News & Reviews: Breaking News

New Tunes, Techniques, and Lessons Added for September

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Our instructors have released great new lessons, tunes, and techniques in our guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, dobro, ukulele, and bass courses.

by Dan Gabel
September 02, 2020


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, and sign up for any new course with promo code "Play20" and get your first month free!


Advanced Flatpicking Guitar with Scott Nygaard

Melodic Patterns | Scott shows you some simple melodic patterns, gives you ideas on practicing them, and shows you how you can find melodic patterns in tunes you play.

Roots of Jazz Guitar with Matt Munisteri 

Two Sleepy People | Matt’s chord melody arrangement of the Hoagy Carmichael song “Two Sleepy People” has a 1930s-style swing guitar flavor, with full voicings that include bass notes and block chords.

Irish Backup Guitar with Flynn Cohen

A Drone Chord Shapes | Flynn shows you a series of chord shapes you can use with a fifth-string A drone for tunes in A major, A modal, and A minor, and shows you how to use them to back up “Health to the Ladies” and “High Reel.”


Bluegrass Mandolin Jam Favorites with Joe K. Walsh

Garfield’s Blackberry Blossom | The old-time tune “Garfield’s Blackberry Blossom” (which bears little resemblance to the fiddle standard “Blackberry Blossom”) uses a Lydian dominant scale, with a flatted seventh and raised fourth.

Theory for Mandolin and Fiddle with Chad Manning

All of Me | Chad shows you the melody to the jazz standard “All of Me” and talks about some of the expressive techniques, like vibrato, slides, bow attack, etc., that he uses to shape the notes of a melody.

Intermediate Bluegrass Mandolin with Sharon Gilchrist

Half Past Four | The old-time tune “Half Past Four” comes from Kentucky fiddler Ed Haley. Sharon recorded it with John Reischman and Scott Nygaard on Harmonic Tone Revealers.

Monroe-Style Mandolin with Mike Compton

Cheyenne | Bill Monroe’s instrumental tune “Cheyenne” is in the key of G minor and Bb. On the original recording Bill only took a solo on the first part, which is in G minor, leaving the second part to the fiddler.

The Advancing Mandolinist with Joe K. Walsh

Raining at Sunset | Chris Thile recorded his instrumental tune “Raining at Sunset” on Not All Who Wander Are Lost. It has a simple melody that Chris fills out with a banjo-style approach.

Melodic Mandolin Tunes with John Reischman

The Deadly Fox | John wrote his tune “The Deadly Fox” on the mandola in the key of G, but he found that the melody also sounds good on the mandolin in the key of A, which is where you’ll learn it.

Irish Mandolin with Marla Fibish

The Blackbird | “The Blackbird,” like “King of the Fairies,” is one of the five traditional set dances, which means that there are specific steps that have been choreographed to dance to it.

Chord Melody Mandolin with Aaron Weinstein

Liza | George Gershwin’s “Liza” is a perfect song for chord melody, since many of the melody notes are the top notes of the chord, in most cases chord voicings you already know.

Bluegrass Mandolin Fingerboard Method with Sharon Gilchrist - NEW COURSE!

In the Pines | Sharon uses the folk and bluegrass standard “In the Pines” to show you another common way to move out of the closed-position L-shape fingerings you’ve been learning.


Bluegrass Banjo with Bill Evans

Backup Using Target Tones | Bill shows you a concept he learned from a jazz piano player, the idea of targeting a note in the upcoming chord, and how to use that idea in your backup playing.

Clawhammer Banjo with Evie Ladin

Tie Your Dog Sally Gal | “Tie Your Dog Sally Gal” comes from the African-American fiddler Will Adams, who was recorded by a young Mike Seeger. It’s in the key of G and has three parts.

Contemporary Bluegrass Banjo with Wes Corbett

Chinquapin Hunting | Learn to play the traditional fiddle tune “Chinquapin Hunting” melodic style in three keys: D, G, and C, which are the three most commonly used keys for playing in melodic style.


Beginning/Intermediate Fiddle with Chad Manning

Green Valley Waltz | Chad learned the old-time fiddle waltz “Green Valley Waltz” from the playing of bluegrass fiddle legend Chubby Wise. It’s in the key of G, using mostly the G major pentatonic scale, with some bluesy thirds.

Bluegrass Fiddle with Chad Manning

“We Can’t Be Darlings Anymore” | Backup Bobby Hicks plays great backup fills on the Bluegrass Album Band recording of “We Can’t Be Darlings Anymore.” Chad shows you his backup behind the second verse.

Old-Time Fiddle with Bruce Molsky

Ways of the World | The Lomaxes recorded Kentucky fiddler William Stepp playing “Ways of the World” for the Library of Congress in 1937. It’s a three-part tune in AEAE tuning, and the B part is crooked.


Bass with Zoe Guigueno

Pentatonic Scales | Pentatonic scales are five-note scales that are often used in bass lines and melodies. Zoe shows you the major and minor pentatonic scales as well as the melody to Billy Joel’s song “And So It Goes.”

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.

Category: News & Reviews



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Sep 17, 2020
The guitarist and founding member of the Waybacks pays homage to Doc Watson with a medley of "Bright Sunny South" and “Jack-A-Roe,” a traditional song that became a mainstay of the Grateful Dead.

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