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Free Sample Lessons
 
Check out free sample lessons from all Peghead Nation courses here. You'll be prompted to enter your email address when you choose your first lesson, and then you can view as many as you like. We will keep you up to date about other Sample Lessons and Courses on Peghead Nation via periodic emails. Enjoy!
 
 
Guitar
 
 
 
 
Gillian Welch’s song “Orphan Girl” was first recorded by Emmylou Harris on her classic Wrecking Ball album, and Welch recorded the song, which has become a bluegrass jam session favorite, on her debut recording, Revival. You can play “Orphan Girl” with just three chords—G, C, and D—and the bass down-up strum, with or without an alternating bass, whichever you choose. Adrianne shows you which bass strings to alternate for each chord and how to accent the second and fourth beats of each measure.  
 
 
Gillian Welch’s song “Orphan Girl” was first recorded by Emmylou Harris on her classic Wrecking Ball album, and Welch recorded the song, which has become a bluegrass jam session favorite, on her debut recording, Revival. You can play “Orphan Girl” with just three chords—G, C, and D—and the bass down-up strum, with or without an alternating bass, whichever you choose. Adrianne shows you which bass strings to alternate for each chord and how to accent the second and fourth beats of each measure.  
 
 
 
 
This great Flatt and Scruggs song was recorded by JD Crowe and the New South on their classic self-titled album, with Tony Rice singing lead. It's a great example of a medium tempo bluegrass song played with a country swing feel. You'll learn a strum pattern that helps accent the swing feel, as well as some bass runs to use at the ends of phrases. Scott plays the song in D and looks at some different ways to finger the A and A7 chords. Finally, he sings the whole song through so you can play along with him.
 
 
This great Flatt and Scruggs song was recorded by JD Crowe and the New South on their classic self-titled album, with Tony Rice singing lead. It's a great example of a medium tempo bluegrass song played with a country swing feel. You'll learn a strum pattern that helps accent the swing feel, as well as some bass runs to use at the ends of phrases. Scott plays the song in D and looks at some different ways to finger the A and A7 chords. Finally, he sings the whole song through so you can play along with him.
 
 
 
 
The B part of “Sally Gooden” starts with a simple scale fragment, starting on the open G, that may be familiar from the Alternating Picking video. Scott walks you through the melody of the B part phrase by phrase, and gives you advice on keeping your fretting-hand fingers in position above the notes, as well as “planting” them: keeping them down on the fret until after you play the next note in the phrase.These are very important things to work on, as they give your playing a lot of fluidity and make your fingering more efficient.
 
 
The B part of “Sally Gooden” starts with a simple scale fragment, starting on the open G, that may be familiar from the Alternating Picking video. Scott walks you through the melody of the B part phrase by phrase, and gives you advice on keeping your fretting-hand fingers in position above the notes, as well as “planting” them: keeping them down on the fret until after you play the next note in the phrase.These are very important things to work on, as they give your playing a lot of fluidity and make your fingering more efficient.
 
 
 
 
The Beatles’ classic “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” makes a great fingerstyle guitar piece. In this lesson, Stevie shows you how to get an alternating bass going (Travis style) and then find the melody on the treble strings. Learn the infectious signature melody and bass line that start the verse in Part 1.
 
 
The Beatles’ classic “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” makes a great fingerstyle guitar piece. In this lesson, Stevie shows you how to get an alternating bass going (Travis style) and then find the melody on the treble strings. Learn the infectious signature melody and bass line that start the verse in Part 1.
 
 
 
 
In this lesson you’ll learn a fingerstyle arrangement of the folk-blues classic “Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor” inspired by the playing of Mississippi John Hurt. Orville plays the song through and then explains the guitar part phrase by phrase. He also explains how you can alter the lengths of some of the chords, depending on how you hear the song, something that John Hurt and other great blues singers and guitarists did all the time.
 
 
In this lesson you’ll learn a fingerstyle arrangement of the folk-blues classic “Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor” inspired by the playing of Mississippi John Hurt. Orville plays the song through and then explains the guitar part phrase by phrase. He also explains how you can alter the lengths of some of the chords, depending on how you hear the song, something that John Hurt and other great blues singers and guitarists did all the time.
 
 
 
 
In Part 2 of the lesson on crosspicking, you'll learn the first part of Scott's arrangement of "Home Sweet Home," which mostly uses the traditional 3-3-2 roll. Since crosspicking is usually used to play song melodies, it's a good idea to learn the melody of a song before tackling a crosspicking arrangement, so Scott starts by making sure you know the melody to "Home Sweet Home" and then takes the arrangement apart phrase by phrase (or roll by roll).
 
