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Allstate Presents A Mysoundworx Production

Fernando Jones’ Online Master Class Sessions:

“The Art of Playing + Singing the Blues by Ear.”

Fernando Jones, Executive Producer and Writer
Steve Sepulveda & Alex Villaseñor, Directors

(Filmed in 4K by Emerging Light Media in Chicago)

Donna Bryan, Voice Over Artist

Glenn Kaupert, Poster Photographer

Microphone in the Ad is a Shure Super 55


Proceeds benefit Blues Kids Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization, and Blues Camp International by helping to provide free world-class American music instruction for beginner, intermediate and advanced student musicians and educators.

Blues Angels

In addition to Allstate, this project was also made possible with additional support from: Mary Barnes Donnelley Family Foundation, Shure, Tom Liebman, D’Addario Foundation, Jim Dunlop,  Lefort Martin Fund, Chicago Federation of Musicians, City of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Columbia College Chicago, Edward G. Irvin Foundation,, Thinking Computers, the Chicago (IL) Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi, Fraternity, Incorporated, Chicago Community Trust and Fender Musical Instruments.

Online Course Description

Hi, I'm Fernando Jones. Welcome to Master Class Sessions. Just as there are fundamentals for playing your favorite sport “The Art of Playing + Singing the Blues by Ear” will teach you the fundamentals and basic skills needed to become a more impactful musician. Entry level, intermediate, weekend warrior or pro, this nurturing, interactive experience is for you.

In this intuitive, self-paced online course, filmed in 4K by Emerging Light Media at the Edward G. Irvin Achievement Center on the Southside of Chicago, I demonstrate techniques and tricks of the trade in real life practice and performance situations on guitar, bass, drums, harmonica and the voice, while showing how they work together without cluttering up the song. Concepts and skills learned here are transferable to all instrument family groups and music genres. You will learn about the music business, too. Assignment submission feedback will be given. Upon course completion, you will receive a certificate.

I have successfully taught the Blues to elementary school, high school and college students. I have also been a living resource for PhD candidates at Indiana University, DePaul University, Union Institute and the University of Nottingham University. Now it's our turn to work together. Learn Today. Gig Tonight.

Completion Tag

Now that you have completed the course - your final assignment awaits. Good luck, And thank for keeping the Blues red hot!


Outro / Donation(s) Tag

Donations benefit Blues Kids Foundation a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization providing free international Blues Camps and music workshops for student musicians ages 7 to 18 years old.


For more information on how you can be a strategic partner visit

Master Class includes (To be filled in after film is edited)

  • Certificate of Completion

  • Lessons Plans and Resources

  • MP3 Song Samples

  • Backing Tracks

  • XLM Song Files

  • Bass and Guitar TABS + Notation

  • 1 (one) "Welcome" Video Chat

  • 1 (one) 30 (thirty) Minute Coaching Session on Zoom

  • 1 (one) 30 (thirty) Minute Cohort Community Zoom Video Conference

  • Behind the Scenes Footage

  • 2 (two) Autographed Fernando Jones T-Shirts (Sizes Small to 2X)

  • 1 (one) Autographed Photos

  • 1 (one) Autographed Copy of "I Was There When The Blues Was Red Hot"

  • 1 (one) Fernando Jones signature Guitar Pick

  • 1 (one) Fernando Jones Autographed Poster

  • 1 (one) Fernando Jones logo sticker

  • Over 20 (twenty) BluesLoops Bass and Guitar Instructional Videos

  • The Midnight Music Mix Podcast Series

  • And more . . .

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:


  • Identify the different styles of electric and acoustic Blues

  • Identify the difference between 8-bar and 12-bar Blues

  • Present as an authoritative figure

  • Publish and share course experiences with the Master Class cohort online

  • Recognize and categorize instruments on sound recordings


  • Describe different styles of music by instrumentation and vocal styles

  • Explain how and why Chicago became the Blues Capital of the Word

  • Summarize group discussions

  • Summarize assignments


  • Practice exercises properly

  • Riff, improvise and solo tastefully

  • Play in time and "on time" using a metronome/click track

  • Play basic 8-bar and 12-bar Blues forms

  • Play basic grooves without changing patterns

  • Play basic major and minor chords (6th, 7th, 9th and 11th chords)

  • Play with others in complementary ways

  • Prepare a presentation for midterm and final evaluations

  • Produce video and audio project responses for class

  • Problem solve

  • Use critical thinking skills


  • Analyze, synthesize and present data/research in final presentation

  • Identify and apply effective techniques and technologies for planning, writing, performing and recording music

  • Differentiate between electric and acoustic instruments

  • Differentiate between standard notation and TABS

  • Organize presentation structure

  • Embrace technology

  • Present assignments professionally


  • Combine cohort resources and information

  • Compile artifacts

  • Develop communal working relationships with cohort

  • Demonstrate proper care of instruments

  • Demonstrate the differences between acoustic and electric Blues “feels”

  • Demonstrate the ability to play basic patterns on primary instruments

  • Demonstrate how to sing on pitch and in key

  • Demonstrate stage presence by appearance, band/song engagement, non-verbal (eye contact, body movement, facial expressions, etcetera)

  • Demonstrate an understanding for repertoire

  • Demonstrate dynamics

  • Organize assignment schedules


  • Compare and contrast each group’s work

  • Critique each other’s projects

Assessment of Growth + Performance

  • Pre-course Evaluation

  • Oral and Written quizzes

  • Homework Assignments

  • Class Participation

  • Final Project Presentation

  • Exit Course Evaluation

Course Rationale

  • This online course will provide global career and readiness skills.

