This DVD lesson could be titled The Music of Louis Armstrong for Fingerpicking Guitar or Gary Davis Meets Louis Armstrong. Born in 1896, the brilliant Piedmont guitarist Gary Davis came of age in the teens and the twenties. He was in his prime during the Jazz Age and his playing shows it. His guitar style and techniques came out of the twenties. It enabled him to play like a band. His thumb playing the rhythmic sections of the band while his index finger soloed over this. Rev. Davis only used his thumb and index fingers to pick. When asked why he replied with a smile: "That's all I need!" In Rev. Davis's playing you can hear the drive of Louis Armstrong as well as Louis's bugle call riffs.
Rev. Gary Davis's style is made to order to play Louis Armstong tunes on guitar. As Ernie learned most of what he knows and does on the guitar from Rev. Gary Davis, this is how he sees it and how he has approached arranging the tunes on this DVD lesson. Once you find the right key on the guitar these early jazz masterpieces seem to fall right into place. Putting CornetChop Suey into the key of C, for instance, enables you to play the patented 'Gary Davis Slow Drag G form C run' throughout as the statement of the initial melody.
This lesson is over 2 hours and forty minutes. The arrangements are for the intermediate to advanced players. They are multi-section compositions with lots of fingerpicking challenges. But all your hard work will be very worthwhile as these tunes are some of the greatest in the early jazz repertoire. Ernie teaches phrase by phrase and then uses the split-screen so you can carefully study what each hand is doing. A detailed tab/music booklet is included as a PDF file on the DVD.
Titles include: Potato Head Blues, Basin Street Blues, Cornet Chop Suey, Weather Bird and It's A Wonderful World.
163 minutes - Level 3/4 - Detailed tab/music PDF file on the DVD
Review: Louis Armstrong meets Rev. Gary Davis. Great instructional DVD on the music of Louis Armstrong, approached in the style of Rev. Gary Davis. Ernie's arrangements really capture the spirit of both Louis and Rev. Davis and are clearly presented in both the video and the accompanying booklet. I'd give it 10 stars if I could. This was perfect for my playing style and taught me a great deal about arranging in the Piedmont style. Thanks Ernie!- Josh Godfrey/Amazon Customer Review