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Learn the tunes and techniques of one of the legends of old-time clawhammer banjo, Wade Ward, taught by one of the icons of contemporary old-time music.
Bruce Molsky is "one of America's premier fiddling talents" (Mother Jones) and a twice-Grammy nominated artist. The first permanent visiting professor in Berklee College of Music's American Roots Program, Bruce is the go-to guy for the next generation of fiddlers.
On the road 250 days a year, Bruce tours the world solo and with super groups Mozaik, The Jumpsteady Boys, the Old-Time Kozmik Trio, and as a trio with Aly Bain and Ale Möller. Bruce's latest solo album, If It Ain't Here When I Get Back, was released in the spring of 2013. No Depression called it "an album from an absolute master."
Learn the first part of Wade Ward’s solo version of the square dance tune “Mississippi Sawyer,” which is a little different than the way it would be played for a square dance, in that it drops a beat at the end of each part. With Tablature
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Introduction to Wade Ward Bruce talks about how he was introduced to the music of the great old-time banjo player Wade Ward and gives some background on his life and music.
Mississippi Sawyer, Part 1 Wade Ward’s solo version of the square dance tune “Mississippi Sawyer” is a little different than the way it would be played for a square dance, in that it drops a beat at the end of each part. It’s played in double-D tuning: aDADE, where the fourth string is D, third string is A, second string is D, first string is E, and fifth string is A. Bruce shows you the tuning, gives you advice on getting in tune. Then he starts showing you the first part of “Mississippi Sawyer,” which starts with a D chord shape at the fifth fret and a simple bum-ditty pattern. Bruce walks you through each phrase slowly, giving you lots of chances to play along with him as you learn the tune. You’ll learn a basic version of the A part of “Mississippi Sawyer” in this video.
Mississippi Sawyer, Part 2 You’ll learn the basic B part of “Mississippi Sawyer” in this video. It includes a lot of material from the first part, so you don’t have that much to learn before you get a good playable basic version.
Mississippi Sawyer, Part 3: Embellishments and Variations Learn some of the embellishments and variations that Wade Ward played on “Mississippi Sawyer,” including some cool pull-offs and slides. Bruce also talks about how Wade would accent the brush on the offbeats by playing all four strings, and separating the brush from the melody on the high strings, giving it a great propulsive feeling.
Mississippi Sawyer, Part 4: Play-Along Track Bruce plays “Mississippi Sawyer” a couple times at a medium (and then a little faster) tempo so you can play along with him.
Reuben, Part 1 Wade Ward played the traditional song “Reuben” or “Reuben’s Train” in an unusual E major tuning, with the fourth string tuned to E, third string to G#, second string B, first string E, and fifth string G#. Bruce shows you the tuning and then starts walking you through a basic version of the A part of “Reuben.” You’ll also learn a pull-off embellishment you can add to the basic bum-ditty pattern.
Reuben, Part 2 The second part of “Reuben” starts with an E7 chord and a strong melody note on the seventh. It’s a short part, only four bars long. Bruce ends by giving you some advice on using dynamics when playing the tune.
Reuben, Part 3: Play-Along Track Bruce plays “Reuben” a couple times at a medium (and then a little faster) tempo so you can play along with him.