Kings of Blues and Rock Volume 5 – Eric Clapton

Kings of Blues and Rock Volume 5 – Eric Clapton


Instructor: Andy Aledort

Length: 67 minutes, 20 segments

Format: Direct Download

Other formats available

MSRP: 19.00

Andy Aledort continues this fine series, with Volume 5. Eric Clapton is featured here. Songs from Cream and material into the early 70’s. Some background info on Eric opens the program.

As Andy suggests, it is important for any bluesman or blues-rocker, to closely study Clapton’s playing. Comparisons to BB King, demonstrate his influence and subsequent mods to rock those licks.

1                                  Andy with his Gibson Les Paul guitar.

These are general techniques and moves, in the classic EC style. They are not, transcribed note for note guitar lessons. This is a good alternative. The breakdowns offer a working knowledge, of how to use the licks. Also, why it works.

Viewers will see the genius of the young Clapton. Remarkable, as he was a pioneer in what later became the Blues-Rock genre. Back then. this was Rock!

Badge, Crossroads, Strange Brew, Have You Ever Loved A Woman and Further Up the Road. These are the 5 tracks the are on this release.

screenDerek and the Dominoes era is visited, on a slow blues number. Have You Ever Loved A Woman. Bluesman Freddie King is an influence here.

The usual performance and breakdown combinations are effective. Andy is extremely knowledgeable. His relaxed class contains clear presentation. He is an excellent guitarist.


Detailed text that explains scales on each song. The Interactive Player is the older version on my copy. Loaded with many useful extras. Jam tracks, charts, tab and more!

All in all, this is an essential overview of prime period Eric Clapton. Thorough presentation by the master, Andy Aledort.

Rating : 5 Stars

Epiphone Les Paul Classic Quilt Top (Upgraded)

Epiphone Led Paul Classic Quilt Top (Upgraded)IMG_5077a

Epiphone Guitars

Gear Section

Solid Body Electric

Model: Les Paul Classic

Options: Quilt Top

Finish: Trans Amber

Year: 2004 – discontinued

Long advertised as having the involvement of the legendary Les Paul. This line is a cousin to the Gibson brand. Similar in appearance, these are not compared here, to the pricier Gibson models. That being said, the Epiphone line rates as a great value.

Consider they are much more affordable.  Customization can make the Epi pretty respectable. Upgrade the electronics and this Les Paul will sing. The Classic quilt top model had been discontinued in 2006. They were known for high build quality. This one has much better playability, then a Gibson Les Paul Special that I had.

The Classic model has open coil humbuckers. Chrome Grover tuners. Neck and body binding. A slim profile 1960’s taper neck. Top hat knobs. This one has a flawless fit and finish.

Set neck construction that transfers vibration and improves sustain. The Epiphone has a short tenon neck joint. Gibson has a long tenon. Both designs are very dependable. No shifting that may occur with bolt on necks.

Guitars vary, sometimes they exceed their own reputations. Play them unplugged first. If it sounds good without an amp. That is the one you should consider.


This guitar has a beautiful appearance. This is Transparent Amber.

An easy upgrade that everyone should do. Install a quality jack. This one has a Switchcraft jack installed. Makes a big difference. Improved reliability and eliminates crackle issues.  Another, is the 3 way switch. Pickups are another weakness. Stock set are passable for beginners.

IMG_5074This has Seymour Duncan pickups . Amazing tonal improvement. Pickups can get about 80% of a guitars sound. A vintage spec 59 Model Humbucker in the neck. A Custom 5  in the bridge. The 5, is a beefed up PAF. This is a combination that is one recommended by Seymour Duncan.  Awesome sounding pickup set.

IMG_5073Mahogany is the main wood for the body and neck. The quilt top is a thin maple veneer. It is a carved top. Rosewood fingerboard. Trapezoidal inlays. Grover tuners that stay in tune.

The tones I want are attainable with this upgraded guitar.  Good crunchy chords. Lead tones that have sustain. A Rock and Blues machine.

Hey, once you run the signal through effects and amp… it sounds like a Gibson. The lightweight of this one is easier on my back too.


You can investigate current production models yourself. This guitar has been a fine axe for years.  A pro setup was done.  Plays like butter.

The sound is in your hands. A true statement. I always end up sounding like me! Gear can improve your tone. It is more critical to have a good playing instrument, then a nameplate on the headstock.

Traditional Les Paul guitars are well known for being easy to play. A Les Paul with a good setup, can extend your playing time. You can waste too much energy on any guitar that is hard to play.

Naturally, you want a good sound. Electronics are an area where manufacturers will cut costs. A comfortable guitar can usually be upgraded, as you wish.

If you want an excellent guitar for: practice, casual jams and even recording.  Checkout the Epiphone Les Paul models.

CAGED Cracked

CAGED Cracked tag


Instructor: Brad Carlton

Length: 200 minutes

40 segments

Format: Direct Download

Additional formats available

MSRP: 29.00

The CAGED system is a great system for making chords. Using chord shapes that you already know. This method can have you forming chords, all over the neck. If you ever found those big , fat chord books are best used like a brick, this course is for you.

Brad Carlton is the instructor. He has his work cut out for him.  This can seem complicated and even intimidating. Fortunately, Brad is an exemplary teacher. Brad has a style that is clear and concise.

playerYou will dive right into this program. Don’t worry, the water is fine.

Beginning with a basic  C chord, the lessons progress from this simple starting point. You will immediately see how to move this common chord in new ways. Ten moveable forms will get students going quickly.

Major and minor approaches, are demonstrated and analyzed.

By learning this information, you can attain better fretboard knowledge. Multiple chord voicings are often a key ingredient in the best guitar players. This alone, is a great rut buster. But wait, there’s more!

