The Piedmont style of fingerpicking is characterized by an alternating bass which is played by the thumb while other fingers on the picking hand simultaneously play the melody. The result is a full sound that often feels like two guitars are being played at once. Master this technique and you’ll be an entire band all by yourself! This workshop will introduce students to this interesting technique in the context of several easy arrangements from the Country Blues acoustic tradition and provide solid direction for further study in this area. The workshop will move at an easy pace and will be taught by ear. Students should be familiar with basic first position chords and be able to keep time while changing between them. Tablature will be provided for all songs covered and recording is encouraged.
Valerie Turner is a native New Yorker with southern roots in Virginia and Georgia. She plays finger style Country Blues guitar and specializes in the Piedmont style of fingerpicking. Valerie has taught at the Port Townsend Acoustic Blues Workshop in WA, Blues & Swing Week in WV, and the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation in MD. Her eclectic repertoire was heavily influenced by the late John Cephas, a world renowned Country Blues musician in the Piedmont style, and her guitar playing is reminiscent of traditional blues greats like Mississippi John Hurt, Etta Baker, and Elizabeth Cotten. Valerie and her husband Ben perform as the Piedmont Bluz Acoustic Duo and have traveled as far as Israel, Ireland, Spain, and Germany to share their music.