The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #15596   Message #141248
Posted By:
27-Nov-99 - 01:22 AM
Thread Name: Ragtime Guitar
Subject: RE: Ragtime Guitar
I'm glad you said that Rick. The comments have been about playing style. I owe a debt of gratitude to Grossman for his recorded lessons that really got me started. You can imagine how hard it would be to find a good country blues guitar teacher in Sydney. I finally found a teacher who was a good guitarist and who was interested in learning this idiom himself and we bashed through the lessons together. I experimented with lessons by Rory Block and by Fred Sokolow; but it was Grossman's lessons that brought it all together.

I have emailed him from time to time with specific questions about details of Mississippi John Hurt's and Rev. Gary Davis's playing. He has always responded quickly and with relavant answers. I consider this a great luxury, since he played with those guys and learned directly from them.

Perahps in criticising one aspect of his playing I am being like the guy in the joke who was taken to his first vaudaville show by an enthusiastic friend. The last act consisted of a guy who played a gypsy violin while he kicked a pyramid of chairs into position and balanced himself on the top of the top chair on his nose and began to juggle five balls with his feet. At the end he jumped off the chairs, kicked the balls back into their box, and finished the tune--all without missing a beat on the fiddle. After the wild applause died down the enthusiast asked, "Well, what do you think of that?" "A Heifiz he's not," answered the first timer.