Sunday, May 29, 2011


I got a quick turnaround–no pun intended–on the DVD I ordered, Dave Mullany's Introduction to BluesShowed up here one day after I ordered it, some kind of mail delivery speed record, even from Portland to Beaverton, I think.

Mullany has plenty of credits, and the vid is laid out simply: There is an introduction, a tuning reference, and detailed lessons on how to play four songs: Robert Johnson's Love in Vain; Eli McDaniel's Before You Accuse Me; Blind Boy Fuller's Step It Up and Go; and Good Morning Blues, by Brownie McGee. Comes with a TAB/standard notation/lyrics booklet, about eighty minutes of instruction. Split-screens, close-ups, like that. 

I dunno if you've worked with these kinds of vids, but this is a good one. Mullany plays the first verse or two of a song, then breaks it down into chords, fingering, rhythm, and takes you through each slowly. Blues shuffle, turnarounds, fingerpicking, enough so you can get a flavor of different styles, from delta blues to a little jazzier ragtime. First song is the easiest and they get a little more difficult as you go, but nothing scary for somebody at my skill level.

The video is clear, the production clean, and the material, which is basic, presented well. It's basic blues, but if you are a beginning guitarist still having trouble switching from an A- to a D-chord, probably better you wait a while before you get this–blues are simple, but as we all know, simple doesn't mean easy ...

I stuck the vid into the computer and went through the first lesson, and while I haven't gotten it down yet, I did learn Robert Johnson's classic turnaround, and got to practice the shuffle in A. 

It's a start. 

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