Ragtime (alternatively spelled rag-time or rag time) is a musical genre that enjoyed its peak popularity between 1895 and 1918. Its main characteristic trait is its syncopated, or "ragged," rhythm. It began as dance music in the red-light districts of African American communities in St. Louis and New Orleans years before being published as popular sheet music for piano.
The page "Rag-time blues" does not exist.
Stefan explains these songs are Rag-time Blues, Fiddle tunes and Rag-time and of the N.C. Piedmont style used by the Rev. Gary Davis who taught Stefan himself to play guitar and also of Big Bill Broonzy and Blind Blake.
The first tunes are in the key of C. I believe the use of the word blues in the title is poetic licence designed for marketing purposes. Nothing particularly bluesy here in the modern or even Delta sense.
He tunes us up to his guitar in standard tuning and starts of with a Blind Blake tune covered by Ry Cooder among other folk revivalists.
Its called 'Diddie Wa Diddie' and designed to let us ragtime the blues. Blind Blake syncopates or 'stumbles' the bass which gives a lovely bounce to the tune almost like a 'Charleston'.
Here oddly Stefan teaches us the way he plays an F chord which is not using the bar method but where his thumb frets the F note on the 6th string. Its as though Stefan thinks this is going to save us when the real difficulty is in the right hand. He then tells us there are many books he or Woody Mann have written and to refer to them if we want exact transpositions of these tunes. We check and see there is a pamphlet in the DVD case and there is.
'Shuffle Rag' by Big Bill Broonzy is next and a finger twister. Stefan uses only two fingers and no attached picks. He also dampens the bass strings to get a percussive sound rather than to sound the notes which aren't in the key of C. He discusses Big Bills style and the differences between him and other greats.
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. – Lao Tzu