How to play guitar like 10 Chicago blues greats

Buddy Guy, Magic Slim, Otis Rush
(Image credit: Larry Hulst/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images; James Fraher/Redferns; Paul Natkin/Getty Images)

Chicago is synonymous with legendary blues names such as Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. These, and many more would make a name for themselves in the clubs and juke joints of the South and West sides of the city after migrating from southern states like Mississippi in the 1940s, '50s and '60s. 

At a time when electrifying guitars was new, drums and amplification were being used in the clubs to create a sound that was louder, and a far cry from the acoustic sound of the South. Pioneers like Waters, Elmore James, Little Walter and Jimmy Rogers would go on to influence many aspiring musicians who themselves would sign with Chicago record labels like Chess, Cobra, Chief and Delmark. 

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Andy Saphir

Andy Saphir has been a professional guitar player and teacher for over 25 years. Graduating with distinction from London’s prestigious Guitar Institute in 1995, he has gone on to gain a reputation as one of the UK’s top country guitarists. Specialising in country and blues, Andy is a versatile, multi-genre player and has a successful international performing career, touring with numerous shows and bands, including the Blues Brothers Approved. Andy taught on the guitar faculty at London’s ICMP for many years, and is a longtime contributor to Guitar Techniques Magazine, as well as being a Jam Track Central artist. Andy teaches in-person guitar lessons from Cambridgeshire UK, or remotely globally.