Charlie Hall

Styles I Teach
 


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I teach a variety of styles, listed here, and some samples of the music and notation off to the right of each.  There are also a lot of pieces that just don't fit into any of these categories.  Also, click here for a description of what I don't teach.

Style Sound Samples Notation Samples

Beginning guitar.  I’ve been teaching beginning students for many years, in classes and in private lessons.  If you’re really going to learn the basics, you need to learn to change chords well, on time and accurately; to strum accurately; to keep proper time; and to be able to play single-note melodies.  These are fundamental to moving on to more advanced styles, whether it’s accompanying yourself while singing, playing rhythm or leads on bluegrass songs, or playing any of several fingerpicking styles.   

Amazing Grace

You Are My Sunshine

Amazing Grace

You Are My Sunshine

Fingerpicking guitar using the alternating bass (sometimes called the “Travis pick”).  This is used in accompaniment patterns for folk songs and while playing melody as well. Examples include Elizabeth Cotten's Freight Train, Gordon Lightfoot's Sit Down Young Stranger, Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant, Paul Simon's The Boxer. (In the Dust In the Wind examples, there's a melody guitar in the left channel and the Travis pattern accompaniment is in the right channel)

Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (slow)

Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (fast)

Dust In the Wind (slow)

Freight Train

Don't Think Twice, It's All Right

Dust In the Wind

Fingerpicking blues and ragtime guitar, as played by Doc Watson, Reverend Gary Davis, etc. Examples include Willie Brown's Mississippi Blues, Reverend Gary Davis' Hesitation Blues, Merle Travis' Rockabye Rag and I Am a Pilgrim.  The Deep River Blues Loop to the right is an example of "loops," repeating a section slowly to allow you to work it smoothly.

Deep River Blues (loop)

Victory Rag

Glad Rag

Alice's Restaurant

Deep River Blues

Victory Rag

Glad Rag

Alice's Restaurant

Everything else fingerstyle. This is everything that doesn't fit in the categories above, from a pretty standard arrangement of Greensleeves to The Beatles' Here Comes the Sun and Blackbird, to the pieces being played by the pioneering fingerstyle guitarists of today such as Stephen Bennett, Richard Thompson, and Colorado’s own Phil Volan.  Other examples include Cat Stevens' Moonshadow, Pat Donohue's The Road to Kingdom Come, Mason Williams' Classical Gas, Stephen Bennett's I Knew It Was You and A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.

The Star-Spangled Banner

Banish Misfortune

Out of the Blue

Here Comes the Sun

The Water is Wide

The Glory of Love

Over the Rainbow

The Star-Spangled Banner

Banish Misfortune

Out of the Blue

Flatpicked rhythm and lead guitar.  This is often associated with bluegrass, but the techniques and skills can be applied to any situation where you're playing chords or melody.  Examples range from  breaks on bluegrass songs such as Will the Circle Be Unbroken? to the waltzes Ashokan Farewell and Tennessee Waltz, to well-known songs such as Over the Rainbow.

Tennessee Waltz

Man of Constant Sorrow

Wildwood Flower

Ashokan Farewell - solo guitar

Little Sadie

Over the Rainbow

Tennessee Waltz

Man of Constant Sorrow

Wildwood Flower

Ashokan Farewell - solo guitar

Fiddle tunes from America, Ireland and the British Isles—on guitar and mandolin.  Examples include Whiskey Before Breakfast, St. Anne's Reel, Cherokee Shuffle, Flowers of Edinburgh, Red-Haired Boy, and pretty much any standard (and many a non-standard) fiddle tune.

Red-Haired Boy

Big Sciota

Sì Bheag, Sì Mhor

Big Sciota

Swing—rhythm and lead.  When we say “swing,” we’re usually talking about what many people call the “Standards”; that is, popular songs of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.  It also includes Western Swing as played by Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys and more recently, Asleep at the Wheel.  This music is great fun to play and sing, and the chords and tonalities don’t have to be a mystery. 

Ain't Misbehavin'

Blues for Dixie

Old Fashioned Love

San Antonio Rose

Blue Skies

 

Beginning and intermediate mandolin.  See also above at Fiddle Tunes.  If you’re already an established mandolin player and want to play like Ronnie McCoury, I’m not your guy.  But if you want to develop good skills, learn good chording techniques and lead approaches, and get your style to that “established mando player” part, I can teach you. 

Golden Slippers

Bright Days

Man of Constant Sorrow

Golden Slippers

Bright Days

Man of Constant Sorrow

Beginning and intermediate upright bass.  If you want to develop good basics, good sound, improve your ear so you can jam better, or make your playing more interesting on bluegrass, folk or swing, I can help you.  If you want to do slap bass, or are already an established player and are looking for high-level jazz techniques, I’m not your guy.      

   
 
What I Don't Teach

Electric guitar styles.  I did play electric guitar in a prior life, but there are many better players and teachers of electric styles out there.   

Classical guitar.  I’ve studied classical guitar, use many classical techniques, and advocate them for all players, but again, there are many better classical players and teachers out there for real classical guitar playing.

Colorado Roots Music Camp                  Marianne's studio