Blue Guitar Great Stefan Grossman

stefangrossmanStefan Grossman Blues Guitar

If you’ve done any amount of reading on blues guitar and guitar sheet music, the name Stefan Grossman may sound strangely familiar. With his humble beginnings as a guitar student of Reverend Gary Davis, he turned a passion for collecting old 78rpm records into a career of live performance, recording, and music education. With the establishment of his company, Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop, he has managed to produce valuable insights for guitarists eager to learn blues guitar. Grossman’s specialty, as you might imagine from his old record collection, is early folk and country blues with an emphasis on the old legends.

Stefan Grossman Sheet Music

Grossman’s best collections for newer guitar players include Fingerpicking Guitar Techniques, How to Play Blues Guitar, Volume 1, and Beginners’ Fingerpicking Guitar. These books provide a great foundation and jumping-point for those new to the guitar or the blues. By mastering the essential techniques laid out in Grossman’s beginner volumes, you can ensure that you’re really benefiting from his wealth of knowledge about the genre. One area where Stefan Grossman’s teaching really shines is enabling guitarists to not just play, but also understand, the principles behind the advanced concepts approached in other guitar sheet music collections. What is also great about Grossman’s collections are that they generally come with a play-along CD or DVD instructional aids.

By far the most inspiring collection of blues guitar sheet music available is “Stefan Grossman’s Early Masters of American Blues Guitar” series. This series features a wide selection of premiere, legendary blues artists like Blind Boy Fuller, Blind Blake, Lonnie Johnson, and many more. This collection of sheet music is especially valuable because it highlights the beginnings of blues in America. Through an in-depth analysis and transcription of these artists songs, Grossman reveals the roots of blues music how the artists themselves played it. In addition, he includes original artist recordings when possible as supplemental reference, a true value.

Advanced players are not going to want to miss his Master Anthology Of Fingerstyle Guitar Solos Vol. 1 or his Master Anthology of Blues Guitar Solos, Vol. 1. Both books are thick, comprehensive guides perfect for the gigging guitarist or hobby musicologist. Through transcriptions of blues solos in these volumes, Grossman highlights Phil Heywood, Sean McGowan, Dale Miller, Buddy Fite, Jim Ferguson, and numerous other guitar legends. In all, both volumes span over 400 pages and four audio CDs. This compilation is not for the faint-hearted musician.

Additional resources for intermediate to advanced guitarists looking for sheet music are Advanced Fingerpicking Guitar Techniques: Blues Guitar and Advanced Fingerpicking Guitar Technique – Ragtime Blues Guitar. Both books are great options that look closely at the techniques needed to transform basic blues guitar principles into a true self-expression. Building upon the fingerpicking lessons of his introductory collection, Grossman covers ideas from solo emulation to and instrumental multi-sectioned blues. There’s no shortage of single-string guitar licks, either, in these advanced fingerpicking guides.

Masters of Early Blues Guitar

Having studied and learned most of his guitar technique from Reverend Gary Davis, Grossman is as close a source as you can hope to get to the true masters of early blues guitar. Gary Davis’ influence on popular music can be heard in the likes of Jackson Browne, The Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan, and many others. Grossman’s own musical achievements are varied and include an LP released on Elektra records with the Even Dozen Jug Band, numerous recordings for Fonotone Records, and many years touring in the UK and throughout Europe. With a background as diverse as his is, Stefan Grossman may be the most qualified blues guitar teacher today; luckily for blues guitarists, his publications are still in print and likely will be for generations of new guitarists to come.

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