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Ragtime Blues Guitar - The Dancing Thumb


'Whose That' Girl' is a classic ragtime blues guitar piece that Stephan Grossman put out on his album 'Yazoo Basin Boogie'. I don't really play a complete version any more, but it struck me as great example of how the thumb and fingers have their own little dance, and how this combines to make super sounds.

Listen to the original, which is packed with variations and a real treat. Remember we are not trying to learn this tune here, but rather use it to take a slightly different look at our playing (maybe.) 

Ragtime guitar gives the string impressions that two guitars are being played, and this tune exemplifies that impression. The melody is played on the treble strings, but the thumb also plays a melodic pattern which perfectly complements the other part. The thumb and finger parts are separated in the video lesson below.

We take a look at the chord structure, which is pretty standard for a ragtime song in the key of G, and the chords are displayed on the screen. The tablature is also presented on the screen, first in separate representations of the thumb work, secondly the fingers and lastly combing the two.

The melody is taught in  basic form and then a second picking finger is added in order to 'round out' the music. The whole idea is to break down the component parts of a this great ragtime blues guitar music and re-building it, adding the layers which create the syncopated sound.



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