Blues is one of the oldest modern music genres, and has had an influence on almost every song you hear today. Its legacy stretches back through political turbulence, race wars and prejudice, and the spirit that it has survived for so long never fails to pulse through those smooth guitar licks and silky vocals.
For many, the longevity of the genre comes as no surprise; it’s hard to argue with something that is so literally timeless. However, if you asked Bessie Smith or Blind Lemon Jefferson if they ever expected fans to be learning classic riffs or testing their blues trivia on their mobile phones globally, the answer would be no for a plethora of reasons.
Still, it is very much the case that there are numerous blues apps available today that make being a fan easier than ever. Here are just five of the best for you to check out.
YouTube is a fantastic platform that has quickly jumped to notoriety over the past decade. In fact, it’s now unquestionably the best source to find and listen to all of your favorite songs for free. Especially for older or lesser-known music, it is very often the only place it can be accessed, and thanks to tools such as a VPN, you can use it no matter where in the world you are.
Clear advantages of getting your blues fix this way are that it’s easy to create bespoke playlists with all your favorite songs. Similarly, you can “like” and queue videos, so it’s incredibly simple to save something to listen to later. Plus, with so much great content and related suggestions, it’s also a fantastic resource for stumbling across new music.
Blues Music Radio
Although YouTube is probably the most eclectic and numerous regarding the songs on offer, sometimes people prefer a radio format to listen to their favorite genre. The obvious advantage of this is that you don’t have to keep choosing new songs, and you get the bonus of mixes and playlists, which have been carefully created by professionals, to enhance your listening experience.
The Blues Music Radio app is by far the king in this area. It’s a collection of some of the best online blues stations, making it easy to flick through channels until you find the best for you. It’s free to download and easy to use, making it a fantastic choice for any enthusiast.
Learn Guitar Now: Classic Blues & Modern Blues
For many blues fans, it’s as much about mastering the unique guitar style and melodic fingerpicking as it is keeping up to date with your favorite musicians and songs. Learn Guitar Now is a comprehensive music lesson app from world-class guitarist Steve Ryan, which has two specifically dedicated sections to blues guitar.
The Classic Blues and Modern Blues add-ons help you to get your head around all the traditional scales, chords, licks, and riffs to help you master the styles of artists from both of these eras. With 25 video lessons, live animated tabs, and audio backing tracks, it comes with everything you need to be picking like the pros in no time.
Blues Music Trivia
Bluegrass, R&B, Delta Blues—no matter which sub-genre is your favorite, there’s one thing that unites all blues fans alike: the culture. With such a deep and powerful history, knowing who’s who and important dates is almost as essential as the songs themselves.
Blues Music Trivia is a fantastic app that allows you to immerse yourself in a world of roadhouses and slide guitars. With 95 questions and a time-based scoring system, whizz through the quiz to test your knowledge or play with friends. Either way, it’s educationally brilliant and loads of fun.
For the most hardcore of fans, a trip down to the Mississippi Delta is a bucket-list-worthy experience. If you do manage to get down to the birthplace of the genre, then the Blues Trail app is the perfect accompaniment. Using the map, and step-by-step directions, you can easily navigate yourself around all the historically and culturally relevant highlights of the area.
Search for your favorite artists and find places and events specifically related to them or just have a wander and see what you come across. Even if you aren’t able to make the trip, the interactive blues timeline is an excellent way to learn about the vibrant history of all your favorite acts.
Do you know of any more fantastic blues apps that should be on this list? Or have you had experience with those already mentioned? Be sure to leave a comment below and share your ideas with fellow enthusiasts!