For Fans of Flatpicking Guitar Magazine
So what happened, I took advantage of a free offer that FGM were running - a copy of the magazine, the associated CD, and a copy of a flat-picking CD too. All for some ridiculously low price that included P&P across the ocean and, after conversion into Sterling, worked out less than the cost of a pint of good beer. Not only was the value incredible, the magazine was too - by chance it happened that the issue I received was the swing issue. It was as if the scales had dropped from my eyes.
You see, I've been playing for some 35 years. Pretty much from day one I've been doing a bit of flat-picking. But I've also been finger-picking and strumming. Flat-picking was just another style. One of the first books I ever bought was Arlen Roth's Nashville Guitar and from there I learned a few flat-picking tunes, a bunch of blue-grass licks, some Clarence White solos. I still have the book. I still use it.
Later I played in bands that played a bit of Western Swing and a few fiddle tunes such as Beaumont Rag, Red Haired Boy, Kitchen Girl, and so on. I've been to my share of bluegrass jams. But I also played country and blues and rockabilly and ragtime and, well, everything. The last few years I've developed a huge love for jazz, swing, and, in particular, Gypsy Jazz.
When I received that copy of FGM, and when I bought a few more copies (yes, that loss leader worked, Dan!) and when I listened to the wonderful podcasts I realised that all the music I loved - swing, gypsy, fiddle, bluegrass, jazz, western swing, blues - was all contained within the flat-picking canon. What a revelation!
So here I am. I'm looking forward to learning lots and sharing what little I know. I'm looking forward to one day getting a proper guitar made of solid wood (I have a Yamaha FG335 from about 1980). Most of all, I'm just looking forward to playing more.
Hi Derek, I too was sucked in by that swing issue, bought five more issues at a very low price considering the great stuff they contain, and went to a workshop yesterday put on by Dan Miller, Tim May and Brad Davis. The workshop is just like the magazine, a lot of info packed into a small format. I have so much to work on now I only have myself to blame if I can't play something. Keep picking! Mac