Rick Payne is an established blues guitarist in the United Kingdom. He is a senior tutor and course writer at the Acoustic Guitar Workshop, a Bristol, UK-based resource for acoustic guitar instruction. He has produced a number of instructional videos and an instructional book, Rick Payne’s Fingerstyle Blues.
Not limiting his instructional chops to video and print, Payne also teaches and facilitates live workshops like the AGW Fingerstyle Blues and Acoustic Slide workshops in Bristol and a variety of other workshops around the UK where he passes on the art of the blues, in the style of masters such as Big Bill Broonzy, Robert Johnson, Blind Blake, and Reverend Gary Davis.
Known for acoustic blues fingerpicking, Payne is adept at a range of traditional blues styles, such as delta blues, Piedmont, ragtime and slide. He has recorded two audio CDs in this style, Blue River Blues
and The Bridge
. His newest album, The Bridge
, is a bit of a departure for the natural solo performer, as he added a top class crew of musicians to back him up, including Stuart Gordon on fiddle and Cliff Thorne on bass. The result is an album that excels not only in playing, but in its rich arrangements and expert songwriting.
Payne brings these songs to the road regularly, having toured the UK, Europe and the United States extensively. Unlike many blues players, Payne is more than just a mainstay at blues festivals: he also plays at jazz and folk events, literature and poetry festivals, and has even played the blues at a classical music festival.
As if a successful teaching, recording and touring career weren’t enough, Payne has also crossed over into some television and radio work, with both songs and live appearances featured on BBC television and radio programs.
How many TrueFire courses have you authored?
I have done six TrueFire videos: Blue Notes, Fingerstyle Encores, Fingerstyle Fusion
, and 60 Day Fingerstyle Blues Camp
, which features three different courses – Fingerstyle Blues 1, Fingerstyle Blues 2, and Acoustic Slide Guitar
Is there something you’d like to teach that you haven’t yet?
I would be interested in teaching gypsy jazz, fingerstyle jazz, or advanced ragtime guitar.
Is there a mistake practicing guitarists frequently make? What would you suggest to correct it?
I would say that there are no mistakes – only opportunities to learn.
What drew you to your particular genre of music?
It has to be hearing Big Bill Broonzy for the first time.
What is your idea of good “tone?” Whose tone do you really look up to?
Good tone is, of course, making a beautiful sound and making it relevant to whatever mood you are trying to convey in your playing. Tommy Emmanuel has a tone to die for.
What is one suggestion you’d give to students trying to improve their tone?
Slow down, don’t rush, and concentrate on really playing through every single note you play; think about the emotion you are trying to put out.
|Rick’s Gear Box
Variax Acoustic 700