Tag Archives: JOE BONAMASSA GUITAR LESSON

Best Guitarist in the World

Best Guitarist in the World Diaries

Best Guitarist in the World Joe Bonamassa has two very important anniversaries to celebrate this week. The first is the anniversary of his birth, 39 years ago this Sunday, May 8th. The other cause for celebration is the 25th anniversary of when Best Guitarists Joe truly started out in the music industry with his Blues Concerts, a journey that would take him from small city New York wunderkind to international guitar hero.

It all began when a young Joe Bonamassa, already a master of his instrument and who at the age of 12 opened for blues icon B.B. King, was featured on the NBC show Real Life with Jane Pauley. Jane Pauley had seen Joe’s story on the AP wire and was blown away by what he was accomplishing. NBC’s Real Life with Jane Pauley aired a story on Joe that included coverage of Joe’s experience with B.B. King, who touted Joe as something truly special. This was the moment that his career would change forever – the real official start of his music industry career was born!

By being featured on the NBC program, the guitar prodigy was seen around the country and sought after by the music industry. He was soon signed by an ecstatic management company. Joe’s new business partners shopped his music to labels, but the recording labels didn’t see the commercial viability of Joe due to the fact that Joe didn’t sing or write.

So Joe’s management company decided to build a band around Joe to package him amidst a musical environment that was currently enamored with teenage bands.

Joe met Berry Oakley Jr., a bass player who was 18, and who was also friends with Waylon Krieger, son of Robby Krieger. Erin Davis, son of Miles Davis, was brought on board to play drums.

Thus, the band Bloodline was born to feature Joe and help him take his career to the next level. EMI signed Bloodline to a record deal, and Joe made his first record with Bloodline. The Bloodline project lasted for five years but then the band broke up.

At this point, Best Guitarist in the World Joe decided to pursue a solo career. Realizing he needed to be able to sing too, he spent two years taking vocal lessons ever before pursuing another record deal.

He was then signed by N2K Records but that company folded, leaving Joe in limbo with his Blues Songs. A year later he was signed by Epic Records, who helped him record A New Day Yesterday with legendary producer Tom Dowd. Unfortunately, Sony Music was faced with bad earnings at that time, and they pulled the plug on the Joe Bonamassa project.

Instead of seeking a new label, Joe and his manager Roy Weisman formed their own label, J&R Adventures. They bought back the rights to A New Day Yesterday and released the album independently. Joe has been releasing albums that way since that time in 2000, which has given Joe the creative freedom he desired to put out records his way and create the best music possible. In 2006, Joe and Roy Weisman took Joe’s destiny even further into their own hands by promoting their own shows, elevating Joe from the club circuit that he’d been limited to, to much larger theaters.

By 2009, Joe’s career was becoming an unstoppable force, and that year culminated in a sold out show at Royal Albert Hall where Joe was joined by his hero Eric Clapton. Joe has an unbelievable fan base that truly loves and understands the music, and Joe knows that without the fans, this entire venture would have been impossible. He is humbled and extremely grateful for their passionate interest in his music. Since that time, Joe’s fans have continued to help his career become a true phenomenon, and the rest of this incredible journey is still in the making.

Check out Joe’s entire catalog now!

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Blues Updae

Joe Bonamassa: Big, Ballsy, Dangerous!

In our ongoing series, Gibson.com examines the work of some Gibson guitar greats. Let’s get some gritty blues-rock with the tireless Joe Bonamassa…

Signature Sounds

Best Guitarist in the World Bonamassa’s critics say he doesn’t really have his own guitar “voice”. Thing is, Bonamassa is such a scholar of blues-rock he’s soaked it all up like a sponge. And wrings it all out with finesse.

“Initially, I had no clue that the Lonnie Johnsons and even the Robert Johnsons of the blues world existed. I just wanted to play like Paul Kossoff, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton when he was in Cream,” he once told Guitar World. “As a 10-year-old, the subtleties of traditional blues are lost on you, especially after you hear Alvin Lee on “I’m Going Home” busting out the Gibson ES-335 with four double-stacked Marshalls. British blues was my favorite music, and it still is. It’s big and ballsy and dangerous, and that all appeals to me. The country blues came later.”

Best Guitarist JB’s usually modest about his melange of sounds: “I still feel I’m struggling to step into my own shoes as a musician,” he said recently. “Every day I work on refining my phrasing. Whenever I hear my playing, I can’t detach from my influences: there’s my Jeff Beck, there’s the Clapton bit, the Eric Johnson bit, the Birelli Lagrene bit, the Billy Gibbons…”

King Of Blues  told Guitarist magazine, “I love Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson and T-Bone Walker and stuff like that, but I couldn’t sit down. I was always forcing myself to listen to whole records by them, where I’d rather listen to Humble Pie do “I’m Ready” than Muddy Waters, you know? I think, the English interpretation of the blues just hit me a lot better, you know?”

If you want to think blues-rock soloing technique, Bonamassa reckons, “It’s all about the internal bends. A guitar is so tactile, and when you’re playing bends – and bending notes is a big part of my style – there are so many notes within the note you’re bending from and the note you’re bending up to. For me it’s about filtering out the bad notes and finding these little quarter-tones, as you drop down the bends, to make a very crisp statement that people can feel.”

In a nutshell, Bonamassa is about slow bends with sudden flurries of shred-like speed, spot-on intonation, fat tone, plus controlled feedback. Easy!

