Archive / Wayne Erbsen

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mandolins

What Kind of Mandolin Should I Get?

Excerpted from Easy 2-Chord Songs for Mandolin by Wayne Erbsen, published by Native Ground Books & Music.  Unless a free mandolin just falls in your lap, you’ll need to purchase one. When you go shopping for a mandolin, I strongly suggest that you don’t buy a cheap one off of the Internet. Most of these cheapo instruments will… Read More »

GeorgiaYellowhammers

Drifting Too Far From the Shore

Charles E. Moody was not your average gospel songwriter. He alone wrote both the words and the melody of two of the bedrock classics of country and bluegrass gospel, “Kneel at the Cross” and “Drifting Too Far From the Shore.” To get a handle on this man and the songs he wrote, let’s go back… Read More »

Maybelle Carter c 1931

The Carter Scratch

By Wayne Erbsen They didn’t call her Mother Maybelle for nuthin.’ Nope. In addition to being the mother of three girls (Helen, June, and Anita), Maybelle Carter was nothing less than the mother of flatpicking guitar. Starting in 1927, her lead and rhythm guitar playing laid the foundation of what would later be known as… Read More »

Cleo Davis & Bill Monroe

The Big Bang Theory of Bluegrass

If the “big bang theory” helps to explain the origin of the universe, perhaps “the big bang theory of bluegrass” will shed some light on the origin of the bluegrass music universe. First, let me say that there are two schools of thought as to the origins of bluegrass music. One has Bill Monroe single-handedly… Read More »

Roy Harvey & Leonard Copeland

How Hard Is It to Play the Guitar?

By Wayne Erbsen The first question I hear from people interested in playing the guitar is “how hard is it?” For those of you with that same question, this article is for you. The relative ease or difficulty of learning to play any musical instrument depends on three main things: Natural talent. It’s just a… Read More »

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