Don’t get me wrong, I love the banjo. The banjo was the first instrument I played well, the first instrument I played in public and it is the instrument I am most associated with in the imaginations of my students around the world – but in spite of that the guitar has always been my true love.
Of everything I have ever written I think The How and the Tao of Folk Guitar comes closest to capturing the sense of wide-eyed wonder that my teachers instilled in me. Not just for the guitar, but for music and the world around me. Sandwiched in with lessons on chords and scales are encounters with people like Pastor Charlie, Harmonica Joe, The guy who taught me chord inversions and the gal who made me want to grow up to play the guitar. Individually those stories each have some sort of a moral and a guitar tip or two, but collectively I think they illustrate that making music really is a way of life.
The stories are all true, by the way.
Volume Two never happened . . . No, that’s not quite true. It did happen, but not in an ink & paper sense. Volume Two is being written, or, if you’re not into abstract thinking, being lived by the people who started out with Volume One.
A second book would only screw that process up, so I decided to move on to other projects.
So here you go. The entire book stuffed into a 2 MB .pdf file and wrapped up in a Creative Commons license so you can use it or give it away to your hearts content.
By Patricj Costello