Robben Ford has been around The Blues forever and he’s written lots of guitar books about The Blues and he has a deep and rich teaching catalog on DVD. In “The Art of Blues Rhythm” Robben teaches us that not every guitar needs to play the lead.
The freedom Robben provides in being capable and satisfied to just play rhythm guitar is a great notion that few of us respect.
Robben explains that the guitar is an African instrument and in its earliest use, it was there to just help keep the beat.
Then Robben provides example after example of how to sustain Blues rhythm using only a guitar.
“If a drum can keep the beat by playing the same thing over and over, so can a a guitar,” Robben reassures us.
Robben can get a little too intellectual in his teaching and sometimes
his examples are so complex that only he understands them. Sometimes
Robben just starts playing and stops talking and that means you quickly
get lost if you are not an advanced student of The Blues.
“The Art of the Blues” Robben is with us every moment of the way. His
active and caring teaching style leaps from the screen to reassure us
that — with time, practice, and patience — anything is possible.
That’s an excellent lesson, David. We tend to think of instruments one way and don’t let ourselves realize that there are so many ways that they can make music. (To be seen in my forthcoming Final Fantasy review!)
That’s a great way to think of it, Gordon. We’re all about the solo now in guitar playing, but the guitar started in the band as a more musical companion to the drums. Now that the guitar has moved from rhythm to the lead, we need to always honor its rhythm roots.