Long-time students of bluegrass instruments will recall with fondness the name Oak Publications, a division of Music Sales that released some fine instructional manuals for banjo, guitar, mandolin, fiddle and bass starting in the 1970s. While the brand has remained active since, some of those early titles have been unavailable for years – though AcuTab reissued their classic (and massive) – Masters of the 5 String Banjo book.
Oak has reprinted a number those early books, and two of particular interest to the bluegrass community are among them. Both Bill Keith and the late Vassar Clements had transcription books as a part of Oak’s Bluegrass Masters series – which also featured books on Kenny Baker, Jesse McReynolds and Clarence White – both reissued earlier this year.
Clements’ fiddle book was written by Matt Glaser, current chair of the string department at Berklee College of Music, and the Keith banjo book was written by Tony Trischka with Bill’s assistance. The Vassar transcriptions are in standard notation and the Keith in tablature. Both feature information on the recordings from which the transcriptions were taken.
Look for Oak titles wherever bluegrass instructional materials are sold.