 
In Part 2 of the lesson on crosspicking, you'll learn the first part of Scott's arrangement of "Home Sweet Home," which mostly uses the traditional 3-3-2 roll. Since crosspicking is usually used to play song melodies, it's a good idea to learn the melody of a song before tackling a crosspicking arrangement, so Scott starts by making sure you know the melody to "Home Sweet Home" and then takes the arrangement apart phrase by phrase (or roll by roll).
 
 
 
 
“Heavy time” is a style of blues fingerpicking that is more driving and forceful than the somewhat bouncy feel of alternating bass fingerpicking, as played by Mississippi John Hurt, Willie McTell, and others. In this lesson, Orville shows you a tune that illustrates the “heavy time” feel. Heavy time is all about what your thumb is doing—in this case, the thumb constantly pounds the beat, four beats per measure. Another thing that makes this style different is that the melody notes are played just with the index finger. Orville walks you through the piece phrase by phrase.
 
 
“Heavy time” is a style of blues fingerpicking that is more driving and forceful than the somewhat bouncy feel of alternating bass fingerpicking, as played by Mississippi John Hurt, Willie McTell, and others. In this lesson, Orville shows you a tune that illustrates the “heavy time” feel. Heavy time is all about what your thumb is doing—in this case, the thumb constantly pounds the beat, four beats per measure. Another thing that makes this style different is that the melody notes are played just with the index finger. Orville walks you through the piece phrase by phrase.
 
 
 
 
In this lesson, you’ll learn some of the essential chord voicings you’ll need to know to start playing 1920s-style chord melody. Matt starts by showing you the three major triad voicings on the top three strings, explaining the difference between root position, first inversion, and third inversion. He also shows you how to turn major triads into minor triads and gives you some ideas about fingering the shapes so that you can move through the voicings with the least amount of finger movement, changing your fingerings so you have a guide finger between chords depending on where you’re going and where you’re coming from.
 
 
In this lesson, you’ll learn some of the essential chord voicings you’ll need to know to start playing 1920s-style chord melody. Matt starts by showing you the three major triad voicings on the top three strings, explaining the difference between root position, first inversion, and third inversion. He also shows you how to turn major triads into minor triads and gives you some ideas about fingering the shapes so that you can move through the voicings with the least amount of finger movement, changing your fingerings so you have a guide finger between chords depending on where you’re going and where you’re coming from.
 
 
 
 
Jigs are the other most commonly played dance form in Irish traditional music. The 6/8 jig rhythm is unique and has a specific strumming pattern and a particular feel. Beginning jig players often use an alternating picking pattern, but to get the right feel, it’s usually better to use a down-up-down, down-up-down pattern. Flynn demonstrates the pattern and gives you a couple of exercises to help you get used to the pattern.
 
 
Jigs are the other most commonly played dance form in Irish traditional music. The 6/8 jig rhythm is unique and has a specific strumming pattern and a particular feel. Beginning jig players often use an alternating picking pattern, but to get the right feel, it’s usually better to use a down-up-down, down-up-down pattern. Flynn demonstrates the pattern and gives you a couple of exercises to help you get used to the pattern.
 
 
 
 
Learn to play the traditional music favorite “Shady Grove” using many of the techniques you’ve learned in the last two lessons. Steve starts by showing you how to modify the bum-ditty pattern slightly by just playing a single note instead of the brush stroke, and then he walks you through the melody of “Shady Grove” phrase by phrase, giving you a chance to play along with him as he goes.
 
 
Learn to play the traditional music favorite “Shady Grove” using many of the techniques you’ve learned in the last two lessons. Steve starts by showing you how to modify the bum-ditty pattern slightly by just playing a single note instead of the brush stroke, and then he walks you through the melody of “Shady Grove” phrase by phrase, giving you a chance to play along with him as he goes.
 
 
 
 
DADGAD tuning is associated with Celtic guitar more than any other tuning. In this lesson, Tony talks about how the tuning originated, how to get into DADGAD, and what you can do with it. Tony uses DADGAD to play jigs, reels, airs, etc., and he demonstrates how the whole step between the second string A and third string G makes it easy to play melodies across the strings, for a harp-like sound. He shows you a D major scale played in such a way that no string is played twice in a row: every note of the scale rings into the next note. He even shows you how you can play a Bb major scale in the same way.
 
