Bing Hodneland logo

Bestsellers

Books

List Bestselling Books

DVDs

List Bestselling DVDs

Google

Genre

Links


All links, annotated >>
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
In Association with Amazon.co.uk

All the information on this site is free. But if it is of value to you, I appreciate a tip.


A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

Search artist (type the first letters in the (sur)name):

DVD-zoning

For some information on DVD zoning, go to DVD zoning.

Books - DVD - Recordings - CDs -Equipment

Videos: Mississippi John Hurt

Top Seller: Mississippi John Hurt


More >>
Country Blues Guitar 3-Volume DVD Set
In this three DVD lesson series Stefan Grossman explores the world of Country Blues Guitar. It is a fascinating and challenging study that covers blues, folk and ragtime arrangements in the the keys of A, C, D, E and G.
RefNr: SGGW904SDVD
Order From:
SheetmusicPlus
MusicRoom
Amazon UK
Amazon US

New (or updated) videos: Mississippi John Hurt

Mississippi John Hurt is one of the most influential fingerstyle guitarists. His guitarstyle is simple, meaning that you can start with his tunes withoug being a very advanced player. But at the same time it is a playing style that you will not outgrow, and it is very efficient.

Recently Stefan Grossman has published two book/3CD sets (audio lessons) on the playing of Mississippi John Hurt, and Happy Traumhas teamed up with John Sebastian to make a DVD on his playing style. And then John Miller's two DVDs on the playing of Mississippi John Hurt have been available for some time. So it is time to take another look at the material you can choose from.

If you are going to study the guitar playing of Mississippi John Hurt, you have to hear him play. Other people may demonstrate and explain his techniques. But there is nothing like listening to the original. If you don't have any of his records, you have to get some. And if you as a guitarist will get some of his recordings, there is no reason not to buy the set of 2 CDs with transcriptions. You get it all for less than you would have to pay for 2 CDs. This book/CD set has already been featured as Book of the Month – May 2003, and I am not going to repeat was is said there. In my view, the question is really what to get in addition to this set – if anything.

The book that comes with the CDs contain lead sheets, lyrics and transcriptions. But the transcriptions are genereally short, just the intro, one verse or something like that. And his playing in not discussed in any detail. So this in not a method teching his playing, and there are many nuances in the playing that you probably will miss if you stick to this book only. This set is very useful if you already are familiar with his style and want to learn new songs. It is not enough if you will start learning his style.

The next question is: Which format should you choose – audio or video? It helps to see what is played. There are details that may be easy to show, but hard to explain. Having said that: To use a video, you need a video player and a screen. You don't have to watch a CD, and it is easy to carry a book to where you want to practice.

The DVD has been a major improvement to video as a tool for instruction. One reason is that you have direct access to the tracks, and do not have to wind or rewind to get to the part you want to study. And DVD players seems to be more available than VCRs: If you have a computer that is not too old, it probably has a DVD player. A lap top with a DVD player is easy to carry to the place you will sit and play. Some of the reasons I had for not liking video, disappeared with the introduction of the DVD.

If you use audio lessons, you learn mainly by ear. You get some good ear training without reallly noticing, which is an important bonus when using audio lessons. I will also add that audio lessons generally come with better printed material. With DVDs you generally get a booklet in a small format, which often will mean a lot of unwanted breaks for page turning. When I have the basics down and am practising the tunes, I am relying on the printed material. I usually do not go back to the DVD or CD explanation to sort out a detail that that I do not remember exactly. So I still like well made printed material.

Some publishers have started to give us the best of all worlds, with combinations of book, DVD and CD. The CD can be the soundtrack from the video, or just recording of the tunes. But the Mississippi John Hurt material is not available in this form. What I would like to have is a CD with the tunes as they are supposed to be played, without any comments or instructions, in addition to the DVD or audio instruction. I like to have a recording that I can play in my car or in other situations where I do not have the guitar at hand, and only want to get the muisc into my head. None of the available books or DVDs give you all.

