Lots of love from our instructors this month, and new tunes and techniques to learn on guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, dobro, ukulele, and bass.
by Dan Gabel
February 10, 2020
NEW LESSONS JUST ADDED TO THE STRING SCHOOL!
Each month, our instructors add new tunes, in-depth technique lessons, and play-along tracks to many of our courses. Check out this month's additions below.
Jazz Chord Shapes on the Top Four Strings | Learn how to create chord shapes on the top four strings for seventh, ninth, six, thirteenth, and other chords that are typically used in jazz.
I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter | Learn a chord-melody arrangement of the 1930s jazz standard “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter,” which was popularized by Fats Waller.
Tunes That Use the Relative Minor | Learn to accompany tunes that move between a major key and its relative minor—for example G and E minor, which uses the Aeolian mode instead of the Dorian mode used by most minor tunes in Irish music.
Watson’s Blues | Bill Monroe’s tune was written for guitarist Doc Watson, and usually starts with a guitar lick. Joe’s version is influenced both by Monroe’s version and David Grisman’s.
Bluegrass Lick #1 in All the Bluegrass Keys | Chad gives you an exercise using a typical bluegrass lick in a I–IV–V–I progression in all the bluegrass keys (B, E, A, D, G, C, F, and Bb).
Road to Columbus | Bill Monroe’s “Road to Columbus” is a bluegrass standard in the key of A and a great jam session tune that hasn’t been overplayed. The version you’ll learn is based on fiddler Kenny Baker’s playing.
Get Up John | Bill Monroe’s instrumental version of the traditional song “Get Up John” is in open-D tuning, F#A DD AA AD, which gives the tune its distinctive sound on the mandolin.
Macedonia| The two-mandolin tune “Macedonia,” written by Sam Bush and Mark O’Connor and recorded on Strength in Numbers, is a classic of contemporary mandolin. You’ll learn the melody and Mark O’Connor’s mandolin solo.
Cousin Sally Brown | There are a number of versions of the old-time fiddle tune “Cousin Sally Brown.” John’s version is influenced by the one recorded by old-time fiddler Joseph Decosimo.
The Humours of Tullycrine | Learn“The Humours of Tullycrine,” a beautiful, lyrical hornpipe in the key of A minor.
Introductions | Aaron talks about creating introductions for songs and shows you how to play intros to three of the songs you’ve learned: “Deed I Do,” “Fine and Dandy,” and “I Got Rhythm.”
JD Crowe’s “You Don’t Know My Mind” | JD Crowe’s banjo solo on Jimmy Martin’s “You Don’t Know My Mind” is a bluegrass classic. It includes a lot of cool pull-off licks influenced by country and rock ’n’ roll guitarists.
Ole Bob | The third in Evie’s trilogy of Garry Harrison tunes is called “Ole Bob.” In her version, Evie plays all the melody notes on the banjo, rather than simplifying the fiddle melody.
Mikrokosmos | Composer Béla Bartok wrote his Mikrokosmos as a series of piano exercises that start very simply and become more complex as they progress. The first six are great for practicing reading on the banjo.
Forward-Roll Style | In the forward-roll style of banjo playing, melodies are played primarily by the index finger on the inside strings using forward rolls. You can hear the style in the playing of banjoists like Ron Block and others.
Tennessee Mountain Fox Chase | “Tennessee Mountain Fox Chase” is a three-part “crooked” old-time tune in the key of C. “Crooked” means that the parts aren’t an even eight-bars long.
Footprints in the Snow | Chubby Wise played a great solo on Bill Monroe’s original recording of “Footprints in the Snow.” It’s in the key of E and features some nice double stops and classic Chubby Wise syncopation and phrasing.
Broken Down Gambler | “Broken Down Gambler” comes from the rollicking 1920s string band Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers. It’s a straight-ahead dance tune in the key of G.
Ashokan Farewell | in Higher Octave | You’ll learn the beautiful waltz “Ashokan Farewell” in the higher octave in this lesson, which means you’ll mostly be playing the melody on the top string.
Stand by Me | Learn the iconic bass line to “Stand By Me” from the original Ben E. King recording. Zoe talks about the importance of note length in getting the right feel on a bass line like the one in “Stand By Me.”
PLAY-ALONG RHYTHM TRACKS - Available to all subscribers. Guitar accompaniment video, downloadable audio, and chord charts for popular bluegrass, old-time, and roots tunes and songs.
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