Fills, scales and modes are additional areas of this class. The fill knowledge can expand your leads into strong tones. Another fine way to find new ways to jam out.

Arpeggios, Pentatonics and triads are also explained. This is assuming that you have some prior experience with most of this material.

Charts and jam tracks are included for your practice.


TrueFire’s Interactive Player is loaded with handy features. Slo-mo and looping can be helpful. The instructor moves efficiently through the lessons. It also contains a Power tab for Windows. I am not a tab guy. The beauty is that users have complete control over the pace.

There is a cornucopia of tutelage, in the 200 minutes.  This material may take some time and effort to master. Just getting the basics will make you a more interesting player. As your fretboard options get expanded, the improvements should be noticeable.

A single criticism is the way this was all presented. It comes across with 2 single views. The left hand and the right. While this covers the basic requirements for demonstration, it becomes tedious.  Some pull back, to see Brad and his guitar should have been filmed.

This release would have rated higher, with better camerawork. Realize, the knowledge shared is important. The instructor has the clarity, to fit this all together in useable chunks and bits.

Overall, this CAGED Cracked does exactly that. Anyone who wishes to truly understand this worthy system is advised to get this release.

Rating: 4 Stars

Blues Guitar Greatest Hits Vol. 1

Blues Guitar Greatest Hits Vol. 1

True Firetag

Instructors: 13- Compilation

Length: 164 minutes

59 segments

Format: Direct Download

Additional formats available.

MSRP: 19.00

True Fire has been releasing various compilations. Derived from their regular programs, these samplers can be a good way to checkout different instructors.  Each one contains a healthy amount of guitar lessons. Eat some barbeque and let’s dig in!

There is a fabulous surprise teacher in this set…

Here, we have some of my favorite TrueFire guitar teachers. This show contains the upgraded TF Interactive Player. Full screen model.


face                                  Give it up for the Blues Face!

Slow Blues in 12/8. A highlight here.  I already have the excellent, Blues Jam Survival Guide. Jeff Scheetz has a program worth owning, if that’s your need. One of the most enjoyable shows on TrueFire.

Who else is present?


Hey, that guy looks like Robben Ford…



Robben Ford can get you hip! See his Chicago Blues lessons. I was amazed to see Robben on TrueFire. One of the top players in the business. He is a natural instructor too. What an opportunity here.



What would you do? To get some lessons from Robben. Worth every minute.


Andy Aledort is a ‘must see’ cat. Get that Duane Allman style slide. A premier tutor and great guitarist, with impressive credentials.



Larry Carlton, with Stormy Monday. These excerpts are from his 335 Blues. Contains rhythm and solo. Intriguing and insightful.


Jeff McElwain is another very capable tutor. He always brings something fresh. The classic Killin’  Floor. Another lesson is included from Blues-Rock Evolution.


Cory Congilio is an engaging teacher.  Friendly and effective. Texas blues. Also, Blues Rhythms. Short pieces, but this kid has it goin’ on.



Carl Verheyen has multiple lessons. Diamond Blues. Extensive look at bending and vibrato. Unusual chord voicings, that can expand your style. Like slow blues? Want cool technique?  Watch this material.

There are additional technique sequences from the TF pool. A handful of single licks to round out this collection.

Frank Vignola examines George Benson jazz blues.

dhDavid Hamburger, with his Swamp Funk lessons. Sleepy delivery. Playing is spot on. Good segments that present something  different.

David Blacker adds a little swing blues.

A fine Johnny Winter lick is in this set. Anthony Stauffer brings it on.

A few that didn’t catch my current interest- they may get yours.

Overall, this is an engaging Blues Guitar release from TrueFire.

rf1I found Robben Ford’s Chicago Blues segments, to be familiar and riveting. Blues Revolution is the source. Will have to try that one.

This is  a high quality compilation. There should be enough content to satisfy a good percentage of players. Improve your blues, with this package.

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars


Learn to Play Texas Rock

Learn to Play Texas Rockcvr

Lick Library

Instructor: Danny Gill

Length: 2 Hours 16 minutes

Format: DVD

MSRP: 29.99

Guitar Workshop

Learn to play five rocking  ZZ Top songs. Danny Gill is one of the main instructors at Lick Library. He presents,  detailed breakdowns of each featured track.

Lick Library is a high quality source for guitar lessons. They have excellent teachers. Pro production, with fine camerawork and balanced audio.

These are the songs, that one can learn here: Gimme All Your Loving, La Grange, Heard It On The X , Sharp Dressed and Tush. All of these are classic ZZ Top from their prime.

Albums where the originals were from : Eliminator, Tres Hombres and Fandango.

Billy Gibbons is considered one of America’s best rock guitar players. He makes the most of basic progressions. A variety of somewhat tricky techniques maximize his effectiveness.

stSlide Guitar is one of the styles in 3 of these songs. A chapter on playing slide will be enough to get a player functional.

Students should have a basic working knowledge of chords and scales. There is no tutorial on things like, a C minor pentatonic.

lagrange soloDanny does have ‘note for note’ instruction on the solos.  This emphasis is perfect for getting these tracks down solid!

sharpSharp Dressed Man includes two guitar parts. Here, we are taught to play it as a single guitar. Danny is enjoying himself, throughout this program.

tapeThe only flaw on this program is with Danny’s guitar. Electrical tape on your axe? That belongs on a hockey stick.

Seems that the show title would be Learn to Play ZZ Top. A compliment to the band’s notoriety.  Texas Rock,  includes players such as: Johnny Winter, Stevie Ray Vaughn and others.

Learn to Play Texas Rock is full of cool, vintage style licks and riffs. Anyone can take this knowledge and make it their own. This is a time honored tradition of Texas Rock and blues for that matter.

Rating: 5 Stars

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