Another question is what kind of goal you have. Do you want to study Mississippi John Hurt to learn fingerpicking, or do you want to study his particular style in depth?

If Mississippi John Hurt is your gateway to fingerpicking, and you do not have ambitions to learn as much as possible about all the aspects of his playing, the new DVD/VHS from Happy Traum and John Sebastian is a good choice. They do not present a detailed analysis of Mississippi John Hurt's playing, but rather their own adaptations of some of his well known songs.

You get a conversation where one of them will play a Mississippi John Hurt tune, and maybe explain how Mississippi John Hurt used to play the tune, present some of their own variations, and maybe a slightly different arrangement in the same style. As they say several times: Mississippi John Hurt did not play the tune exactly the same way every time he played it, so there is no reason that you should try to play exactly like he did when the song was recorded.

It is obvious that Happy Traum and John Sebastian are had a good time when they were filming and recording for the DVD. And they add small stories and anecdotes. I did not know until John Sebastian told it on this DVD, that the name of the group he was forming in the 60s, The Loving Spoonful had taken its name from a line in Mississippi John Hurt's Coffee Blues. It all makes the DVD good entertainment as well as good instruction.

As a bonus, we also get a conversation with Sam Hood, the son of the owner of the Gaslight Cafe the time Mississippi John Hurt had this as his "home" in New York. For all of us who have only heard about the Greenwich Village scene in the early 60s, it gives some glimpses into arm-wrestling between Bob Dylan and Mississippi John Hurt and other stories.

In his two DVDs, John Miller takes a more "serious" in the approach. His ambition is more to teach exactly how Mississippi John Hurt played. I have not really compared in detail the transcriptions on these DVDs with Mississippi John Hurt's original recordings, but they seem very accurate. John Miller often go through several verses, and points out suble differences in the playing from one verse to another.

One very nice bonus that comes with these DVDs is footage with Mississippi John Hurt. You can see and hear him play Spike Driver's Blues and You're Goint To Walk That Lonesome Valley Blues. It really gives us some insight to actually see Mississippi John Hurt playing these tunes.

The presentation is straightforward. John Miller plays the tune through, and then breaks it down and discuss the playing. It is not as easy going and entertaining as the Happy Traum and John Sebastian DVD. But is is (probably) closer to how Mississippi John Hurt play the tunes. And as it is two DVDs (sold separatly), they cover more tunes.

Stefan Grossman's two books are audio lessons rather than books. Each of them comes with 3 CDs, giving you three hours of audio instructions. The books are transcriptions of the tunes and some pictures.

I generally like audio lessons. It is nice to see the tunes played. But when you are listening to the same tune over and over again, at least I prefer audio. (But you can also play a DVD without actually looking at the screen, just listening.)

A nice feature in Stefan Grossman's books is that we get the original recording of all the tunes covered. Then they are broken down, explained and played slowly phrase by phrase. And finally the tune is put together again, and you can play along. For some of the tunes, we can also hear different version played by other artists. We can hear Papa Charlie Jackson, Frank Stokes, Bessie Smith, Mance Lipscomb, Rev. Gary Davis, Rev. Robert Wilkins, Furry Lewis, Ma Raney, Clarence Ashley and Doc Watson play their versions of some of the tunes covered, and these recordings give us ideas on how these tunes may be treated.

The DVDs come with booklets with transcriptions and lyrics. For some reason, the lyrics are not incluede in Stefan Grossman's books. There should be more space in the books than in the booklets, so I do not really understand why he has not included the lyrics.

Which one should you choose? There is no clear verdict. I am in the lucky situation that I have all of them, and do not really have to make a choice. But as I said at the beginning, you should have original recordings, and for this the book/CD set is in my opinion the best choice.

