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 pioneer in the field of flatpicking, first attracting attention over 40 years ago in bluegrass bands with David Grisman and Jerry Garcia. Since then, his big tone and soulful picking have graced a myriad of roots bands, including the Blue Flame Stringband, the California Cajun Orchestra, and the Bluegrass Intentions. In this lesson series, Eric shares the building blocks for great flatpicking technique. He takes you step-by-step, beginning with song melodies picked out in the bass, with rhythm, in the styles of Maybelle Carter and Charlie Monroe, and moving up to single-note flatpicking, with exercises to help master playing long runs of notes, clean, smooth and fast. Then he builds your repertoire with classic fiddle tunes and breaks to songs, including characteristic devices, phrases and endings from seminal stylists like Don Reno, Doc Watson, and Clarence White. For beginner students.
Lesson One: PICKING OUT SONG MELODIES: in the bass with rhythm, in the style of The Carter Family and Charlie Monroe: Will The Circle Be Unbroken, Wildwood Flower, Sad And Lonesome Day and Red Rocking Chair.
Lesson Two: SINGLE NOTE FLATPICKING: Arkansas Traveler, Billy In The Lowground, Leather Britches and Temperance Reel.
Lesson Three: CLASSIC BLUEGRASS STYLES: of Don Reno, Doc Watson and Clarence White: Country Boy Rock And Roll, Muddy Roads and Crawdad Song.
Level 1/2 • 24 page tab/music book with three compact discs