 
DADGAD tuning is associated with Celtic guitar more than any other tuning. In this lesson, Tony talks about how the tuning originated, how to get into DADGAD, and what you can do with it. Tony uses DADGAD to play jigs, reels, airs, etc., and he demonstrates how the whole step between the second string A and third string G makes it easy to play melodies across the strings, for a harp-like sound. He shows you a D major scale played in such a way that no string is played twice in a row: every note of the scale rings into the next note. He even shows you how you can play a Bb major scale in the same way.
 
 
 
 
In this lesson, Ed Gerhard teaches his popular fingerstyle arrangement of the traditional tune “The Water is Wide.” Gerhard used dropped-D tuning and a capo at the third fret. Because he tunes his guitar down a half-step from standard pitch, this results in his performance sounding in the key of E. If you prefer, you can leave your guitar in standard dropped-D tuning and place the capo at the second fret instead. Gerhard stresses the importance of supporting the tune’s melody and gives pointers for effectively building an arrangement in a dynamic fashion. virtuerecords.com
 
 
In this lesson, Ed Gerhard teaches his popular fingerstyle arrangement of the traditional tune “The Water is Wide.” Gerhard used dropped-D tuning and a capo at the third fret. Because he tunes his guitar down a half-step from standard pitch, this results in his performance sounding in the key of E. If you prefer, you can leave your guitar in standard dropped-D tuning and place the capo at the second fret instead. Gerhard stresses the importance of supporting the tune’s melody and gives pointers for effectively building an arrangement in a dynamic fashion. virtuerecords.com
 
 
 
 
This series of workouts consists of four-note arpeggios based on the harmonized major scale. You'll move through a series of arpeggios starting on each note of the major scale, in this case all in the key of G. So, for example, the first arpeggio starts on G, moves up a third to B, up another third to D, and up another third to F#, creating a Gmaj7 arpeggio in the process. The second arpeggio starts on A, moves up a third to C, up another third to E, and up another third to G, for an Am7 arpeggio. Notice that all the notes are in the key of G, so you'll get the four-note arpeggios that correspond to the harmonized major scale: Gmaj7, Am7, Bm7, Cmaj7, D7, Em7, and F#m7b5. Once you get to the top string, you'll move downward in thirds once again, but this time the arpeggios start on the seventh of the chord formed by the arpeggio. So, for example, the arpeggio starting on G moves down a third to E, down another third to C, and down another third to A, giving you an Am7 arpeggio that begins on the seventh (G) and moves downward to the root (A).
 
 
This series of workouts consists of four-note arpeggios based on the harmonized major scale. You'll move through a series of arpeggios starting on each note of the major scale, in this case all in the key of G. So, for example, the first arpeggio starts on G, moves up a third to B, up another third to D, and up another third to F#, creating a Gmaj7 arpeggio in the process. The second arpeggio starts on A, moves up a third to C, up another third to E, and up another third to G, for an Am7 arpeggio. Notice that all the notes are in the key of G, so you'll get the four-note arpeggios that correspond to the harmonized major scale: Gmaj7, Am7, Bm7, Cmaj7, D7, Em7, and F#m7b5. Once you get to the top string, you'll move downward in thirds once again, but this time the arpeggios start on the seventh of the chord formed by the arpeggio. So, for example, the arpeggio starting on G moves down a third to E, down another third to C, and down another third to A, giving you an Am7 arpeggio that begins on the seventh (G) and moves downward to the root (A).
 
 
 
 
In this lesson, in addition to learning the triad shapes for the key of A and E, Mark talks about learning to hear the separate voices within the chord, instead of just thinking of them as block shapes.
 
 
In this lesson, in addition to learning the triad shapes for the key of A and E, Mark talks about learning to hear the separate voices within the chord, instead of just thinking of them as block shapes.
 
 
Mandolin
 
 
 
 
The fiddle tune “Angeline the Baker” is a must-know tune for all roots music instrumentalists. Sharon teaches it here note-for-note and phrase-by-phrase. “Angeline the Baker” is in the key of D, and Sharon starts by reviewing the D major scale. She also talks about marking the time with your downstrokes, even if there’s a rest on that downstroke (sometimes called a “ghost stroke”), which will help you maintain a steady tempo. Sharon plays each phrase of the A part numerous times, so you can practice playing each phrase with her until you really get it down and are ready to put all four phrases together for the entire A part.
 
