In response to numerous requests, Happy Traum has taken his "Easy Steps" fingerpicking course to the next level. Starting once again with some fairly easy material, Happy builds your skill level step-by-step, adding increa... more »singly challenging techniques until your playing is firmly in intermediate territory. On DVD Two, Happy shows you how to play in the versatile and useful "dropped D" tuning, with its rich, booming bass notes and easy chord shapes. You?ll learn how to play and sing five classic songs, each one rich with possibilities for creating exciting arrangements. You?ll start by playing each one in its simplest form, picking out the basic melody using an alternating bass pattern. By adding chords, licks and melodic variations, you?ll soon be playing complex and compelling arrangements, with each tune featuring new and different additions to your bag of tricks. These include "The Colorado Trail," "My Home?s Across the Smoky Mountains," "Fishin? Blues," "The Blues Ain?t Nothin?" and the famous "John Henry." Back in standard tuning, DVD Three introduces you to the songs and styles of Merle Travis, Doc Watson, John Hurt and other masters of traditional guitar fingerpicking. You?ll learn to move freely around the fingerboard using alternate chord shapes, and you?ll be playing licks, slides, hammer-ons and bass runs while maintaining the steady thumb rhythm that gives this style its ear-catching appeal. By the time you?ve completed this course you?ll be picking show-stopping arrangements of "I Am a Pilgrim," "Deep River Blues," "Louis Collins," "Nobody Knows You When You?re Down and Out" and "Step It Up and Go."« less
"My father has had nothing but fantastic things to say about Happy Traum and his edcational videos, so I decided to try one myself. Of course, I assumed that I was a little better at fingerpicking than I actually am, and so I got started with this disc, volume 2 & 3. In truth, what sold me was the opportunity to learn Fishing Blues. Man, I love that song. But this disc has been humbling for me. Not to say it's too difficult; it's very solid fingerpicking and he takes great care to explain it. But I've realized that I've still got a few basic fingerpicking things to learn. I have no regrets about buying this disc because Happy is so good, I plan on mastering disc #1, and then this one, and then more. I just realize now that I maybe should have bought #1 as well so I could be sure I had the nuts and bolts down. Check out this series; you'll be glad you did..."
Great intro for intermediate players to finger picking
Ken Shortt | 01/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Happy is an outstanding teacher. He really knows how to put together a top quality instruction guitar DVD. I'm currently working on volume 3 of this series and have learned a huge amount from the first. I've added seven very cool finger picking songs to my play list. Through these DVDs you'll learn how to truly apply alternate base playing and the beauty of drop D tuning. I would definitely recommend this to any intermediate player who wants to expand their abilities to include finger picking. Plan on 1-3 months per DVD to master the material."
Like having your own live-in instructor
Paul Kleimeyer | Phoenix, AZ United States | 11/30/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I had been playing on and off for the past 20 years. Mostly off, because I could never get the hang of it. Last year I stumbled on a sample clip of this video and decided to give it another try. I have been working through these DVDs plus volume 1 for around 8 months now. I was hung up on the very first song on volume 1 for about a week before the "lightbulb" went on, and now I can confidently say that I can play every song on the 3 DVDs pretty respectably. Not only that, but the real benefit to these lessons is that it enabled me to be able to pick up other songs and start playing them using my own fingerpicking style. I cannot stress this enough - the point is not to learn the songs on the DVDs - it's to turn you into a guitar player. And I believe I'm getting there thanks to these lessons. The reason is that Happy Traum is a very good instructor, and breaks the lessons down well. I have had a few one-on-one lessons on my life, and the DVDs really have the same feel - like Happy is giving you a personal at-home lesson. He has obviously been doing this for a while and has got the technique down perfectly. My wife has commented several times that I have made a big leap in my playing ability. I am 100% satisfied with this purchase and will be purchasing additional Homespun DVD sets in the near future (and there are many to choose from). Also, I am grateful that these lessons have gotten me interested in the music of Mississippi John Hurt."
Traum is amazing
Rkings80 | 05/14/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These DVDs are great for those interested in fingerpicking style. Happy Traum really does a great job of presenting/teaching the material on these DVDs. He has a relaxed and fun way of teaching. His choice of tunes are nice for learning as well. These DVDs are aimed at advanced beginners/intermediate players. Must have for those interested in fingerpicking."
America's Best Teacher....
Peter Hyatt | Orrington, Maine | 05/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like having this amazingly talented kind fatherly type teacher in your home, via outstanding DVD production! If you do not have volume 1; it is a must before beginning volumes 2 and 3. Homespun productions have very clear camera work---easily visible left and right hand work; along with great songs. Fingerpicking is probably the most beautiful form of solo acoustic guitar there is....being able to play a bass line along with melody is like reducing an entire orchestra to one instrument. Happy picks out classic old blues/folk songs to teach, which, depending upon your age, will be wonderful to learn. (my kids now love "Hobo's Lullaby" as I put them to sleep by it!--from volume 1). Learn the alternate bass line and continue to grow. Volume 2 and 3 is for the intermediate guitar player, or an advanced beginner. Volume 1 is an absolute must if you do not have the thumb pattern down. Happy is a patient, understanding teacher who encourages you to really take your time. 100 minutes of DVD lessons can translate into months of lessons, as you pause, practice, and return. The DVD allows me to take lessons every day, rather than the once-per-week that most in person lessons consist of. It is also a great money savings. I love their website: Homespun.com for updates, as well as their music forum for question and answer."