Tag Archives: Doc Watson

Doc Watson

Guitar great Doc Watson passed away earlier this week. I steal everything I do, and I have Watson to thank for the basic Piedmont-esque finger-picking style that I use when I use my fingers. This is a style I learned from Watson on an instructional VHS tape that I checked out from the Long Branch Public Library in Silver Spring, Maryland in 2002, and which I now see is a Smithsonian Folkways video still available on DVD called Doc’s Guitar: Fingerpicking & Flatpicking.

Specifically, I took the style from the first bit he teaches/plays on that video: “Deep River Blues.” Below, you can see me doing trying to do this bit  — same key (E), same diminished chord (G dim), same neck position and everything — as The Viper and His Second String perform the Neil Young song “Vampire Blues” (shot and uploaded to YouTube by Sue Peacock earlier this year — that’s birthday boy John Peacock you’ll see taking the suitcase solo in the middle).

from http://youtu.be/LpwrXyigmX8

And now here’s Doc Watson doing the same thing but better on “Deep River Blues.”

from http://youtu.be/6VAbrnjdtYw

Great stuff. And now follow this link to a clip from the Smithsonian video to have Doc Watson teach you how to do it too!