 
The fiddle tune “Angeline the Baker” is a must-know tune for all roots music instrumentalists. Sharon teaches it here note-for-note and phrase-by-phrase. “Angeline the Baker” is in the key of D, and Sharon starts by reviewing the D major scale. She also talks about marking the time with your downstrokes, even if there’s a rest on that downstroke (sometimes called a “ghost stroke”), which will help you maintain a steady tempo. Sharon plays each phrase of the A part numerous times, so you can practice playing each phrase with her until you really get it down and are ready to put all four phrases together for the entire A part.
 
 
 
 
Learn how major chord arpeggios are constructed and how to find them on the mandolin/fiddle fingerboard. Chad explains that major chords are constructed of roots, thirds, and fifths: the first, third, and fifth notes in a major scale. Then he shows you different finger patterns for major arpeggios in bluegrass keys, giving you handy ways to visualize each pattern and advice about practicing them in different ways.
 
 
Learn how major chord arpeggios are constructed and how to find them on the mandolin/fiddle fingerboard. Chad explains that major chords are constructed of roots, thirds, and fifths: the first, third, and fifth notes in a major scale. Then he shows you different finger patterns for major arpeggios in bluegrass keys, giving you handy ways to visualize each pattern and advice about practicing them in different ways.
 
 
 
 

The bluegrass jam favorite “Dixie Hoedown” comes from mandolin great Jesse McReynolds and has been recorded by numerous people, including Jerry Douglas, David Grisman, Matt Flinner, and many others. But nobody really plays the B part the same way. The version you’ll learn here is based on the way Grisman, Jesse McReynolds, Ronnie McCoury, and others played it on Bluegrass Mandolin Extravaganza. Joe starts by showing you the A part, phrase by phrase. You’ll also learn the chords to the A part in this video.

 
 

The bluegrass jam favorite “Dixie Hoedown” comes from mandolin great Jesse McReynolds and has been recorded by numerous people, including Jerry Douglas, David Grisman, Matt Flinner, and many others. But nobody really plays the B part the same way. The version you’ll learn here is based on the way Grisman, Jesse McReynolds, Ronnie McCoury, and others played it on Bluegrass Mandolin Extravaganza. Joe starts by showing you the A part, phrase by phrase. You’ll also learn the chords to the A part in this video.

 
 
 
 
In this lesson you’ll learn the bluegrass standard “I’m Going Back to Old Kentucky” using a common technique in bluegrass mandolin: playing melodies on two pairs of strings. Sharon starts this lesson by talking about the basic right-hand technique for playing two pairs of strings at a time. She shows you how to keep the pick out on the edge of the strings and not let the pick dig in past the strings as well as how to slightly rotate your wrist so you can play all four strings (both pairs) at once. Sharon also gives you advice on practicing this technique with a metronome, with some ideas for exercises you can do.
 
 
In this lesson you’ll learn the bluegrass standard “I’m Going Back to Old Kentucky” using a common technique in bluegrass mandolin: playing melodies on two pairs of strings. Sharon starts this lesson by talking about the basic right-hand technique for playing two pairs of strings at a time. She shows you how to keep the pick out on the edge of the strings and not let the pick dig in past the strings as well as how to slightly rotate your wrist so you can play all four strings (both pairs) at once. Sharon also gives you advice on practicing this technique with a metronome, with some ideas for exercises you can do.
 
 
 
 

In this lesson, you’ll learn the reel “Anything for John Joe.” It’s what is often called a “half reel” or “single reel,” meaning there are only 16 measures in the whole tune. Marla starts by playing “Anything for John Joe” through a couple times and then takes it apart slowly, phrase by phrase.

 
 

In this lesson, you’ll learn the reel “Anything for John Joe.” It’s what is often called a “half reel” or “single reel,” meaning there are only 16 measures in the whole tune. Marla starts by playing “Anything for John Joe” through a couple times and then takes it apart slowly, phrase by phrase.

 
 
 
 
Learn the “fancy high part” (all the way up the 15th fret) of “Tennessee Blues” in this video. Mike takes it apart phrase by phrase, showing you the best way to finger the high notes. You’ll also learn the shorter A section, which features sliding double stops up the neck, and some variations on the regular A section. (For full transcription, see Part 1.)
 
