#1
Doc was blind. I'm curious...how did he learn the chords without seeing the fingering? Did somebody physically put his fingers on the various chords when he was learning? How did he learn picking? Do any of you folks have any blind students, if so how do you go about teaching them?

There is a rich history of blind players, but Doc particularly interests me.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VAbrnjdtYw
#2
Any commentary on Doc's technique? That thumb sure doesn't look like it's on the back of the neck, that's for sure.
#3
Awesome performance, guy's got chops for sure
I gutes someone may have helped him out with some techniques when he first started playing, so he could learn the absolute basics (how to hold the guitar, how to pick etc)
When it comes to chords, I'm pretty sure he figured out that stuff by ear. I went to school with a blind guy, who wasn't very much into music at all. However, having only had his hearing to recognise notes, he had pretty much perfect pitch. He even could tell what pitch pans, pots or even cupboards had when we were in cooking class.
So...long story short, I'm sure someone who's really into music could learn about everything by ear, once he knows how to hold a guitar and how to pick etc. Rest of his technique was probably just trial and error (as with most guitar players)

Btw, what about his thumb placement? Looks pretty normal to me
#4
Yeah, I agree. Doc was amazing. I didn't consider that a blind player would possibly have enhanced "ear training" capabilities. I've always heard that other senses compensate for a loss of one, so that makes good sense. Still the work involved...seems staggering, like a trial and error type thing. The man had talent though, so I guess the rules that apply to garbage players like me don't apply to him.

His thumb placement is the same as mine as well. Was just egging on the technique snobs with that comment I know my instructor is trying to break me of the habit of thumbing the fat E (which I just learned a few months ago, dammit!). Maybe if I sounded like Doc he wouldn't mind so much
Last edited by TobusRex at Mar 4, 2016,
#5
The Wiki article:https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doc_Watson
Goes into considerable detail on his background and career, but not much to say about his actual learning process.

I recall that before he became famous as sort of the ultimate roots-guitar hero, he had been playing electric rhythm guitar in a big band!
#6
Quote by Bikewer
The Wiki article:https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doc_Watson
Goes into considerable detail on his background and career, but not much to say about his actual learning process.

I recall that before he became famous as sort of the ultimate roots-guitar hero, he had been playing electric rhythm guitar in a big band!



Haha....maybe!

I've dug into Doc's history on Wiki and elsewhere. Really fascinating but as you said nothing about the actual learning process. He did mention that when he was a boy ever so often his father would buy him a new harmonica. That was extremely cool, his dad getting him harmonicas in different keys like that.

I figure his daddy or some other family member played a big part. Would take a lot of love/discipline to teach a boy to play like that, probably more of the former.

Speaking of daddies and sons, you guys will like this. Damn that banjo is louder than 4 guitars but since it's Earl I'll give him a pass, hehe.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUzVUNJKiDc
Last edited by TobusRex at Mar 4, 2016,
#7
there's some folks on those "other forums" who actually knew and played with the guy. they might know something.

awesome playing on that clip.
Last edited by ad_works at Mar 4, 2016,
#8
Quote by ad_works
there's some folks on those "other forums" who actually knew and played with the guy. they might know something.


Sorry, didn't mean to leave anybody out. Just figured this was the fingerstyle area and all. I love this kind of stuff. What forums are you talking about? I'd love to go read anecdotes about great players like Doc and Earl.
Last edited by TobusRex at Mar 4, 2016,
#10
I've sometimes wondered if blindness is an advantage to musicians because of the "sense enhancement" thing. I think that as far a learning goes, it would only be a minor disadvantage, after all, flautists can't see what they are doing.

The Doc was a legendary flatpicker, but he was also a pretty good finger picker. This is his early version of "Deep River Blues". That opening slide is not easy to play:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VAbrnjdtYw

Jose Feliciano is another great blind guitarist. Who else?
#11
Thread said "/Blind Guitar Playing" so I'm gonna bring Gary Davis into it, I've noticed that within a few hours/days of learning a song I can play it with my eyes shut. His right hand kinda walks around, and it always brings you where you need to go. It's just an interesting thing I've noticed and this is the first place I thought I could mention it