In the words of B.B. King, ‘Blues is a tonic for whatever ails you. I could play the blues and then not be Blue anymore.’ When I was young I loved to listen to my dad play his
For Music lovers, there are no truer words in the world. Even scientists have long recognized the power of music as they choose to use as a way of lowering blood pressure and promoting heart health in clinical settings – Music can help improve your mood. But if you love blues, your connection to music goes a little deeper.
There is something almost intimate about blues. It speaks directly to your soul, regardless of who you are, where you live, or even how old you are; there is a blues song for you. And if you are addicted to its echoing melancholy, you are in luck: June is the month of blues!
Playing blues songs
Where do you need to go to enjoy some blues?
Chicago hosts the world’s largest blues music festival this weekend for a 3-day celebration. If you want to give your soul some bittersweetness to keep you going until the end of the year, you are in luck. The lineup promises to be fantastic with Bobby Rush – King of the Chitlin’ Circuit – Bettye LaVette and Ruthie Foster. Last minute tickets are still available, but finding a room for the weekend could be more challenging.
You might want to increase your geographic range and pick a comfortable hotel close to downtown Chicago, IL. If you are to attend 3 days of performances, you need a good night’s sleep! That’s where aiming for an out-of-town place is your best bet.
Music can help you to manage your mood
B.B. King hit the nail on the head when he said that blues could cure you. We all know that music has a soothing effect – most people turn to their favorite playlist when they need to relax. But blues has a talent that no other musical style has; it can turn pain until something light and pleasant. Indeed, the melody lends lightness to what would otherwise be crushing pain. With blues, pain turns into pleasure as the music defeats sadness. If you listen to Joe Williams singing ‘Everyday I have The Blues’, you get to see exactly what blues is about. You can feel the sadness, but you also feel all the joy of the music.
Become the ultimate blues master
There is only one last step in your full blues conversion. Learning how to play can put a twist on your relationship to music. You don’t need to find a song that represents your feelings anymore. You can make the song or let your finger improvise on the guitar, feeling a little bit of sadness disappear with every note.
The best way to get the hang of it is to listen to guitar legends such as B.B King, Eric Clapton or even Buddy Guy. Listen to the way they phrase and get familiar with the rhythms. Finally, transcribe your favorites; you’ll get a better sense of how to use the music.
There is not a second to waste. If you love blues, now’s the time to check the latest blues festival – Chicago has the largest one in the world, but you’ll find large festivals in Arkansas, Pittsburgh, and Montana this summer. Indulge a little, and why not, learn to play to discover a new connection to blues.
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