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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!


Learn to Play and Sing “Orphan Girl”

From Beginning Guitar with Adrianne Serna

Gillian Welch's song “Orphan Girl” has become a bluegrass jam session favorite. You can play “Orphan Girl” with just three chords—G, C, and D.

Some Old Day

From Roots and Bluegrass Rhythm Guitar with Scott Nygaard

This Flatt and Scruggs song was is 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.

Sally Gooden, Part 2

From Intermediate Flatpicking Guitar with Scott Nygaard

The B part of the fiddle “Sally Gooden” starts with a simple scale fragment, starting on the open G. Scott walks you through the melody of the B part 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.

“Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor” Fingerstyle

From Blues Guitar with Orville Johnson

Learn a fingerstyle arrangement of the folk-blues classic “Make Me a Pallet on Your Floor” inspired by the playing of Mississippi John Hurt.

Crosspicking, Part 2: “Home Sweet Home”

From Advanced Flatpicking Guitar with Scott Nygaard

Crosspicking is an essential part of a bluegrass guitarist's technique for playing song melodies. Learn the first part of Scott's arrangement of "Home Sweet Home" in this lesson. 

While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Part 1

From Fingerstyle Guitar with Stevie Coyle

The Beatles’ classic makes a great fingerstyle guitar piece. Learn how to get an alternating bass going and find the melody on the treble strings.

“Heavy Time” Fingerpicking

From Fingerstyle Blues Guitar with Orville Johnson

“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.

Chord Melody Basics, Part 1: Triad Inversions

From Roots of Jazz Guitar with Matt Munisteri

Learn some of the essential chord voicings you’ll need to know to start playing 1920s-style chord melody, including the three major and minor triad voicings on the top three strings.

The Jig Rhythm

From Irish Backup Guitar with Flynn Cohen

LThe 6/8 jig rhythm used in Irish traditional music is unique and has a specific strumming pattern and feel. Flynn demonstrates the pattern and gives you a couple of exercises to help you practice it.

D A D G A D Tuning

From Celtic Guitar with Tony McManus

D A D G A D 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 D A D G A D, and what you can do with it.

Shady Grove

From Clawhammer Guitar with Steve Baughman

Learn to play a simple version of the traditional music favorite “Shady Grove” using the clawhammer bum-ditty pattern.

Ed Gerhard, Part 2: Ed Teaches “The Water Is Wide”

From Advanced Fingerstyle Workshop with Teja Gerken

Ed Gerhard has been at the forefront of American fingerstyle guitar since 1987. A master of tone and subtle beauty, Ed teaches his version of the traditional folk tune “The Water Is Wide” in this lesson.

Four-Note Arpeggios, Week One

From Weekly Guitar Workout with Scott Nygaard

In this workout, you'll move through a series of four-note arpeggios starting on each note of the major scale, in this case in the key of G.

Major Triads on the Top Three Strings, Part 3: A and E

From Guitar Theory with Mark Goldenberg

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.


Amazing Grace

From Beginning Dobro with Mike Witcher

The melody to the popular gospel classic “Amazing Grace” can be played almost entirely on the first string, making it a great exercise for practicing your intonation on the first string. 

Shuckin’ the Corn

From Dobro Workshop with Mike Witcher

The Flatt and Scruggs instrumental “Shuckin’ the Corn” features a classic dobro solo by the legendary Josh Graves, the first bluegrass dobro player.


Angeline the Baker, Part 1

From Beginning Mandolin with Sharon Gilchrist

The fiddle tune “Angeline the Baker” is a must-know tune for all roots music instrumentalists. Learn it by ear in this video, as Sharon takes it apart phrase-by-phrase, starting with the A part.

Two-String Pick Technique

From Intermediate Bluegrass Mandolin with Sharon Gilchrist

Learn the basic right-hand technique for playing two pairs of strings at a time: a common approach to playing melodies of bluegrass songs.

Dixie Hoedown, Part 1

From Bluegrass Mandolin Jam Favorites with Joe K. Walsh

The bluegrass jam favorite “Dixie Hoedown” comes from mandolin great Jesse McReynolds. The version you’ll learn here is based on the way David Grisman, Jesse McReynolds, Ronnie McCoury, and others played it on Bluegrass Mandolin Extravaganza.

