Blues by the Book

Level 2/3

All guitar players often get stuck in the mud. By observing other guitarists close up, doors are easily opened. As Yogi Berra used to say, “You can see a lot if you just keep your eyes opened” . This is how I do it at The FPR. You ask for it and I’ll show you how it’s done – face to face – in class or after class, I’ll be there for you. It is my greatest joy to share the skills that I have acquired..

Some of the techniques I will share with you include what Rev. Davis called “The Big C” chord. I learned that chord which I sometimes call “The Buckdance’ chord from the Rev. Davis back in 1969, You may notice when watching or listening to my arrangements that this “shape” turns up in may different positions, adding a sporty tickle to the ear.

I have found that by utilizing This difficult chord as well as others, my arrangement skills have grown considerably. I also will share the trick of using 2 or 3 different inversions of a chord in one measure of the tune… believing that 3 is often better than 1 or 2 another fun way to tickle the ear. This concept works in a “blues” or “rag” and in any key. Tricky to get 3 chords in 4 beats, but it really will knock you out.

Rev. Gary Davis, Blind Blake and Blind Boy Fuller all used “The Famous G Lick” in the key of G. Robert Johnson used this in many of his tunes in various ways. Learn one and we’ll have you using it anywhere on the neck!

Many of the tunes I have been playing for over 50 years are still developing. Different rhythms and chord inversions often show up in my performance. Many of these techniques that have been in my head since my early years in the company of many ‘old time musicians’.

Of course Rev. Gary Davis & Pink Anderson, were very important mentors. As were Dave Van Ronk & Ramblin’ Jack Elliott who always made the songs they covered, their own, continuing the tradition rather than duplicating it. That is what I have tried to do in my own way and hope you will as well.

I was fortunate to be around at the time when these legendary musicians were still able to play and remember the music that was popular in there younger days. Many were willing to explain and share their skills. Some of course were not!

At The Fur Peace Ranch, we have the opportunity to continue this wonderful tradition of sharing how we came to do what we do.
It is my greatest pleasure to explain, to encourage & to entertain all that desire to keep the music and the story alive.
Looking forward to meeting you all,

Roy “The Book” Binder

  • Blues by the Book
  • 09/24/21 — 09/27/21
  • Apply Now!
  • This workshop is currently full. Please fill out an application to be added to the wait list. No deposit required.


Country Blues Licks and Tricks

Level 2/3

Don’t worry folks. My class at The Fur Peace Ranch is right for you! Some pickers were shy to sign up for my class in the past, but when they finally did sign up, they were amazed at what they learned. They went home with a lot more than they arrived with! The students had fun, met new friends and shared their love of “finger picking the blues'” with like minded folks.

I have never considered myself a “guitar wizard”, or one of the greats. I cannot teach you to become either. But I can help you along on your journey and as we go along, together, help you create that allusion that you are a pretty amazing player.

When you learn 3 or 4 ways to make a chord and learn to ‘connect the dots”, the simplest song can appear to be a masterpiece. It does not take long to feel like you are improvising and making your own new arrangement to songs you have played for years.

I have plenty of tricks & licks, learned from the Old Blues Masters that I gladly will pass on to you. You’ll hear plenty of stories & songs of how my style developed over the years & I’m sure that I will learn plenty from you as well.

After our classes, I will always be around the porch, ready to help you out, answer questions and just hang out….. If you need a private session “after school’, just ask, I am there for you. I consider my time at The Ranch to be a blessing which has enriched my life in many ways!

Hope to see you there , It’s goin’ to be quite a time.  I’m looking forward to it as I do every year!

About Roy Book Binder

Roy has the goods: the original, the bare-knuckle, the low-down blues. Who can say they were friends with the Rev. Gary Davis and Pink Anderson? And toured with Arthur Big Boy Crudup, Hot Tuna & Bonnie Raitt? Roy can. He has the stories, the licks, and the mystery of timeless music in his fingers. He’s been featured on a PBS special and interviewed by Terry Gross on “Fresh Air.” He’s also a regular at Fur Peace Ranch, where he teaches along with Jorma Kaukonen and others. When he brings his ‘Tour Bus’ to town, a one-man blues-fest ensues. He plays and he entertains, feeding us music and stories, and the evening is a celebration for us all. We’re privileged to have Roy here to preserve–and extend—the tradition of great American blues music.

Fur Peace Ranch 39495 St. Clair Rd. Pomeroy, OH 45769 · Information 740-992-2575 Tickets 740-992-6228