Tag Archives | Folk Blues

How Simple Folk Guitar Accompaniment Really Works

In this video, Folk-blues artist Mokai performs “Poor Lazurus” from the repertoire of 1960s folk-icon, Dave Van Ronk, demonstrating how a simple folk guitar accompaniment works to enhance the drama in telling a story.

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Duck Baker–Thumbs of Fury

Since I often talk about right hand technique on this Blog, you might think ‘Thumbs of Fury’ refers to the right hand thumb.* Yes, the fingerpicker’s Jedi force surely resides in the right hand thumb, but in the case of long-time fingerstyle master Duck Baker, there’s a lot going on with the left hand thumb. […]

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What is Fingerstyle Guitar Anyway?

A discussion of fingerstyle techniques, categorization, and the advent of modern fingerstyle, percussive guitar. The music of Vicki Genfan.

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The Difference Between Country Blues & Folk Blues

The Blues, and roots acoustic blues in particular, covers a lot of ground. With so many regional styles and so much history, its a complex landscape to describe. If someone were to ask me ‘what’s the difference between Country Blues and Folk Blues?‘ I’d say ‘Woah, don’t let classifying the music be a distraction from […]

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The Best Guitar for Fingerstyle

Discussions of guitars and guitar styles have gone on for so long they’ve probably contributed to global warming. But for guitarists, this is just the kind of discussion we’ll never finish.Lets go over a few of the other factors that distinguish a good fingerstyle guitar. Number one is a harder wood for the back and sides, mahogany being the frequent choice, often on a smaller body guitar. Some harder rosewoods are touted, but here, it starts being like trying to tell the difference between five different zinfandels. The same goes for distinguishing the effect of a harder spruce for the top. For me it comes down to a guitar that rings out, but doesn’t resonate to where the overtones are washing over each other and drowning out the overtones of the next notes. And mahogany does that well. This means that comparing the fingerstyle guitar you’re interested in with a mahogany guitar is a good idea.

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Dave Van Ronk, the Real Folk Blues

In my early teens, a friend gave me a Dave Van Ronk album. Seeing that I was into guitar, this young wiseman wanted to assure himself I understood what the combination of Acoustic Guitar and Voice was really capable of. Through Van Ronk I quickly found Blind Lemon Jefferson, Reverend Gary Davis and Leadbelly. My idea of what singing with the guitar meant was permanently pegged to the soulful funkiness etched on those recordings.

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