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John Lee Hooker

John Lee Hooker was born was in Coahoma County, Mississippi, on the 22nd of August, 1917.

The youngest of 11 other siblings and the son of a Baptist preacher, John and the rest of his brothers and sisters where only allowed to listen to spiritual music. After his parents separated in 1921 John’s Mother remarried a local blues singer and guitar player called William Moore.

John’s step Father was his first guitar teacher, giving him lessons on a specific form of blues guitar playing he learnt in Louisiana that was different to the Delta style. John credits his step father in helping him develop his distinctive blues guitar playing style. John ran away from home at the age of 14, he never his Mother or Step Father again.

In 1948 John found himself in Detroit, working at the Ford Motor Company and frequenting the blues venues on Hastings Street in Detroit’s East Side.

John’s career began to take off when he began performing in Detroit bars and clubs. Famous for it’s blues pianists and not so much for it’s guitar players, John’s signature playing style caused him to stand out from the pack.

As more and more people began to attend his performances, John replaced his acoustic guitar with an electric, creating the iconic image and sound he would become famous for.

Techniques And Musical Concepts They Popularised

John Lee Hooker’s distinctive guitar playing style is reminiscent of “Boogie-Woogie” piano playing. John would often play bass lines with the thumb of his fretting hand wrapped over the top of the guitar neck and emphasise trills, fills and turnarounds characteristic of blues piano with his other fingers.

John’s deep voice and rambling vocal phrasing played a large role in his signature sound.

Notable Rock Guitar Players They Influenced

John Lee Hooker’s influence is felt far and wide within both the blues world and rock world with iconic artists and bands frequently covering his well known songs.

Notable rock acts who have famously covered John Lee Hooker songs are Led Zeppelin, Cream, AC/DC, ZZ Top, Jimi Hendrix, The Yardbirds, The Animals, The Doors, George Thorogood, MC5 to name just a few.

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By |2016-06-19T14:54:43+10:00December 12th, 2015|Blog, Guitar Heroes, Guitar Lessons|0 Comments

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