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Electric Blues Guitar Basics

A Group Course for Intermediate Students

Next course starts 17 April 2018.

‘There are so many sounds I still want to make, so many things I haven’t yet done.’
– B.B. King

‘There’s so much that can be done on the guitar. I’ve only done a few bits and pieces, really, considering what can be done.’
– Jimmy Page

‘A great course – lots of information and great fun.’
– N. Brennan

Every electric guitar player should have a thorough understanding of electric blues. Not only are some of the greatest guitarists in history electric blues players, but blues is also the inspiration for many contemporary electric guitar styles. The New School’s Electric Blues Guitar Basics course provides participants with a solid introduction to electric blues playing and covers the following elements:

  • Major and minor pentatonics and the blues scale
  • Pentatonic to the blues – how to turn the scales into effective lead melody lines
  • Phrasing and stressing the blues – introducing phrasing and rhythm into your playing, and making effective use of the blues/pentatonic scales, using slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs, trills
  • Bending the blues – what notes to bend, different types of bends (pre-bend, slow release, whole tone bends, double stop bends)
  • Chromatic and passing notes and minor 7th arpeggios
  • Improvising over basic 12-bar blues using all the above techniques
  • Classic licks – learn how the legends have done it

Along the way participants will be introduced to the great electric blues players through listening sessions and numerous practical examples.

A video demonstration of some techniques covered in the course:

Gary NormanGary started to learn the guitar as a young child and soon began to explore bass guitar and ukulele as well. He began playing live with bands and vocalists in his early teenage years, enjoying everything from pub residencies to Aviva Stadium events, and playing a wide range of genres and guitar styles, including rock, pop, folk, metal, reggae, blues and jazz. Alongside cover gigs, Gary began writing his own music, and he was a finalist in RTÉ 2FM’s New Irish Music competition while still in secondary school; since then he has worked on a number of national and international projects. Writing and recording music developed Gary’s early interest in production, and he pursued this by studying at Ballyfermot College of Further Education, where he earned a diploma in music technology while working as a live sound engineer and recording EPs for local acts. He went on to study Music and English at University College Dublin, where he received a first class honours degree. As well taking numerous advanced modules in tonality and musicianship during his time in college, he also studied Non-Western music and joined the National Concert Hall Gamelan Ensemble, with which he has performed at Electric Picnic, the National Concert Hall and Leeds University. Gary is an experienced teacher of guitar, bass and ukulele, both privately and in groups; he has also taught Leaving Cert. Music and run workshops with a number of music schools. In addition to this course, he teaches our Introducing Guitar for Adults, Introducing Guitar for Children and Introducing Ukulele courses, as well as guitar and ukulele courses for our Outreach Programme and Music at Work Programme.

‘Concise classes, well explained, excellent instructor.’
– T. Byrne

‘Very good value for the money.’
– M. Harvey

‘I now have a real sense of direction for what I should be practicing.’
– G. McGuire

‘The course covered a lot of material that was really handy for us to use ourselves to practice.’
– D. McLean


Have you taken – or are you taking – this course? We would appreciate it if you could take a few moments to give us your feedback in a brief online questionnaire about it.

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2017-2018 Third Term Course Schedule & Fee

10 weeks, 17 April – 19 June 2018
Tuesdays 7.30 – 8.30 pm

Tuition Fee: €170

Enrolment for this course requires a completed Enrolment Form and full payment of the course fee. Places are limited to eight, and are available on a first-come, first-served basis, based on the date of enrolment. A number of our group courses fill in advance of their start dates, and early enrolment is recommended.

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Purchasing this course as a gift?
Please complete a Gift Certificate Booking Form.

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Electric Blues Guitar Basics
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