Major Chord Arpeggios

From Theory for Mandolin and Fiddle with Chad Manning

Learn how major chord arpeggios are constructed and how to find them on the mandolin/fiddle fingerboard. 

Closed-Position Solos: “I’ll Fly Away”

From The Advancing Mandolinist with Joe K. Walsh

Learning to play melodies and solos in closed-positions allows you to play in any key. Learn to play a solo to the gospel classic “I’ll Fly Away” in a closed position in the key of G.

Itzbin Reel, Part 1

From Melodic Mandolin Tunes with John Reischman

Learn the first part of John's tune “Itzbin Reel,” a fiddle tune in the key of A. John starts by showing you the A major scale and a couple of scale patterns to get used to the key of A major.

Tennessee Blues, Part 2

From Monroe-Style Mandolin with Mike Compton

Learn the high part 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.

Introduction to Reels, Part 2: "Anything for John Joe"

From Irish Mandolin with Marla Fibish

Learn the reel “Anything for John Joe.” This lesson builds on the previous picking-hand and broken thirds exercises you learned. Marla takes the tune apart phrase by phrase.

Chord Melody Basics, Part 2: Picking-Hand Technique

From Chord Melody Mandolin with Aaron Weinstein

Aaron shows you how to create rhythmic variations on a basic chord melody progression by separating the chord and melody notes.


How to Play “Wagon Wheel”

From Beginning Banjo with Bill Evans

You can play the jam-session favorite “Wagon Wheel” using just two roll patterns, the alternating thumb roll and the forward-reverse roll. 

Blue Ridge Cabin Home, Part 3: Adding Rolls

From Bluegrass Banjo with Bill Evans

In this lesson, you’ll learn to add roll patterns to the melody of the bluegrass standard “Blue Ridge Cabin Home.”

Shady Grove

From Clawhammer Banjo with Evie Ladin

There are several versions of the traditional favorite “Shady Grove.” The one you’ll learn here is in G modal tuning, which gives the banjo a haunting sound that is used in a lot of old-time clawhammer banjo music.

Variations on "Cripple Creek," Part 2

From Contemporary Bluegrass Banjo with Wes Corbett

Wes shows you some ways to vary the melody of “Cripple Creek” and introduces the concept of “melodic style” banjo. With Notation/Tab

The Right-Hand Stuff, Part 2: The 1 2 1 5 Roll

From The Banjo According to Danny Barnes with Danny Barnes

Danny talks about the second roll he thinks is important to practice and have in your repertoire, the 1 2 1 5 roll, which allows you to move a melody up and down the banjo neck on the first string.

Mississippi Sawyer, Part 1

From Wade Ward–Style Banjo with Bruce Molsky

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.


June Apple, Part 1: The A Part and the “Nashville Shuffle”

From Beginning/Intermediate Fiddle with Chad Manning

Learn the first part of the old-time tune "June Apple," with "Nashville shuffle" bowing.

Greasy Coat

From Old-Time Fiddle with Bruce Molsky

West Virginia fiddler Edden Hammons was recorded in 1947 by a collector named Louis Chappell. Hammons’ playing has a Scottish influence, with strongly detailed phrases and an old-fashioned style of intonation. Learn his version of “Greasy Coat” in AEAE tuning.

Improvising on "June Apple," Part 2: Improvisational Approaches

From Bluegrass Fiddle with Chad Manning

Chad talks about his philosophy of improvising, including some advice from David Grisman, and shows you how he distills a tune down to its most basic elements. 

The Tar Road to Sligo Part 3: Introduction to Rolls

From Irish Fiddle with Dale Russ

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.

Duck River

From Fiddle Styles Workshop with Brittany Haas

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 and shows you a way to rock the bow to get a real old-time feel.

Major Chord Arpeggios

From Theory for Mandolin and Fiddle with Chad Manning

Learn how major chord arpeggios are constructed and how to find them on the mandolin/fiddle fingerboard. 


Accented Strums, Part 1

From Ukulele with Marcy Marxer

In this beginning ukulele lesson, you’ll learn to accent strums to give a song a bouncy rhythm, using the folk classic “If I Had a Hammer.”


Getting Started with the Bass, Part 3: Pulling the String

From Bass with Zoe Guigueno

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. 

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Oct 13, 2020
The Martin Guitar CEO talks about the development of the dovetail neck joint, the switch from fan-bracing to X-bracing, and more.