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"Mississippi Fingerstyle Blues Guitar" & ""The Guitar of Blind Lemon Jefferson"

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Hi all,
I've just had two new books released by Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop/Mel Bay--"The Guitar of Blind Lemon Jefferson" and "Mississippi Fingerstyle Blues Guitar". I'm really excited about these books.

Here are the tunes included in the Lemon Jefferson book: One Dime Blues, Got The Blues, Dry Southern Blues, Big Night Blues, Rabbit Foot Blues, Shuckin' Sugar Blues, Where Shall I Be, Wartime Blues, Black Horse Blues, Prison Cell Blues, Piney Woods Money Mama, See That My Grave Is Kept Clean, He Arose From The Dead, Beggin' Back, Broke And Hungry, Bad Luck Blues, Match Box Blues, Lemon's Worried Blues, That Crawlin' Baby Blues, Easy Rider Blues, Stocking Feet Blues and Right of Way Blues.

Transcriptions are in standard notation and TAB and links are provided to downloadable versions of the songs from which the transcriptions were made. Also included in the book are a biographical essay by researchers Alan Governar and Kip Lornell, an essay I wrote which examines Lemon's sense of time and phrasing and his picking technique, as well as an appendix which sorts Lemon's entire guitar-accompanied recorded repertoire by date, playing position and accompaniment type--archetype, one-off or iteration, and analyzes the findings.

"Mississippi Fingerstyle Blues Guitar" was designed to showcase the great variety of styles in early recorded Mississippi blues, focusing on the period 1926--1959, with twenty-seven songs, each recorded by a different artist.
Tunes and Artists include: JIM JACKSON Old Dog Blue THE DOWN HOME BOYS Original Stack O'Lee Blues SAM COLLINS Graveyard Digger's Blues MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT Blue Harvest Blues BO WEAVIL JACKSON Devil And My Brown Blues WILLIAM HARRIS Bull Frog Blues RUBE LACY Mississippi Jail House Groan ISHMON BRACEY Suitcase Full of Blues MATTIE DELANEY Tallahatchie River Blues GARFIELD AKERS Dough Roller Blues JOE CALLICOTT Fare Thee Well Blues ROBERT WILKINS Get Away Blues CHARLIE PATTON Pea Vine Blues TOMMY JOHNSON Canned Heat Blues SON HOUSE The Pony Blues SKIP JAMES I'm So Glad BO CARTER Pretty Baby EUGENE POWELL Low Down BOOKER WHITE District Attorney Blues BIG JOE WILLIAMS Meet Me Around The Corner TOMMY McLENNAN Whiskey Head Woman ROBERT PETWAY Catfish Blues ARTHUR "BIG BOY" CRUDUP Mean Old Frisco Blues FRANK EVANS French Blues CAT-IRON Jimmy Bell ROSA LEE HILL Faro FRED McDOWELL Drop Down Mama

I will be taking delivery on the books later this week, and U. S. purchasers can get a signed copy of either one of the books, which list price for $24.95, from me for $28.00 postpaid, sent USPS Media Mail. If you purchase both books, the postage on the second book is free, so it's cost would be $25.00. I also have my books "The Guitar of Mississippi John Hurt--The Rediscovery Years", "East Coast Fingerstyle Blues Guitar" and "Texas Fingerstyle Blues Guitar" available for sale, and postage is free for any books purchased beyond the first book purchased, so cost would be $28.00 for the first book and $25.00 for each additional book. All books sold will be signed by me.

If you wish to order a book or books, please make payment to my paypal account, as outlined on my website, , in the Teaching section. If you are not a U. S. resident and would like to avoid the cost of international postage, downloadable versions of the book are available at Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop website,

I hope folks will take advantage of the opportunity to purchase these books. Thanks for your time.

All best,

Forgetful Jones:
I bought the Blind Lemon book from the Guitar Workshop in digital format last night. I've been reading the forward and the section on Jefferson's technique, as well as the descriptions that come along with each song. The book is excellent. There's so much more in there than the song transcriptions, which I haven't started yet. There are lots of tips and playing suggestions (hand positions etc) as well as recording information and some of the Paramount newspaper advertisements for the records. I can't wait to dive into the songs.

When I saw that the book was released, I was so excited that I bought it immediately. Didn't even realize that there was another new book also available. I will surely pick up that one too. I may have to get that one directly from you John, to get that prized signature with it!

Thanks for this one.

Thanks very much for your good words, Forgetful Jones. This was a really big project for me, and I didn't want it to be simply a book of transcriptions. A great deal of thought and study went into the essay on Lemon's senses of musical time and phrasing, and the appendix at the end of the book really has a lot of information and a way of thinking about Lemon's accompaniments that I've not seen elsewhere. I'm glad that Stefan was able to enlist Alan Govenar and Kip Lornell to write the biographical essay on Lemon and the time when he and Leadbelly were playing partners. I'm really glad that I had such big projects to work on during the past year--it helped a great deal to have such engaging work during a time when we were all basically stuck at home, I might have gone a little stir crazy without these projects.
All best,

I bought the Blind Lemon book and I love it so far!

Thank you for all the hard work in getting it together.

I agree that the book is worth it even without transcriptions! Just the tips and essays about Lemon and his manner of play and idiosyncrasies as well as the biography are well worth the price of admission, without a doubt.

Thanks to your lesson, I have already improved my playing of ĎEasy Riderí by finally doing the signature lick correctly. I had figured a Ďnot quite, but okí version out by ear, but now it not only sounds right, but is even more fun and satisfying to play!

Thank you again!

Iím basically working on one of the easier and one of the harder songs within at the same time, Easy Rider and Got the Blues.

If I may ask, can you help me to clarify what you mean in the Got the Blues lesson by fingering the third fret across the neck with the third finger, second with the second, etc?

It seems simple when I see it written, and when I write it here, but I canít seem to understand how it works in practice. Iím
picturing barre-ing the fingers one behind the other, but it hat doesnít seem right.

For example, when doing the intro, Iím using a G shape and moving my fingers from there as needed. That doesnít seem to be what you recommended.

Iíd definitely like to get that fretting hand calmed down so I can focus on the picking.

Thanks again for such an AWESOME book. I hope it was a labor of love!

Hi sofingraw,
I"m really pleased that you're excited about the Lemon book. It was indeed a labor of love as you suggest. As for your question about what I meant by suggesting the use of the index finger across the neck at the first fret, the second finger at the second fret, etc., what I meant was not barring at the indicated frets by the fingers as described but rather, that any note occurring at the first fret, regardless of what string it is on, will be fingered by the index finger, any note occurring at the second fret, regardless of what string it is on, will be fingered by the second finger, and so on. Does that help clarify what I meant?

The advantage of adopting such an approach in the fretting hand is that it greatly reduces the amount of lateral movement that is required for the fretting hand, and sets things up so that a given finger may move back and forth across the neck, but will only rarely have to move up and down the neck. So if you look at the intro of "Got The Blues", you end up using your third finger to fret, at various points, the third fret of the first, second and third strings, your second finger to fret the second fret of the fourth string, and your index finger to fret the first fret of the first string. And your fretting hand ends up being perfectly still, in terms of movement up and down the neck. So it takes a passage that in the picking hand is very florid and busy and makes you realize that in the fretting hand it is really pretty easy.

I hope the example helps make clear what I was talking about in making those fingering assignments.

All best,


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