Country Blues Guitar: lesson's I & II & III - Stefan Grossman

We open with Stefan telling us that in this three part series of country blues guitar we will do two things. Number one is watch footage of great country blues players and learn some of their techniques and discuss aspects we need to use ourselves. Hand position, fingers used, strings used and more.

We start of with footage of Mississippi John Hurt and a real nice ode to death basically. "Walk that Lonesome Valley" is about passing on.

It has lyrics sung and its that old saw about being born alone and dying alone.

Anyway its not delta blues or even blues but it is country spiritual which was a big deal. Still is! Its played with bare fingers and is a nice song.

Candy Man featuring the Rev Gary Davis is next and he uses a thumb pick and a finger pick on his forefinger. This is an instrumental version. Stefan discusses and recommends we start finger picking with bare fingers. Furry Lewis footage is next performing " Casey Jones" in open G. Stefan draws our attention to Jesses right hand. It never moves and is welded right there thumb and fingers working like pistons while the left hand is on the two highest strings only. This has vocals but they are hard to make out.

Next up is a way cool vintage 12 string electric guitar (looks like a Gretch?) in the hands of Jesse Fuller who performs "High Sheriff from Baltimore" Jesse also plays kazoo and harmonica using a neck rack and sings. Marvelous.

harmony and theory back coverElizabeth Cotton is next and a left handed acoustic guitar player. She is dressed like your spinster aunt might dress but sure can fingerpick that Martin. She sings her composition called "Freight Train". Its almost religious.

OK its 15 minutes or so into the lesson and here Steven tells us to pick up our guitars and that we are about to begin learning hands on! We tune up together and he teaches us the 3 chords we will need C, F, G. He then merrily start playing the song with the camera on  his left hand. He then exhorts us to study the TAB in the .PDF pamphlet find the split screen and try to play along. Good Luck with that any time this week. He says that the split screen combined with the TAB music will hopefully enable you to play the song well. In theory it sound good in practice its up to each one of us to work at it. If you are comfortable with fingerpicking then you can stuff yourselves at the Dim Sung of the many guitarists styes servered up within the lesson. If you aren't comfortable then you need to go to two places the fingerpicking basics and the steady thumb basics.

    Country Blues Guitar: lesson's I - Stefan Grossman
  • Ch 1: Opening credits
  • Ch 2: Intro remarks
  • Ch 3: Mississippi John Hurt "You Got to Walk that Lonesome Valley"
  • Ch 4: Discussion of the right hand technique
  • Ch 5: Rev. Gary Davis performing ""
  • Ch 6: More right Hand position thoughts
  • Ch 7: Furry Leweis performing "Kassie Jones"
  • Ch 8: Intro to Jess Fullers performance
  • Ch 9:  Jesse does "High Sheriff from Baltimore"
  • Ch 10: Intro to Eliz. Cotton's performance
  • Ch 11: Liz does "Freight Train" fo us
  • Ch 12: Tuning and 1st position chords in the key of C
  • Ch 13: "Freight Train", split screen
  • Ch 14: "It wont be long" teaching, split screen
  • Ch 15: "Buck Dancers Choice: teaching, split screen
  • Ch 16: "Candy Man", teaching, split screen
  • Ch 17: "Salty Dog", teaching, split screen
  • Ch 18: "Ragtime Mama Blues", teaching, split screen
  • Ch 19: Blind Blakes picking Technique
  • Ch 20: "Blake's Rag"
  • Ch 21: Reflection on the lesson
  • Ch 22: Doc Watson perfroms "Traveling Man"
  • Ch 23: Closing thoughts
  • Ch 24: Jesse Fuller performs "San Francisco Bay Blues"

There is unque footage here of a wide variety of artists that make this 3 lesson set a good Guitar library addition for any serious acoustic country and blues guitar player.

    Country Blues Guitar: lesson's II - Stefan Grossman
  • Ch 1: Opening Credit Roll
  • Ch 2: Lesson Intro
  • Ch 3: Rev. Gary Davis does "Children of Zion" (with Donovan Leach at the same table with him)
  • Ch 4: Discussion of right hand technique
  • Ch 5: Mance Lipscome performs "Shine On Harvest Moon"
  • Ch 6: Discussion of 3 finger picking technique
  • Ch 7: Furry Lewis does "Furry's Blues"
  • Ch 8: Intro to Mississippi John Hurt
  • Ch 9: Hurt performs "Spike Drivers Blues"
  • Ch 10: Tuning and the key of G and "Spike Driver Blues"
  • Ch 11: split screen
  • Ch 12: "Shake Sugaree", teaching, split screen
  • Ch 13: "Ragged and Dirty", teaching, split screen
  • Ch 14: Key of A Monotoninc Bass Lightning Hopkins blues licks in A and Big Bill Bronzy's "Willie Mae", teaching, split screen.
  • Ch 15: Alternating Bass in A. "Sponfull", split screen
  • Ch 16: Tribute to Robert Johnson, split screen
  • Ch 17: Closing thoughts
  • Ch 18: Big Bill performs "Worried Mind Blues"
  • Ch 19:  Lightning Hopkins performs "Scratch My Back"
    Country Blues Guitar: lesson's III - Stefan Grossman
  • Ch 1: Opening Credit Roll
  • Ch 2: Intro to Lesson
  • Ch 3: Rev. Davis "If I had My Way"
  • Ch 4: Discussion right hand technique
  • Ch 5: Bill Broonzy "Hey Hey"
  • Ch 6: Intro to Doc Watson
  • Ch 7: Doc performs "Deep River Blues"
  • Ch 8:  Discussion of usage thumb and fingers
  • Ch 9: Brownie Mcghee and Sonny Terry "Red River Blues"
  • Ch 10: Intro Big Bill Broonzy
  • Ch 11: Bill does "Blues in E"
  • Ch 12: Intro to Rev Gary Davis
  • Ch 13: Performs "Sally where'd you get your Liquor From?"
  • Ch 14: Tuning Key of D "Stagger Lee", teaching, split screen
  • Ch 15: "Take a whiff on Me"
  • Ch 16: Dropped D tuning
  • Ch 17: Lonnie Johnson Tribute
  • Ch 18: Standard tuning Lightning Hopkins in E
  • Ch 19: John Hurts' "Avalon Blues"
  • Ch 20: Mance Lipscomb's "Charley James"
  • Ch 21: Closing Thoughts
  • Ch 22: Son House performs "I had the Blues this Morning"
  • Ch 23: Son House on the "The Blues"

Role Models

Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.  –Booker T. Washington