Fred Sokolow is best known as the author of a library of instructional books and DVDs for guitar, banjo, Dobro, mandolin, lap steel and ukulele. There are currently over a hundred of his books or DVDs in print, sold all over the world. Fred has long been a well-known West Coast multi-string performer and recording artist, particularly on the acoustic music scene. The diverse musical genres covered in his books and DVDs, along with several bluegrass, jazz and rock CDs he has released, demonstrate his mastery of many musical styles. Whether he's playing Delta bottleneck blues, bluegrass or old-time banjo, 30s swing guitar or screaming rock solos, he does it with authenticity and passion.
Born in Los Angeles September 14, 1945, by the early 1960s Fred was well known in the California bluegrass scene, playing with Jody Stecher, Brantley Kearns, Sandy Rothman and Eric Thompson. Relocating to Berkeley, he toured and recorded with a hippie rock band throughout most of the 60s, the Bay Area-based Notes From the Underground (Vanguard Records). In the early 70s Fred performed with R&B, rock, country and bluegrass bands. By 1975 Fred had played with bluegrass luminaries like John Herald, Frank Wakefield and Jerry Garcia, had opened for the Dead, the Doors, B.B. King, Country Joe and the Fish and countless other acts.
Playing the blues is a great way to lose the blues, and jamming with other people is one of the most fun things to do in life! Using blues classics like Stormy Monday, The Thrill is Gone, Keys To the Highway, Big Boss Man, Come Back Bay and Every Day I Have the Blues as examples, Fred teaches all the skills and info you need to jam with other blues players. This lesson covers accompaniment techniques for many different rhythm grooves (shuffle beat, straight 8ths, straight 4 and rock and funk beats) and soloing strategies (key-of-E licks, four moveable blues boxes and some chord-based licks). You'll also learn intros, turnarounds, the twelve-bar and eight-bar blues forms and more.
Fred has been jamming with other players and leading jam classes most of his life, and his practical tips are sure to give you all the tools you need to get out there and play the blues with other people. Along the way, you'll learn some blues history and hear stories about some of the great players. Plus, all the scales, blues boxes, licks, chord shapes and tunes in this lesson are written out in tab and music in an accompanying book in the form of a PDF file.
Titles include: Baby What Do You Want Me To Do, All The Love I Miss Loving, Stormy Monday, Big Boss Man, How Long Blues, Hesitation Blues, Stagerlee, As The Years Go Passing By, Corrine Corrina and Every Day I Have the Blues
88 minutes - Level 2/3 - Detailed tab/music PDF file on the DVD
Review: As soon as I saw the title, I had to get it onto my DVD player, so great was my interest, but alas I didn't have time as I was off to a week-long Music Workshop in Yorkshire and couldn't take the time to listen, so I took the DVD with me together with my laptop and all the best intentions. Thwarted however because 1. 1 couldn't get the disc player to behave and 2. I was so involved in what was such a fantastic week, I didn't get another chance until tonight and couldn't get my laptop to recognize the stand-alone DVD player. So, I had to trot down to Argos to buy a new Blu Ray player. I duly raced back home and set it all up, only to find that you don't get the necessary HDMI cable with the player, so had to race back to Currys to buy one. At this point I realized that this isn't about me but about another fantastic release from the Guitar Workshop and upon sitting down to watch, it was immediately apparent that this DVD should be on the Christmas wish list for any budding Blues guitarist out there. Fred covers just about anything that you might want to know, and the included backing tracks will keep you busy for months. Yes of course there will be stuff on there that you already know, but if you don't learn something from this that you can put to good use, I would suggest that you take up drumming! – Dave Stone/Blues Matters
Review: The almighty blues jam is the end game for this prep session, which is as highly entertaining as it is enlightening. Anyone wishing to supply flexible accompaniment or fly lead solos is in for a real special treat. Meet the world's most interesting guitar instructor: Fred Sokolow, whose professional path has personally crossed with Jerry Garcia, Jim Stafford, Rick James and Chubby Checker. He's opened for B.B. King and the Doors. He won the Gong Show.
And with an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar and 90 whirlwind minutes, Sokolow spills the beans here on: twelve-bar blues, Albert King licks, eight-bar blues, blues boxes (four, in all), scale-based licks, Chuck Berry double-note licks, funky straight 8's, chord-based licks, straight 4's, turnarounds, power chords, Cream, B.B.'s "Every Day I Have the Blues," more turnarounds, Jimmy Reed boogying, T-Bone Walker, "Layla," Ike & Tina, Otis Rush's "All the Love I Miss Loving," more T-Bone Walker, "Big Boss Man," the Beatles' "Revolution," Wolf's "Killing Floor," the Allman Brothers, Bobby Bland, "Hesitation Blues" (a fave of Rev. Gary Davis to Hot Tuna), and how to adaptively move his playing tips up and down the neck.
He quotes Herb Ellis stage chatter and from B.B.'s autobiography. He footnotes the lyrics of "Stormy Monday." He references Jimi Hendrix's "Red House," which he witnessed live in 1970. He magically funnels a geyser of how-to guidance and sidebar anecdotes into one seamlessly running dialogue that is a total gas. And he's your personal coach, who'll have you primed for Jamming the Blues - Dennis Rozanski/Blues Rag