American Experience
A Musician's View A Musician's View

video | transcript

Fantastic ArrangersSara's voiceDuet HarmonyMaybelle's StyleThe Carter ScratchMusical Blueprint

The Carter Scratch (1:16)

If I were just playing chords just to sing over and not playing a melody with them, it would sort of sound like... [plays guitar chords]. Okay, so that's no melody. So what [Maybelle's] doing is... [plays guitar in Maybelle's style]. You can hear how much more interesting and how much more of a voice that has than just the straight accompaniment. I'm not really a lead player so the hardest thing for me to show you would be what her lead playing would sound like without any chords, but it would pretty much sound like... [plays guitar with only melodic notes]. That's with the "scratcha scratcha" taken out.

The Carter Family: Will the Circle Be Unbroken American Experience PBS