joe bonamassa

Who is the greatest guitar player in the world? Most people think, for good reason, it’s Joe Bonamassa. His style is a perfect mashup of every blues guitar hero that mattered in the last 60 years: Clapton, Paul Kossoff, Jeff Beck, Mike Bloomfield, etc.

To add virtuosity, Joe Bonamassa’s framework is a verbatim replication of Eric Johnson’s highly technical pentatonic guitar style. So, if you start with Eric Johnson’s skill set, then pile on the ability to channel every blues legend of the past 60 years — you have the makings of greatest blues guitar player we may ever see: Joe Bonamassa.

Luckily for the mortals like myself, Bonamassa’s new album, Blues of Desperation, has a thoughtful focus on songwriting and crafty riffs. It’s bluesy, and there are big blues guitar solos — but I’m finding most of the songs I’ve tried are very doable for myself and my guitar students.¬†

His first single, Drive, is a great example. A beginner guitar player could play everything but the solo. An intermediate level guitar player could easily tackle the whole thing. 

If you like this, I’ve added a Blues archive for all of my stuff in this genre. If you’re new to this blog, check out my Acoustic Blues in A riff. It’s a free guitar tab.

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How to play The Valley Runs Low for acoustic guitar

The Valley Runs Low is one of Joe Bonamassa’s best vocal performances. His guitar playing is so virtuosic, that his vocals are often overlooked in the big picture. He has power, range, and control — all of which are used beautifully on, The Valley Runs Low.

This song is very doable for intermediate guitar players. There are no complicated chord shapes — most of which are literally two notes, two strings, two fingers.

You will have to be agile though. Being fleet-fingered (moving your hand, up and down the neck, quickly and smoothly) is usually a matter of belief in one’s self — rather than something you have to practice over and over.

Despite what it looks like, the guitar tab for The Valley Runs Low is only two pages long. I’m just repeating large sections. My order of play, in accordance with the guitar tab looks like this: Intro, Verse 2x, Chorus, Chorus End — Intro, Verse 2x, Chorus, Chorus End 2x — Bridge, Intro, Verse 2x, Chorus, Chorus End 2x, End.

I hope you enjoy learning this instrumental performance of The Valley Runs Low. Like me, you’ll have the sense of accomplishment: Hey, I can actually play a Joe Bonamassa song!

The guitar tab is available below:

The Valley Runs Low is played in open D tuning. You guitar will be tuned, as follows, from low to high: D A D F# A D. Or, Depending on your tuner: D A D Gb A D.

The Valley Runs Low (Instrumental Guitar)


Written by:

Matthew's dad, Jennifer's husband, bass player - New Invisible Joy, YouTuber, short-film composer, creator of modern content for guitar.