Series Introduction (Guitar Lesson)


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Mary Flower

Series Introduction

In this lesson, Mary Flower introduces herself and her playing style. She also discusses essential blues listening.

Taught by Mary Flower in Fingerstyle Blues seriesLength: 11:14Difficulty: 0.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (02:15) Musical Demonstration Welcome to the new Phase 2 Fingerstyle Blues Series with Mary Flower! Sit back and enjoy an introductory performance from Mary. This performance will give you a brief glimpse at some of the techniques that shall be discussed in this series.
Chapter 2: (05:56) Series Introduction Note: A detailed biography about Mary and her career will soon be available in the "Instructors and Staff" section of JamPlay. This section can be accessed through a button on the left hand side of the homepage.

Links

Mary Flower Official Site

Yellow Dog Records Official Site

Mary's three most recent albums were released on this Memphis label.

Yellow Dog Records On MySpace

Homespun Records

Mary has recorded eight albums and five instructional DVDs, two of which are on the Homespun label.

Mary's Style

Mary is most often lumped in with blues players. However, she plays a wide variety of styles. She is a very proficient fingerstyle player. Mary utilizes many of the techniques that you will see in Jim Deeming's Phase 2 fingerstyle series.

Piedmont Style aka East Coast Blues

The Piedmont blues style, also known as East Coast blues, is characterized by a fingerstyle approach to playing. The thumb typically performs an alternating bass line while a syncopated chordal figure or melody line is played on the treble strings. This guitar style is reminiscent of ragtime and stride piano arrangements. A few other blues styles such as the Delta blues style often utilize a fingerstyle approach. However, the Piedmont style is separated from Delta blues due to its ragtime influences.

Many elements of the Piedmont style are also borrowed from the "frailing" or "clawhammer" style. Modern musicians also refer to this style as the "Carter Family" style. Other stylistic elements are borrowed from banjo players and string band music.

Note: For more information about the clawhammer style, please visit lesson 11 of Jim Deeming's Phase 2 Fingerstyle Guitar Series.

Heyday

The heyday of the Piedmont style began around the mid 1920's and lasted to around the mid 1940's. During this time, the style dominated the local music scene. In 1940, Blind Boy Fuller's "Step It Up & Go" sold roughly 600,000 copies. After World War II, the Piedmont style began to lose commercial popularity as more modern styles of blues, and rock and roll began to develop. Musicians such as Josh White, Reverend Gary Davis, Brownie McGhee, and Sonny Terry worked to keep the Piedmont style alive throughout this period. Throughout the 50's and early 60's, Piedmont blues started gaining popularity among American folk music circles. During this time, the style shifted from a mainly dance based style enjoyed by African Americans to festival music enjoyed by mainly white audiences. Artists like Cephas & Wiggins, John Jackson, "Peg Leg Sam," Turner & Marvin Foddrell, and Henry Johnson frequently performed at these festivals. Today, players such as Mary Flower, Roy Book Binder, Doug McLeod, Jorma Kaukonen, and Paul Geremia have studied the techniques of the original Piedmont masters and help keep this American musical tradition alive and strong.

Essential Listening

Regardless of which style of music you want to play, listening is just as important as practicing your instrument.

Piedmont Style Musicians

Pink Anderson
Etta Baker
Charlie Parr
Blind Blake
Bull City Red aka Oh Red
Cephas & Wiggins ("Bowling Green" John Cephas and Phil Wiggins)
Elizabeth Cotten
Floyd Council
Reverend Gary Davis
Blind Boy Fuller
"Barbecue Bob" Hicks
George Higgs
Peg Leg Howell
John Jackson
Brownie McGhee
Blind Willie McTell
Cootie Stark
Sonny Terry
Blind Willie Walker
Curley Weaver
Josh White
Buddy Moss
Willie Trice
Henry Johnson
Tarheel Slim
Luke Jordan
William Moore
Roy Dunn
Pernell Charity
Marvin Fodrell
Guitar Gabriel
Frank Hovington/Guitar Frank
Roy Book Binder
Doug McLeod
Paul Geremia
"Laughing Charley Lincoln" aka Charlie Hicks
Happy & Artie Traum
Leo Kottke
Charles Henry "Baby" Tate
Julius Daniel(s)
Gabriel Brown
Cecil Barfield aka William Robertson
Sonny/Sunny Jones
"Peg Leg Sam" aka Arthur Jackson
Earnest Scott
Elester Anderson
James Putmon
Roosevelt May
Guitar Nubbit
Michael Roach
Keb Mo
Guy Davis
Reverend Peyton
Mary Flower
Steve James
Pat Donohue
Woody Mann

Additional Record Labels to Check Out

JSP Records - England

This company offers box sets from classic musicians such as the Carter Family, Lonnie Johnson, Django Reinhardt, Blind Blake, Bessie Smith, Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, Louie Armstrong, Louis Jordon, Joe Hill Louis, Roscoe Gordon, and many more.

