Playing Through The Blues, by Griff Hamlin, is a solid course that will help you learn to play blues guitar. I’ve looked through the course extensively, and below (and in the video below) you’ll see my observations.
Playing Through The Blues – Requirements:
- To really take advantage of Playing Through The Blues, you must have a good handle on all the basic chords. Barre chords, all the open chords, major, minor, diminished, and seventh chords are a good start.
- You must understand and be comfortable with reading and using tablature or musical notation (staff). All the sample solos, licks and riffs are notated using both of these methods, although there are also video examples for nearly everything which help a lot.
- Griff gives examples for everything, both audio and video.
- Everything is notated so you can follow along with tab or sheet music style.
- Griff uses “boxes” to describe different scale patterns which gives him an effective way to refer to different patterns during the lessons.
- Lots of sample riffs and licks to give you ideas
- Several sample solos complete with video tutorial, notation, audio examples, and jam tracks. Being able to play solos of this caliber is basically the goal of the program.
- Several famous blues songs broken down in fine detail. Griff shows you how to play them using the techniques the “masters” used (BB King etc)
- Members only blog where Griff personally answers questions related to the course
- 56 Day Guarantee on the product: if you’re not happy, you get your money back
Playing Through The Blues – The Bad:
- Playing Through The Blues doesn’t offer a DVD option so you have to download everything (not a big deal, but it might affect the odd person or two).
- Not much emphasis on theory, which in my opinion is critical to understanding the guitar, and how to play it. However, he does give you what you need to know, even if he doesn’t always explain why or how, from a theory perspective. I realize some of you actually view this as a positive, but hey – I’m the one doing the review! =)
Playing Through The Blues – Conclusions:
If you’re familiar with chords and tab, and want to learn blues guitar, then this is likely a good course for you. I would rate this course as good for most beginners, and even some intermediate players. However, if you’re already comfortable composing your own solos in major, minor and pentatonic scale patterns, then you probably won’t learn a whole lot beyond the specific riffs and solos that Griff teaches (which are nonetheless handy ones to have in your toolbelt).