The Art of Ragtime Guitar (Book)
Mar 10 2015
This is a guide to one of the most challenging of today’s fingerpicking guitar styles, featuring the sounds & syncopations of ragtime – the music that became jazz. There is an array of information, music, photos, plus a two sided 33 1/3 record of all of the music.
An excellent finger-style, solo guitar intro, long out of print, but may be better known than you’d expect. The music is really easy to play, but still sounds spectacular with rhythm, base, harmony, and melody parts on a single guitar. Part of one of these pieces is played on the Line 6 Variax web site as an ‘acoustic’ style demo.
This book is the portal for a lifetime of exploring Mississippi John Hurt, Reverend Gary Davis, Paul Simon, Leo Kottke, et al. If you want to learn a good finger style technique for ragtime guitar this is an incredible resource. None of the pieces are too difficult, and the tablature is excellent. Recommended for intermediate beginner to intermediate guitar players. Really, it’s not too difficult.
If you are looking to advance your playing beyond basic finger picking, or if you would like to delve into the fascinating world of ragtime guitar, and are prepared to put at least a few hours of work each week into it, then buy this book. This is one of a few classic books that focuses on real -guitar- ragtime music, and not simply transcriptions of piano rags for guitar.
This book, which I believe first came out in the 1970s, is one of a few to address ragtime guitar as its own proper genre of music. And it does it amazingly well for such a slim volume. The tunes are all contemporary ragtime compositions, but they capture both the technique and flavor of the classic ragtime guitar playing of the likes of Leadbelly and Blind Blake.
None of the tunes are overly difficult, yet each presents certain technical challenges to lead one into the various styles and quirks of ragtime guitar playing. Presentation in both traditional music notation and tablature is another plus. It’s great to see this book back in print. If you’re tired of guitar arrangements of “The Entertainer,” and want an introduction to the world of real ragtime guitar fingerpicking, this is a great place to start.
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