Proper

Proper is a similar company that features music from classic artists such as Sara Vaughn, Dizzie Gillespie, etc. Proper also offers music from modern artists such as Richard Thompson and Joan Baez.

Video Subtitles / Captions





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Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


timidoggytimidoggy replied on June 18th, 2016

Mary Flower was one major reason, why I joined to JamPlay.

Martin D35Martin D35 replied on December 15th, 2015

Mary is a great teacher as I have taken lessons here in New Jersey in a parlor sit in. Was the reason I decided to play blues guitar after hearing Mary play that night. I was excited to see her teaching here at Jam Play and look forward to seeing more from her as this is the tip of the ice berg. Welcome Mary and get working on another lesson we can't wait to see more from you.

danonwheelsdanonwheels replied on September 17th, 2015

Awesome guitar player Mary

kenmackenmac replied on September 14th, 2015

Hi Mary, I have zero finger picking experience but have been playing the guitar for sometime. Would this course be a good place for me to begin? Thanks!

bluerex3bluerex3 replied on March 15th, 2015

love this

orangeloverorangelover replied on September 29th, 2013

Mary, I echo the commenter who said you are just what I've been looking for. I'm in for the entire series. Bless you for your generosity. So great to have a woman blues player as a role model.

selligjhselligjh replied on March 12th, 2013

Exactly what I have been looking for to expand my finger style playing. Mary Flower is a very efficient teacher. I love how carefully and efficiently her hands move when she is playing.

hdflynnhdflynn replied on February 27th, 2013

what kind of finger picks are you useing ? have never found any that work as well as yours seem too, have all ways used my finger nails

floorshakerfloorshaker replied on June 29th, 2010

Hi Mary. Can't believe that I have missed your lessons. They are just what I have been looking for. I learned the basics for 15 months and then found, with respect to Steve and Jim, that the fingerstyle phase 2 lessons petered out and did not seem to have any clear direction to follow. I'm just back after a 6-month break and have discovered your lessons and now hope to keep it going again. Thanks. Chris. P.S. Just a thought not a criticism. Shouldn't your lessons be under `Fingerstyle' and not `Blues'. I certainly missed them because of this.

thedudethedude replied on April 15th, 2010

Awesome intro song Mary! Absolutely love your playing.

electromatic7electromatic7 replied on April 11th, 2010

wow, you're crazy good

graphitegalgraphitegal replied on January 14th, 2010

This is great. we need more female tutors on here lol!!

dearlpittsdearlpitts replied on October 19th, 2009

you are awesome..

tahiraraqstahiraraqs replied on June 6th, 2009

Hello Mary!, Hello Mary! Like to share a cool memory about Ernie Hawkins. Ernie was playing at an Arts Festival. The stage was set up in the middle of the street. so there were people walking past the stage with their funnel cakes and fare. Most everyone who came by stayed to listen. There was magic in the air but especially for one little boy about the age of 3, who became obviously entranced by Ernie and his music. The little boys mom was not so engaged. She was trying hard to get to somewhere and her little boy was captivated by the Music. Even Ernie said,” I think there is some magic going on.” Just a memory of the enchantment an artist can bring to an audience. I Love your Piedmont Blues Mary. t.

dustballdustball replied on June 5th, 2009

Welcome Mary! A short story about me, old and new rock was my first love with music. As a kid, I use to want to play guitar.. As an adult, even thou I still listen to it, I got bored with rock. I had given up my dream of learning the guitar. Then I came across blues one day on satellite radio. I got hooked and the blues is what actually got me to buy my first guitar; now I’m here with Jamplay working on my renewed dream to play guitar. Jamplay is where I have first saw and heard fingerstyle playing. I’m still working on phase 1 and I don’t know which to do in phase 2. To hear that you have a fingerstyle that fits blues.. Well, I’m very excited. Again, welcome Mary to Jamplay and I’m looking forward in learning from you.

