The new year brings new tunes and techniques to learn on guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, dobro, ukulele, and bass.
by Dan Gabel
January 08, 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.
Crockett’s Honeymoon | The old-time fiddle “Crockett’s Honeymoon” is usually played at a fast tempo and sounds good on the guitar in two octaves, so it’s good for practicing playing on the bottom strings.
A Little Love, A Little Kiss | Matt’s version of the Eddie Lang solo guitar piece “A Little Love, A Little Kiss” is based on Lang’s version but has evolved somewhat since Matt first learned it 20 years ago.Irish Backup Guitar with Flynn Cohen
Bass Lines | Flynn shows you how to play bass lines in dropped-D tuning and DADGAD. He shows you the D major scale on the lowest strings, and then how to play a chord with each note of the D major scale as a bass note.
Fisher’s Hornpipe | There are many versions of the traditional fiddle tune “Fisher’s Hornpipe.” Joe shows you the melody as recorded by Chris Thile and Mike Marshall and talks about how he creates harmony parts to fiddle tunes.
Double-Stops Up the Neck | Chad enlists his son, Jasper, to show you how to think about using double-stops up the neck. Jasper walks you through three double-stops on the top two strings for G, A, D, E, B, C, Bb, and F chords.
Cattle in the Cane | The fiddle tune “Cattle in the Cane” is unusual in that the first part is in A major while the second part is in A minor. There are a few different versions, but Sharon learned hers from Tony Rice.
Pike County Breakdown | Mike has transcribed five pages of Bill Monroe’s instrumental “Pike County Breakdown” for you. He walks you through the first two solos, played in open position, and one in a position up the neck.
Tuning Tune | “Tuning Tune” (or “Stämlåten”) comes from the Swedish folk trio Väsen. It’s harmonically similar to the American fiddle tune “Blackberry Blossom,” and has some tricky melodic phrases and shifting.
Bluegrass Signal | John wrote the uptempo bluegrass instrumental “Bluegrass Signal” for the San Francisco public radio show of the same name. It’s in the key of B minor and has a simple melody that sounds good at a fast or medium tempo.
The Blackbird Hornpipe | There are a few tunes in Irish music called “The Blackbird.” In this lesson you’ll learn the “Blackbird Hornpipe” which is in the key of D major, with a last phrase in D Mixolydian.
Jeepers Creepers | Aaron’s arrangement of the jazz standard “Jeepers Creepers” incorporates many of the chord melody techniques you’ve learned in previous lessons, including rubato, bass lines, and melodic syncopation.
Doug’s Tune | You may recognize “Doug’s Tune” from the Andy Griffith Show, where the tune’s composer, banjoist Doug Dillard, was a member of the fictional Darlin’ Family. It has a ragtime feel and some unusual syncopations.
Boys Them Buzzards Are Flying | “Boys Them Buzzards Are Flying” is a Garry Harrison tune with a simple melody, but the second part is very crooked, with a couple of phrases in groups of three beats rather than two.
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.
Guide-Tone Shapes | Wes shows you how he uses guide tones in his chord voicings. Guide tones are the most important notes in a chord, the notes that define the chord and create a sense of movement from chord to chord.
The High Road | The fiddle tune “The High Road” was written by fiddler/mandolinist/singer/songwriter Tim O’Brien. It combines sounds from a lot of styles: old-time, bluegrass, Celtic, blues, and even Klezmer.Bluegrass Fiddle with Chad Manning
Bluegrass Backup in E: “Teardrops Fell Like Raindrops” | Learn Eddie Stubbs’s backup (and solos) from the Johnson Mountain Boys recording of “Teardrops Fell Like Raindrops.”
Wild Hog in the Woods | “Wild Hog in the Woods,” recorded by Lonesome Luke and His Farm Boys in 1931, is a straightforward square dance tune, but it’s in the unusual key (for old-time tunes) of F.
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.
Fever | The minor-key, swing-blues song “Fever” was made popular through Peggy Lee’s 1958 recording. It’s in the key of A minor and has a cool, syncopated, repetitive bass line.
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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