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St. Louis Blues (Easy): Introduction

 

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St. Louis Blues (Easy)

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In this tutorial we will learn a 2 guitar version of the classic blues tune "St. Louis Blues" by W. C. Handy.

This tune was one of the earliest known blues songs to be formally published. This song is regarded a blues and jazz standard, which means it is an important, well-known, widely played tune. Many jazz standards were originally from Broadway stage, Hollywood film musicals or popular tunes of the day, like this one. Jazz and blues musicians and performers often used standards as a way to showcase their skills in form of a popular song their listeners could understand.

The songs has been performed & recorded by a wide variety of singers and instrumental artists, in many different genres & styles from jazz and blues, to pop and rock.

In this tutorial we will perform the song as an instrumental jazz standard. We will learn the chords, and then play the melody of the song as a single note line. Next, we'll add some chord tones to our single note melody to flesh out the sound a little bit. We'll play those along with a backing track that has bass and drums to play in a trio instrumental setting. Finally, we'll learn a simple chord melody version of the song that you can play completely solo!

In order to get the tone right it helps to have a hollowbody electric with a full, clean tone. In this case, I'll be using my Joe Pass model Epiphone Emperor II played through a small tube amp with a very clean tone. But any acoustic or any electric with a clean tone will do the trick!