Warning: Intersection Ahead

This video, and the other two "Intro and Performance" videos, will help you decide which song you'd like to tackle first in this course. If you already know which song's your favorite, go ahead and skip to that song's Intro and Performance video now. Or watch all three if you're undecided.

Notice that the three lessons coming up...

  • Bass Line: "Dust My Broom"
  • Bass Line: "Midnight Special"
  • Bass Line: "Can the Circle Be Unbroken?"

...each teach you how to play the bass line of a different song. You're going to want to choose just the lesson for your song, and skip the other two.

And whenever you come to a similar fork in the road, skip the two songs you're not learning.

And of course, once you're done learning your song, you can always come back here and learn the other two songs.

Are you ready for the country? I’m gonna show how to play one of the most popular Carter Family songs, “Can the Circle Be Unbroken.” This was originally a church hymn, and the Carter Family reworked it, and in the process, country music was born, more or less. This family had such a huge impact on the way we play country guitar today. I’m sure you’ve heard this kind of thing before. [play] That’s called bass-strum technique and while Maybelle Carter didn’t invent it, she was the first recording artist to make it popular. So like the blues tune I teach in this course, “Can the Circle Be Unbroken” lets us peek under the farmhouse and see country music’s foundation.

The version I’m going to teach you sticks to the lyrics the Carter Family used, but I made a few adjustments to the song: Changed the key to make the chords easier, and got rid of some time signature changes they do that would just drive you bonkers at this point. I think you’ll like this version.

So here’s what it’ll sound like once you’ve learned the song.

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