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



in person

6 Tuesdays beginning September 12


early bird pricing: $150 ($175 after September 1)


In this class we will play through six (maybe more) Beatles tunes, learning the guitar parts. This is primarily a guitar class but often students find themselves singing  along. Lot's of fun!

Song list:

Day Tripper

In My Life

Norwegian Wood

You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away

I Feel Fine

Here Comes the Sun


Blues Fingerpicking Tuneup

online (zoom)

6 Thursdays beginning September 14


early bird pricing $150 ($175 after September 1)

In this class we will play through six fingerpicking blues tunes. I have structured this class for the mid level blues fingerpicker who would like a refresher course on alternate and monotonic bass playing. Songs will include:


Satisfied and Tickled Too (Mississippi John Hurt)

Drunken Barrel House Blues (Memphis Minnie)

Spanish Two Step (Fahey, open G tuning: DGDGBD)

New Orleans (Madsen original)

Chump Man Blues (Blind Blake)


Please contact Pete to sign up or ask questions:

email: buzzyfrets@yahoo.com




Freight and Salvage Classes

Introduction to Blues Guitar

Six Wednesdays beginning September 13


All levels of students welcome; you do not need to have taken Session I to join this session!

In this class we will learn the basics of playing blues guitar. Whether you’re into modern electric blues or pre-war acoustic fingerstyle blues, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of the genre. In this class we will learn:

• Shuffle rhythm

• How to play blues chord changes (I IV V) in several different keys

• Walking bass lines

• Two string “spread” rhythms

• Great blues chords that you can move around the neck

• Pentatonic scales: basic soloing techniques

• Minor blues

The techniques and rhythms you learn in this class will prepare you to play hundreds of songs by everyone from Robert Johnson to Eric Clapton, Gary Clark Jr, and others.

This class is for anybody who knows basic guitar chords (“cowboy” chords) and is interested in blues.

Please note: Class will not be held 10/18/23. A make-up class is scheduled for 10/25/23.


Introduction to Bottleneck Slide Guitar

Six Wednesdays beginning September 13


Slide guitar 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.

The purpose of this class is to introduce the student to the sound, techniques, and evocations of slide guitar. We will focus on blues playing, but based on the level of participants and student interest we may venture into other song forms from rock and jazz. We will learn the styles of players like Robert Johnson, Son House, John Fahey, Ry Cooder and others. We will play in several different tunings (e.g. open D and open G), as well as standard tuning (EADGBE). We will play several different rhythm grooves to accompany our slide playing.

Please note: Class will not be held 10/18/23. A make-up class is scheduled for 10/25/23.

contact thegreight.org for more information



Pete Madsen

In addition to performing, Pete is a well-respected guitar teacher and writes regularly for Acoustic Guitar Magazine. He has been teaching for over twenty five years. He has written seven books of guitar instruction, including A Guide to Acoustic Blues Guitar, A Guide to Bottleneck Slide Guitar, Improvisation and Variations for Fingerstyle Blues Guitar, and The CAGED System for Guitar. Most of these titles are available from his educational website: http://learnbluesguitarnow.com

In addition to the above styles Pete is well-versed in rock, electric blues, surf, funk, rockabilly and early jazz.


Space is limited to seven participants. Contact Pete to sign up:

buzzyfrets@yahoo.com Ph(510)708-8874



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