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Finger Picking  Acoustic Blues Guitar - Play Blues Guitar - Gary Davis Tips In C

Published on May 31, 2012 by

Blues Guitar Lessons 

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Reverend Gary Davis was a legendary figure
in the world of acoustic blues, ragtime and gospel and influenced many guitarists such as Stefan Grossman and Ry Cooder. Althougb well versed in all styles of blues picking, he found religion in his thirties and was ordained as a minister, after which time he refused to play the 'Devil's music'.

In this video, I take a look at his basic technique when playing in the key of C
, using 'Cocaine Blues' as an example. Gary Davis played a jumbo bodied Gibson and favored finger picks, which helped to amplify his sound when performing on the streets of Harlem, as was his habit when living in New York.

It's fair to say that Davis had no betters in this field, while other men that he mentored, such as Blind Boy Fuller, enjoyed much greater commercial success. Perhaps Blind Blake and Willie Walker were the only two guitarists to equal Davis, and of these, Blake's playing was limited mostly to fast ragtime picking and didn't have the range of the Reverend's repertoire.

Davis' guitar work was creative and complex, which was all the more impressive when we realize that he only used his thumb and forefinger to pick. His finger was nimble, and his picking thumb could move across all six strings producing a syncopated sound. A characteristic feature of the Reverend's playing was the creation of fast single string runs picked with the thumb and forefinger.

Reverend Gary davis Carolina Blues Man




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Uploader Comments ( acoustictravellersl )

  • Out of my experience I can recommend to get the DVD (30ish songs) i got it and it is/was a bit ahead of my capability however I got the hang of some songs! I.e. Jim's explanation thought me to play them beat by beat (slowly and surely took me there) and I practice my basics and the two meet. Gr&... thx Mr. Jim B. //martin

  • Thanks a bunch for your kind comments.

    Keep on pickin'



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All Comments (6)

  • Really informative Jim, about time we had something for the fingerpickin blues anoraks out there :)

  • Awesome style and demonstration! Thumbs up!:)

  • Very informative, thanks!

  • Great video! Thank you for information.

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