Freight Train Fingerstyle Video


This is my first YouTube video filmed with awful lighting and terrible camera. It is Martin Tallstrom’s arrangement of an old Elizabeth Cotten tune called Freight Train.

Elizabeth Cotten, born in 1893, was a self-taught guitar and banjo player and this tune was her most well known song supposedly inspired by the trains that would pass by her home in Chapel Hill North Carolina.

She had a unique style where should would play an alternating base line along with the melody at the same time. This technique would later evolve into a more polished technique known as travis picking or boom-chick.

Elizabeth died in 1987 at the age of 94.

Martin’s arrangement is a highly polished piece that was so inspiring that it was the reason I switched to steel string acoustic guitar and tried a thumb pick. Up until then, I will still playing a nylon string guitar and playing classical Etudes.

If you are interested in listing to his arrangement, go here. Also, he sells the tabs for this on his website along with a lot of other amazing tunes. I’m sorry I am not able to teach this tune or give away the notation.


Aliter enim explicari, quod quaeritur, non potest. Puta bam equidem satis, inquit, me dixisse.

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