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Basic Blues for Guitar: Book/CD Pack Paperback – June 1, 1996


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Paperback, June 1, 1996
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Basic Blues for Guitar: Book/CD Pack + Guitarist's Guide To Scales Over Chords-The Foundation Of Melodic Guitar Soloing(Bk/Cd)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Hal Leonard; Pap/Com edition (June 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0793543207
  • ISBN-13: 978-0793543205
  • Product Dimensions: 11.8 x 9.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,318,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Founded in 1947, Hal Leonard Corporation has become the worlds largest print music publisher, representing some of the greatest songwriters and artists of all time. We are proud to publish titles of interest to all musicians as well as music lovers, from songbooks and instructional titles to artist biographies and instrument price guides to books about the music industry and all the performing arts. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Fred Sokolow is best known as the author of a library of instructional books and DVDs for guitar, banjo, Dobro, mandolin, lap steel and ukulele. There are currently over a hundred of his books or DVDs in print, sold all over the world. Fred has long been a well-known West Coast multi-string performer and recording artist, particularly on the acoustic music scene. The diverse musical genres covered in his books and DVDs, along with several bluegrass, jazz and rock CDs he has released, demonstrate his mastery of many musical styles. Whether he's playing Delta bottleneck blues, bluegrass or old-time banjo, 30s swing guitar or screaming rock solos, he does it with authenticity and passion.

Born in Los Angeles September 14, 1945, by the early 1960s Fred was well known in the California bluegrass scene, playing with Jody Stecher, Brantley Kearns, Sandy Rothman and Eric Thompson. Relocating to Berkeley, he toured and recorded with a hippie rock band throughout most of the 60s, the Bay Area-based Notes From the Underground (Vanguard Records). In the early 70s Fred performed with R&B, rock, country and bluegrass bands. By 1975 Fred had played with bluegrass luminaries like John Herald, Frank Wakefield and Jerry Garcia, had opened for the Dead, the Doors, B.B. King, Country Joe and the Fish and countless other acts, and he was playing in jazz combos with some of the Bay Areas best studio players.

In 1975 Fred returned to Los Angeles. He recorded two ground-breaking banjo albums for Kicking Mule Records and began touring with Bobbie Gentry and Jim Stafford, playing rock guitar, bluegrass banjo and lap steel. He also toured with the folk group the Limeliters, juggling seven different instruments. By the end of the 70s he had begun writing instructional books (methods, transcription books and arrangement books) for all the music print publishers: Mel Bay, Hal Leonard, Warner Brothers, Carl Fischer and more. He recorded a banjo video for Hot Licks, and several guitar videos for Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop. His transcription books became known for their accuracy, and his method books were lauded for their clarity and effectiveness in music magazines all over the world. He began teaching guitar and banjo seminars in music camps and stores, and he taught classes at the reknowned McCabes Music in Santa Monica.

Fred currently lives in Santa Monica and primarily performs retro jazz guitar with some of LA's finest musicians, playing and singing songs of the 30s and 40s. He often plays and records with British ex-rock star Ian Whitcomb. And he plays bluegrass, blues or rockabilly whenever the opportunity arises. He's active on the studio scene, playing on other people's albums and on numerous TV and movie soundtracks, and he was a musical advisor on Michael Mann's latest film, Public Enemies. Fred also records and performs with children's artists like Dan Crow, Greg & Steve, KPFK's Uncle Ruthie and Paul Stookey. He relishes the diversity of his portfolio: he played lap steel on the Tonight Show, mandolin on Rick James' last CD, played Dobro with Chubby Checker and won on the Gong Show (playing bluegrass banjo), jammed at the House of Blues with Junior Brown...and he performs with the legendary folksinger Tom Paxton whenever Tom comes to California.

Fred holds the title of official banjo player for the TV show Survivor. His music has graced many television shows and commercials, as well as recent movies like Peter Bogdanovitch's "The Cat's Meow." His recent "Fred Sokolow Jazz Quartet" and "Fred Sokolow Sings & Plays Fats Waller" CDs showcase his unique style of playing and singing jazz standards. A performance video of his jazz quartet was released recently, featuring guest stars Lawrence Juber, Ian Whitcomb and Junior Brown. Fred's recent bluegrass/old-timey CD "One More River to Cross," spans generations, as it features his long-time friend & musical partner Brantley Kearns, with whom he has played since they were teenagers, and it also introduces Zachary Sokolow, Fred's son, with whom he has been gigging for the last few years.

Fred's "Fretboard Roadmaps" series is an international best-seller. He conducts seminars up and down the West Coast and recently taught a week-long blues class for the National Guitar Workshop and a Dobro class for Steve Kaufman's Akoustic Kamp in Knoxville, Tennessee. Fred continues to perform and create instructional material, and is regarded as an authority on many musical genres, particularly what is now called "Americana."

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By John Washburn on October 23, 1999
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book several years ago (when it came with tape instead of CD). I'm somewhat of a novice (intermediate at best) guitar player and wanted to learn how to play lead breaks through the changes. The tab is almost a necessity for me. This book is probably the best source I have found. The tab shows the notes and the tape lets you hear how the breaks should sound and, when you get good enough, you can play through with the tape. Chords, tab, and notation are all shown. I highly recommend this book. Wish I could find one on country guitar as well.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
This was one of the first books I got when I started playing guitar two years ago. I picked up several things from it, but to tell you the truth, I think the word "Basic" is misleading. At the time, when I was just starting out, most of the stuff in the book was MUCH too hard for me. He went from strumming I-IV-V chords straight into some fairly difficult stuff that just left me feeling frustrated and helpless. Since then, I've gone back to it several times, and sure, now I can pick things up more easily. But I'm an intermediate player now, with a boatload of hours playing fingerpicking stuff. So I think the book is mistitled. It would have been better if it had progressed more slowly from super-easy to intermediate.
And although it's good, I've found even more success with other books. Still, there is no question that most players with some experience under their belts can pick up some tricks from this book. Incidentally, Fred has another book on slide guitar (with two CD's) that is just plain flat-out excellent.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John Noodles on June 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first bought this book nearly 20 years ago, when I acquired my first electric guitar, and although I've gotten rid of many of my early guitar books, I've always hung on to this one.
Most of the book is devoted to electric guitar technique, but there are some exercises at the beginning for acoustic, and at the end, in the slide guitar section. If you only have an acoustic, and still want to learn blues lead guitar, just replace your wound G string with an unwound G string, so that you can do the bends. Unless your acoustic has a cutaway, you won't be able to play all the exercises with the very high notes, but you can certain play many of them.
This book covers the basics of blues guitar in a thorough fashion. All the exercises use major and minor pentatonic scales, with some variations, but you can do A LOT with them. The exercises range from straight blues, to jazzy blues, to country blues. Sokolow provides notation and recordings for both the leads and the rhythm. I spent many hours practicing his exercises, which are actual breaks, not tedious scale exercises, which you often find in "speed-pickin'" books.
I can't recommend this book enough for beginning guitarists. You'll have a lot of fun with it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By fitness principle on August 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
One of the first and most comprehensive blues instruction book-CD packages on the market.

This book / CD has been on the market for several years. It isn't the biggest book, but it is jam packed with blues guitar instruction covering acoustic, electric, slide guitar. Chords and soloing. The book surveys a breadth of styles from traditional to modern and jazzy blues.

The book is accessible to ambitious beginners, yet still offers intermediate to advanced guitarists the opportunity to broaden their blues playing styles and skill.

Check out what others have to say about the book and the author's web site,

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