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Lesson notes

Freight Train may have been the first fingerpicking song I learned. Elizabeth Cotten wrote it as a young girl just after the turn of the 20th century.

Her professional career started many years later when she was working for the Seeger family and happened to pick up a guitar laying around the house.

Being self taught, she played a standard guitar left handed, using her index finger to play alternating bass notes and her thumb to pick out the syncopated melody notes, a style now known as Cotten picking.

There was an earlier lesson on Freight Train, but this one takes a couple different angles, specifically the original recording.

This lesson takes the approach of learning the melody and chord progression and combining them yourself. Then there is a look at specifically how she played it in a recording made by Mike Seeger in 1958.