Watch the Maple Leaf Rag online guitar lesson by Tim Sparks from Roots, Rags & Blues
Maple Leaf Rag is probably the most famous of Scott Joplin's compositions. Named for a social club in Sedalia, Missouri, it's publication in 1899 sparked a nationwide craze for Ragtime in America. My approach to creating a guitar solo of this rag was informed by numerous sources. I heard Duck Baker play it in 1973, which opened my eyes and ears! There is also the amazing version of Reverend Gary Davis. For my variations, I tried to bring the feeling of Blind Blake and also a little Louis Armstrong by bending notes and paraphrasing the original ideas with string bends and pull-offs.