Jorma Kaukonen: The Secret Is in the Thumb

When we lived in Athens, OH, we were right up the road from the Fur Peace Ranch, where Jorma Kaukonen and other extraordinary maestros take beginner-, intermediate-, advanced-, and master-guitar players and move them along to their next levels over the course of a few jam-packed days, breaking now and then to strap on the gourmet feed bag, in a down-home, country retreat setting. It’s much more than a guitar camp, check it out.

Ann got so tired of hearing me play the same old stuff that she secretly registered me for a weekend at the Ranch! That was back in the late 1990s.

There were folks from all over the country, mostly good, some great guitar players!

One thing Jorma said about finger picking that I’ll never forget, “The secret is in the thumb!”

How true! How true! Fortunately, I learned a few things that have made an enduring difference.

What brought back this memory? I saw a Facebook post that the short documentary, Fur Peace Ranch: It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This!, has been selected for a screening at the New Jersey Film Festival on Saturday, January 31, 2015! Check out the preview.



(photo credit: Barry Berenson) for side-by-side, freehand drawing in Procreate.

Click here for an accelerated (24 sec.) progress video of the iPad drawing.

Also, check out this piece on the Fur Peace Rance.

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