 
Learn the “fancy high part” (all the way up the 15th fret) of “Tennessee Blues” in this video. Mike takes it apart phrase by phrase, showing you the best way to finger the high notes. You’ll also learn the shorter A section, which features sliding double stops up the neck, and some variations on the regular A section. (For full transcription, see Part 1.)
 
 
 
 
“Itzbin Reel” is one of the first tunes John wrote. It’s basically a fiddle tune in the key of A, although the form is AABA rather than the standard AABB form of most fiddle tunes, and the B section has ten measures instead of the standard eight. John starts by showing you the A major scale and a couple of scale patterns to get used to the key of A major. And then he starts taking apart each section slowly, phrase by phrase. He also talks about keeping a steady up-and-down motion with your picking hand so you stay in time even when you’re not sounding a note. This is helpful in “Itzbin Reel,” because it has a few syncopated phrases that emphasize offbeats.
 
 
“Itzbin Reel” is one of the first tunes John wrote. It’s basically a fiddle tune in the key of A, although the form is AABA rather than the standard AABB form of most fiddle tunes, and the B section has ten measures instead of the standard eight. John starts by showing you the A major scale and a couple of scale patterns to get used to the key of A major. And then he starts taking apart each section slowly, phrase by phrase. He also talks about keeping a steady up-and-down motion with your picking hand so you stay in time even when you’re not sounding a note. This is helpful in “Itzbin Reel,” because it has a few syncopated phrases that emphasize offbeats.
 
 
 
 
Learning to play melodies and solos in closed-positions allows you to play in any key. In this lesson, you’ll learn a solo to the gospel classic “I’ll Fly Away” in a closed position (meaning there are no open strings) in the key of G. Joe starts you out by showing you the G major scale in a closed position that starts at the fifth fret and the melody to “I’ll Fly Away” in the same position. He also shows you some double stops for G, C, and D (I, IV, and V) chords you can use to fill out the melody with chord tones. After learning the whole melody with double stops, Joe shows you how you can move the closed-position melody to any key, demonstrating this by playing “I’ll Fly Away” in the keys of F and B.
 
 
Learning to play melodies and solos in closed-positions allows you to play in any key. In this lesson, you’ll learn a solo to the gospel classic “I’ll Fly Away” in a closed position (meaning there are no open strings) in the key of G. Joe starts you out by showing you the G major scale in a closed position that starts at the fifth fret and the melody to “I’ll Fly Away” in the same position. He also shows you some double stops for G, C, and D (I, IV, and V) chords you can use to fill out the melody with chord tones. After learning the whole melody with double stops, Joe shows you how you can move the closed-position melody to any key, demonstrating this by playing “I’ll Fly Away” in the keys of F and B.
 
 
 
 
Your fretting hand determines the notes you’re playing but your picking hand determines how those notes (and chords) are articulated. Aaron shows you how to create different sounds with the two progressions you learned in Part 1 by separating the chord and melody notes in different rhythmic ways, for example, playing the melody note before the full chord, or the bass note before the full chord. He also demonstrates how you can combine these approaches to give your chord melody performance some rhythmic variety.
 
 
Your fretting hand determines the notes you’re playing but your picking hand determines how those notes (and chords) are articulated. Aaron shows you how to create different sounds with the two progressions you learned in Part 1 by separating the chord and melody notes in different rhythmic ways, for example, playing the melody note before the full chord, or the bass note before the full chord. He also demonstrates how you can combine these approaches to give your chord melody performance some rhythmic variety.
 
 
 
 

“Inverness” comes from fiddler/mandolinist John Mailander, who recorded it on his album Walking Distance. It’s a beautiful, contemplative melody that alternates measures of 6/4 and 4/4. Joe walks you through the second part of “Inverness” in this video.

 

 
 

“Inverness” comes from fiddler/mandolinist John Mailander, who recorded it on his album Walking Distance. It’s a beautiful, contemplative melody that alternates measures of 6/4 and 4/4. Joe walks you through the second part of “Inverness” in this video.

 

 
 
Banjo
 
 
 
 
In this lesson you’ll learn to play the jam-session favorite “Wagon Wheel,” using two different roll patterns, the alternating thumb roll and the forward reverse roll. Bill gives you advice on changing chords and keeping the roll going even if your fingers haven’t quite managed to finger the complete chord yet.
 
 
In this lesson you’ll learn to play the jam-session favorite “Wagon Wheel,” using two different roll patterns, the alternating thumb roll and the forward reverse roll. Bill gives you advice on changing chords and keeping the roll going even if your fingers haven’t quite managed to finger the complete chord yet.
 
