Building a Solid Arrangement in A
Leroy Carr’s How Long Blues is one of the most famous songs in the tradition, a go-to number in just about every blues artist’s repertoire. It has been covered by musical luminaries as varied as Big Bill Broonzy, Ray Charles, T-Bone Walker, Ella Fitzgerald, Eric Clapton, Doc Watson, and hundreds more.
Happy shows early-intermediate guitarists some great ideas on how to play this enduring classic. Playing out of the key of A, he takes this fairly simple 8-bar blues form and explores variations that include bass runs, hammer-ons, slides, turnarounds, and alternate positions up the guitar neck. As you learn this song, you’ll gain the tools to build your own blues arrangements in other songs as well.
This single-song lesson is a great opportunity to expand your blues chops while learning a blues standard. Play it by yourself or jam with other players. Either way, you’ll have a lot of fun with it.