Here are some tips that I do
1) Pick a song and learn it, doesn't need to be difficult
2) Personalise it by slight changes or the way you do the melody
3) Negative space is just as important as positive space, stops, rhythms, breaks etc....ie not one big thrash of mush
4) Pace the song speed matters, generally faster drives the song slower gives more moody feel
5) Now play it slightly more relaxed than you usually do, but put real feeling into your voice highs and lows
Blues was a feeling so put your mind set into that emotion before you sing. If you feel sad and sing it it will come across.
6) Sing to the notes of the guitar most old blues singers sing to the actual notes they play, it helps you keep in tune with your singing and sounds very Delta blues.
7) Go for it with your singing and don't hold back, don't worry how it sounds as you develop you can adjust it, someone who goes for it comes across as trying even if you arn't that great at singing and eventually it comes.
8) listen to the recordings and play them back until you like the version you do.
9) listen to the songs you like and break them down into tiny pieces, what is the bass doing, the rhythm, the notes players, the notes sang and try and replicate this.
10) Feel the blues, learn your way learn a blues scale you are familiar with so you can jam in it, take your riffs and join them to make songs. See Uncle Johns blues song writing blog for lyric writting and away you go.
The old blues players were desperate to get out of the cotton fields and that was their driving force to get good.
i.e Try harder and don't hold back!! ... to fail is to learn a bit more
Good luck and May the blues force be with you
Uncle Johns Blues song Writing Blog:
Shoving it all together, sing to your CBG:
"I made up a lot of the songs I sing. It's like you hear a record or something or other. Well, you pick out some words out of that record that you like. You sing that and add something else onto it. It's just like if you're going to pray, and mean it, things will be in your mind. As fast as you get one word out, something else will come in there. Songs should tell the truth... When I play-- if you pay attention, what I sing the guitar sings, too. And what the guitar say, I say."
Mississippi Fred Mc Dowell
"There's no way in the world I can feel the same blues the way I used to. When I play in Chicago, I'm playing up-to-date, not the blues I was born with. People should hear the pure blues - the blues we used to have when we had no money.
"The blues tells a story. Every line of the blues has a meaning".
"The term Blues may have come from the term "blue devils", meaning melancholy and sadness; depressed mood."
(George Colmans one-act farce Blue Devils (1798))
If you have any other tips or comments drop them below:"
I hope this helps you feel and play your blues...