Must Hear Finger Style Guitar Player Mary Flower
By Bruce Lamb
I have had the amazing pleasure of taking guitar lessons on finger style guitar blues and ragtime, lap style and Slide Guitar lessons from one of the best teachers out there and her name is Mary Flower. I have also had the pleasure of producing three DVD’s for her in their different styles of guitar mastery.
I first met Mary Flower at the guitar seminars work shop that was run by two other astounding guitar player Woody Mann, and Bob Brozman and I also want to mention Trevor Lawrence who pretty much ran the back end of the workshop and is also a great player.
The three DVD’s I produced for Mary teach three different styles of blues guitar. The first one in on playing blues guitar in the Key of E. The second DVD is playing Ragtime Style of Blues guitar. The third DVD is playing guitar in Dropped D Tuning.
Many blues guitarists feel that the key at E is both the most accessible and expressive key for deep blues sounds. Blues in E is a sound as old as the blues themselves. In this video, Mary shows you how to reach deep into the blues bag by teaching the licks and tricks that have kept this genre interesting and fun.
Going beyond mere role demonstration, she also explores the 12-bar blues structure and offers tips on creating your own arrangements. Starting with the Delta style where the thumb pounds out ifs steady, compelling bass, Mary shows you how to add single notes, up-the-neck bends, moveable chords, and powerful boogie-woogie patterns. Then she walks you through a plethora of blues turnarounds, the figures that add color and spice o your arrangements when you use them as fills between vocal lines.
Mary mixes classic and contemporary songs to add variety to her teaching and help you diversify your own repertoire. In this video, she uses Leroy Carr’s “;Midnight Hour Blues”; and Big Bill Broonzy’s “Key to the Highway” (made famous by Eric Clapton) as well as her own tunes to show you how blues techniques and structures really work, and how to make them work for you.
True to Mary’s style of teaching, songs and techniques are presented in progressive order of difficulty. This video is geared to the intermediate to advanced player as a guitarist, singer, and songwriter, Mary Flower has carried on the tradition of roots music for over three decades, specializing in the blues. A longtime favorite in Denver, Colorado, she took to the road after her children were grown and quickly achieved national prominence
Mary now lives in the Portland Oregon area where she still teaches, performs locally and travels around the world playing the blues.
Today she is best known for her many CDs, concert and festival appearances, and as a prizewinning contestant in the National Finger picking Guitar Championship at the Walnut Valley Festival.
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