Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop Instructional and Historical DVDs Books and Materials
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Ari Eisenger

Close your eyes and listen to Pennsylvania bluesman Ari Eisinger play and sing and you will enjoy a thoroughly rewarding musical experience. You will believe unquestionably that he is the walking reincarnate of the old time ragtime pickers. He plays with such dazzling, seemingly effortless mastery, feeling every nuance and inflection while effortlessly whipping out the most complicated fingerpicking patterns. You will think there are three people playing and he not only hits every note, he plays so beautifully, so heartfelt and stunningly, all you can do is gasp for air. Realistically, within all reason and without doubt, Ari Eisinger gets as close to perfection as any player on the planet when it comes to mastering the old ragtime & country blues style.

Tablature is available as a PDF file for each lesson. Lessons are filmed with multiple cameras and consist of a performance, explanation, and conclude with a slow tempo split screen that follows the tab/music.

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Ari Eisenger Single Song Downloads


Baby Lou Blues
Level: 2/3
Tuning: Standard

Although this is not one of Blind Blake's most famous songs, it contains a fascinating arrangement that plays against the vocal. Blake's instrumental break is especially of interest. Recorded in 1929 and played in the key of C.


Bad Luck Blues
Level: 3
Tuning: Standard

A beautiful Blind Lemon number in the key of C with intricate guitar playing behind the vocals and great variations on the turnarounds. Lemon recorded this in 1926. The arrangement truly swings. Based on a riff played while in the C chord this melodic blues should be fun to master.


Basic Slow D Blues
Level: 2
Tuning: D G D G B E

If you've never tackled Lonnie Johnson's amazing guitar playing, this might be a good place to start.It's not a tune by him, but one that Ari attempted to write in the style of Lonnie's slow blues instrumentals in D. Ari has made it considerably simpler and easier than Johnson's actual solos for the purpose of creating a "stepping-stone" to Lonnie Johnson's actual solos and instrumentals.


Black Horse Blues
Level: 2/3
Tuning: Standard

A great and unique Blind Lemon Jefferson arrangement. He recorded this in 1926. It is played in the key of C. It features a complete guitar break that is also used behind the vocals. It is a call and response guitar part. A bass run is played and then answered by a treble response. A complicated arrangement and in many ways similar to how Rev. Gary Davis played blues in the key of C.

 


Funny Feeling Blues
Level: 2/3
Tuning: Standard

Recorded in 1938 by Blind Boy Fuller. It is played in the key of E. There's great syncopation in one of the more difficult arrangements by Blind Boy Fuller. You'll need to start slowly to master the bass and treble runs in order to eventually play the tune as fast as the original recording.


Guitar Chimes
Level: 2/3
Tuning: Standard

Released in 1929 by Paramount Records. This old 78 had Guitar Chimes on one side and Blind Arthur's Breakdown on the other. Both tour-de-forces in the key of C. Guitar Chimes in a typical blues in the key of C and has trademark Blake licks. It is a great instrumental with every chorus being different. Plenty to learn in this arrangement and a great look at how Blind Blake played the blues in C.


I'm So Tired of Living All Alone
Level: 2/3
Tuning: D G D G B E

Lonnie Johnson’s gorgeous arrangement of the same popular song that inspired Skip James’s “I’m So Glad”, although the feel of the two recordings couldn’t be more different. Lonnie recorded his in 1928. A great example of how to use Lonnie Johnson’s blues licks in a non-blues tune. The guitar is tuned in Lonnie’s D G D G B E and you’ll be playing in the key of D.


Jivin' Woman Blues
Level: 2/3
Tuning: Standard

A delightful swinging tune recorded by Blind Boy Fuller in 1938. Played in the key of C using first position chords. The arrangement has echoes from Rev. Gary Davis, who gave Fuller lessons when Blind Boy Fuller was just starting out. The playing begins with an unusual ascending pattern in the bass. This is a two-part tune with one being the playing behind the singing and the second the instrumental break. A fun tune to play and sing.


Match Box Blues
Level: 3
Tuning: Standard

The pinnacle!A tour-de-force in the key of A by Blind Lemon Jefferson.The fact that this song has been extremely influential on subsequent musicians is the least of it:Lemon's original 1927 recording is a masterpiece! Lemon introduces several trademark licks and changes his playing from verse to verse. He goes from up the neck to a boogie motif played down the fretboard. If you're interested in country blues guitar then this is an arrangement you MUST learn!


Meat Shakin' Woman
Level: 2/3
Tuning: Standard

A great arrangement in this 12-bar ragtime blues by Blind Boy Fuller in the key of C. Recorded in 1938 it has echoes from the playing of Big Bill Broonzy and Blind Lemon Jefferson. The arrangement revolves around a lick while playing the C chord. When the F chord phrase is played there is a nice variation on the standard bass pattern. You can hear Rev. Gary Davis's influence on the end runs to the G chord. A great tune played at a medium tempo using first position chords.


One Dime Blues
Level: 2/3
Tuning: Standard

This tune is played in the key of E. Blind Lemon Jefferson recorded this in 1927. The vocal melody, the guitar arrangement and the break are unlike anything else he recorded. His guitar breaks are especially interesting. The guitar playing features an alternating bass and sounds almost like Merle Travis's playing! The melody is the same that Woody Guthrie used for his New York Town. Woody in fact borrowed some of Blind Lemon's lyrics.


