What guitar did Elizabeth Cotten?

Martin Guitar
Martin Guitar, used by Libba (Elizabeth) Cotten | National Museum of American History.

What genre is Elizabeth Cotten?

Elizabeth Cotten/Genres

What tuning did Elizabeth Cotten use?

Her most famous and beloved tune is called “Freight Train.” She was discovered by Alan Lomax in 1968, but that’s another story. On her tune called “Vastopol,” Cotten played her Martin acoustic guitar in a special “open” tuning. That tuning (six strings tuned: DADF#AD) is often called the Vastopol tuning.

Where is Elizabeth Cotten from?

Chapel Hill, NC
Elizabeth Cotten/Place of birth

What tuning is freight train in?

On Freight Train and Other North Carolina Folk Songs and Tunes, Cotten plays “Freight Train” with her guitar tuned down a whole step (low to high: D G C F A D).

Is Freight Train hard to play?

“Freight Train” is actually a tough piece to learn if you want to properly Travis or Cotton pick it. Getting the independence of the thumb doing the bass, and one or two fingers doing the treble melody down properly means building a lot of muscle memory into your brain.

What kind of guitar does Elizabeth Cotten play?

A self-taught left-handed guitarist, Cotten developed her own original style. She played a guitar strung for a right-handed player, but played it upside down, as she was left-handed. This position required her to play the bass lines with her fingers and the melody with her thumb.

How old was Elizabeth Cotten when she recorded her first album?

By 1958, at the age of sixty-two, Libba had recorded her first album, Elizabeth Cotten: Negro Folk Songs and Tunes (Folkways 1957, now reissued as Freight Train and Other North Carolina Folk Songs, Smithsonian Folkways 1989).

Who is Elizabeth Cotten and what did she do?

Elizabeth Cotten. Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten (1895-1987), best known for her timeless song “Freight Train,” built her musical legacy on a firm foundation of late 19th- and early 20th-century African-American instrumental traditions.

What kind of music did Libba Cotten play?

Born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Libba Cotten taught herself how to play the banjo and guitar at an early age. Although forbidden to do so, she often borrowed her brother’s instruments when he was away, reversing the banjo and guitar to make them easier to play left-handed.