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Not much sweeter to the ear or more pleasing to play than fingerstyle blues guitar.
Pick up your box, play a few bars of a Muddy Waters tune and watch faces light up immediately. As popular music is rooted to the blues, blues is rooted to the original fingerstyle techniques of pioneers Robert Johnson, Big Bill, Leadbelly, Lightning Hopkins, Blind Lemon and many others. Contemporaries Ry Cooder, John Hammond, Leo Kotke, Chet Atkins and and a truckload of others keep this rare art form alive and very well.

Less is certainly more when it comes to fingerstyle blues. No brain-twisting theory and techniques to master. Just a few basic chords, couple of open tunings and a handful of simple picks to learn. So why such a mystery for so many players? Because effective fingerstyle blues instruction is real scarce -- our inspiration to produce the  60-Day Fingerstyle Blues Camp 10-CD Video Course. But first we had to find the best fingerstyle blues instruction on the planet ...



Sourcing
top fingerstyle blues instruction was slam-dunk easy. Acoustic Guitar Workshop! We've been working with them for quite a few years now and their individual lessons are always in TrueFire's top rankings. Rick Payne and Steve Elliot formed a magical symbiosis known the world over as The Acoustic Guitar Workshop, a world-class acoustic guitar web site based in England. 

Rick's waters run deep -- brilliant composer/performer, world renown master of the fingerstyle blues form, with an uncanny ability to breakdown and communicate the essential elements of the style. Steve Elliot, founder of the Acoustic Guitar Workshop and recently hailed as a "British Master of The Blues", is also a successful songwriter and instructor. Together they've authored three highly praised fingerstyle blues courses and five CDs worth of classic and original fingerstyle blues tunes.

This 10-CD course features all three interactive Video CD courses on 5 CDs plus all five audio CDs. 



This study program is straightforward and very effective.
Work through each of the three courses sequentially: Fingerstyle Blues Guitar I, Fingerstyle Blues Guitar II and then Acoustic Slide Guitar. Take on one chapter at a time for at least an hour a day. You'll quickly learn to master the tunings, fingerpicking styles and techniques of fingerstyle blues and acoustic slide guitar. Along the way, you'll add a set's worth of solo fingerstyle tunes to perk up your repertoire. 

But here's the trick - give your regular play list a break and keep the five audio CDs cranked and playing in your car, walkman, PC and home stereo until you hear the material in your sleep. This will bring the style to life on your fingertips as you apply what you hear to how you play.

The course is presented in an interactive PDF manual with 185 video lessons (Windows Media and Quicktime), 200 audio elements (MP3), text, tab, charts and Power Tab, which allows you to "see" and "hear" tab played out at any tempo in perfect pitch. 

If you've got desire, intermediate skills and are willing to devote 60 days learning and listening to this course -- you'll be well on your way to becoming a monster fingerstyle blues player. 



Rick Payne shares a few words ...

"As an eager student of the acoustic guitar, I have always been interested in discovering the mechanics of playing different styles. I had been through loads of normal books on fingerstyle but couldn't find the essence of simplicity that the playing of Muddy Waters or Big Bill Broonzy conjured up. It was frustrating. I found I could play all kinds of bluesy instrumentals but lacked what I felt was real blues.

As all good things come to pass, I finally had my eureka a few years down the line. I was listening to an album by Lightening Hopkins and was amazed that all I was hearing was a four beat boom on the bass strings and an occasional ting on the top. Of course, there were other things happening - a pick here and a pick there - but the essence was there in that rhythmic, 'boom, boom, boom, boom'. From then on, I could hear the same in all the great players - Broonzy, Johnson, etc. etc. I started from that four beat pattern and took it from there. It's all a simple thing really. The hardest part is to train yourself to be simple and clear about the bottom line. All the other elements in the playing will fit together easily.

So, these sessions that I share with you, are part of my own journey of discovery in the blues. Hopefully they'll become part of yours too."

This 10-session course covers all of the techniques you'll need to dive into the deep waters of fingerstyle blues and give your playing that essential authentic feel. 

