John Hammond Instructional for country style Blues Guitar: later years Page One

2006, 1:50 Min. Hosted by Happy Traum.

This is 50 minutes longer than the earlier John Hammond guitar instructional DVD  with a different producer but similar in many ways.

If you like playing in open tunings like A and E and want to hone your finger picking delta blues appreciation then this is for you!

Half way through we find some annoying one handed frames as if watching his right hand is enough for a layman to get the hang of his finger picking style.

Say we do and then want to learn the left hand fret board fingerings too, but no. Later, a new double camera view is used extensively so all is well 98% of the time.

Its also 'hosted' in that both have someone there asking John questions. Our host is the multi-talented Happy Traum who also happens to be an old friend of John Hammonds'. Both are walking, talking, guitar picking encyclopedias of American music.

One of the first names that comes up is harmonica player Little Walter and the Chicago blues scene including Muddy Waters and Howling Wolf.  John explains that the difference between country and urban or Chicago blues is electricity. Works for me, but I would add finger style is the other big difference!

John was self taught and plays as Happy so aptly puts it "instinctively" so don't expect to be held by the hand.

You'll do best with a 'can do' attitude and a fore knowledge of delta blues theory and some finger picking basics too.

Mr. Traum is here to draw out some tips and techniques by analyzing John's style which is a good thing too. John is a tad bashful when it comes to verbalizing music theory but warms up to guitar playing techniques soon.

Maybe the lesson here is to play like you mean it! I, as a devotee, think his next DVD should be an electric one seeing as we have 2 Delta Blues ones.

And I bet you are going to yourself get to the point and tell me which one to choose. So I choose the later years: its almost twice as long and happy gives you your moneys worth. If you own the earlier one don't  race out and buy this one unless you want to. The later years has more songs on it and a bit more depth to it.

Bo Diddley and his Beat appealed to John as well. Amos Garrett called it (the Bo Diddley Beat) the "shave and a hair cut two-bits" beat which, IMHO, doesn't do it justice but can serve as starting point. Bo Diddley is awesome. Seen him too. He travels solo sometimes, pretty much like John does. I saw Bo Diddley at Symphony Hall in Boston years ago. Kind of an odd venue but what can you do.

John Hammond Later Years Page One | Page Two | Page Three

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