sandeepsandeep replied on June 4th, 2009

Hi Mary, Welcome to Jamplay. I'm really excited to learn fingerstyle blues.

octoberkingoctoberking replied on June 3rd, 2009

Mary, I've been a fan of yours for quit awhile, I'm excited that you will be teaching here.

greenogreeno replied on June 3rd, 2009

Welcome Mary. Very interesting addition to our blues program. Looking forward to your lessons.

david.mackenziedavid.mackenzie replied on June 3rd, 2009

Great stuff!!! welcome mary!!! very inspiring music, and style!!!

mariemusicmariemusic replied on June 3rd, 2009

Wowwww great!!! i like to see more girls teaching guitar :) THANKS and please keep recording more videos.

mattbrownmattbrown replied on June 3rd, 2009

Hey Mary! Welcome to the team! I love your playing! It's going to be great to have another blues blues teacher on the site.

gone workingone workin replied on June 3rd, 2009

Welcome. Love the down home sound you played in your intro. I look forward to your lessons.

ronin808ronin808 replied on June 3rd, 2009

Welcome to the gratest web site out there!!

bluesteel12bluesteel12 replied on June 2nd, 2009

I can't wait to do this series, that sounds amazing!

mkorsmomkorsmo replied on June 2nd, 2009

So very cool! This is going to be a GREAT series! Bravo JamPlay and welcome Mary Flower!

Fingerstyle Blues

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

The blues is a distinctly American style of music. Many popular genres such as jazz, rock, and country music draw upon basic blues concepts. Consequently, it is advantageous for any guitarist to study the blues.



Lesson 1

Series Introduction

In this lesson, Mary Flower introduces herself and her playing style. She also discusses essential blues listening.

Length: 11:14 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Blues in Drop D

In this lesson, Mary Flower talks about playing the blues in drop D tuning. She teaches two amazing song examples to get you started.

Length: 21:50 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Playing in the Key of A

In this lesson, Mary plays in the key of A major in drop D tuning.

Length: 8:36 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

Eight Bar Blues

In this lesson, Mary Flower talks about the eight bar blues. She demonstrates it in a couple different keys.

Length: 14:29 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

8 Bar Blues Progressions

Mary Flower shows several songs that demonstrate the 8 bar blues.

Length: 11:40 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 6

How Long and Statesboro Blues

Mary Flower demonstrates two classic songs that feature an 8 bar blues structure. The songs are "How Long" and "Statesboro Blues."

Length: 14:36 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

Sounding Like a Piano

Mary Flower discusses various blues guitar techniques that can give your guitar a wonderful piano sound.

Length: 13:41 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 8

Twelve Bar Blues

Mary uses the songs "CC Rider" and "When I Lost My Baby" as examples in her discussion of the 12 bar blues.

Length: 16:31 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Blues Duet

In this lesson, you will learn a blues duet that you can play with someone else. Or, you can record yourself playing one part and play the second part over it.

Length: 16:53 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 10

Blues in the Key of E

Mary is back with another lesson filled with tips on playing the blues in the key of E.

Length: 6:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

Midnight Hour Blues

Mary talks about the song "Midnight Hour Blues" and gives some great tips on how to play this beautiful tune.

Length: 9:36 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Movable Chord in the Key of E

Mary Flower dives into more blues in the key of E by teaching a movable chord.

Length: 4:30 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

Arranging Songs

Mary talks a little bit about arranging songs and uses the song "John Henry" as an example.

Length: 9:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 14

Spike Driver Blues

Mary teaches and discusses the history behind Mississippi John Hurt's song "Spike Driver Blues."

Length: 15:47 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 15

Diminished Chords

Mary talks about diminished chords and looks at various different shapes. You will learn the song "Walking Across the Country" as an example.

Length: 16:35 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 16

Buck Rag

Mary teaches the classic song "Rag Time" by Rev. Gary Davis in this fun Blues lesson.

Length: 23:16 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 17

Mississippi Blues

Mary teaches a song called "Mississippi Blues" by Willie Brown.

Length: 32:03 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

Saturday Night Rub

Mary Flower teaches the fun and catchy song "Saturday Night Rub" by Big Bill Broonzy.

Length: 25:52 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 19

Key of F

Mary talks about the key of F in this fantastic lesson.

Length: 8:20 Difficulty: 3.0 FREE
Lesson 20

South Carolina Rag

Mary teaches the song "South Carolina Rag" by Willie Walker.

