Ernie Hawkins Teaches The MusicOfLouisArmstrong

Fingerstyle blues guitar player Ernie Hawkins teaches the MusicOfLouisArmstrong.

Playing a style developed by his mentor Reverend Gary Davis, Hawkins teaches five Louis Armstrong songs on this guitar lessons DVD.

Hawkins has freely admitted the influence that Gary Davis had on his playing. As one of the most well known of Davis' crew of young guitar students from the 1960's, Hawkins has the style nailed.

Surprising to many is how strong Armstrong's influence was on Davis. In this interview with Ernie Hawkins he talks about Armstrong's influence on Reverend Davis.

Certainly, this DVD shows the Davis/Hawkins style of fingerstyle guitar to be the perfect vehicle for Armstrong's songs.

The songs taught on The MusicOfLouisArmstrong Arranged for Fingerstyle Guitar are Potato Head Blues, Basin Street Blues, Cornet Chop Suey, It's A Wonderful World and the fabulous tune, Weather Bird.

This DVD is what we've come to expect from Stefan Grossman's Guitar Workshop. The shots are well lit and the camera angles are great, clearly showing Hawkins hands.

The video begins with what's probably the most ambitious piece in the set, Potato Head Blues. Hawkins makes it look easy and maybe it is for him. For most players, though, it will be a knuckle buster. Hawkins', as was Davis', approach is a chordal style of playing. The melody is pulled out of the accompanying chords. This calls for a strong knowledge of chords and their inversions. If your chord theory is weak, I suggest that you spend some time with Ernie's C-A-G-E-D Guitar Method.

Otherwise, even with the tab, this tutorial may be a little confusing for you when he starts rattling off chord names.

The songs are all transposed to guitar friendly keys with several being in the key of C.

Hawkins uses and recommends the wonderful music software


which I've also found to be great for learning new songs.

Otherwise, even with the tab, this tutorial may be a little confusing for you when he starts rattling off chord names.

In short, if you're a fan of the MusicOfLouisArmstrong and want to learn some great fingerstyle guitar arrangements of five classics, this disc is for you.

If you want to learn Hawkins' approach to playing this chordal style, I highly recommend his C-A-G-E-D Method series of DVDs. They are the Rosetta Stone that unlocks this style of playing.

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