 
 
 
In this lesson, you’ll start adding roll patterns to the melody of “Blue Ridge Cabin Home.” Every melody has a rhythm and when Earl Scruggs was working out his breaks, he tried to keep the melody’s rhythm intact as he added the roll patterns, letting the melody dictate what kind of roll to use. Bill shows you some ideas for choosing rolls. For example, if you have a melody note that’s held out for a long time you can try a forward roll, and when the melody notes are closer together you can try an alternating thumb roll or a forward reverse roll. Bill walks you through an entire solo here, with embellishments and fill-in licks.
 
 
In this lesson, you’ll start adding roll patterns to the melody of “Blue Ridge Cabin Home.” Every melody has a rhythm and when Earl Scruggs was working out his breaks, he tried to keep the melody’s rhythm intact as he added the roll patterns, letting the melody dictate what kind of roll to use. Bill shows you some ideas for choosing rolls. For example, if you have a melody note that’s held out for a long time you can try a forward roll, and when the melody notes are closer together you can try an alternating thumb roll or a forward reverse roll. Bill walks you through an entire solo here, with embellishments and fill-in licks.
 
 
 
 
There are several versions of the traditional favorite “Shady Grove.” This one is in G modal tuning, the same tuning as “Cluck Old Hen.” Once again, to get into this tuning you simply raise your second string up a half step to C. “Shady Grove” is a one part tune, and you’ll mostly play the melody, not chords, whether you’re playing the melody by itself or singing the song. Evie starts by playing through the whole tune and singing the song, so you can get the melody in your head before you start finding it on the banjo. Then she walks you through the melody, phrase by phrase, showing you how the words of the song match the melody. You’ll also learn some variations to the basic melody, including more hammer-ons and drop thumbing.
 
 
There are several versions of the traditional favorite “Shady Grove.” This one is in G modal tuning, the same tuning as “Cluck Old Hen.” Once again, to get into this tuning you simply raise your second string up a half step to C. “Shady Grove” is a one part tune, and you’ll mostly play the melody, not chords, whether you’re playing the melody by itself or singing the song. Evie starts by playing through the whole tune and singing the song, so you can get the melody in your head before you start finding it on the banjo. Then she walks you through the melody, phrase by phrase, showing you how the words of the song match the melody. You’ll also learn some variations to the basic melody, including more hammer-ons and drop thumbing.
 
 
 
 
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.
 
 
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.
 
 
 
 
Danny talks about the other roll he thinks is important to practice and have in your repertoire, the 1 2 1 5 roll. The 1 2 1 5 roll allows you to move a melody up and down the banjo neck on the first string. Danny shows you how to do that on a tune like Alan Munde’s “Deputy Dalton” and how to practice the 1 2 1 5 roll with a metronome. He also shows you a variation that moves the middle-index finger alternation to the second and third strings (2 3 2 5) and third and second strings (3 4 3 5).
 
 
Danny talks about the other roll he thinks is important to practice and have in your repertoire, the 1 2 1 5 roll. The 1 2 1 5 roll allows you to move a melody up and down the banjo neck on the first string. Danny shows you how to do that on a tune like Alan Munde’s “Deputy Dalton” and how to practice the 1 2 1 5 roll with a metronome. He also shows you a variation that moves the middle-index finger alternation to the second and third strings (2 3 2 5) and third and second strings (3 4 3 5).
 
 
 
 
Wes shows you some ways to vary the melody of “Cripple Creek” and introduces the concept of “melodic style” banjo. Melodic-style was invented by banjoist Bill Keith, who devised a way to play linear note-for-note melodies where you never play the same string consecutively. Wes walks you through the variations phrase by phrase, pointing out how each variation relates to the original melody.
 
 
Wes shows you some ways to vary the melody of “Cripple Creek” and introduces the concept of “melodic style” banjo. Melodic-style was invented by banjoist Bill Keith, who devised a way to play linear note-for-note melodies where you never play the same string consecutively. Wes walks you through the variations phrase by phrase, pointing out how each variation relates to the original melody.
 
 
Fiddle
 
 
 
 
In this lesson, Chad teaches you the popular old-time tune "June Apple," which is in the key of A Mixolydian. Mixolydian means that the seventh in the major scale (in this case, G#) is lowered a half step (to G). In the first part of the lesson, Chad teaches the A part of "June Apple" phrase by phrase and also shows you the "Nashville shuffle" bowing pattern, which works well on the A part of this tune.
 
