Reddit reviews: The best blues music books

We found 45 Reddit comments discussing the best blues music books. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 23 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.

Top Reddit comments about Blues Music:

u/proteinstains · 2 pointsr/Jazz

I do, fine sir. There is a CD/book from Robert Crumb entitled Heroes of Blues, Jazz and Country. Fascinating original recordings from the 1920's onwards. The jazz songs are old yet you can't find more authentic and swampy, to my opinion.


I might add, Allen Toussaint's the Bright Mississippi. A masterpiece of the New Orleans jazz music.

It is the best I can do. Hope you enjoy it!

u/LukeSniper · 4 pointsr/Guitar

Yes, you can play the BB box in any key.

The best thing you can do to learn to play like those players is to learn to play their songs! (Obviously)

That may be a tall order for you right now, and that material may be beyond your current skill level. That's okay. If you find their songs too tough, just set the tune aside and come back to it later. BB and Buddy are hugely popular players and you should have no trouble finding tutorials and analyses for their songs, or just general instructional material focusing on those players.

[Here's a BB King book by Dave Rubin](B.B. King - Blues Legend: A Step-by-Step Breakdown of His Guitar Styles and Techniques (Guitar Signature Licks) https://www.amazon.com/dp/1423457927/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_8S9wCbPX6G5TW) that you might be interested in. Dave is a FANTASTIC writer who does a great job trying to get inside the players' heads, rather than just telling you how to play the part.

u/Hopfrogg · 6 pointsr/China

I'd start reading more about China and checking out a lot of China blogs. China ranks pretty high on the list of countries that foreigners have trouble adapting to.

Here is a pretty good book about a guy who started a bar band as kind of a lark to play Blues music in China and ended up playing large music festivals: http://www.amazon.com/Big-China-Adventure-Reinventing-ebook/dp/B004HD61JA/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1341847716&sr=8-3&keywords=big+in+china

Is your idea feasible? It absolutely is for a lot of reasons others here have stated. You'll be a novelty and the Chinese have a strong curiosity for western culture. As others have said, it will probably go easier for you in some of the lesser known, yet still modern cities. Would avoid Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong as you will be one among many foreigners competing to do the same thing.

If you decide to go for it, you should check out Popup Chinese and Chinese Pod to get started on learning the language. Would recommend this over expensive yellow boxes. Also, get Pleco www.pleco.com for you tablet or smartphone. It is the absolute must have tool for learning Chinese.

Sounds adventurous. If you do it, I hope you come back to this subreddit and post a link to your blog, if you do one. Would love to see how it pans out.

u/wolfanyd · 2 pointsr/memphis

> but there is a lot of memphis history behind beale,
> That's not really worth much honestly. Especially if you've only got a few hours

There's a lot of history behind the street in general, so for someone with a little knowledge of the history, it can be fascinating to see. Beale St Dynasty is a great book for the curious. :)

u/ongakuka · 2 pointsr/pics

I don't know how much reddit cares about jazz, really, but no movie could ever compare to "Miles: The Autobiography". If you are interested in jazz, this is one of the most entertaining and informative books you will ever read. Miles was square at the center of most of the major stylistic movements in jazz, and he has incredible stories to tell about not only himself but also some of the most famous jazz musicians ever. I read this book from cover to cover at least once a year, simply because it is a total page-turner.

Miles's speech is like poetry - completely profane, totally real, absolutely raw. I learned what a versatile word "motherfucker" is from reading this book.

Don Cheadle is an amazing actor, but man. This movie cannot possibly measure up to the visceral thrills of this book.

u/Jongtr · 5 pointsr/musictheory

The most obvious thing to say is that it isn't "written" at all. It's a kind of folk music, handed down by ear. Before audio recording it would have been learned from older musicians in person; after audio recording it could have been learned that way, at least in part.

