Clarence White book now available

The Essential Clarence WhiteAfter what can only be described as a labour of love, Roland White has announced that his book, The Essential Clarence White – Bluegrass Guitar Leads, is now available.

The 102-page spiral-bound book features 14 songs and tunes with variations, in notation and tablature, and comes complete with 2 CDs.

Page two indicates the scope of the book …

“This book presents Clarence White’s early but fully realized acoustic guitar style, as demonstrated in the recordings he made at home in 1962. Our intent is to provide an entry point for intermediate players to understand and begin to play in this style, and to impart the flavor of Clarence’s early musical environment.”

All of the songs/tunes can be found on the CD OF home recordings, 33 Acoustic Guitar Instrumentals, on the Sierra label.

Co-author Diane Bouska had this to say about the choice of tunes ……….

“We used those tunes mainly because Clarence plays several choruses in succession on most of them, so he naturally develops variations and you can hear him very well since there is only the one rhythm guitar on most tunes (and Clarence is alone on some).

Another auxiliary factor is that we had access and rights to use the music, and we could find enough PD among them to be able to put together a book. Another good thing about them is that they’re perhaps not as complicated as some of his later work. We hope, and think, that intermediate players will really be able to get a foothold with these.”

In addition to the instructional material, there is a brief biography with photos, but, purposely, it is limited to Clarence White’s early years. There is only a brief mention of the Byrds, for example.

Disc 1 contains a video clip from the Bob Baxter Guitar Workshop show in 1973 — there are two complete tunes, Soldier’s Joy, and the Crawdad Song.

“These are included not because the songs are in the book but because we wanted people to be able to see Clarence playing, see his technique up close.”

Disc 2 has rhythm tracks along with which students can play at slow or fast tempo. There is a foreword by Marty Stuart and a selected discography by Art Malmin.

The book is available at a cost of $34.95, plus $4.85 for Priority Mail from Roland White’s website, which includes sample pages and sound clips from the book.

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About the Author

Richard Thompson

Richard F. Thompson is a long-standing free-lance writer specialising in bluegrass music topics. A two-time Editor of British Bluegrass News, he has been seriously interested in bluegrass music since about 1970. As well as contributing to that magazine, he has, in the past 30 plus years, had articles published by Country Music World, International Country Music News, Country Music People, Bluegrass Unlimited, MoonShiner (the Japanese bluegrass music journal) and Bluegrass Europe. He wrote the annotated series I'm On My Way Back To Old Kentucky, a daily memorial to Bill Monroe that culminated with an acknowledgement of what would have been his 100th birthday, on September 13, 2011.