Length: 12:35 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 21

Open D Tuning

Mary Flower talks about the advantages of open D tuning.

Length: 12:44 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 22

Boogie Woogie Dance

Mary Flower shares her interpretation of a classic blues slide tune called "Boogie Woogie Dance."

Length: 16:44 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 23

Alabama Bound

Mary Flower shares some thoughts on the bass notes found within the song "Alabama Bound" in this lesson.

Length: 6:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 24

Blues in A

Mary Flower talks about improvising a blues in A.

Length: 13:05 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 25

Sugar Babe

Mary Flower teaches her rendition of "Sugar Babe," a Mance Lipscomb tune.

Length: 9:49 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 26

Michigan Water

Mary Flower teaches her rendition of "Michigan Water," a Jelly Roll Morton tune.

Length: 13:18 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 27

Bye Bye Baby Blues

Mary Flower teaches her rendition of "Bye Bye Baby Blues" by Little Hat Jones.

Length: 12:47 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 28

Just a Closer Walk with Thee

Mary Flower shares her rendition of the spiritual song "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" in this lesson.

Length: 10:33 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 29

River of Joy

Mary Flower shares an original song called "River of Joy."

Length: 16:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 30

Open D Tuning Song Exercise

Mary Flower shares a song played in open D tuning that features alternating bass and syncopation.

Length: 12:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 31

M & O Blues

Mary Flower teaches her rendition of "M & O Blues," a Willie Brown song.

Length: 15:44 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 32

Colored Aristocracy

Mary Flower teaches her rendition of the song "Colored Aristocracy."

Length: 13:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 33

Turkey in the Straw

Mary Flower shares her modern rendition of "Turkey in the Straw."

Length: 10:24 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 34

Trouble in Mind

Mary Flower shares her rendition of the catchy blues tune "Trouble in Mind."

Length: 8:22 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 35

Crow Jane

Mary Flower demonstrates Carl Martin's arrangement of the song "Crow Jane."

Length: 15:52 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 36

Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie

Mary Flower teaches her rendition of the song "Oh Babe It Ain't No Lie" by Elizabeth Cotten.

Length: 11:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only

About Mary Flower View Full Biography Working in both the intricately syncopated Piedmont fingerpicking style and her own deeply bluesy lap-slide guitar, Mary has earned rave reviews from critics and audiences alike for her springwater-clear vocals and mastery of multiple guitar styles as well as her own compositions. Though she can create prewar blues and ragtime with the best of them, Mary draws on traditional, contemporary and original material to create something new: a sound uniquely her own that remains true to the timeless power of the blues.

Flower's elegant, funky and inventive playing on vintage guitars makes her one of a mere handful of women guitarists admired for their instrumental prowess. In 2000 and 2003 respectively, Mary placed in the top three at the National Fingerpicking Championship. Her career as an internationally known performer and teacher has spanned more than three decades.

A recent transplant to the Northwest, Mary cut her teeth on the Colorado music scene where she played with the likes of Katy Moffatt, Pat Donohue, the Mother Folkers and more. Mary took a detour in the 80s to raise a family, all the time woodshedding and performing locally.

Mary's CD Bywater Dance, recorded pre-Katrina in New Orleans for Yellow Dog Records, has garnered widespread acclaim. An award-winning player with seven solo cds and 5 instructional DVDs to her credit, Flower is in demand for festivals, concerts and guitar workshops on both sides of the Atlantic.

"Unassuming blues heroine Mary Flower proves one again that she's one of the nation's premier fingerstyle blues guitarists-- her technique is exceptional throughout, and in the end, serves the highest purpose, the music--unfailingly sweet, hot and sassy--every track on this album has something about it that will give you the shivers... This is one of the most satisfying albums of the year."
  - All Music Guide to Blues

"Her crisp, fluid fingerpicking sounds deceptively effortless, with flawlessly executed syncopation, the hallmark of a bouncing, upbeat Piedmont style. From casual listeners to devoted blues fans, Flower's music is accessible to everyone"
  - Blues Review

"With her immaculate guitar playing and warm contralto, Mary Flower finds the sweet spot between modern and rootsy in twelve tunes bred of back porches, parlors, street corners, juke joints and country churches...one of the best blues based singer songwriters working today."
  - Acoustic Guitar Magazine

"Mary is one of those rare artists who manages to create a tincture of the aged authentic with the freshly original."
  - Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine

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