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Many a guitar legend has actually cut their teeth and left their mark on the jazz-influenced blues design called “West Coast Blues” (aka “jump” blues): Charlie Christian, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, Albert Collins, Johnny Guitar Watson, Duke Robillard, Hollywood Fats, Little Charlie Baty are just a couple of. However T-Bone Walker is likely the genre’s definitive guitarist.
Transferring from Texas to Los Angeles in the early 40’s, Walker’s “electrification and urbanization of the blues” and brochure of blues pinches hit Capitol, Black & White, and Imperial would “popularize using electric guitar in the form more so than anybody else.” T-Bone’s “distinct jazzy dive blues” feel – Texas blues with a pinch of bebop, a dash of rockabilly, and a whole lotta swing – would influence the music scene in California throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s with many other Texas bluesmen following the migration to the west coast.
Many of the blues licks we play today, which we’ve copped from our current and previous generation blues heroes, are in fact rooted back to leap and West Coast blues expressions – particularly the delicious ones! We all practically agree that implying modifications, rather than just blowing pentatonic runs, is what separates the men from the kids when soloing over standard blues changes. Indicating changes, targeting tones, using extensions are essential components of the West Coast design and excellent factor enough to study the genre. However there’s more.
Getting a solid grip on the phrasing and balanced qualities of West Coast blues is also the key to accomplishing a real sense of boogie, swing, and jump ala Texas blues. Great enough for Stevie Ray, Jimmy Vaughn, Anson Funderburgh, and Johnny Guitar Watson – good adequate for us. And what blues player worth their salt does not have a number of dozen jazzy bebopish lines to enliven their solos and improvisations ?!
David Blacker’s West Coast Blues delivers all of the above. Author, manufacturer, and leading NYC teacher, Blacker has been featured on many albums, commercials and radio areas. Blacker has studied and recorded “roots” designs of guitar for nearly twenty years establishing him as one of the few leading specialists in the field.
Blacker has pulled together a necessary vocabulary of West Coast Blues expressions, feels and methods. Rather than simply resolving a collection of “licks” and theory, Blacker has actually designed a contextual core curriculum; you’ll play your method through the course working with 10 rhythm tracks, finding out 30 choruses worth of West Coast Blues solos.
Master these 30 choruses and you’ll have all the relocations, feels, applied theory and expressions required to handle any Dive or West Coast Blues playing scenario. Even better, your contemporary blues bag will blow up with new colors, tasty lines and improvisational possibilities.