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Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith
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Ben Smith is the founder and editor of Oldtime Central. As an ethnomusicologist, applied anthropologist, luthier, and oldtime musician, he is particularly interested in nurturing the oldtime community worldwide.

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Twin Sisters: Oldtime Rhythm Guitar Lesson

“Twin Sisters” is a classic D tune with countless variants, all related to an Irish tune called “The Boys of Bluehill.” The guitar tab presented here is played with the capo on the second fret. This allows you to play out of...

Breathing new life into Missouri fiddling: John P. Williams

Introduction John P. Williams is an oldtime fiddler from Madison, Missouri who grew up deeply entrenched in the tradition of Missouri fiddling. John was a regular attendee of the Bethel Youth Fiddle Camp and apprenticed under Pete McMahan in...

The Old Time Rollick

Have you ever had one of those life changing moments when you become acutely aware that everything will be different from that point on? I had mine at Jay and Molly's Ashokan Southern Week in 2001. I can honestly trace the...

Chinquapin Hunting – fiddle lesson with Dakota Karper

West Virginia fiddler Dakota Karper teaches the popular tune Chinquapin Hunting. This version is most closely related to that of Virginia fiddler Norman Edmonds. Chinquapin Hunting is played in the cross tuning AEAE (low to high) and has three parts.

One in every pocket: the rise of the harmonica in old-time music

“It has changed a lot, but it shouldn’t have changed. It should be the same all the way through, ’cause people that comes to see the Grand Ole Opry, they’re coming to see – what they expect to see – is the old-time music. That’s what...