Do you play guitar? Piano? Banjo? Dulcimer?
Over the years I've bought a bunch of Homespun Videos musical instruction videos. They're about $25 each, if you watch for periodic sales or Buy 3, Get 1 Free specials.
I recently got a DVD of John Sebastian and someone showing how to play Mississippi John Hurt songs. Even if you don't have that thumping alternating-bass thumb motion, you can appreciate some of the typical slides and techniques John used to create his lively songs. The anecdotes from NY coffeehouses in the 60s and the folk musicians who played there brought a smile.
I got my money's worth learning how to play the first two notes of Richland Woman Blues. Put your third or fourth finger on the fourth fret of the B string (Eb), then play that note followed by open E. Play that sequence three times, then an F chord.
I bought a 2-disc set of Ethel Caffie-Austin on how to play gospel piano. I swear if you went through all the techniques and conventions she demonstrates, you would sound like Brother Ray.
I watched her play familiar simple gospel songs adding fills and highlights in amazement. I have only gone through the first notes of the first song and I got my money's worth already.
"When the Saints Go Marching in" begins with a simple melody C - E - F - G (Oh - When - the - Saints) played on right-hand and left-hand. But what took me the better part of a day is the left-hand plays those same notes after a 1/2 beat delay. As a guitar player primarily, I'm used to using the left and right-hands synchronously to create sounds.
If you are learning a new instrument, such as a ukulele or dulcimer or banjo, you can probably get an hours worth of getting started videos to jumpstart your playing.
You can view samples of each DVD on the company website at http://www.homespuntapes.com (some of the early instruction I bought came on VHS tapes).
If you enjoy playing music, especially folk music and acoustic instruments, check out Homespun Videos.
You can see me play "When the Saints Go Marching in" on YouTube
I like to say it’s probably the worst version of the song on YouTube, but it demonstrates that right-hand, left-hand syncopation that took me hours to play.
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