Play blues guitar like Joe Bonamassa

29th May 2008 | 16:25

Play blues guitar like Joe Bonamassa
Joe Bonamassa is a new blues hero
Play blues guitar like Joe Bonamassa
This phrase contains echoes of Rory Gallagher and Paul Kossoff, with its jagged phrasing and fierce vibrato. Think 'funky' as well as being attacking with a slightly staccato feel.
Play blues guitar like Joe Bonamassa
Joe plays forcefully here with more characteristic bends, vibrato and also flurries of Clapton style pentatonic trickery. Notice the quarter-tone bend on the Bb!
Play blues guitar like Joe Bonamassa
This phrase betrays a traditional blues influence with its lower register and quarter-tone bends. These stylistic details are as essential as dexterity in your fingers.
Play blues guitar like Joe Bonamassa
This is another phrase from the G blues scale but in a higher register. After the unison bends Joe enters highly embellished Clapton territory, similar to example 2, but busier!
Play blues guitar like Joe Bonamassa
A little southern style rock influence here, forsaking the triplet flurries for a more grounded, consistent run of semiquavers. Make sure your intonation is good on those final notes and don't forget to keep the vibrato as aggressive as you can.

Check out this video lesson with free tab

Click here for all How to play blues guitar like... lessons.

Joe Bonamassa was born in New York in 1977. His father played and sold guitars, so Joe had a small Chiquita guitar in his hands
by the age of four. Soaking up every influence he could from the likes of SRV, Jimmy Page, Paul Kossoff, Eric Clapton et al, he moved to a full size model at the age of seven and was performing locally by the age of ten.

The young guitarist's reputation spread and by the age of twelve, he had been invited to open for BB King, who was so impressed, he called him "one of a kind". Joe went on to work alongside Buddy Guy, Danny Gatton and Robert Cray, before signing to EMI with his own group Bloodline while still in his teens.

This was fairly successful, but disbanded after one album. Joe was ready to move on, this time at the vocal mic as well as guitar. Since 2000, he has recorded, incredibly, nine solo albums which have further established him as a very capable player with a great voice.

These examples show Joe's aggressive, yet melodic style of blues playing. You can learn them by following our free tab. If you're new to tab you can learn what the symbols means from our tab guide.

Joe has around 200 guitars, collecting them since the age of thirteen. More recently Joe has been using Gibson Les Pauls most often. He has simplified his amplifier/effects setup considerably, though his guitar is often soaked with expensive sounding, high quality reverb in the studio mix.

Our examples are played on the bridge pickup with a dollop of distortion, though a little less than a full-on rock player.

If you're a Joe Bonamassa fan you should also check out our video of Joe showing you his live rig and his video lessons on moving around the fretboard and soloing.

For more information visit the official Joe Bonamassa website.

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