Pistol Slapper Blues
Level: 2/3
Tuning: Standard

Originally recorded in 1938. This Blind Boy Fuller 8-bar blues is played in the key of G. It uses rhythmic rolls reminiscent from the playing of Rev. Gary Davis. The arrangement uses variations on the D7 chord and also offers two approaches to playing the tune – one up the fingerboard and the other closer to home. Check out the fantastic turn-around Fuller plays.



Rope Stretchin' Blues
Level: 2/3
Tuning: Standard

Unusually for Blind Blake, this tune is in both C and A minor. It was recorded in 1931 and covered both sides of the original 78 with Part One and Part Two. It is most notably because of his dramatic use of minor chords, trills and relatively minimal flourishes. It's the tale of a man who catches a backdoor man speaking sweet nothings to his woman, kills the man, lays "him out cold with his heels in a tub", gets arrested by the Sheriff and is now contemplating "...if a women worth it now." The song reaches it's dramatic pinnacle, not with words, but with the A-minor to E7 trills that release into the beautiful guitar break in C-major.


Southern Rag
Level: 3/4
Tuning: Standard

Blind Blake was famous for his ‘piano-sounding’ guitar. He was one of the greatest blues guitarists that ever lived. A true pioneer of ‘finger-style’ guitar, he was also a zealous musical experimenter who re-defined the limitations of the guitar. Southern Rag was recorded in 1927. It is a fast and very syncopated rag using first position chords in the key of C. The difficult part is in getting the “stumbling bass” in your right hand or what Rev. Davis called Blake’s “sportin’ right hand”. Your next challenge is to then slowly bring this up to speed. Southern Rag is a classic Blind Blake instrumental.



Stonewall Street Blues
Level: 2/3
Tuning: Standard

If you haven't learned any of Blind Blake's slow blues then this is a good tune to start with.It's not as difficult as many of his other slow tunes, although it does contain a bit of double-time which is always tricky.It is played in the key of G and used typical first position chords. Blake recorded this in 1926.


To Do This You Got To Know How
Level: 3
Tuning: D G D G B E

Lonnie Johnson recorded this instrumental in 1926. It is an incredible recording. The playing is fast and furious and the rhythmic feel is out of this world.It is, unsurprisingly, extremely difficult to play! The guitar is tuned D G D G B E – like and Open G tuning without tuning down the high first string. This tuning allows you to have a bass while doing licks around the D chord as well as an open fifth string for your G chord figures. Attempt this instrumental slowly and at your own risk! Lots of great riffs up and down the fingerboard.


Too Tight Blues
Level: 3
Tuning: Standard

Blind Blake first recorded this in 1926. He recorded a Number Two version in 1929. It is a fast and very syncopated song in the key of G. Blake recorded the majority of his tunes in the key of C but was not a stranger in also raggin' the blues in G. Again the chord fingerings are allin the first position and the sound is all in your right hand. This combines Blake's stumblin' bass with single string licks and an alternating bass.


Truckin' My Blues Away
Level: 2/3
Tuning: Standard

Recorded in 1936 this has become one of the best-known Blind Boy Fuller songs. It is also the origin of the phrase “keep on truckin’. It is played in the key of C using the VI-II-V-I progression. Fuller used this progression in about two dozen arrangements. His recording of Truckin’ My Blues Away was so popular that a year later he recorded Truckin’ My Blues Away No.2. This type of song is considered a ”hokum” tune. ‘Hokum’ is a term applied to a kind of raunchy blues song that was popular in the late 1920s and early 1930s.



Uncle Ned, Don't Use Your Head
Level: 3
Tuning: D G D G B E

Lonnie Johnson was the father of all the early blues guitarists. Everyone listened to him. He played and sang like a minister, with a very spiritual feeling that went right through me and that I could immediately relate to and understand... Lonnie would play with people from other musical styles like jazz and gospel, which inspired me to stretch as a player." – B.B. King

A jaw-dropping arrangement by Lonnie Johnson in the key of D of what is basically "I'll Be Glad When You're Dead", recorded by Louis Armstrong as "I'll Be Glad When You're Dead, You Rascal You". Lonnie recorded this in 1931.


Untrue Blues
Level: 2/3
Tuning: Standard

Recorded in 1937, this is one of Blind Boy Fuller’s masterpieces in the key of A. It has many of his trademark blues licks in A plus the ultimate in syncopated bent bass notes! The arrangement was imitated by many East coast bluesmen after Fuller’s death, especially by Brownie McGhee. The A chord slides and single string licks all combine to give a great swinging blues. It doesn’t get much better than this!


Woke Up With the Blues In My Fingers
Level: 3
Tuning: D G D G B E

A beautiful slow instrumental blues in D played in Lonnie Johnson's D G D G B E tuning. It was recorded in 1927. A feast of great Lonnie blues licks combined with diminished chords up and down the fingerboard. A great arrangement to master your left hand vibrato and control of tone of your playing.


Yo Yo Blues
Level: 3
Tuning: Standard

Blind Lemon Jefferson recorded Yo Yo Blues in 1929. It is played in the key of E. Lemon used the same type of arrangement for several of his other recordings, i.e. Piney Woods Money Mama and 'Lectric Chair Blues. The interplay and counterpoint between the vocals and Lemon's guitar part is fascinating and a challenge to master.