Playing the blues

I haven’t seen much conversation about playing blues. So I thought I would share this with you guys out there. Some years ago I watched a video and interview with Marty Friedman, He said, in the interview that you have to learn to play blues. He admitted he wasn’t really into blues himself but was adamant that we need to learn blues to show we can play and improvise. He was adamant, saying just do it!
I wonder if anyone has any thoughts on this. Kiko, in one of his live streams, also ( like Marty) said blues wasn’t his thing.
Is Marty right?He doesn’t listen to Hendrix, he said, but he thinks learning to play blues is fundamental and obligatory!

1 Like

I once heard Marty say that he’d much rather chew broken glass than listen to Hendrix… :rofl:

I never really like the blues… :frowning: When I stepped on the path of no return regarding rock/metal music, all I wanted was louder and faster, so BB King or anything similar didn’t quite fit the bill. Besides, they weren’t sweeping like a mofo, nor were divebombing like their lives depended on it, so teenager me drew the conclusion: blues musicians cannot play the guitar properly, so I’m not interested… :rofl:

20 years later I still can’t listen to straight up purebred blues for more than 15 minutes. But at least I understood that it does have a huge influence on the music that I grew up listening to, so it does hold a value outside the confines of the genre and it would be useful to study it in order to maybe better understand things that are based on it…

I don’t think playing any style is obligatory though many of my early influences were or are blues based players such as Jeff Healey, SRV, and Frank Marino the later cited by Marty . As a young player I found it easy to jam to many blues songs. Many guitar players are in variety bands or more than one band and having another style in your portfolio is never a bad thing.

Yeah, I heard him say that too.
I understand what you mean about blues not having the glamour, the appeal or indeed the excitement of rock. But it’s interesting that a lot of those early rock idols were heavily influenced by the blues. You can hear it in Jimmy Page’s playing, Ritchie Blackmore (although his style sounds very classical) Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and many others.
Indeed, Eddie Van Halen said Clapton was a big influence on him. Steve Vai said Frank Zappa’s playing was very blues based. So the blues has been afforded a lot of respect and there really are some great players out there.

Well Stevie Ray was a wonderful player, as was Jeff Healey(RIP both). That’s cool, Marty citing, Frank Marino! He doesn’t seem to get the acclaim he deserves.
Yeah, I guess Marty’s point is that the blues are there, whether we care for them or not. So we need to understand, jam and play with the form.I suppose it is all about just showing respect.