What makes this course so distinctive, and effective, is its play-as-you-go approach. You'll learn a key technique and then immediately learn a tune (8 of them in all) that employs that particular technique. 

Building your repertoire at the same time you're learning the style is why Fingerstyle Blues 1 is your first stop on the crossroads.

Here's a sampling of the techniques and tunes you'll learn in Fingerstyle Blues 1
Now that you've got a handle on the techniques covered previously and are getting big kicks watching faces light up with your new repertoire of fingerstyle blues tunes -- let's get serious!

Time to pump up your thumb and finger chops with another ten sessions worth of fingerstyle studies covering more styles, techniques, ragtime, chords and turnarounds. 

You'll also add another couple of blues tunes to your set list. 

Here's a sampling of the techniques and tunes you'll learn in Fingerstyle Blues 2
This Acoustic Blues Slide and Bottleneck Guitar course is icing on the cake. Here's 10 more sessions focused solely on the art of acoustic slide playing. Again, you'll study a technique and then learn a tune to put your new chops to work. Six more tunes on the set list!

The course takes you in logical steps, assuming no prior knowledge of the style, to playing like Son House, John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters all wrapped up into one.

Every technique covered translates directly to electric 

slide as well, so feel free to plug in, turn up and rock out.

Here's a sampling of the techniques and tunes you'll learn in Acoustic Slide Guitar

Listen and learn, guitar friends! If you're trying to learn a style, you have to listen to as much of the music as possible. Sure as eggs is eggs, it'll seep into your subconscious and come out in your playing. 

The licks, tricks and techniques taught on the tuition CD's are featured in real performance situations on "Broke Down Blues" and the four other audio CD's in this collection. Delta, ragtime, piedmont and awesome acoustic slide playing, you'll get blues to the bone here, with critically 

acclaimed versions of standards like "St Louis Blues", "Police Dog Blues", and Big Bill Broonzy's classic "The Glory Of Love".
More of a Nu Blues kind of a scene here. All these tunes, bar "Help Me" are Payne/Elliott originals. It's blues for sure, but the CD demonstrates that this great genre is not caught in some kind of a time warp, and that there are still new things to say using the blues framework and idiom. 

The haunting "Blue River Blues" showcases the phenomenal slide guitar talents of Rick Payne and has a structure that flows like the river it celebrates - the Yuba that winds through northern

California's gold country. 
If you need an example of tone and technique to aspire to, this is it.
Er, apart from being a smart alec title, what's eclectic mean? Gathering from different sources is what. This CD features the fingerstyle talents of Steve Elliott. The cuts here are moving away somewhat from the blues into an area you might call contemporary fingerstyle. 

All Steve's influences (blues, ragtime, celtic, folk, classical and rock) are in the melting pot here. The point of all this for the guitar student is not to get too hung up on styles. Fact is, the techniques you learn with the Acoustic Guitar Workshop, while firmly blues 

based, can be employed in a wide variety of genres.
Many of the cuts here demonstrate how two acoustic guitars can make magic together. Check out the version of Blind Blake's "Ditty Wa Ditty". The lead breaks will drop your jaw for sure! This is ragtime guitar playing at its scintillating best, fast and furious but always in control. 

Slow down with another acoustic guitar duo situation: the achingly beautiful jazz/blues ballad, "Cafe Blue". The way the lead acoustic weaves in and out of the solid fingerpicked rhythm of the first guitar can teach you 

heaps about phrasing and arrangement. "Devil Inside" is a devilishly good album.
This is the one you'll want to keep with you at all times - in your portable player... in your car... wherever you go, these 17 kicking acoustic blues and fingerstyle tracks are essential listening if you're serious about 
becoming the best acoustic blues player you can be. 

This collection brings together all the best cuts from the CD's mentioned above and features AGW's twice Number 1 mp3.com Blues hit, "Deep Blue". In the words of the great Big Bill Broonzy, "Anybody who don't like this is crazy". It's the perfect CD to listen to and learn from.

 

 

 
 

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