The workshop will be held every other Saturday from 11 am to 12 pm PST (2 pm to 3 pm EST), starting on Saturday January 16 and ending on April 24.
In this workshop, Sharon will use common bluegrass and old-time tunes like “Old Joe Clark,” “Whiskey Before Breakfast,” “June Apple,” “Angeline the Baker,” and more to demonstrate her method for teaching students how to embellish and vary melodies as a way to begin to improvise.
Sharon talks about what she will be doing in her Melodic Embellishment workshop, and gives you PDFs and MP3s of the tunes she will be using to demonstrate her method of embellishing and varying melodies
Sharon kicks off her workshop by introducing four sustain techniques (single string, two strings, drone, and separating two strings) and three rhythmic techniques (quarter notes, eighth notes, and shuffle bow) and showing you how to use them to create variations on the melody of “Old Joe Clark.”
Sharon shows you how to use the sustain and rhythmic embellishment techniques you learned in the last lesson on “Angeline the Baker” and shows you how to move the melody into different octaves and add drones and double stops.
Sharon shows you the melody to both parts of “Soldier’s Joy” in a higher octave, and the melody to the B part in a lower octave. She also shows you a Bill Monroe solo in which Monroe simplifies the melody so he can play it at a fast tempo.
Sharon shows you some rhythmic and melodic variations on “Soldier’s Joy” and gives you ideas on incorporating them into your own versions of “Soldier’s Joy.” She starts by showing you how to simplify the basic melody of “Soldier’s Joy” like Bill Monroe did, and how the simplified melody allows you to drive the melody by accenting beats two and four or vary your rhythmic accents in different ways. She also talks about varying the melody of “Soldier’s Joy’ with double stops and chord tones.