 
In this lesson, Chad teaches you the popular old-time tune "June Apple," which is in the key of A Mixolydian. Mixolydian means that the seventh in the major scale (in this case, G#) is lowered a half step (to G). In the first part of the lesson, Chad teaches the A part of "June Apple" phrase by phrase and also shows you the "Nashville shuffle" bowing pattern, which works well on the A part of this tune.
 
 
 
 
West Virginia fiddler Edden Hammons was recorded in 1947 by a collector named Louis Chappell. Hammons’s playing has a Scottish influence, with strongly detailed phrases and an old-fashioned style of intonation. You’ll learn his version of “Greasy Coat” in this lesson. “Greasy Coat” is in A E A E tuning, and Bruce starts by playing the tune through a couple of times, before breaking the melody down for you phrase by phrase. He also shows you how Hammons often played thirds and sevenths slightly flat, and trilled the third. You’ll learn the melody of both the A and B parts in this video.
 
 
West Virginia fiddler Edden Hammons was recorded in 1947 by a collector named Louis Chappell. Hammons’s playing has a Scottish influence, with strongly detailed phrases and an old-fashioned style of intonation. You’ll learn his version of “Greasy Coat” in this lesson. “Greasy Coat” is in A E A E tuning, and Bruce starts by playing the tune through a couple of times, before breaking the melody down for you phrase by phrase. He also shows you how Hammons often played thirds and sevenths slightly flat, and trilled the third. You’ll learn the melody of both the A and B parts in this video.
 
 
 
 
In this lesson, Chad talks about his philosophy of improvising, including some advice from David Grisman. He shows you how he distills a tune, in this case “June Apple,” down to its most basic elements, so that you can start playing around with the rhythm, varying the melody, returning to the way you normally play the tune, etc. Chad also talks about the importance of listening to the musicians he’s playing with and reacting to them, and demonstrates how he reacts to the rhythms the guitar is playing.
 
 
In this lesson, Chad talks about his philosophy of improvising, including some advice from David Grisman. He shows you how he distills a tune, in this case “June Apple,” down to its most basic elements, so that you can start playing around with the rhythm, varying the melody, returning to the way you normally play the tune, etc. Chad also talks about the importance of listening to the musicians he’s playing with and reacting to them, and demonstrates how he reacts to the rhythms the guitar is playing.
 
 
 
 
In this lesson, you’ll learn one of the most distinctive ornaments in Irish music, the “roll,” which combines grace notes and slurs. Dale explains the roll, and shows you a roll on different fingers and strings. He recommends practicing them slowly and repeatedly with a metronome so that the motion becomes natural, and he shows how you can use rolls in jigs whenever the first and third note of a three-note pattern are the same. You can also roll on the first notes of arpeggios, as in the last phrase of the B part of “The Tar Road to Sligo.”
 
 
In this lesson, you’ll learn one of the most distinctive ornaments in Irish music, the “roll,” which combines grace notes and slurs. Dale explains the roll, and shows you a roll on different fingers and strings. He recommends practicing them slowly and repeatedly with a metronome so that the motion becomes natural, and he shows how you can use rolls in jigs whenever the first and third note of a three-note pattern are the same. You can also roll on the first notes of arpeggios, as in the last phrase of the B part of “The Tar Road to Sligo.”
 
 
 
 
In this lesson you'll learn the way Brittany plays the old-time classic "Duck River," which comes from Kentucky fiddler John Salyer. Brittany teaches the tune phrase by phrase, shows you a way to rock the bow to get a real old-time feel, and includes a few variations on each part, with different double stops, drone notes, and melodic variations.
 
 
In this lesson you'll learn the way Brittany plays the old-time classic "Duck River," which comes from Kentucky fiddler John Salyer. Brittany teaches the tune phrase by phrase, shows you a way to rock the bow to get a real old-time feel, and includes a few variations on each part, with different double stops, drone notes, and melodic variations.
 
 
 
 
Learn how major chord arpeggios are constructed and how to find them on the mandolin/fiddle fingerboard. Chad explains that major chords are constructed of roots, thirds, and fifths: the first, third, and fifth notes in a major scale. Then he shows you different finger patterns for major arpeggios in bluegrass keys, giving you handy ways to visualize each pattern and advice about practicing them in different ways.
 
