Posted by: Glenelg Guitar Studio | February 18, 2018

Your at the Crossroads

Students generally come along to me with a idea in mind of the the type of guitar music they want to play. Of course that is not always the case with younger students but they soon develop an idea of the direction they want to take.

They may want to be able to play along with the rhythm of the song and spend their first learning period getting a handle on playing chords and their construction and composition. Others are wanting to be more upfront by leading the melody of the music and learn the components of lead guitar.

Eventually all will come to the “Crossroads” of guitar learning where lead guitar and rhythm guitar meet. Many pieces are designed to be played in both at this crossroads and this is just one of them.

Crossroads is a classic piece written by Robert Johnson in 1936 and displays this “crossroad” where lead and rhythm intersect to bring the piece to life. This is classic blues piece using syncopated notes to give it a real blues feel  and I’m sure that you will enjoy learning no matter what level your learning is at.

Get a feel for the man with some history courtesy of Wikipedia and check out the videos, which show how this piece can be played in different ways.


Robert Leroy Johnson (May 8, 1911 – August 16, 1938) was an American blues singer-songwriter and musician. His landmark recordings in 1936 and 1937 display a combination of singing, guitar skills, and songwriting talent that has influenced later generations of musicians. Johnson’s shadowy and poorly documented life and death at age 27 have given rise to much legend. One Faustian myth says that he sold his soul to the devil at a local crossroads of Mississippi highways to achieve success. As an itinerant performer who played mostly on street corners, in juke joints, and at Saturday night dances, Johnson had little commercial success or public recognition in his lifetime.

After the reissue of his recordings in 1961, on the LP King of the Delta Blues Singers, his work reached a wider audience. Johnson is now recognized as a master of the blues, particularly of the Mississippi Delta blues style. He is credited by many rock musicians as an important influence; the blues and rock musician Eric Clapton has called Johnson “the most important blues singer that ever lived.”

Johnson was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its first induction ceremony, in 1986, as an early influence on rock and roll. In 2003, David Fricke ranked Johnson fifth in Rolling Stone magazine’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.


  1. Love that slide guitar sound may have to wait a little way down the track to tackle that one.

    • Hi Neil,
      Thank you for your email.
      Learning Slide Guitar is a natural extension to the Blues you are doing so I say “yes”-let’s do it.
      Will discuss further at your next lesson.

  2. I love that Blues sound. Will certainly be looking at learning more.

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