Performance -  Rust Belt Blues clip

 Instructional Videos         ORDER

"Ernie is a master country blues guitarist and a wonderful and patient teacher of this music... a landmark achievement in documenting the style and techniques of this genius of fingerstyle guitar. He is helping keep alive and spread the word and world of country blues guitar".
Stefan Grossman

CONGRATULATIONS, I have just finished viewing all four discs of the
RGD lessons and they are truly magnificent! I cannot believe the value for
money that these lessons represent. Your warm regard for RGD comes across
in your presentation of the material. I felt as though I was sitting "one
seat away" from RGD himself. In some ways, he still lives in your fingers!
The song selection is spot on, and the anecdotes about, and film footage of,
Rev. Davis are truly wonderful - hell, even my wife stopped to listen in!
I have been enamored with RGD's music for twenty-five years; this has just
fed that passion. I very much appreciate your efforts here; you really have
hit a homer with this one.
Sam Apicelli

"Ernie Hawkins turned out to be my key into learning how RGD actually played this incredible music. I walked through a new door and a whole world of playing opened for me. I love playing and singing his music and Rev. Davis’ style has influenced many of the tunes I’ve played for years."
Geoffrey Caldwell

The Gospel Guitar of Rev. Gary Davis on DVD
Taught by Ernie Hawkins

Rev. Davis taught me, by example, to completely throw out my preconceptions of what can or can't be done on the guitar. Bob Weir (The Grateful Dead)

He was the most fantastic guitarist I'd ever seen. Dave Van Ronk

Gary Davis took you out of playing baby guitar and made you play it like a grown man. Taj Mahal

Rev. Gary Davis was a musical genius. His music and guitar playing spanned a century of different techniques, styles and ideas and touched on so many musical formats, i.e. blues, ragtime, folk, gospel, marching songs and tin pan alley hits. In this series of four lessons, Ernie Hawkins teaches fourteen of Rev. Davis's most requested and famous gospel guitar arrangements. Rare footage of Rev. Davis playing many of the tunes taught in this collection is featured.

Ernie gives you a detailed rundown of each arrangement, analyzing the structure and timing of each phrase, verse and chorus and then replaying everything slower on a split screen with close-ups of both hands. A comprehensive 80 page tab/music booklet is included. All in all, almost six hours of instruction is presented.

Lesson One: Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning, Samson and Delilah (If I Had My Way). Running time: 82 minutes
Lesson Two: Children of Zion, Oh Glory How Happy I Am, I Belong To The Band, Goin' To Sit Down On The Banks Of The River. Running time: 92 minutes
Lesson Three: Death Don't Have No Mercy, Twelve Gates To The City, Let Us Get Together, Right Now. Running time: 93 minutes
Lesson Four: I Heard The Angels Singing, Crucifixion, I Am The Light Of This World, You Got To Move. Running time: 87 minutes


I have seen many teaching videos over the years. Videos are not the way I like to learn - but there is an exception. Your Ernie Hawkins videos are absolutely superb. You cover the material in detail and with a style that shows love for both the music and its creators. People who do not know Ernie will be amazed at the exact note for note faithfulness of the work to the playing of these three blues greats. From a practical standpoint -- the video demonstrations of every left and right hand movements are so clear that I never had to go mess around with the tablature. This is particularly nice for me because I find reading tab an unpleasant experience. This is simply the best set of teaching videos I have ever seen. With this single act, you have done more towards passing along this music than has the entire history of the revival in interest in rural blues from the 60's up to the present day.
Bill Locke

Lightnin' Hopkins
When you hear someone say "Texas Blues Guitar" you may immediately think of Stevie Ray and Jimmy Vaughn or maybe Freddie King. The invisible presence, buried deep in every one of their guitar riffs, is the true king of Texas blues, Lightnin' Hopkins. Lightnin', who knew  Blind Lemon Jefferson as a child, is Jimmy Vaughn's favorite guitarist. Offered here are all the basics, many of the secrets and tricks of Lightnin's deeply accomplished, deceptively simple acoustic Texas boogie guitar style. This lesson features rare video footage of lightnin' from the 1950's and 1960's. Lightnin' plays the tune and then Ernie analyzes it lick by lick. This video presents a wonderful opportunity to go to the source of Texas blues and learn from the master who inspired generations of guitar heroes.

Titles include: Pull A Party, Goin' Down Slow, Shining Moon, Baby Please Don't Go and Take Me Back



Blind Willie McTell
Blind Willie McTell, a legendary mystical genius, recorded from 1927, when he established his reputation with the transcendent Statesboro Blues all the way into the 1950's. In homage to the great Georgia 12-string bluesman, Bob Dylan said: "No one can sing the blues like Blind Willie McTell". McTell is known for his unique swift clean fingerpicking style on his old Stella 12-string guitar. This was perfectly suited for his blues, rags and haunting vocals. He was also a master slide player, able to melt hearts with both blues and gospel gems. He was particularly expert at seamlessly combining a solid moving bass melodic style with spontaneous shimmering runs. In this video lesson Ernie teaches Blind Willie's greatest songs.

Titles include: Statesboro Blues, Come Around to My House Mama, Broke Down Engine, Searching The Desert For The Blues, Mama T'Ain't Long For Day and Savannas Mama.


Mance Lipscomb Volume One
The genius country bluesman/songster Mance Lipscomb was the most accomplished of the Texas "dead thumb" guitarists. His solid driving bass propelled his dancing, spontaneous melodies through song after song. He came from a musical family and grew up playing in the Texas country blues traditions. In this video, Ernie Hawkins carefully takes you through the complete range of Mance's playing, revealing all the tricks of the trade. Most importantly, you will learn how to play in Mance's style so that you can effortlessly adapt it to any kind of song.

Taj Mahal said, "From the past we are encouraged to take the best and leave the rest. Mance Lipscomb was a sage, a songster, a responsible elder, a self-made man - the best!"

Titles include: Captain Captain, Night Time is the Right Time, Goin' Down Slow, You Got to See your Momma Every Night, You Got to Reap What You Sow, Sugarbabe and Cherry Ball!




Mance Lipscomb Volume Two
In this second video lesson Ernie Hawkins continues his study of Mance Lipscomb's guitar style and techniques. The genius country bluesman/songster Mance Lipscomb was the most accomplished of the Texas "dead thumb" guitarists. His solid driving bass propelled his dancing, spontaneous melodies through song after song. In this lesson Ernie highlights the ever-popular Spoonful, two ragtime instrumentals in the key of G and A and an extended blues in the key of G.

Titles include: Spoonful, G Rag,
A Rag and Blues in G



The C-A-G-E-D system makes learning the neck of the guitar as easy as it can be. By learning the 5 basic chords and the three notes that make up these tonic chords, the guitarist is soon able to play any lick, any song, in any key, anywhere on the guitar neck. Emphasis is placed on 12-bar blues progression. Amazing!




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