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David Grier

Posted by delboy on Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Been listening a lot to David Grier at the moment - he'll probably be the saviour of my flat-picking career.

The thing is, over here, many thousands of mile saway from the flat-picking heartlands, there is no flat-picking culture or community to speak of. I have been given the name of a double-bass player who's into bluegrass so that might develop - but the reality is there is nothing. That's problem #1.

Problem #2 is there isn't the tradition in these parts of playing these tunes - the stuff of which most of you grew up with. There's quite an acoustic blues tradition here, and there's a lot of gypsy jazz players, as you'd expect, but 'pure' flatpicking. Nope. No-one to play with, no tradition, nowhere to play, and no-one to listen to it even if there was.

So I'm on my own. On those rare occasions when I do an acoustic gig rather than a band gig it's just me. I need to be the bass and rhythm guitar, and lead player. So I tend to finger-pick as how else could one cover all those bases?

And David Grier is the answer!

Quite possibly Norman Blake and Mother Carter. too. Maybe Roberto Della Vecchia and Robert Bowlin. So a whole pack of players, led by Mr Grier.

It's a style I need to explore further. Could be an interesting journey moving away from pure single note rapidly picked (or in my case casually and slackily picked!) to a more chordal approach, cross-picked, carter picked, chords and arpeggios.

Looking forward to it!


3 comments on “David Grier”

Tom Smith Says:
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 @3:17:51 AM

I should be ashamed. Living in North Florida, there are probably plenty of flatpickers around, but all my time is spent at work or at home. Kind of like, I live 30 mile from the ocean, but haven't seen it in 10 years or more. Thanks for mentioning Roberto Della Vecchia. Hadn't heard of him before, so thanks for the introduction. I thought the idea of an Italian flatpicker was novel when I discovered Beppe Gambetta several years ago via some Dan Crary recordings.
Thank goodness for Youtube and the internet. (in the respect that it's made so much music from so many places available)

delboy Says:
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 @3:59:42 AM

Hi Tom. Long time no speak - how are you doing? Yes indeed - thank goodness for YouTube and the like. Roberto does a lovely lesson on a flat-picked Angeline The Baker in DADGAD tuning:

I've been using DADGAD for a few fingerpicked tunes so it'll be nice to be able to explore some flatpicking in that tuning, too.


Tom Smith Says:
Wednesday, May 21, 2014 @8:59:41 AM

Thanks for the link. Very good. Beppe uses alternate tunings quite a bit as well. I'm just getting started on that ... maybe this will be a good tune to get me on track for DADGAD tuning.

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