(A Complete Guide to Learning Blues Rhythm Guitar Styles)

This is the sixth book in the Blues You Can Use/Jazzin’ the Blues series by John Ganapes, and it lives up to the standard set by the previous five. Focusing entirely on rhythm guitar in the blues, this volume teaches you the styles and techniques necessary to become a proficient member of a rhythm section.

In almost all settings and ensembles, guitar players are called on to provide chordal, rhythm accompaniment much more often than lead guitar lines. Blues Rhythms You Can Use gives you the chords and chord progressions, rhythmic and strumming patterns and lead/rhythm hybrids that allow you to play like a pro.

The book covers major and minor triads, dominant and minor 7th, 9th and 13th chords, offering you complete sets of all of them. You will find altered 7(#9) chords, passing diminished chords, 6th chords and all of the secondary chords and chord substitutes, giving you the ability to embellish the progressions and make them more interesting and fun for you and your band.

Most styles are covered including all types of spread (shuffle) rhythms, major and minor blues with smaller chord shapes, funky 7th chord blues, smooth 9th chord blues, jump blues, syncopated strumming styles, lead/rhythm guitar parts and rocking blues.

All of the elements of theory, style and technique are explored in the 21 studies contained in the book. Audio recordings of the studies are included on the CD which comes with Blues Rhythms You Can Use. The recorded tunes include either a harmonica or lead guitar solo. The harmonica part is provided by harp-master Curtis Blake – a legend of the Upper Mississippi blues scene and Blue Bayou Records recording artist. Each study is given on the CD in two formats: one with the full band and rhythm guitar part, and the other with the bass, drums and lead instrument (harp or lead guitar), minus the rhythm part, so that you can play along on your own.

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Here’s what some satisfied readers have said about Blues Rhythms You Can Use:

Top Notch, September 27, 2010

Blues Rhythym [sic] You Can Use is a great book. I have learned a lot from this book. Like all of Ganapes books, it is well written, and presented in an intelligent easy to understand manner. If you spend time everyday and practice out of any and hopefully all of the Ganapes books, you WILL get a lot better, and be able to jam with other people.

Lots of fun learning, July 21, 2010

Great book, I love playing the Blues, and this is a great tutorial in that genre. Satisfaction Guaranteed (not by me, but in general) But you DO have to open the book, and study the lessons to get anything out of it. Easy to understand. Fun to play rhythms.

from, May 25, 2011

Some books are more useful than others. This is one of the most useful guitar method books I have ever come across. If you have even the slightest interest in blues guitar this is well worth your while.

Another Good Addition to a Good Series, January 28, 2010

This book has given me a lot of good creative ideas for playing blues, and it has filled in some of the gaps I had about playing blues rhythm. I like the clear tables of contents in Ganapes' books, which let me skip around to a particular topic easily when I need to.

Blues Rhythms You Can Use
Blues Rhythms You Can Use
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By John Ganapes