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 got to: petemadsenguitar.com


Check out my new True Fire channel: access to lots of TABS, videos and acoustic blues guitar education:

Pete's Fingerstyle Blues Academy


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.



The CAGED System for Guitar

w/Pete Madsen

Six Wednesdays 7-8:15 — begins March 6
price: $130 (early bird)

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. We will be using simple strumming and chord patterns, learn a few riffs and vastly expand our chord vocabulary. Participants only need to know these first position chords to take the class. 

Improvising and Variations for Fingerstyle Blues Guitar

Six Wednesdays 8:30-9:45 pm; Price : $130; begins March 6

Fingerstyle blues guitarists often find themselves locked into positions and patterns related to specific songs. What if we could not only play a song like Mississippi John Hurt’s “Stag-O-Lee,” but improvise over the chord changes without losing the alternating bass pattern? We will use “Stag-o-lee” as our jumping off point, then cover other blues songs in the key of E, A, G and more. The key to our goal of improvising will be learning the CAGED system: a way of mapping out the entire fretboard by using the first position chords of C – A – G – E – D. These chord shapes can be transferred all over the guitar neck to yield great chord voicings that will make our playing come alive with fresh insights and melodic ideas. Students should have a solid background in Travis-style picking.


at Timbre Folk

801 Bancroft

Berkeley, CA



TIME: Saturdays: 10:30-1pm

Starting March 9— six weeks


at Timbre Folk and Baroque

This Session’s Theme: Chord Tone Soloing
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.

Beatles and British Invasion (1970s) Thursdays
Six Weeks, starting March 14
Join us for another round of Beatles tunes and British Invasion songs. Back by popular demand will be Jim Funk, whose Beatles expertise is second to none. Former "Paul" with the Sun Kings, Jim will lead three of the six weeks, demonstrating guitar, bass and vocal parts from the Fab Four's repertoire. Pete will teach the "off" weeks, this time focusing on post Beatles acts such as Badfinger, Free and the Sweet.
Contact Pete if you wish to sign up.

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


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