Archive / Wayne Erbsen

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Easy 2-Chord Songs for Guitar, cover

What Kind of Guitar Should I Get?

By Wayne Erbsen Following is an excerpt from the book Easy Two-Chord Songs for Guitar. As you set out on your guitar-playing adventure, you might be wondering what kind of guitar to get. There are four main kinds of guitars, so if you find yourself in a pickle and don’t yet have a guitar, this… Read More »


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 »


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 with an archtop guitar

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

By Wayne Erbsen 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. There are two schools of thought as to the origins of bluegrass music. One has Bill Monroe singlehandedly inventing bluegrass… Read More »

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