"The diminished scale seems to loom large in my legend…" A blues masterclass from Robben Ford

Robben Ford masterclass
(Image credit: Will Ireland/Future)

Robben Ford has spent his career carving out a musical buffer between blues, rock and jazz/fusion. That could be a recipe for slick blandness, but Robben creates something wonderful, combining the best elements of his diverse influences.

"The first blues that I ever heard was The Paul Butterfield Blues Band with Mike Bloomfield on lead guitar," he told us, back when he gave us this masterclass in 2015. "It was incredible how intense it was compared to everything that I’d heard up to that point. It was a revelation, and it gave me my direction to play the electric guitar. I then started buying records just because they were blues records… or jazz. There’s a three-record set called The Blues Box with Jimmy Witherspoon, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, and Lightnin’ Hopkins. I really learned everything I know today about Mississippi Delta-style blues guitar playing from those records.”

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