Joe Bonamassa and Gibson

Blues Artists Joe plays many makes of guitars, many types of guitars, but he’s a certified member of the Gibson family. He owns many Les Pauls, his favorite being one of quite a few vintage ’59 sunbursts he owns. “Serial number 90829. It’s the first ’59 that I bought, and I never thought I would pay that much for anything other than a house.

“That guitar is perfect for me. The neck shape, the way it plays and responds – no matter how good you are, that guitar doubles back and says: Is that all you’ve got for me today?”

Gibson worked with Joe to produce the replica Gibson Skinnerburst 1959 Les Paul . It’s hand-aged by Gibson Custom to precisely reproduce Joe’s unique guitar, from its “dirty lemon” finish to back-body wear to precisely-replicated pickups.

2016 adds the Les Paul Joe Bonamassa Tomato Soup Burst , in a richer color. There’s a hardtail version and one with a Bigsby vibrato. It’s Joe’s homage to the early ’60s, with his favored knobs arrangement and the pickguard and case hand-signed by Joe. So get one quick, as it’s a Limited Run.

Gibson Guitars Custom also makes the Bonabyrd – a Les Paul body with Firebird headstock in, of course, the color blue. Radical!

Joe’s massive Gibson haul also includes various Goldtops, reverse and non-reverse Gibson Firebirds, a ’62 Polaris White SG, various ES-335s, Flying Vs, a Gibson U-Style Harp guitar, a one-off Gibson Skylark and… many more.

This guitar addiction started young for Bonamassa: “My father owned a guitar shop in the ’90s,” he recently told Guitar Aficionado. “He would always buy and sell. In my teenage years I socked away some money and bought what I could.

“I work every day of my life to pay for it all. Collecting guitars is something I’m very passionate about. I enjoy doing it and meeting people around it. I’ve met a lot of my best friends this way, almost exclusively through the guitar.” Amen brother!

Essential Listening

Whoa, where to start? The live Muddy Wolf At Red Rocks was a big commercial success. Tour De Force – Live From The Royal Albert Hall is another great live album, also on DVD/Blu-ray video. His blending of ZZ Top’s “Just Got Paid” and Zeppelin’s “Dazed And Confused” on a Gibson Flying V (with added Theremin) is mind-boggling.

The Ballad of John Henry album takes on blues folklore, Driving Towards The Daylight is Gary Moore-esque in its heaviness of guitar on some cuts.

Inevitably, there’s yet another new album: Blues Of Desperation out March 2016 and in summer 2016 Bonamassa also tours the U.K. in a Salute To The British Blues Explosion. Clapton, Page and Beck rockin’ will abound. And you can almost guarantee there’ll be a DVD.

Watch!

There are many live DVDs out there, so here’s just one example from Joe B’s official YouTube channel. It shows how JB’s he’s inherited British Blues Explosion guitar style into classic blues tunes, in this case Howlin’ Wolf.

Or, for more ideas for your own playing be sure to watch his Bona Jam Tracks via JoeBonamassaTV (website and YouTube). Here, Joe shows us how he plays “The Ballad Of John Henry”.

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JOE BONAMASSA GUITAR LESSON

JOE BONAMASSA BEST BLUES ARTISTS ELECTRIC BLUES LICKS GUITAR LESSON

Joe-Bonamassa-pic3-1050x700

JOE BONAMASSA TALKS US THROUGH SOME OF THE GO-TO LICKS THAT DEFINE HIS HOT, HIGH-ENERGY STYLE OF BLUES GUITAR.

He didn’t have any of his visiting electrics with him, however a dazzling Gibson Collector’s Choice ’57 Goldtop Les Paul. It sounded staggering through the Lazy J combo we obtained from John Henry’s for the event.

When Joe was connected to and warmed up, he clarified some of his best soul moves for us, lick by lick.

Black Leather - Ernie Ball JB Signature Blues Boy Guitar Strap
Legendary Licks Tab Book
Hand Signed Blues Deluxe Tab Book

Joe exhibits a cool method for adding thickness to soul-filled doublestops by utilizing a more extensive interim. The minor third (top note) is pushed up to the major third, making an incomplete significant harmony, and whatever is left of the lick utilizes a G soul scale (G Bb C Db D F). This would function admirably on the last four bars of a 12-bar soul.

“This is an incredible approach to begin a soul in case you’re with your sticking mates, and perhaps they say, ‘Hey, you kick it off’. Attempt this little lick out for size – its extraordinary for beginning a soul, on the grounds that you get these unpropitious sort of half-curves inside the harmony. It’s a considerable measure of fun in the event that you can get your hands prepared to suspect the progressions and curve down. Furthermore the genuine trap with that is verifying that the inflection’s privilege, in light of the fact that in the event that you don’t get that privilege it simply seems like you’re committing a considerable measure of errors!”

In this lesson, Joe indicates how an information of harmony reversals can help you get thick, substantial sounds, actually when the current harmony’s root note isn’t especially low on the guitar. At the point when the harmony moves from G to C (bar 3), he plays a second reversal C harmony (with G, the fifth, at the base), keeping things low and sharp!

“A standout amongst the most normally made inquiries is the way you get from point A to point B when you’re soloing, for example, when you’re beginning high [among the upper frets] and you need to go drop down on the fretboard. So I contemplate the fretboard regarding pieces.

“So on the off chance that you need to do a falling lick down the neck, you pull [blocks of notes] from each one of these territories. That likewise helps you in mid-solo to simply look down and afterward in case you’re in threat of getting adhered [for where to go next], you can sort of right the boat once it begins posting.”