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Doc Watson collections

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Collections including Doc Watson songs

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Strum along - Chord songbook

Books about Doc Watson

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Doc Watson - books

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Arthel 'Doc' Watson revolutionized flatpicking guitar. If one should name the most influential guitarist in modern flatpicking, there is no doubt that this must be Doc Watson.

He began playing at age 13, on a Stella guitar. When he was 17, he replaced his Stella with a Silvertone.He bought his first Martin, a D-28 in 1940, which cannot be very long after he bought his Silvertone. The music store gave him one year to pay it off, and Doc started to perform at the streets to earn the money. This was the start of his performing career, and he got invited to amateur contests and fiddler conventions.

At 18 he got his nickname Doc, when playing in a radio show and the announcer thought that Arthel was too long. A woman in the audience said "Call him Doc", and since that he has been Doc Watson.

When he started his professional career, he was playing electric guitar in a country and western swing band Jack Williams and the Country Gentlemen. He had tried to learn to play fiddle, but got very frustrated and gave it up. But he liked the fiddle-tunes, and started to play them on guitar. He had installed a pick-up on his Martin D-28, but eventually he traded it in for a Gibson Les Paul Standard. During the folk-revival, he transfered his licks to acoustic guitar.

When Ralph Rinzler came to record Doc Watson after hearing him play with Clarence Ashley, Doc Watson did not own an acoustic guitar. He suggested that he could play his Les Paul with volumen turned down. But Ralph Rinzler did not like the idea, and Doc Watson made his first recording on a borrowed Martin D-18.

His breakthrough came when he was invited to play at Newport Folk Festival, where he played in 1963 and 1964. Doc Watson eventually got himself a Martin D-18, which was used on his first Vanguard albums. In 1968 he switched to a Gallagher guitar, and has been playing Gallagher ever since.

New books (or books with updated information)

Books on the playing of Doc Watson


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The Original Folkways Recordings 1960-1962
This two-CD set contains 48 songs that are transcribed in the companion book. Doc Watson & Clarence Ashley:
Level: , pages
RefNr: MB97056CD
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SheetmusicPlus
Amazon UK
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Doc & Dawg
Guitar Solos by Doc Watson. Transcribed by Justin Thompson. For Guitar (Flatpicking/Plectrum). Transcribed solos.
Level: , pages
RefNr: MB97167
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SheetmusicPlus

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The Guitar of Doc Watson
The legendary flat-picking of Doc Watson, captured in transcriptions of 14 of his best-known works.
Level: , pages
RefNr: WBP0974GTX
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SheetmusicPlus
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The Songs of Doc Watson

Level: , pages
RefNr: OK62489
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The Legacy of Doc Watson
The first authorized compilation of Doc Watson's life and music is meant to serve not only as a biography, but also as a unique instructional book.
Level: , pages
RefNr: MB95742
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SheetmusicPlus
Amazon UK
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Books on the style of Doc Watson


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Bluegrass Guitar Essentials
Learn to Play Bass Runs, Fiddle Tunes, Bluesy Solos, and More. By Scott Nygaard.
Level: , pages
RefNr: HL695931
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MusicRoom
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Hot Licks for Bluegrass Guitar

Level: , pages
RefNr: OK64386
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SheetmusicPlus
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Books including songs recorded by Doc Watson


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Bluegrass Guitar
Bluegrass Guitar, a new title in the Fretmaster series, combines a history and playing guide, with brief biographies of key artists, and transcriptions, original recordings and style demonstrations.
Level: , pages
RefNr: HL331347
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SheetmusicPlus
MusicRoom
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Traditional and Contemporary Guitar Finger-Picking Styles
This celebratory collection gathers the very best in music, tuition and knowledge from two previous Oak titles to commemorate 40 years since their original publication!
Level: , pages
RefNr: OK65010
Order From:
MusicRoom
Amazon UK
Amazon US

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