Flatpicking with Doc

Doc Watson
80 minute video, includes music and tab on pdf file. Hosted by Steve Kaufman
  • Code:DLDOKFL21
  • Skill Level:Early Intermediate (3)

Here is a rare opportunity to go one-on-one with one of the premier flatpickers of our time. Doc Watson has influenced a generation of pickers, from Clarence White to Tony Rice. This lesson is devoted to teaching intermediate-level players the intricacies of Doc's unique flatpicking style.

Doc sits down with Steve Kaufman, a top-notch flatpicker in his own right, and shows how he plays some of his most beloved songs and instrumentals. He and Steve trade licks and play duets, and Doc slows his playing down so that you will be able to follow along as you learn to play these fabulous tunes.

Starting with the old gospel song Open Up Them Pearly Gates, Doc shows how he uses hammer-ons and pull-offs to easily add notes to his accompaniment. He then launches into a crosspicking solo, moving effortlessly up the neck in simple movable positions that create a complex-sounding break. Moving to the classic ballad Little Sadie, Doc explains how he devises his licks and positions in D minor. On More Pretty Girls Than One,  New River Train and White House Blues  he slows down the flashy runs that punctuate each line of the song. This is one of Doc's signature guitar techniques that has baffled many students of Doc's guitar style. He then carefully breaks down of the solo to each song.

Doc and Steve launch into breathtaking versions of classic fiddle tunes Salt Creek and  Ragtime Annie,  showing you the lead and back-up, as well as the "twin" harmony parts. (Try these out with a friend.) These show stoppers are also slowed down so you can really see what these two incredible guitarists are playing.

Changing gears, Doc teaches his version of the hauntingly lovely Goodnight Waltz,  as well as his improvisations to the country and jazz tunes, When It's Peach Pickin' Time in Georgia and Sweet Georgia Brown. Finally, as an extra treat, Doc brings on his grandson Richard Watson for a performance of three bluesy songs they have been performing together: Walk On Boy, Chicago Blues and Summertime.

Whether you start out with this lesson or use it as a follow-up to "Doc's Guitar: Fingerpicking and Flatpicking" (one of Homespun's perennial best-sellers), you'll find a wealth of flatpicking challenges that will hone your own guitar technique and skills.


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