Blues Guitar Institute

Happy Birthday, Blues Guitar Institute!


This week marks the one year point for two very important things in my life.  Not only did I launch Blues Guitar Institute this week last year, but my daughter, Layla, was born on November 27, 2011.

What a great week!

Certainly cause for celebration on both fronts.

I know some of you might be thinking, “Did John start a website while his wife was giving birth last year?”

The answer to that….NO!

The Beginning

Like most things in life, our daughter’s arrival was not on schedule. We were expecting her in December.  So last November, I made it a point to get my site off the ground while I still had plenty of sleep I could count on.

Little did I know, Layla wanted to join the fun a couple of weeks early.  Long story short, I started Blues Guitar Institute the day before Layla was born.

Tons of Fun

Being a new dad is amazing and so is the experience I’ve had bringing guitar lessons to you! Each and every day, I think of some way to help my fellow blues players.  My goal is to bring tons of value to anybody who wants to learn the blues or improve upon what they already know.

I sincerely hope you have gotten some value out of this site.

Tour Some of My Favorites

Sometimes a great way to celebrate is to reflect so I’d like to look back over the last year and share with you a few of my favorite posts. I hope you enjoy reading and watching them as much as I enjoyed creating them.

Meet Steve Chipman

Occasionally, I succumb to G.A.S. as do most of us.  My latest bought led me to Steve Chipman of Vintage Parlor Guitars. I purchased a sweet 1930s Harlan Parlor from him and he was kind enough to let me pick his brain on parlor guitars so that I could share it with you.

Check out my interview with Steve here.

If You Learn One Slide Lick, This Should Be It

Frank Zappa famously commented, “Elmore James only knew one lick, but you got the feeling he meant it.”  Here’s a lesson on that very lick and it should be in your blues bag of tricks for sure, especially if you want to play some slide.

Slide Guitar: The Classic Elmore James Slide Lick

Practice Tips

I struggle with practicing, I always have.  It’s tough to stay motivated and focus on learning.  It’s so easy to simply pick up the guitar and run over the same old licks, then a year or two pass by and you wonder why you haven’t gotten any better.

Here are a couple of posts that help keep me away from squandering away my practice time:

Where We’re Going

I have big plans for this next year including launching a hyper focused blues course and giving away tons more video lessons.  I truly hope that you have enjoyed your time with me so far and I look forward to bringing you tons of great content for many years to come.

If you’ve been on the site and find it useful, let me hear from you!  I would love to get to know you and your guitar playing!



When you are ready, there are two ways I can help you:

Back Porch Blues Course:  A proven system to fingerpicking the blues.  This step-by-step course guides you through building fundamental fingerpicking skills.  Plus, you’ll learn three levels of a delta blues style performance study to put your new skills into action.

Become a myBGI Member: Membership comes with access to Back Porch Blues plus over 70 step-by-step courses.  Get proven results with one of myBGI’s structured Roadmaps.

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