Eric Thompson took up the guitar as a teenager in Palo Alto, California in the early 1960's, at a time when very few folk guitarists were playing more than basic rhythm guitar. Among his earliest bands were the Black Mountain Boys (with Jerry Garcia and David Nelson) and Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions. He quickly became nationally known as an exceptional lead flatpicker, winning the World Championship Cup at Union Grove, North Carolina with the New York Ramblers (which also included David Grisman and Winnie Winston) and flying to Nashville, Tennessee to record "Beatle Country" with the Charles River Valley Boys (reissued on Rounder).
During the 1970's, Eric continued to play old-time music. He also took up the tenor banjo, organized the Graineog Celidh Band around two master musicians from County Clare, Joe Cooley and Kevin Keegan, and spent six months in the west of Ireland, visiting and learning from older traditional musicians there.
Eric is a knowledgeable and patient teacher, who has been a staff member at Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Bluff Country Gathering, Augusta Heritage Old-Time and Cajun-Creole Weeks, Port Townsend Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Ashokan Fiddle & Dance Camp, and Lark In the Morning. His latest writing project is "Playing Bluegrass Guitar", published by Backbeat Publications. Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop distributes Eric’s guitar instructional materials. He is featured in the Mel Bay publication Flatpicking 2000 and has also written instructional columns for Flatpicking Guitar and Acoustic Guitar magazines.
"Eric Thompson is a virtual encyclopedia of flatpicking" – Frets Magazine
Eric Thompson will have you flatpicking lead breaks in styles from Maybelle Carter to Doc Watson. You’ll learn to pick out the melody to songs like East Virginia Blues, Sad and Lonesome Day and Shady Grove. You will learn to embellish your playing with "hammer-ons" and "pull-offs" for the real old-time country sound. You’ll build a solid technique, advancing step-by-step through single note arrangements of Thompson’s Rag, fiddle hoedowns Arkansas Traveler and Soldier’s Joy, and a bluesy bluegrass break for Good Old Mountain Dew (employing slippery slides and hot runs). Eric’s invaluable tips on left hand fingering and right hand pick technique are clearly illustrated in split-screen close-ups.
73 minutes • Level 1/2 • Detailed tab/music PDF file on the DVD
Review: Great for beginning to learn basic bluegrass lead guitar. I have been learning guitar for almost a year, with a strong interest in traditional American music. I was getting the hang of basic “boom-chuck” accompaniment with bass lines, and wanted to take the next step. A friend recommended this DVD. It's great because Thompson first plays the songs at full speed, and you can see and hear that you'll be learning real music; then he breaks the songs into parts and slowly works through them, with helpful demonstrations of techniques and suggestions for how to stop and practice the individual techniques and song sections as you go. Then once you've practiced the parts, he plays the song again at a manageable speed so you can play along. I have found this a great way to learn both some very nice songs and some important techniques. If you're brand new to playing, or are already somewhat advanced, this won't be right for you. But if you're in between, (have been playing basic accompaniment) and are ready to move into a fuller style of playing, this is a great DVD. – John M. Miller/Amazon Customer Review