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Written by Paul Race for Creek Don't RiseTM
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Acoustic Instrument Primers

Americans have always been on the move. It is any wonder that America's musical heritage was founded on instruments you could easily haul anywhere? Guitar, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, but especially guitar.

Though I've been playing guitar and banjo, and giving acoustic-based concerts for well over 40 years, I've never gotten tired of the things you can do with a few pieces of wood, a few skinny wires, and a lot of hope. But the time is coming to pass the torch. As I prepared to start giving lessons again recently, I realized that many of the things "everybody" knew about guitar and other acoustic instruments when I was sixteen are now all but lost to the last generation (or two). So this section of this site is devoted to capturing the things that were "common knowledge" when I started the guitar and was supported by numerous friends on the same musical journey.

You'll also notice that what I say about choosing, learning, and maintaining acoustic instruments is brutally practical. Sadly, lots of modern-day Lady Catherine de Bourghs think that having warm fuzzy feelings about music are all it takes to become a great musician. But if you want your music to touch hearts, or even lives, you will need to learn, study, practice, and practice some more, until music is your second language, and the instrument in your hands is an extension of your own soul.

We will do everything we can to assist you on that journey. We have several more articles on the drawing board, but the ones that are at least somewhat ready for publication are listed below:

Guitar Articles

Banjo Articles


Appalachian Dulcimer


Other Instruments

Tabs and Instructions

Music Theory

Folk & Traditional Music


Discussion Forums

If you can't find what you need in our article list, check out our Discussion Forum page. If you forums so other folks can see and respond. If you want to join our little community, fill out our application form. We don't publish your real name or e-mail on the site, but we only sign up people we have reason to believe are real people, so we can keep the nastiness and spam down.

Contact Us


Click to see the home page for our acoustic and Americana newsletter 'Momma Don't 'Low'.If you want to stay apprised of what is going on here, please consider signing up for our newsletter "Momma Don't 'Low." The free e-mail newsletter lets you know when new topics are posted on this site or on the Classic Train Songssite.

You can sign up for the discussion forums and the newsletter at the same time by clicking here. Or just sign up for the newsletter by clicking here

Creek Don't Rise? is operating as a part of Breakthrough Communications?, the communication company started by writer and musician Paul Race in 1995. We are not a non-profit agency, although Paul and other individuals affiliated with Creek Don't Rise? have worked with non-profit regional educational, musical, and theatrical organizations for many years, and 99% of what we do is on a volunteer basis.

If you are interested in contributing content, asking questions, sponsoring a concert, or sponsoring a reading or production of our play, please contact us for more detailed information, for reading copies of the script, song demos, etc.

Click to visit's autoharp buyers' guide.

Whatever else you get out of our pages, I hope you enjoy your music and figure out how to make enjoyable music for those around you as well.

And please stay in touch!

    - Paul Race Click to see Paul's music home page Click to contact Paul through this page. Click to see Paul's music blog page Click to visit the Creek Don't Rise discussion forum. Click to learn about our Momma Don't Low Newsletter. Click to see Paul's music page on Facebook Click to see Paul's YouTube Channel.

All material, illustrations, and content of this web site is copyrighted ? 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009,
2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 by Paul D. Race. All rights reserved.
Creek Dont' Rise(tm) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising
program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Note: Creek Don't Rise (tm) is Paul Race's name for his resources supporting the history and music of the North American Heartland as well as additional kinds of acoustic and traditional music.

For questions, comments, suggestions, trouble reports, etc. about this page or this site, please contact us.

Visit related pages and affiliated sites:
- Music -
Heartland-inspired music, history, and acoustic instrument tips.
Best-loved railroad songs and the stories behind them.
Learn important guitar chords quickly, to jump start your ability to play along on any song. With a few tools and an hour or two of work, you can make your guitar, banjo, or mandolin much more responsive.  Instruments with movable bridges can have better-than-new intonation as well. Resources for learning Folk Music and instruments quickly Check out our article on finding good used guitars.
Carols of many countries, including music, lyrics, and the story behind the songs. X and Y-generation Christians take Contemporary Christian music, including worship, for granted, but the first generation of Contemporary Christian musicians faced strong, and often bitter resistance. Different kinds of music call for different kinds of banjos.  Just trying to steer you in the right direction. New, used, or vintage - tips for whatever your needs and preferences. Wax recordings from the early 1900s, mostly collected by George Nelson.  Download them all for a 'period' album. Explains the various kinds of acoustic guitar and what to look for in each.
Look to Riverboat Music buyers' guide for descriptions of musical instruments by people who play musical instruments. Learn 5-string banjo at your own speed, with many examples and user-friendly explanations. Explains the various kinds of banjos and what each is good for. Learn more about our newsletter for roots-based and acoustic music. Folks with Bb or Eb instruments can contribute to worship services, but the WAY they do depends on the way the worship leader approaches the music. A page devoted to some of Paul's own music endeavors.
- Trains and Hobbies -
Free building projects for your vintage railroad or Christmas village.
Visit Lionel Trains. Click to see Thomas Kinkaded-inspired Holiday Trains and Villages. Big Christmas Train Primer: Choosing and using model trains with holiday themes Building temporary and permanent railroads with big model trains Click to see HO scale trains with your favorite team's colors.
- Christmas Memories and Collectibles -
Visit the FamilyChristmasOnline site. Visit Howard Lamey's glitterhouse gallery, with free project plans, graphics, and instructions. Click to return to the Old Christmas Tree Lights Table of Contents Page Click to sign up for Maria Cudequest's craft and collectibles blog.
Click to visit Fred's Noel-Kat store.
Visit the largest and most complete cardboard Christmas 'Putz' house resource on the Internet.
- Family Activities and Crafts -
Click to see reviews of our favorite family-friendly Christmas movies. Free, Family-Friendly Christmas Stories Decorate your tree the old-fashioned way with these kid-friendly projects. Free plans and instructions for starting a hobby building vintage-style cardboard Christmas houses. Click to find free, family-friendly Christmas poems and - in some cases - their stories. Traditional Home-Made Ornaments