Instrumentation Focus

  • 4-String Electric Bass

  • 6-String Electric Guitar

  • Resonator Guitar

  • 12-String Acoustic Guitar

  • 6-String Acoustic Guitar

  • Drum Kit

  • Diatonic Harmonica

  • The Voice

  • Microphone Techniques

Styles Surveyed

  • Blues, Funk, Soul, Dance, Gospel and More.

About the Instructor

Fernando Jones is an internationally travelled musicians, father of Blues Camp and Blues Kids of America, author of “I Was There When The Blues Was Red Hot” and founding Blues Ensemble director at Columbia College Chicago. 

He is at the vanguard of Blues pedagogy and andragogy, globally. Fernando Jones has influenced the next generation of Blues players through his self-titled internationally branded Blues Camp.Through this course he is inviting you into his learning lab, while explaining and demonstrating tips, exercises, song structure and techniques using understandable language and terminology.


Module Outlines

1. Introduction

2. Fundamentals of Playing by Ear

3. The Art of Performing Live

4. Songwriting

5. Studio Recording

6. Band Leading

7. Career Readiness

8. Mentorship

9. Blues Camp


10. Home Movies

11. BluesLoops Instructional Bass and Guitar Lessons

12. Midnight Music Mix Series

13. FJ's Gear (Show and Tell)

14. Jam with Jones

15, Oh Yeah

Courses on the books that Mr. Jones has taught at Columbia College Chicago.

Jones has also guest lectured in other classes in the Music Department and in others across campus.

Columbia College Chicago

32-1628 The Chicago Blues Scene: From the Past to Preservation

Fernando Jones, Instructor
Course surveys the past, present, and future of the Blues and the impact Chicago, as the Blues Capital, has had on the world culturally, sociologically, and economically. This course will give students the opportunity to study the living tradition of the Blues through readings, videos, live performances, and the music itself. The class will feature workshop sessions where students perform some of the compositions they’ve encountered. 


3 Credit Hours


Columbia College Chicago

32-1881 Blues Ensemble: Styles

Fernando Jones, Instructor
This course teaches entry-level music students to play the Blues as an ensemble in a professional setting. Course will examine sociological and historical aspects of the Blues and its current and future role in society. Chicago’s unique position as a world Blues capital will be featured through visits to local Blues clubs and jam sessions. Enrollment in this ensemble requires concurrent registration in private lessons.


1 Credit Hour
Requirements: Audition Required and Permission by ensemble director


Columbia College Chicago 

32-2885 Blues Ensemble: Performance

Fernando Jones, Instructor
Intermediate level course is an ensemble for the smaller to medium sized Blues band. The repertoire for the course is drawn from the straight-forward to more challenging arrangements of traditional and contemporary Blues material. Course addresses the application of musicianship skills as they apply to ensemble awareness and effective rehearsal and performance techniques. Course engages the Blues as both an historical and a living entity through the application of historical background of and interaction with artists engaged in the contemporary Chicago Blues community. Enrollment in this ensemble requires concurrent registration in private lessons.


1 Credit Hour
Requirements: Audition Required and Permission by ensemble director


Columbia College Chicago

32-1629J The Blues: Chicago to the Mississippi Delta

Fernando Jones, Instructor
Course requires that students travel to Memphis, Tennessee, and Clarksdale, Mississippi for 5 days to examine the sociological, musicological, and historical relationship between the Chicago (urban) and Mississippi (rural) Blues experience. Through lectures, performances, site visits, and keeping an ethnographic journal, students will gather knowledge about rural Blues and gain a comprehension of its creation and performance from an ethnographic perspective. Some students may perform on the trip, if the composition of enrolled students allows. Students will write a paper based upon their journals and experiences of the trip.


1 Credit Hour
Requirements: Audition Required and Permission by ensemble director


Columbia College Chicago

Private Blues Guitar and Bass Lessons

Fernando Jones, Instructor


• Keep Blues youthful and exciting, while preserving and building on the past.

• Provide Blues Kids with the basic skills (musically, socially, emotionally and linguistically) necessary to survive and play proficiently and effectively in a global Blues community.

• Learn the importance of the Blues from a sociological and historical perspective with a focus on the future, representing student musicians as scholars.

• Introduce this indigenous American art form to new audiences.

• Use critical thinking skills, while collaborating with others.

• Apply practical skills learned in class in a culminating activity on stage.

• Promote digital learning and embrace technology.

• Make paramount contributions to the future of the Blues musically, socially and culturally

• Represent the next generation of musicians as scholars and proficient players.

• Give each student the basic skills (musically, socially, and linguistically) needed to survive in a global Blues community / industry.

• Introduce students to the art of live professional performances through the lens of the Blues.



• Introduce the history of American music through the lens of the Blues.

• Keep the Blues youthful and exciting, while preserving the past.

• Represent the next generation of Blues artist as scholars and proficient players + vocalists.

• Learn the importance of the Blues from a sociological and historical perspective with a focus on the future.

• Use critical thinking skills and collaborate with others.

• Apply practical skills learned in class in a culminating activity on stage.

Learning Outcomes

For Student Musicians To:

• Improve music literacy by playing by ear and reading tabs + chord charts.

• Communicate using cross-generational/regional “Blues” language.

• Use proper dynamics to ensure appropriate volume levels for songs.

• Accompany vocalist with proper volume control, fills and chords.

• Critique and self-evaluate performances and provide feedback to others.

• Perform as “one” in an ensemble setting.

• Demonstrate basic Blues patterns such as 8-bar and 12-bar Blues.

• Demonstrate the call-and-response.

• Play songs effectively without guitar or piano solos.

• Perform a 15 to 20 minute set of music at a professional level with confidence.

• Demonstrate the art of the groove.

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