Decoding A Classic Piedmont Blues Progression

Dear Piedmont Blues,

It doesn’t make any sense, but I’m in love with you.



It really doesn’t make much sense for a genre that’s all but died out to become my ultimate obsession.  But it is just that.

This music is decades older than me and it sound is nothing like the electric blues I grew up loving. Most seasoned blues players probably don’t even know much about it.

I can’t really explain why I’m attached to it, but I am.

For the longest time, I listened to Piedmont players like Blind Blake, Etta James and Blind Boy Fuller with a mix of “I could never play that,” and pure admiration.

But as time moves on, I can’t ignore the urge to learn as much as possible about Piedmont Blues and it’s foremost artists.

This is Not Your Typical 12-Bar Blues

Piedmont Blues (at least to me) is often upbeat and snappy. A happy kind of blues.

More often than not the fingerpicking is second to none and the songs are played at a speedy tempo. And many songs borrow from the Ragtime style of music.

If you’re like I was, Ragtime music is completely unknown territory.  To help decode things a bit, this lesson focuses on the classic ragtime chord progression in C major.

My words of wisdom:  go slow and if you’re new to fingerpicking, use a pick and just get the chords down.  We’ll add some typical Piedmont fingerpicking patterns to this later.  But for now, focus on the chord movements.  That’s the key.

In other words – we’ll add the flashy stuff later 🙂

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