I love fingerpicking blues in the key of C. Blind Blake, Big Bill Broonzy, Rev. Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt, Mance Lipscomb and Tommy McClennan all favored this key. All approached their playing from different angles and perspectives. Mississippi John Hurt had a happy sounding alternating bass style. Big Bill Broonzy combined a driving bass technique. Blind Blake's 'sportin' right hand' would stumble his bass alongside quick single string licks and his piano sounding guitar. Rev. Gary Davis had several techniques playing in C. His most unique was using an alternating bass that never played the root C note. In other arrangements his playing took Blind Blake's ideas and explored them with complex bass movements, rhythmic licks and quick single string runs. And then there's Tommy McClennan and his heavy rhythmic right hand.
These legendary blues guitarists all played out of first position chords using different right hand approaches and touch. How amazing that there were so
many different sounds produced. So many, that I found it necessary to expand this lesson to two DVDs running close to four hours of instruction in
Each tune is taught phrase by phrase and played slowly on a split-screen. A detailed tab/musicbooklet is included as a PDF file on the DVD. As well, the
original old recordings are included in the Bonus Audio section.
Titles and topics include: Cocaine Habit Blues, People That I Use To See, Can't See No More, Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight, You Are
My Sunshine, Tryin' To Get Home, You're Gonna Quit Me, Love With A Feeling, Troubles, You May Leave, Taking Your Place, At The Break Of Day, Turn Arounds
in C and Searching the Fingerboard
227 minutes - Level 2/3 - Detailed tab/music PDF file on the DVD
Review: Imagine being set loose in a vault that's packed floor-to-ceiling with time-tested blues. But better yet is that each one of them reveals its own playing secrets - step-by-step, run-by-run, lick-by-lick. There's the majestic "Tryin' to Get Home," with that cool, little Rev. Gary Davis finger stumble along the strings. "You're Gonna Quit Me" sports sharp Blind Blakeisms, right out of the gate. Big Bill Broonzy contributes "At the Break of Day." "Love With a Feeling" pulls from Tommy McClennan, the great Delta roughhouser who brought a sense of wild to the frets, whereas the mad dash across "Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight" is smudged with Mississippi John Hurt's gentle fingerprints. And nothing is more evergreen than "You Are My Sunshine." However, the dark horse has to be "Troubles." Vintage footage lets Kilby Snow perform his old-time mountain music, which disguises an emotional gut punch as a work of tremendous melodic beauty. Stefan Grossman's haunting arrangement pares down and smoothes out the lament to six strings-from the 30some strung across Snow's autoharp. So much good instruction is spread over these two DVDs that, from the time you first enter via a stately stroll down the Memphis Jug Band's "Cocaine Habit Blues" until you finally exit through Grossman's original ragtime minuet "Searching the Fingerboard," you'll emerge-nearly four hours later! - an expert at "Fingerpicking Blues Guitar in the Key of C". – Dennis Rozansk/Blues Rag