuition could be right for you - it's right for countless others, amateurs and professionals alike.

Jim is a working blues man, still playing blues in the cafes and on the streets of Europe.

The Complete Acoustic Blues Guitar Course comprises a series of comprehensive lessons on video complete with all guitar tabs,

which will show you how to play acoustic blues guitar in finger style, ragtime blues and slide guitar, in the style of the classic blues legends such as Blind Blake, Big Bill Broonzy, and Robert Johnson.

Each lessons video in the course shows how to play blues guitar by concentrating on a classic song in a particular style, taking it piece by piece, then showing how to put those parts together.

Course Author / Instructor

Jim Bruce is a well respected and established guitarist in the acoustic blues & ragtime genre, having released several albums up to press. He also spends a fair amount of time playing this style of guitar music on the streets and in the bars of Europe, and so has years of experience in teaching these blues songs.

Jim gives live classes predominantly in Europe, where he has settled, but is constantly on the lookout for
opportunities to spread his craft - look out for blues guitar lessons in Chicago in the coming months!

He shares his experience in the course - for example, in the lessons for 'Key To The Highway', he presents the 'regular' and 'street' version of this song, with the 'street' version being aimed towards performing live.  This is a wonderful way to approach learning the blues on guitar.

What's In The Box?

The lesson pack consists of 36 high quality Windows or Mac video files on data-disk, together with PDF files of the full tablature to go along with the videos. Each of the videos is a complete detailed lesson on learning one particular blues or ragtime song, for example 'Key To The Highway' (Big Bill Broonzy), or 'Crossroads' (Robert Johnson).  

The data-disk format is used because over eleven hours of detailed tuition can be burned onto one disk. Simply put the disk in your disk drive, choose a lesson and watch it like a normal video. In addition, right after payment, an instant download link is provided, so that you can access some or all while waiting for the disk package to arrive.

Course Description - What Do We Get in the 'Jim Bruce Acoustic Blues Guitar Lessons Course'?
Each video starts with Jim playing the complete song, at the right tempo. This is great to see, even though it can seem a bit daunting, when you realize you'll soon be trying to play the same tune!

Then the instruction itself begins, as Jim splits the song right down into manageable parts that you can work on in a practice session. Additionally, he slows it right down, making it quite easy to follow along. Here's part of one lesson, showing the opening part of Scrapper Blackwell's ' Blue Day Blues '.

In the relevant parts of the lesson, the guitar tab or chord/fingering charts are shown on the screen, making it a simple matter to follow.

One thing that can be hard when you're starting to play blues guitar,
is coordinating the picking action of your right hand, with moving through and playing the right with your left. In these lesson videos, we see close ups of both the right hand picking technique and the left hand chord positions, so it can be clearly seen what's happening.

Each of the different song sections are then added together, and you can quickly advance towards playing more complete parts of the song.

In some of the videos (for example Crossroads)
, Jim additionally covers learning to play slide or bottleneck guitar, which is the basis of one of the classic 'blues' sound. The video parts for this are explicit, with good closeups, and Jim gives some valuable tips on how to best use the slide, for example, how to dampen the unwanted noise with your fretting hand, which is an essential skill to master if you want to get the best slide guitar sound.

The slide guitar songs featured use a different, and Jim explains clearly how to tune each string, before we start the tuition. As with the other video lessons, the guitar tab is displayed in the lower third of the screen, pointing out where to employ the slide.

There are handy tips on singing the verses while picking. Jim takes a single line from the verses, and shows how the words fit with the music. This is very useful info, as it's one thing to be able to play the guitar part on its own, and something else entirely to be able to play and sing at the same time.

Just reading the lyrics isn't always sufficient to figure out precisely where to start singing, so having this explained like this helps a lot. Another speciality of Jim's is Chicago blues style guitar - in the video clip underneath you can watch a brief preview of the lesson for 'Hey Hey' by Big Bill Broonzy.


                                                                 Play Blues - Hey Hey by Big Bill Broonzy


Support for the lessons is by direct email, and I've always found Jim to be very responsive and quick to get back to me when I've had a question.

'Complete Blues Guitar Lessons' - Our Conclusions

I found Jim's Complete Acoustic Blues Guitar Course to be an enjoyable and practical way to learn how to play blues guitar. I liked the way that every video is entirely dedicated to learning one particular song, so that after working through all of the videos, you finish up with a complete set of classics for your song list, as well as a good variety of picking patterns and riffs that you can weave into some of your other songs. Blues guitar lessons should impart the skills to perform complete songs, and Jim's pack of lessons does exactly that.

To learn to play songs in this genre of guitar playing, I think it's very important to understand how the tune should sound when performed, before learning the parts, and this is what you get with these videos, with Jim giving his rendition at the beginning, so you can see and hear what you need to progress towards. I thought that the way the tune was divided into little phrases, and slowed right down, made it easy to work on parts of the song in a single practice session, before puttin
the parts together.

There are many close ups of both hands on the videos,
which helps to perfect each section. I found the left hand closeups really useful, as just seeing the tablature or chord symbols for a song doesn't always give sufficient info for learning more complicated sections - examining the fretting hand closeup clip over a few times really helped in this respect.

I also enjoyed watching the 'street' version on the 'Key To The Highway' video, where Jim shares his experience of performing this song in a live setting. It's one thing to learn how to play the 'regular' version, but really informative to understand how to adjust the style into the 'street' version to lend your picking some more 'oomph' when playing for an audience.

If you can play the basic chords, and you're looking to get into learning finger picking blues guitar or slide acoustic guitar, then I would definitely recommend taking a closer look at this course. You will learn how to perform blues songs which can't help but develop your abilities as a guitar player, and these can also be very exciting sounding things to be able to play to people if they ask you to play them a tune.

I'm also impressed with the instant download feature, which gives instant access while waiting for the mail man to deliver the disks.

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