WELCOME to Learn Blues Guitar Now!



The Guitar of
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Six Thursdays on zoom
starting April 18 (NEW DATE).
Price: $175

My hometown of El Cerrito, CA  produced one of the finest American bands of the 1960s: Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR). With John Fogerty’s bone rattling voice, poignant lyrics, and infectious guitar riffs they stood out as a voice of the latter part of a the decade struggling with civil rights, free speech and the Vietnam war. Sound familiar? It’s time to uncap that voice and learn some of these great songs. Most of these tunes are pretty straight forward, with some simple lead lines that will be welcomed into any picker’s riff vocabulary. Also, a bit of fingerpicking is involved, but nothing too advanced.

Songs will include:

I Heard it Through the Grapevine

Fortunate Son

Susie Q

Long as I can See the Light

Green River

Proud Mary

NOTE: Class will meet on 4/18, 4/25, 5/2, 5/16, 5/23, 5/30. No class on 5/9.
contact Pete for questions and to sign up: Pete (mailto:buzzyfrets@yahoo.com)



2020  Addison st., Berkeley, CA 

British Invasion

Six Wednesdays starting May 8


For many of us the British bands of the 1960s were our first major musical love. Beatles, Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Who, Spencer Davis Group, and the Yardbirds. British guitarists, who were heavily influenced by American blues artists, increased the guitar’s visibility and were the first to be declared “heroes.” We will play through six songs. TBD.Participants should be familiar with fist position chords and barre chords. Songs will include:


Heart Full of Soul (Yardbirds)

For Your Love (Yardbirds)

Lola (Kinks)

Waterloo Sunset (Kinks)

Substitute (the Who)

Can’t Explain (the Who)


Blues Guitar in Open Tunings

Six Wednesdays beginning May 8


We will explore some of the great songs from blues masters such as Robert Johnson, Skip James, Son House and others in open tunings. We will also learn some exercises meant to stimulate your own creativity in open tunings. Some of the tunings we will look at are: open D, open G, and D minor. Songs:

Love in Vain (Robert Johnson/open G)

Po’ Black Mattie (RL Burnside/Robert Belfour/open G)

Hard Time Killing Floor (Skip James/open D minor)

If You Don’t Want Me (John Hurt/Open D)

Poor Boy Long Way from Home (Fahey/Open D)


to sign up for the above classes contact the Freight and Salvage


ONLINE -zoom


Electric Slide Guitar

online zoom class,

Six Tuesday evenings beginning May 14


Price: $175

Over the years of playing both electric and acoustic slide guitar I have learned that the two styles have some distinct technical differences. String damping, for instance, is handled by the fretting hand in acoustic, while electric players tend to damp with the picking hand. There is also the issue of standard tuning vs. open tunings: electric players are more likely to play in standard tuning than acoustic players.


In this class we will work through some exercises, licks and phrases that the greats have employed to produce great electric slide guitar. Duane Allman, David Lindley Johnny Winter, Waddy Wachtel, George Harrison, Brian Jones, and Joe Walsh will all be represented and we will play though parts or all of the following songs:


Running on Empty (Jackson Brown/Lindley)

Victim of Love (Eagles/Walsh)

Werewolves of London (Warren Zevon/Wachtel)

Day After Day (Badfinger/George Harrison)

Hwy. 61 (Johnny Winter)

No Expectations (Rolling Stones/Jones)

Ain’t Wastin’ No More Time (Allman Brothers/Duane)


to sign up for Electric slide contact Pete: buzzyfrets@yahoo.com

Saturday Blues Guitar Jam Class
Six Saturdays starting March 16
Timbre Folk
801 Bancroft, Berkeley, CA 
Price: $200

This weekly class will focus on building the skills to jam with other musicians over mostly blues chord changes. In this particular session we will be drawing from material in my Freddie King on-line class. King's instrumental tunes provide a wealth of licks, phrases, and rhythms that should keep you inspired for a long time. Note: this is an electric guitar class; participants should have access to an electric guitar and a small amplifier, if possible. I can provide an amp if needed.
contact Pete: buzzyfrets@yahoo.com





Forty songs and exercises to give 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: February 2024

TrueFire channel is still live and growing. The latest lessons are Chump Man Blues by Blind Blake, and They're Red Hot by Robert Johnson.



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