WELCOME to Learn Blues Guitar Now!


Online Classes

Pentatonic Party!
Six Thursdays, 7-8:30pm
Starts January 11
zoom invite only
Price: $175

In this class we will work through the five patterns of the pentatonic scales and create 12 bar solos from each pattern. This will give us numerous "phrases" and "licks" to play all over the guitar neck. Time permitting we will also work through phrases that cross multiple patterns.

Many guitarists who are familiar with pentatonic scales know only one of two patterns. This limits their ability to create solos over the entire neck of the guitar. By creating some "stock" phrases from each pattern it is my hope that students will gain valuable fretboard knowledge and get them "unstuck."


Robert Johnson vs. Mississippi John Hurt
Six Tuesdays, 7-8:30pm
starts January 16
zoom invite only
Price: $175

Yes, it's a provocative title, but the idea is not that one is better than the other. This class will compare and contrast the playing styles of two of the delta's best known players. We will pick two songs from each in the keys of A, D, and C and examine each one's approach. It is my hope that this will give you not only insight into each artist's playing but will give you a perspective on playing in different parts of the guitar neck.
Johnson: They're Red Hot, Dead Shrimp Blues, Drunken Hearted Man
Hurt: Make Me a Pallet, Candy Man, Stagolee

The above classes will be held online using zoom
Contact Pete to signup (mailto:buzzyfrets@yahoo.com)

Freight and Salvage Classes

These classes take place in person at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley, CA
2020 Addison St.
The CAGED System for Guitar
Six Wednesdays, 5:30-6:45pm
starts January 10
Those of you familiar with the first position chords, C-A-G-E-D, may not know it but you have at your disposal a powerful tool for navigating the entire fretboard. These simple chord shapes can be repeated throughout the neck to make chord inversions (same chord but with the notes arranged in a different order). In this class we will use the CAGED chords in their major, minor and 7th chord forms and work them up the guitar neck.

Fingerpicking the Blues
Six Wednesdays, 7-8:15pm
starts January 10
Do you love the playing of Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy, Son House or Delta and Piedmont blues in general? Unlock the mystery of the right hand in blues fingerpicking. This class is designed for the beginning blues fingerpicker: you will learn about playing a constant bass with your thumb over a melody line played with your fingers.

to sign up for Freight and Salvage Classes contact the Freight. (https://thefreight.org/learn-to-play/classes/view-all-classes/)
Saturday Blues Jam for Guitar
Six Saturdays, starting January 13,
in person, class held at Timbre Folk, 801 Bancroft St., Berkeley
Price: $200

This class is designed for guitarists who want to learn to jam over blues changes in various keys. We will cover various rhythms: shuffles, rumba, spread rhythms, walking bass, chord accents, minor blues; and soloing ideas: pentatonic scales, blues scales, double-stops, bends, slurs (hammer-ons, slide, and pull-offs), chord tones, and more.

Space is limited to seven players
Contact Pete to sign up (mailto:buzzyfrets@yahoo.com)

The site is dedicated to guitar education. If you are trying to find out about Pete Madsen's shows, cds, and  musical projects go to: petemadsenguitar.com





Forty songs and exercises to get your acoustic blues a kick start! Songs from Robert Johnson, Big Bill Broonzy, Mississippi John Hurt, Reverend Gary Davis and many more. Standard tuning, open g tuning, and open D tuning.




Update: January 2023

TrueFire channel is still live and growing. The latest lesson is “John Henry,” by Mississippi Fred McDowell in open D tuning (DADF#AD).



Check out my True Fire channel: access to lots of TABS, videos and acoustic blues guitar education. The focus is on fingerstyle blues. Learn to play:

• alternating bass

• monotonic bass

• slide guitar

• open tunings

• Lots and Lots of songs!

There over 200 videos and over a 150 TABS

Pete's Fingerstyle Blues Academy


I also teach private lessons at my studio in Berkeley. E-mail or call me for rates and availability.



Order the book: Play the Blues Like...

This book shows you how to play in the style of 12 different blues and blues-inspired artists, such as: Robert Johnson, Charley Patton, Skip James, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Memphis

Minnie, and many more. The book was written in conjunction with Acoustic Guitar magazine and published by Hal Leonard.



I'm a beginning guitar player and have been Pete's student for a few months and wanted to write him up here because I couldn't imagine having found a better teacher. I tried a few other people before going to Pete and the difference is amazing. While most guitar teachers know how to play, Pete also knows how to teach.
He's great at explaining things, great at showing technique, he sends an audio recording of each lesson to your email address (a HUGE help), and teaches you songs that you want to play. In addition to all this his rates are good and he's a cool, easy-going, guitar-loving guy…
--private student

looked forward to the class every week. Even though we were at different skill levels, Pete provided each of us with personal attention which inspired us all to practice. It was fun and rewarding to see myself (and all the other students) improve over the period of the class. Highly recommended!
Bob, student from class

Pete Madsen’s blues guitar classes at the Freight are just great! You learn a lot, and it is incredible fun. I honestly cannot get enough!
– student from class

i been playing for quite a while but not correct finger picking cant sink so this is nice and clear teaching i too think this is one of the best thanks bro
– youtube comment

Thanks for the good video on_ your blues lesson. You explained clearly and broke it down just enough keep up the blues lessons friend God bless

jo bro you helped me so much understand more about_ fingerpicking and syncopation. please keep on teaching man, your one of the best around…
--youtube comment

Took Pete’s Acoustic Blues class.......it was everything I hoped for. He really helped me wrap my head around the fingerpicking that had eluded me for years....thanks again!
I'm looking forward to studying with him again in the future.
-- student from class