Can anyone recommend a good beginner's bluegrass and/or country book?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Eskimo_Joe, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. Eskimo_Joe

    Eskimo_Joe Silver Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Messages:
    3,650
    Location:
    St. Louis
    I'd like to learn the basics of bluegrass and country, anybody have any books they'd recommend?
     
  2. joey_r

    joey_r Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2006
    Messages:
    60
    A good intro to both styles would be "Old Time Country Guitar Backup Basics" by by J. Weidlich. This book focuses on rhythm playing, and it shows the foundation used in both country and bluegrass music. Hell, I'd recommend this book to just about any guitar player.

    As far as country goes, I really like "Hot Country" by L. Hodgson. It's published in the U.K. (I think) and it seems a little hard to find here in the States. It looks like Elderly Instruments sells it. This book illustrates the foundations used by modern country players. It's quite verbose, but in a good way. And it lays a good theoretical foundation to work on. It's a great book for a fairly experienced guitarist who's new to country guitar. It covers the common scales, intervals, and licks along with some basic rhythm playing and lots of good examples.

    And "Red Hot Country" by M. Hawley would be a great supplement to both of these books. It's a lick-oriented book, but it goes through the theory of what's going on. This really helps you improve your improvisational skills.

    As far as bluegrass, that's harder. There's just so much crap out there. For starters, don't buy anything that still isn't in print. And stay away from names like Happy Traum, Eric Thompson, and Scott Nygaard. I would take a strong look at Steve Kaufman's stuff. He's a good player and instructor. He has a 3-dvd set that I think would make a great intro to bluegrass, but it goes a little slow. He has some more advanced material that's pretty good too. Once you get a handle on things, Tony Rice has some great instructional material as well.

    Good luck.
     
  3. gennation

    gennation Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    4,381
    Location:
    Middleville, MI
    For Bluesgrass, and if you read standard notation, get one of those traditional fiddle tune books. The fiddle parts done with flat picking will really get you going in the right direction and help you carry out melodies too.

    For some "country riffs" (ala Albert Lee, Pete Anderson, Ricky Skaggs, etc...) you can check out my Advanced Pentatonic Tutorial at my lessons site: http://lessons.mikedodge.com

    Have fun.
     
  4. Eskimo_Joe

    Eskimo_Joe Silver Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2007
    Messages:
    3,650
    Location:
    St. Louis
    thanks for the advice!
     
  5. mastercaster

    mastercaster Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Messages:
    224
  6. reentune

    reentune Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2003
    Messages:
    1,715
    Location:
    The Foot of the Mountain
    Check out Steve Kaufman. He's a multi-award-winning flatpicker.
    I taught with him many years ago (even took some lessons from him when I was 8).
    He's got lots of books out (for Mel Bay, I think).
     
  7. DualRectifier

    DualRectifier Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Messages:
    1,884
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    I loved Tony Rice Teaches Bluegrass
    [​IMG]

    Definitely not intended for beginners, but it's in tab, and he plays slow, medium, and at-tempo versions of each song, broken down into parts. About 20 classic bluegrass standards. You can learn at your own pace.
     

Share This Page