WELCOME to Learn Blues Guitar Now!

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



Slide Guitar in Open G Tuning
Saturday, May 16, 12pm-1:30pm
Price: $20

Slide Guitar in Open D Tuning
Saturday, May 23, 12pm-1:30pm
Price: $20

~signup for both workshops for $35~

Both workshops will be held online via zoom. Interested folks should contact Pete via email to reserve a spot.

These workshops will focus on acoustic slide guitar in open G (DGDGBD) tuning and open D (DADF#AD). We will cover slide techniques: string damping, intonation, licks, grooves, fingerstyle accompaniment, slide placement, slide materials, and more.

Open G tuning -- sometimes referred to as Spanish tuning -- was used by many early blues players like Robert Johnson, Charley Patton, Son House, Memphis Minnie, as well as modern players like Alvin Youngblood Hart, Kelly Joe Phelps, and others.

Open D Tuning -- sometimes referred to as Vestapol tuning -- was used by players like Tampa Red, Charley Patton, Bukka White, Duane Allman, Sonny Landreth, and many others.

Slide playing is personal...it alludes to that quality of the human voice where we slip from note to note with a range of microtones and rhythmic expression. The wail of a blues singer is emulated by the sound of steel or glass slid along steel strings...it haunts us.

Feel free to contact me if you wish to signup or have any questions.

Pete Madsen: buzzyfrets@yahoo.com

Limit of 20 participants

Garage Band Workshop

an encore presentation


~Creating your own backing tracks~


In this workshop we will create a 12 bar blues backing track in the key of E.

Originally slated for May 9, this workshop will take place on May 30, Saturday, 12pm -1:30 PST

invite only on Zoom

Price: $20

We will cover the following topics:

  • Create a “project” in Garage Band
  • Create “tracks in GarageBand
  • How to use drum loops
  • Recording with a microphone
  • Recording with an audio interface
  • How to do simple edits


Whether you have used GarageBand or not this will be a valuable lesson in creating tracks that you can play along with. There are plenty of backing tracks available online, but by creating a backing track for yourself you are killing two birds with one stone: 1) a chance to work on your rhythm playing; 2) a chance to create a backing track perfectly suited to your needs.  


You don’t need to be proficient at GarageBand and you don’t need any special equipment, although a usb microphone and/or an audio interface would be useful.


Participants will be allowed to record the session for reference in the future.


I have been wanting to teach a workshop using GarageBand as a practice tool for a long time. Now that we are all “sheltering in place” it seems like a good time to teach what I think is a valuable tool in learning music; and especially for those who are learning to improvise. Creating your own backing track not only gets you into the technology, but will sharpen your playing skills — playing along with a drum track will make you a better rhythm player. And, by adding multiple tracks you will be able to hear how different guitar and bass parts work together.


Disclaimer: this it not “technically” a guitar class. I won’t be teaching “how to play a 12 bar blues.” You should already know how to do that. However, by simply observing the process you may learn some playing techniques.


Also, since I will be allowing folks to record I would request that the recording be used “only for yourself,” and not be reposted on the internet.


Feel free to contact me if you wish to signup or have any questions.

Pete Madsen: buzzyfrets@yahoo.com

Limit of 20 participants



March 27, 2020

As many people all over the world are being forced to shelter is place its a good time to work on your guitar skills

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 150 videos and over a 100 TABS

Pete's Fingerstyle Blues Academy




TIME: Saturdays: 10:30-1pm

March 7— six week


at Timbre Folk and Baroque 801 Bancroft St., Berkeley


The PBJ is an extended class/jam — 2.5 hours — where I will teach various techniques and blues structures, which we will apply in a jam-type setting. We will cover rhythm playing: chords, swing and accents; lead playing: scales, phrasing, partial chords. We have a lot of fun. It’s a structured outline but with plenty of time for folks to comment and discuss ideas, and get feedback from each other and myself. If you are looking to expand your blues guitar playing and want to have some fun feel free to contact me.

Play the Beatles!

Six Thursdays: 7:30-9pm

starts Thursday, March 12

at Timbre Folk and Baroque

801 Bancroft, Berkeley, CA


In this class we will play through 2-3 Beatles songs each week. This is not a vocal class but folks are welcome to sing along as we learn many of our favorite Beatles songs. Here is a list of songs we will work on in this session:

You Wont See Me

Do You Want to Know a Secret


No Reply

Nowhere Man

Dear Prudence

This Boy

Don’t Let Me Down

You’re Going to Lose That Girl


Got to Get You into My Life

I just Seen a Face


Please contact Pete if you are interested in either of these classes.

Website: www.learnbluesguitarnow.com

Contact: (510)708-8874

e-mail: buzzyfrets@yahoo.com



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



Order the latest 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