"Bruce Cockburn's Speechless album would be a good starting place, particularly the song "Train in the Rain."
But saying Cockburn inspires my fingerstyle playing is like saying David Grier inspires my flatpicking. Both comparisons are…"
"Beginning Fingerstyle Guitar, by Lou Manzi
Beginning Fingerstyle Blues Guitar, by Arne Berle and Mark Garbo
I also have dozens of fingerstyle and flatpicking instructional books and DVDs. I've explored all of them and when the going got tough,…"
"I totally agree that focus is key. When I was flatpicking, I found that having at least one weekly session with other musicians kept me focused and gave me the drive to keep improving. If you can find a buddy or two or three that will practice…"
"Four components make up the tone: player, guitar, strings, pick. And then there is the question of what tone your ears like the best. So the pick that works best for me may not be the best for you. Unfortunately, you'll have to learn…"
Looks like a good resource. I've obviously recognized the importance for some time, but never found anything that seemed to work very well. Looks like that are many useful ideas and approaches here. "
"ganon and everyone:
I found this tool for ear training; it might be useful to you. I find it really boring, but I've been perservering and making improvement. As with all worthwhile endeavors, there are no shortcuts.
"Well, you an go here and get started: www.allmusic.com/explore/style/americana-d2958. I don't completely agree with Allmusic's top artists/albums/songs, so here are some recommendations that will steer you to music that I really…"
"Look at the top right corner of this webpage. Click MEMBERS. Click ADVANCED SEARCH. Type in Memphis or any other town and/or state. Teh computer will return all members who list their homes in that area. Write directly to them through this network."
We may have had a similar conversation previously, but I still like talking about it: I'm pretty good at playing meodies by ear, but like you I cannot really hear flatpicking lines. I'm convinced that the good…"
"I've been playing with and in front of people for three years and I crash and burn every session. It doesn't hurt anything but my pride and that's been so well-squashed it doesn't matter anymore. I simply get back on…"
"My biweekly jam is this Sunday. I'm bringing two tunes we haven't played before: "Ring of Fire" (everyone should be able to play/sing along with that one), and "Lazy John." I'd never heard of "Lazy John"…"
"Nail on the head here:
Since I learned the G-run, I hear it everywhere in Bluegrass. When I do, I recognize it instantly and I don't have to work out the notes one-by-one.
We need to hear something once (or several times the older we get!)…"
All Dawg Music, but I can play it only on my stereo.
Tell us more about yourself (place a Bio here if you wish)
I host a mostly-bluegrass open jam at 2:00 PM every other Sunday at the Madison County Nature Trail pavilion on Green Mountain in Huntsville, AL. All acoustic instrument pickers are welcome to join in. See the folkjam website for details.
Hey Jim, Thanks for the comments about the band. I wished that was me taking the guitar breaks but that is our other guitar player Evan Scott. I have dabbled in it a little and just started taking lessons from Josh Williams so maybe before long I can get the hang of it. LOL. I will try to keep you updated. Nothing coming up locally that I know of. Hardly any venues around close that are willing to pay though. Take care, Chris
Hi Jim, I don't know if you are interested at this point, but, here are the first two rounds of Jerusalem Ridge from the 'definitive source' (thanks Kathy) the album 'Kenny Baker plays Bill Monroe' (1978), in which -kinda funny- Monroe showed up for the studio sessions and contributed to almost all the tracks (so it really should be 'Kenny Baker and Bill Monroe play Bill Monroe'). Anyway, this version of JR is the only one I know of in which Monroe plays a full mandolin break (second round), so I included it. For ear training purposes, I've slowed to 96 bpm, karyoke'd, and filtered to emphasize the fiddle.
Hope it is useful to you, and that it doesn't cause too much destructive interference with your TAB learned version.
Jim, the Flatpicking Essentials exercises were great for developing the ear, and finding your way around the fretboard, but obviously nothing for speed. Don't get me wrong, and assume that learning by ear reduces the need for lots of repetitions (brute force), you still have to build up lots of myelin insulation (white matter) on your choosen neural pathway whether learned by ear or from TAB. But I do think that the ultimate speed that you can reach by ear is greater, because the starting structure when learned by ear is much more efficient (no built in control points for visual feedback - I think vestiges of those control points remain long after you stop using the TAB, and slow things down). Right now I experimenting with 'relearning' by ear, tunes that I had previously learned from TAB. For example, Temperance Reel (which if I remember correctly, you like much when you were exposed to it): I had previously learned it with TAB from both Brad Davis and Wayne Henderson (with varying degrees of success), but now I have relearned it by ear from Tony Rice's album 'Tony Rice' (1977). Within a couple of days, I was playing @ 120 (recording of same on the play on my page), and after a week or so I am now hitting 180 - 200 without too much problem (Tony plays it @ 270). The TAB learned versions always started to get pretty sketchy around 160, no matter how much practice. The other thing, and most important to me, is the things learned by ear always feel like music. The TAB things don't always, often they feel like rushing to keep up with a sequence of rote learned mechanical actions with zero emotional content.
Anyway, hope you catch up with you jam buddies, by whichever route you choose to follow.