Joe Bonamassa Responds To Criticism Of Him Not Being A ‘Real Blues Player’

Joe Bonamassa appeared on Guitar World to name six new blues artists. Before naming the new musicians, he responded to the criticism he has been getting about not being a ‘real blues player.’

Many guitar players and blues listeners have criticized Bonamassa’s guitar-playing techniques and even considered him not a real blues player. Some say that he ‘ganked‘ the blues as a way to show off his guitar skills, some consider his guitar playing boring, and others say that he is repetitive. In the new interview, Bonamassa replied with the following as a response to the haters:

“They say things like, ‘Oh, you’re not a real blues player,’ which is all bullshit. So, my message to young players is: be who you are. People will respond with enthusiasm and conviction. People who get it don’t care about rulebooks and stupid internet polls. That’s the best advice I can give any young player.”

Why He Hates His Guitar Playing

Despite the criticism he gets, the guitarist still has many listeners who enjoy his guitar-playing skills. But rather than being a lover of his own work, he seems to belong in the group that criticizes his work. In an early interview, the rocker expressed his hate for how he plays the guitar and sings. Although he is aware of his skills and knows that he is good at it, he said that he wishes he could play and sing differently.

Bonamassa also believes that his bandmates are better than him. Though he was named the top blues guitarist in the world, ahead of Eric Clapton, Derek Trucks, and Buddy Guy in 2019, he spoke of his bandmates with admiration. Bonamassa called the guitarist Josh Smith a better player than him and referred to the drummer Lamar Carter and the bassist Calvin Turner as amazing musicians.

Bonamassa’s Advice To New Blues Musicians

Starting his music career at the ripe age of 12, Bonamassa shared pieces of advice during the interview. In addition to his advice of being who you are, he noted that new musicians should not trust people online and never follow the rulebook.

Bonamassa earlier shared a few tips for musicians as well. The guitarist touched on topics such as listening to no one but yourself, there is no right or wrong way to play the blues, listening to everything even if you dislike it, and the sound of the guitar depends on the guitarists’ choices.

Here, you can read the interview and see who Bonamassa named as new blues players.