 
Learn how major chord arpeggios are constructed and how to find them on the mandolin/fiddle fingerboard. Chad explains that major chords are constructed of roots, thirds, and fifths: the first, third, and fifth notes in a major scale. Then he shows you different finger patterns for major arpeggios in bluegrass keys, giving you handy ways to visualize each pattern and advice about practicing them in different ways.
 
 
Dobro
 
 
 
 
In this lesson, you'll learn the popular gospel classic "Amazing Grace." The melody can be played almost entirely on the first string of the dobro, and besides being a great melody, makes a great exercise for practicing your intonation on the first string. It's also a great way to start developing the natural "singing" quality of the dobro in your playing. The best way to do that is to work on playing on one string at a time, which this arrangement does, of course. Once you've learned the melody see if you can play the melody on the first string cleanly without lifting the bar. Mike also talks about using a shallow vibrato on certain notes, adding texture to the note without really changing the pitch very much.
 
 
In this lesson, you'll learn the popular gospel classic "Amazing Grace." The melody can be played almost entirely on the first string of the dobro, and besides being a great melody, makes a great exercise for practicing your intonation on the first string. It's also a great way to start developing the natural "singing" quality of the dobro in your playing. The best way to do that is to work on playing on one string at a time, which this arrangement does, of course. Once you've learned the melody see if you can play the melody on the first string cleanly without lifting the bar. Mike also talks about using a shallow vibrato on certain notes, adding texture to the note without really changing the pitch very much.
 
 
 
 
The Flatt and Scruggs instrumental “Shuckin’ the Corn” features a classic dobro solo by Josh Graves. You’ll learn a break to “Shuckin’ the Corn” inspired by Josh’s solo in this lesson. Mike plays the whole solo through slowly and then takes it apart, measure by measure. You’ll learn the first part of “Shuckin’ the Corn,” which includes some typical Josh Graves roll patterns and one variation, in this video.
 
 
The Flatt and Scruggs instrumental “Shuckin’ the Corn” features a classic dobro solo by Josh Graves. You’ll learn a break to “Shuckin’ the Corn” inspired by Josh’s solo in this lesson. Mike plays the whole solo through slowly and then takes it apart, measure by measure. You’ll learn the first part of “Shuckin’ the Corn,” which includes some typical Josh Graves roll patterns and one variation, in this video.
 
 
Ukulele
 
 
 
 
In this lesson, you’ll learn to accent strums to give a song a bouncy rhythm, using the folk classic “If I Had a Hammer.” You’ll learn a new way to finger the basic C and F chords that will allow you to play a fun intro to the song that switches between the C and F chords quickly. You’ll also learn a quick-changing chord pattern (C, G, F, G) that you can use for most of the verse, along with an accented strum pattern:
 
 
In this lesson, you’ll learn to accent strums to give a song a bouncy rhythm, using the folk classic “If I Had a Hammer.” You’ll learn a new way to finger the basic C and F chords that will allow you to play a fun intro to the song that switches between the C and F chords quickly. You’ll also learn a quick-changing chord pattern (C, G, F, G) that you can use for most of the verse, along with an accented strum pattern:
 
 
Bass
 
 
 
 
Learn how to get a sound from the bass, by “pulling” the string with the side of your index finger, from the tip to the second knuckle. Zoe gives you advice on where to place your thumb against the side of the fingerboard, how to pull through the string and rest on the adjacent string, and getting different sounds out of the bass, depending on where you place your finger. She also shows you how to use your middle finger, both on its own and alternating with your index finger.
 
 
Learn how to get a sound from the bass, by “pulling” the string with the side of your index finger, from the tip to the second knuckle. Zoe gives you advice on where to place your thumb against the side of the fingerboard, how to pull through the string and rest on the adjacent string, and getting different sounds out of the bass, depending on where you place your finger. She also shows you how to use your middle finger, both on its own and alternating with your index finger.
 
 
 
Sponsored By
 
 
 
 
Peghead Partners
 
Julian Lage, "Ryland" | Collings Guitars
The jazz guitar star plays an original tune on his Collings 470 JL signature model.
 
 
 
 
 
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    ● Courses
    ● Live Workshops
    ● Instructors
    ● Sample Lessons
    ● Notation Guide
    ● For Beginners
 
 
    ● Vintage Vault
    ● New Gear
    ● Fine Lutherie
 
 
    ● Workshops
    ● Advice
    ● Repertoire
 
 
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    ● Breaking News
 
 
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    ● Live Onstage
    ● Backroom
 
 
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