Before audio recording there would have been natural geographical variations in style. Most blues musicians were "songsters", generally itinerant, travelling around picking up songs and entertaining, but many would have stayed more local. There was a lot of overlap between blues, folk, parlour songs, vaudeville, ragtime, etc. Performers sang and played anything that appealed to their audiences. It was only when blues suddenly became fashionable in the 1920s as the new record companies discovered how well it sold, that performers were asked to focus on blues tunes when recording. No ragtime or vaudeville comedy numbers please....

In terms of guitar technique, the piedmont style probably arose from banjo techniques, but perhaps also a way of imitating ragtime piano. The Delta style - often in open tuning with slide - had seemingly more influence from the parlour tunes of Henry Worrall (whose tune "Sebastopol" lent its name to open D tuning) and Hawaiian "slack key" guitar. Naturally there was overlap. Mississippi John Hurt, for example, straddles both styles.

The wiki pages on delta and piedmont styles reference some books: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piedmont_blues - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delta_blues. I don't know those myself, but a good book on various blues myths is Elijah Wald's Escaping the Delta. Guitarist John Fahey wrote an excellent monograph on Charley Patton, dealing with both blues history and Patton's style and technique.

EDIT: a full PDF of the Fahey book (highly recommended if you want PhD detail) can be found here.

u/BoguesMusic · 2 pointsr/makinghiphop

Madlib and his influences: Miles Davis, Sun Ra, Lee Perry, Melvin van Peebles etc. Every one can use a sampler but it's what you put into it that matters. I recommend studying workflow, discipline and inspiration rather than the technical side of things. This is a good start.


u/ponimaju · 2 pointsr/vinyl

that's true (i agree with the word "typically" since there are many exceptions - you could argue a case for Sketches of Spain though there is a small silhouette of Miles), but i absolutely love the old blue note covers (i've got an artbook of them too). even then, certainly almost all of the covers were subdued or not "out there" like this one was

u/Super-C · 1 pointr/books

Miles Davis' autobiography Miles is really mind-blowing. He's extremely candid, but also a complete asshole, so it makes for a very interesting read. Also, Art Pepper's autobiography Straight Life is very interesting and heartbreaking. Really gets into his drug addiction, repeated trips to jail, his sexuality. One of the great musician bios in my opinion.

u/johndrums82 · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Mine would probably have to be "Miles: The Autobiography" by Miles Davis. An intense read at times, but a great look inside the brain of one of music's all-time greats, and one of the definitive examples of cool.


u/manys · 5 pointsr/musictheory

It's not theory-oriented, but if you're really interested in this and related questions, I highly, highly recommend the books "Blues People" and "Black Music" by LeRoi Jones (now Amiri Baraka), which describes the evolutionary forces that led to your question. They are both shortish trade paperbacks.

u/rcochrane · 1 pointr/guitarlessons

I'm not an expert but The Blues Real Book is probably a decent place to start. Those books tend to be easy to use and have a good selection of tunes (I'm used to the jazz ones, but assume much the same goes for the blues ones too).

Be aware that any lead sheet for a blues tune will only give you a skeleton of the song; you'll need to refer to recordings to flesh it out into a performance and get it to sound right. But this will get you started.

u/AGuysBlues · 4 pointsr/blues

Good time to ask this as I've just finished Escaping the Delta. It talks about the creation of blues in general and has a heavy focus on Robert in some chapters. Very good read!


u/redditpossible · 1 pointr/listentothis

I can highly recommend this book if you are truly interested.

Red River Blues

u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/TwoXChromosomes

R. Crumb's Heroes of Blues, Jazz, and Country is a great little book. It is worth it for the CD alone if he's into the obscure old-timey blues. Also, wrap yourself in bacon.

u/shalala1234 · 1 pointr/OldSchoolCoolMusic

Something a little different today, this is from DCI Blues Masters Vol 3, here is a link to the DVD and here's the full session. I stumbled across this and thought someone else might enjoy the king of the blues breaking down some of his magic in this laid back lesson.

