Blues Guitar- Inside & Out is a very special book for a number of reasons. Richard's third book, the 20 full chapters, 160 pages and 96 diagrams paint a landscape that touches all corners of this wonderful, expressive performance art . The subject of blues guitar is completely addressed: history, rhythms, major degrees used in the blues, the blues scale, the major pentatonic, the rhythm figure, and don't forget Chapter 16: Fifty Blues Moves, to help you build an extensive blues vocabulary for free form improvisation.
Woven into the course of the book is a story of a boy and an old man that meet on the tracks on a fateful morning. It is on the rails that the boy finds the answer to his dreams: an understanding guitar teacher. The eccentric old man pulls the boy deep into the world of blues history, intensive guitar study, delta folklore, the tricks of the trade, and his endless, tireless love of blues guitar. The boy's life changes forever when he finds the old man to be a powerful master of music whom guides the boy towards his goal of mastering the concepts of blues technique. Never before has the whole picture been put together like this in one book. Here are the roots of rock explained in a direct, hard-hitting, yet informal program.
Richard Daniels speaks on Blues Guitar- Inside & Out
I wrote Blues Guitar-Inside & Out because I wanted to venture past the trappings of rock styling into the pure, authentic sphere of the blues artist. I was drawn into that world after I discovered the classic blues recordings which led up to rock invention. The blues book will always hold a special place in my heart because so many readers have personally expressed to me that the book has changed them inside, their outlook on the blues, and their actual playing level. It wasn't until after the death of Stevie Ray Vaughn that I really noticed the students that read the book pouring their hearts out to me about what it meant to them, and how the book opened doors to their understanding. More than any of my other books, this book has taken on a life of its own, an indescribable quality that each reader sees their own way.
It has been said that everything an author writes is autobiographical, and I am sure that is partly the case here. The boy has all of the traits that I myself had on the way up: frustration in not knowing the basics, a desire to put real life on hold and be swept away to a one-way world where somebody, somehow, somewhere forced the real truth about the guitar onto me. Then there is character of the old man: a combination of drill Sargent, guru, and self-centered music master. They are the only two characters in the book, and the argument could be made that they are one and the same. It was my own personal struggle that led to the creation of the book, but it was the fact that I cracked the scale/chord/technique code that I felt compelled to tell others about what I had discovered. What sets the book apart is the fact that the reader feels that the old man really cares. From some distance, the reader knows that the old man is dead on serious about getting the boy to understand at any cost. The old man is devoted in some sort of religious way, beyond the realm of the normal. That is what sneaks up on the reader, and the boy.
I took the skeletal theories of The Heavy Guitar Bible and beefed up the perimeter with blues content. I remember walking the railroad with my guitar just for kicks, playing to nobody under an old stone bridge. I drew maps of the delta, I figured out blues licks all day until I saw the unbroken circle around the subject. It was a feel that grew up tall around me and my book project. I was free to push an impossibly severe agenda (all blues, all the time) through my characters, without the limits of a "how to" manual. There is a informality in Blues Guitar- Inside & Out, a certain feeling of completeness, that I have never quite been able to duplicate in my other books.
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