Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop Instructional and Historical DVDs Books and Materials

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Bag of Tricks, Pocketful of Licks

Born Bradley F. Jones in Ames, Iowa, he first became known after entering Guitar Player Magazine's International Reader's Soundpage Competition in 1988 on a whim. He submitted an original composition, titled Back Porch Boogie, as well as a cover of Salty Dog Blues, recorded using a reel-to-reel recorder and then transferred to cassette using a boombox. Jones came in first place out of nearly 900 entries.  He went on to win the National Fingerpicking Championship at Winfield, Kansas in 1990.

In 1995, Jones became a spokesman for Godin guitars,[3] playing a custom instrument he named "Pearl" for the mother of pearl inlay of his name on the neck. He toured often, earning the nicknames "Le Machine Gun" and "Pistola" for his fast playing style. That same style earned the notice of Chet Atkins, who described Buster by saying; "Buster B. Jones is the best fingerpicker I've heard since Jerry Reed... He plays like he's double parked."

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    Hard Copy   $29.95  Item Number:  GW925

    Bag of Tricks, Pocketful of Licks

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    Product Details


    In this unique DVD lesson, Buster B. Jones presents his approach to many facets of fingerstyle guitar techniques. He covers a wide variety of themes including:

    • Chord Shapes and Voicings  
    • Scales, Alternating Bass Exercises 
    • Double-Picking / Cross-Picking and Chromatic Rolls 
    • How To Play Riffs In Any Key 
    • Grooves and Learning to Improvise

    This is a DVD lesson that will open up new horizons for the student of fingerstyle guitar. Buster has the wonderful ability to be able to teach complex ideas and playing techniques in a very down to earth fashion that strikes at the core of the music.

    Titles include: Alabama Jubilee, Peanuts Theme, Ask John and Cannonball Rag.

    77 minutes - Level 2 - Detailed tab/music PDF file on the DVD

    Reviews: Looking for the best Buster B. video/DVD? This is it! I was lucky enough to know Buster for the last six years of his life, and this is the video that started it all. That has nothing to do with why I think this is Buster's most instructive video, though, just an incredibly fortunate accident on my part. I got on Stefan Grossman's mailing list and they sent me an offer for three videos for something like twenty bucks. I chose a Pat Donahue (guitarist on A Prairie Home Companion), some weird DADGAD noodling - which was so boring I don't even remember what I did with it, much less who made it - and Buster B. Jones' "Bag of Tricks..."

    I'm assuming you're reading this because you heard Buster somewhere, and want to be able to play like that. I know I sure did, and this is the video that changed my playing forever. This was Buster's favorite video too, because he said it's all there, and he was right. It starts with simple patterns, for both hands (not at the same time, but alternately). Right away, he shows you how to "read" the fingerboard in an entirely new - but amazingly simple - way. Using just five chord shapes, he shows you how to play anything you want, anywhere you want. It really is that easy, and that's just the first exercise! For your right hand, he shows you how to take standard "Travis style" three finger picking into "double-thumbing" (I once spent an entire evening five feet in front of Leo Kottke trying to figure out what he was doing with his right hand, and this video is where I learned how to do it myself), and then Buster leads you into the ultimate, the stuff he could do better than nearly any guitarist who ever lived: the ROLLS.

    About a year after I bought this video, I met Buster and we became friends, and I started doing occasional gigs on bass with him. The thing Buster enjoyed more than anything else (even playing) was teaching guitar. While on tour, he gave me lessons, and they were all based on everything that's in this video.

    Many times, he said this video was his personal favorite because he made it as a reaction to another guitarist's (whom shall go unnamed) smug bragging that he made videos with just enough info to get "the suckers" (meaning: you and I) hooked into buying the next one, then the one after that, etc. That's why Buster decided to make a video that showed every technique he used. - Bekind Rewind/Amazon Customer Review

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