PARKING LOT PICKER’S PLAY-ALONG GUITAR—BY DIX BRUCE—Mel Bay MB30115BCD. CD included, $19.99. (Mel Bay Publications, #4 Industrial Dr., Pacific, MO 63069,

This seems to be the second phase of books for parking lot pickers by Bruce. This trimmed-down version focuses on 15 songs from that rich cusp of material between old-time and bluegrass. Some songs are presented with backup and a Carter Scratch-style lead. There are as many as three different breaks lined out for tunes like “Wildwood Flower.” Each song is discussed with ideas to apply to them and techniques that can be used in similar pieces.

There are charts for transposing songs and using the capo to move the songs to different keys. There are great photographs of older guitars to cause envy and aid in the early onset of “guitar acquisition syndrome.” The songs are presented in different keys, but written out primarily in G, C, and D, with “Shady Grove” in D minor. The capo is used to raise songs written/tabbed in C and G to the keys of D and A, respectively.

The CD that accompanies the book contains slow and fast versions of each song and allows the student to play along with some well-known musicians. The material here will be beneficial to beginner and intermediate players looking to expand their repertory licks and bass runs. The material is clearly and concisely presented to guide the user of this book forward through the songs and techniques contained therein. If the user of this book actually reads it and uses the CD, they will learn a lot about basic bluegrass and old-time guitar.RCB

Share this Article