WELCOME to Learn Blues Guitar Now!



Fingerpicking the Blues

Six Wednesdays, 7-8:15pm. Starts July 11

early bird reg. $130

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. First we will learn about “dead-thumb” – playing a single string bass, with melody notes played on other strings. Then we will try an “alternating bass” – a bass that travels between two or more strings. The bass in early blues recordings drove the music with a“chug” and a “bounce” that helped give the music its special rhythmic characteristics.

Participants should have knowledge of first position guitar chords and some fingerpicking experience is useful…beyond that just a love of blues and a desire to learn is all that is needed.

Grooving and Jamming the Blues

~Blues Rhythm and Soloing~

Six Wednesdays, 8:30-9:45pm, begins July 11

early bird reg. $130

For guitar players who want to learn how to play rhythm and solo over blues changes. We will take a basic 12 bar blues as our background format and use ideas based on scales, riffs and chord shapes to learn the art of soloing. This will be a lot of fun for those folks who have a little background in playing blues  Learn classic solo lines from players like Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton and many more. Some background in playing blues rhythm required, but other than that just a desire to put some heart (and muscle!) into your guitar playing.


Pete Madsen has been teaching and performing in the Bay Area for over twenty years. His musical specialty is the art and craft of fingerstyle blues, ragtime and slide guitar.Websites:

To register contact the Freight and Salvage

2020 Addison St. Berkeley, CA,

 www.thefreight.org, (510)644-2020



at Timbre Folk

801 Bancroft Way, Berkeley



Session 1

Beginning Blues Guitar: Rhythm and Jamming

8 Saturdays from 10-11:30am

price: $200

Learn to play a shuffle, walking bass patterns, chord accents, pentatonic scales, which are the building blocks for playing solos. Playing in a supportive group is one of the best ways to get better and have some fun. After getting the basics of rhythm playing down we will work on creating solo ideas. Participants should be familiar with basic chords and strumming patterns. Space is limited to 7 students.


Session 2

Intermediate Blues Guitar

8 Saturdays from noon-1:30pm

price: $200

In this class we will play in the less well-known keys: Bb, F, G#, Eb. This will be a chance to take what you know in the more obvious keys of A, E, G…and transpose those ideas. We will review pentatonic scales, blues scales, using chord tones for soloing, chord voicing for rhythm playing and more. Space is limited to 7 students. contact Pete to sign up: buzzyfrets@yahoo.com (510)708-8874




six Thursdays: Starting July 12, 7:30-9pm

price: $175

Timbre Folk — 801 Bancroft

It’s summer time and Surfs UP! Time to learn some classic tunes from the reverb-soaked days of yore. We’re talking Ventures, Dick Dale, the Safaris with classic songs such as: Pipeline, Walk Don’t Run, Wipeout!, Miserlou and many more. Students can play either acoustic or electric guitar

contact Pete to signup:



Pete Madsen


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