Dear Diary: Up for the challenge. The bucket list item this Calgarian is taking care of during COVID-19
Avid guitar payer wants to learn the Doc Watson song Deep River Blues
In this instalment of our series, Dear Diary: In a Time of COVID-19, Warren Smistad is picking away at something he's wanted to learn for a long time. This submission has been edited for clarity and length.
I am an avid guitar player, I've been playing for almost 50 years. There is one song that has always been in the back of my mind to learn; the old Doc Watson song Deep River Blues.
Some videos I have seen of someone picking this song have indicated that it isn't as easy to play as it would seem. So, with that in mind I was determined to learn the song and after several hours of practice I have it mastered.
The trick is coordinating your fingers to play the chords and pick the melody at the same time while maintaining the rhythm of the song.
I chose to follow the example of the (in my opinion) greatest acoustic flat top picker ever: Doc Watson. Likely the hardest song I have learned prior to this was Green Sleeves, or the lead guitar part to Canadian Railroad Trilogy by Gordon Lightfoot — long hard battle with that one.
Thanks COVID-19 for opening up the time for me to learn something I've wanted to for some time.
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