Introduction to Ragtime Guitar


Posted on September 20, 2011 by

Download Ragtime Guitar Primer PDF

Ragtime music probably had its peak between the late 19th century and the end of the 1st world war, where it was overtaken in popularity by jazz.  Its a modified version of a march with a characteristic heavily syncopated rhythms.  A closely related style, the cakewalk, preceded ragtime, both being primarily written traditions in that the music was handed from musician to musician by written music, rather than by performance.  The most famous ragtime piece is probably the Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin, although a lot of the music played by blues players such as Rev. Gary Davis, Blind Boy Fuller and Elizabeth Cotton could also be described as ragtime guitar.  Although this can be a tricky style to categorise there is chord progressions and patterns that crop up in several different tunes.  The video and tab below show a basic style of ragtime playing based loosely on Blind Blake’s Southern Rag.


Response to Introduction to Ragtime Guitar

  1. Chris Thompson

    Love the video mate. Studied a lot of rag time in Jazz History classes and it was mostly dominated by pianists so great to see someone playing it on the guitar.
    Keep up the good work.

  2. admin Post author

    Thanks Chris….I’ve always liked ragtime music. Have you heard Duck Baker..he does a great line in ragtime guitar pieces

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