All the sets have good selections of songs. You will be introduced to Mississippi John Hurt's trademark styles, no matter which set you choose. But I have to add that one of my favorite Mississippi John Hurt tunes, Frankie, is only included on John Miller's DVD. (But you can get it from other sources, se the list below). And when you have 2x90 minutes video, you can cover more songs than on one 90 minutes video. And you can cover more during six hours of audio. I have put togheter the table at the end, showing which songs you can find where. If you have some favorite tunes, it should help you to go in the right direction.

If you are new to Mississippi John Hurt, and are primarliy interested in blues fingerpicking, I will have the Happy Traum and John Sebastian DVD at the top of my list. But for a closer study of Mississippi John Hurt's playing, you should either get John Miller's DVDs or Stefan Grossman's books. It is mainly a matter of which medium you prefer.

All videos on the playing of Mississippi John Hurt


More >>
The Fingerpicking Blues of Mississippi John Hurt
A Spoonful of Classic Songs.
RefNr: HT641731
Order From:
SheetmusicPlus
MusicRoom
Amazon UK
Amazon US

More >>
The Guitar of Mississippi John Hurt, Volume Two
It is no exaggeration to state that much of the interest in Country Blues today can be attributed to the tremendous appeal that Mississippi John Hurt exerted upon audiences during the brief period between his rediscovery in 1963 and his death in 1966.
RefNr: SGGW818DVD
Order From:
SheetmusicPlus
MusicRoom
Amazon UK
Amazon US

More >>
The Guitar of Mississippi John Hurt, Volume One
Mississippi John Hurt's appeal was universal, he was very much a musician of his time and place, playing within a tradition, but mapping out his own territory with subtleties of touch, phrasing and use of the guitar that were all his own.
RefNr: SGGW817DVD
Order From:
SheetmusicPlus
MusicRoom
Amazon UK
Amazon US

More >>
You Can Play Guitar - 2 DVDs
A Complete Course for the Beginner. With this two-DVD set, anyone can make music on the guitar - even if they have never strummed a note before!
RefNr: HT641559
Order From:
SheetmusicPlus
MusicRoom
Amazon UK
Amazon US

All videos on the style of Mississippi John Hurt


More >>
How To Play Blues Guitar - Lesson 1
This series of lessons explores various fingerstyle blues guitar styles and techniques.
RefNr: SGGW971
Order From:
SheetmusicPlus
MusicRoom
Amazon UK
Amazon US

More >>
Easy Steps To Guitar Fingerpicking: Steps 2 and 3
Happy Traum has taken his 'Easy Steps' course to the next level with this double-DVD tutorial package. Learn to play 'dropped D' tuning through five classic songs.
RefNr: HT641633
Order From:
MusicRoom
Amazon UK
Amazon US

All videos including songs recorded by Mississippi John Hurt


More >>
Country Blues Guitar 3-Volume DVD Set
In this three DVD lesson series Stefan Grossman explores the world of Country Blues Guitar. It is a fascinating and challenging study that covers blues, folk and ragtime arrangements in the the keys of A, C, D, E and G.
RefNr: SGGW904SDVD
Order From:
SheetmusicPlus
MusicRoom
Amazon UK
Amazon US

More >>
Beginner's Blues Guitar
By the end of this DVD lesson, you will be playing the blues in several keys and styles.
RefNr: SGGW401DVD
Order From:
SheetmusicPlus
MusicRoom
Amazon UK
Amazon US

More >>
Legends of Country Blues Guitar Volume One
As a genre, blues music was developed at the beginning of the twentieth century by rural black musicians. The music they played was alien to formula, possessing such skill and robustness as to be captivating, but few were widely known.
RefNr: SG95233DVD
Order From:
SheetmusicPlus
MusicRoom
Amazon UK
Amazon US

More >>
Country Blues Guitar in Open Tunings
Most blues players began playing the guitar in an open tuning as it made playing much easier yet gave the guitar a much stronger and richer sound.
RefNr: SGGW969DVD
Order From:
SheetmusicPlus
MusicRoom
Amazon UK
Amazon US

ArtistSongVersion