Six Favorites for Fingerstyle Guitar
Pete Seeger had been a towering figure in the world of folk music for more than seventy years until his death in 2014 at the age of 94. He was a brilliant instrumentalist, songwriter, activist, teacher and humanitarian who introduced the world to hundreds - perhaps thousands - of great songs of all kinds.
Happy Traum, a long-time friend and colleague, has selected six of Pete’s original songs, ones that are particularly good for aspiring fingerstyle guitar players. They range from fairly easy to more challenging pieces that will inspire both novices and more advanced pickers. Happy teaches on his six-string, but demonstrates several of the songs on 12-string as well, which was Pete’s guitar of choice.
Happy starts with an easy fingerpicking version of one of Pete’s most enduring classics, Where Have All the Flowers Gone, followed by his slightly jazzy, syncopated Barrel of Money Blues. Kisses Sweeter Than Wine is another Seeger favorite, and for good reason, with its catchy melody, frequent chord changes and heart-warming lyrics.
Sailing Down My Golden River is one of Pete’s many tributes to his beloved Hudson. This song, in dropped D - a tuning Pete favored - will teach you much about adding rich harmony lines and alternate voicings to your arrangements. Happy follows this with one of Pete’s rare instrumental compositions, the joyous Living in the Country, which will be a challenge for most fingerpicking guitarists.
Finally, you’ll learn Quite Early Morning, an inspiring and hopeful anthem that Pete often said was his favorite among those he composed.
This lesson will show you ways to play some of Pete’s most iconic songs, and you’ll gain much useful guitar technique as you learn them. Best of all, you’ll add some timeless material to your song repertoire.