If you're not familiar with BB King this documentary is a good place to start, as well as his autobiography, Blues All Around Me.

u/bluesnoodler_ · 2 pointsr/bluesguitarist

This set of cards - Heroes of the Blues by Robert Crumb (Fritz the Cat, Mr. Natural etc) is something quirky and cool:


The pic of Robert Johnson you see on self posts in this sub is from that set.

u/sammydavisjrjr · 2 pointsr/books

Memoirs of musicians might suit your taste. I've read Miles and Lady Sings the Blues, both of which I really liked. There are lots more, though, and I'm sure most of them are filled with dysfunction, drugs, and mental illness.

If you want an easy, fun read, go for Tracy Morgan's I Am the New Black.

u/soynut · 3 pointsr/actuallesbians

If you (or your gf) are really interested, check out Angela Davis' Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday. She's actually transcribed all the lyrics of their recorded songs and most of the book is an analysis of the work from a feminist/sociological/historical perspective. It's really fascinating.

u/khdfuzzrawk · 2 pointsr/blues

Story of the Blues - Paul Oliver

Favorite book on the my favorite subject.


u/wagneranti · 3 pointsr/ShitTheFalseSay

It's not a modern youth subculture, but I'd strongly recommend David Grazien's Blue Chicago: The Search for Authenticity in Urban Blues Clubs..

u/Ibrey · 4 pointsr/Christianity

Jon Michael Spencer's Blues and Evil (University of Tennessee Press, 1993) provides some helpful background on this association, unless perhaps you are white, in which case the main thing Spencer has to say is that your racial privilege precludes you from getting the real meaning of the blues, ever. (Kidding.)

u/sitkagear · 0 pointsr/Atlanta

Just listen to a bb king album, and transcribe and memorize the solo.

Transcribing solos are building blocks to becoming a better musician.

EDIT: Check this out. https://www.amazon.com/B-B-King-Guitar-Recorded-Versions/dp/1480396206/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=bb+king+tab&qid=1565201902&s=gateway&sr=8-4

Listen to the recording on Spotify, and learn from here. Easy peasy.

u/Jetamors · 1 pointr/blackladies

Hm, maybe try Blues People? It talks about the struggle, of course, but it's positive and AA-universal.

u/streetsahead2 · 2 pointsr/Guitar

Alternatively to listening to music and practicing the pentatonic and pentablues (I've been doing that to), since blues is a lot about the spirit and mood, it helps to really know it's history and where it came from.

Try getting your hands on the PBS documentaries "The Blues" produced by Martin Scorsese and also, the comic by Robert Crumb.

u/anicebeer · 1 pointr/LearnGuitar

I'd just buy a blues fake book (maybe http://www.amazon.com/Real-Blues-Book-Leonard-Corp/dp/1423404513/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1426142710&sr=8-2&keywords=blues+fake+book) then work at the songs in them. It'll be slow going at first trying to play the melody and chords at the same time, but you'll eventually get the hang of it and every song you learn will sound better than the last.

u/tallpapab · 5 pointsr/blues

OK, I'll Start

B.B. King Blues All Around Me

Muddy Waters Can't be Satisfied

Robert Palmer Deep Blues

Alan Lomax Land Where the Blues Began

Robert Johnson Escaping the Delta

u/kidhumbeats · 1 pointr/hiphopheads

This thread is going to get sloppy with opinions... I recommend everybody put down the laptop and go pick up one of these two books...



u/birdgetstheworm · 1 pointr/Jazz

Biographies and autobiographies are the way to go, I think – there's simply too much to write a book about everyone at once, not to mention the story of jazz is really the sum of intersecting individual journeys and solos, not some kind of burgeoning volksgeist. I recommend Miles and Space is the Place

u/xberry · 1 pointr/Vinyl_Jazz

I don't have this book, but it looks like it could be a contender.


You'd think by now they'd have a "complete works of Reid Miles on Blue Note" book available. :-/

u/agentcodyburke · 1 pointr/UnethicalLifeProTips


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just take the space inbetween the parentheses out

u/ColonCorsair · 1 pointr/books

I came here to post this. It's called Miles: The Autobiography and it is fucking incredible.