Blues Immersion - Justin mentioned a blues course starting in June - could we please have some more info on that?

I love the idea of a blues immersion course. However, as an early intermediate student playing only an acoustic, I wonder if taking it now is worthwhile. Thoughts from the more experienced? Please don’t tell me to run out and buy an electric guitar this month.

Class 1 starts on the first of July, so you could always buy an electric guitar next month :smiley:

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If it is truly a blues immersion course it will start with acoustic blues from the early 1900’s.


… so you may need to go buy a resonator next month! :smiley:

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I recall a similar question in a live class a few months ago. I think that the answer was that it was not impossible to do without electric guitar. But, it’s not optimal. The course will have blues licks that requires techniques like bending which is a lot more difficult on acoustic guitar due to the type of strings and the higher action.

You could take a look at the 5 licks from the Grade 4 - Essential Blues Lead Guitar Course for examples. This Grade 4 Blues course is a lot of fun, it’s a reason by itself to get an electric guitar down the line. Or maybe next month ? hihihihih ! :grin: :grin:

Thanks Mathieu @math07. I am doing Grade 4 currently. Quite fun. I know the limitations of blues on an acoustic, but if i go buy an electric guitar I won’t be able to pay my electric bill so that kind of defeats the purpose. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

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Hi Michael,

I play electric. When I have picked up someone’s acoustic, I found I couldn’t do bends due to string stiffness. You might want to start a workout for your fingers to make sure you can perform some of the bends. Treat this as a strength exercise in preparation to get you in shape for the Immersion classes. Get some advice from folks that play on acoustic.

Also, I think that blues is forgiving enough that you can play it on whatever you have and it can still sound and feel good. I don’t think you NEED a new guitar - even though we all like to get them.

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Proper bends are more about technique than string thickness. Yes it is easier to bend 9’s than 12’s but with proper technique it can be done on 12. Not 1 1/2 tone bends but full tone can be achieved and there is always slides instead of bends.

I was noticing that where I can do a 1/2 tone on string 2 with just my ring finger on my electric (yes, with 9’s), it took 3 fingers and a lot of pushing on the acoustic. I definitely see a string flexibility difference requiring more force. I was surprised by how much more.

Full tone bends are possible on acoustics but as @stitch says its all about technique.
I am good with 12s on the B and e strings from the 7th fret up the neck towards the bridge but anything below that is a struggle, so I stick to 1/2 tones or just curls. G string is doable but my accuracy varies.

In the solo acoustic Blues courses I have been following, its rare to find full bends in the exercise tracks and slides and hammer ons figure more frequently.

Whether “BLIM” is acoustic specific, playing wise, when covering the early masters is obviously yet to be stated but Justin certainly mentioned material from the 30s, when he referenced the course at the last Blues Club. However, I think electric will be essential once you get into the 50s and beyond.

Just MHO & YMMV.


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Hhmm, I’ve read the blues immersion introduction. It doesn’t say anything about a required level of guitar competence but maybe that will be forthcoming. I’m only in Grade 2 but will try to finish it before blues immersion starts July 1. I plan to enroll in the class unless an expert like @Richard_close2u or @Stitch or @math07 or @LievenDV etc. recommends waiting until a subsequent iteration of the course.

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The booking period is from June 4 to June 11. You’ll have a series of preparation lessons to work through as soon as you enroll! So, you’ll be all warmed up and ready for full immersion from July 1.

From the email update received 2 days ago, we can use the month of June to do the preparation lessons to be ready on July 1, so that’s pretty cool. :slight_smile:

In the live session Monday, Justin said something similar to ‘advancing beginner to intermediate’. My interpretation was mid-grade3 but I was still a bit concerned about my being able to keep up after going thru grade 3. I have a fairly crippling inability to be accurate with picking and fretting unless I play very slow. I’m planning to go for the classes anyway.

He also said there would be expectation of no less than 30 min 3 times per week for 6 months and there would be essays and other homework as part of the whole class. He mentioned it would be similar to a formal class you’d take in music school in that regard.

@math07 Ah excellent, I missed the note two days ago but searched and found it after reading your message. Thank you! I’m planning to go for it even though I’m only in grade 2, assuming the live classes will be recorded and available since I’m at work during the evening London time, I’m 7 hours behind London time.

@sequences Me, too, I’m going for it!

There may not beive sessions.
I don’t know.

The final details haven’t been shared yet.

@Richard_close2u There has been some talk of electric vs acoustic for the blues immersion class. I have a fabulous Martin all mahogany 000-15m that I think will shine in the class. I have it strung with 12 lights but I’m thinking I’ll restring to 10 extra lights as I dont have an electric guitar and I dont want to buy one. Is that a good idea to restring to 10s for the blues immersion program?

I wouldn’t recommend 10’s on a Martin if you like the sound of it. 10’s won’t drive the top on a Martin.
I think everyone is Jumping the gun here. Justin hasn’t let the cat out of the bag yet and Like I said earlier if it is a true Blues Immersion class it will start with acoustic blues with no bends just curls.

Ah good, thank you @stitch for that advice. The guitar sounds amazing with 12s.

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@stitch it appears were all very excited about the class :grinning: