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Dan Crary


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Dan Crary is an imposing figure—both literally and figuratively. At over six feet tall, his eyes peering out behind tinted glasses, his thinned gray hair pulled back into a tight, small pony tail and his gray beard neatly trimmed, Crary speaks with a resonant baritone voice that commands attention. It’s fitting then, that Crary spends much of his time teaching Communication Sciences at Cal State Fullerton.

As a guitarist, Crary, indeed casts a giant shadow. In 1970 Crary released the first bluegrass album built around the guitar aptly called Bluegrass Guitar. In the liner notes to the CD reissue of Bluegrass Guitar, Tony Rice states: “…the idea of lead guitar standing alongside mandolin, banjo and fiddle is relatively new and Dan (Crary) along with Doc Watson, Clarence White, Norman Blake, Larry Sparks, and others, made it happen…Crary’s direct approach makes for a wonderful sound and fully developed aesthetic all it’s own.”

Crary’s influence as a guitarist reverberates with any guitar tune picked at a jam session. As Rice so simply stated, Crary is among the founders of the form. Crary is one of the architects of flatpicking guitar. Listen to Bluegrass Guitar and one is struck with the selections—virtually all standards today. Many of them, “Gold Rush,” for example, presented as guitar pieces for the first time.


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  • BuddyDawg1

    There are very few solo flatpickers out there because it is so difficult to realize the harmonic/accompaniment capabilities and the melodic/soloing capabilities of the instrument AT THE SAME TIME with a flatpick - it can be done (and in a number of styles - flamenco, classical, travis-picking, pattern picking, etc., etc.) fingerstyle, and simple chord-melody techniques exist for flatpick, but full-on cross-picking is difficult. Flatpickers are generally resigned to ensemble playing where they can accompany others or solo with accompaniment without having to peform both duties at the same time. Dan Crary (along with Doc Watson and Norman Blake) is among the few who successfully flatpick solo and WELL!

    19 May 2011 Reply
  • ThataCandy

    musicas absolutamente lindas *-*

    8 Feb 2011 Reply
  • Tosky89

    great musician

    31 Jan 2010 Reply

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