Learn the greatest licks from over 100 years of trailblazing blues guitarists, from Robert Johnson to B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Eric Gales and more

Buddy Guy, live onstage with his Stratocaster in 2023
(Image credit: Scott Legato/Getty Images)

Today, we can listen to over one hundred years of blues. Sylvester Weaver’s unaccompanied instrumental Guitar Blues (1923) may be the earliest example of recorded blues guitar, with Son House, Charlie Patton, Memphis Minnie, Lead Belly, Robert Johnson and many more cutting records in the late 1920s and ’30s. 

These greats inspired the post-war Chicago blues explosion, which was subsequently seized upon by “British Blues Invasion” bands, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who and more in the mid-’60s. From there, blues-rock was born, and the style has branched out ever since, taking on wider musical influences with every passing year. 

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Richard Barrett

As well as a longtime contributor to Guitarist and Guitar Techniques, Richard is Tony Hadley’s longstanding guitarist, and has worked with everyone from Roger Daltrey to Ronan Keating.