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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. Enjoy!
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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” 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Flatt and Scruggs instrumental “Shuckin’ the Corn” features a classic dobro solo by the legendary Josh Graves, the first bluegrass dobro player.
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.
Learn the basic right-hand technique for playing two pairs of strings at a time: a common approach to playing melodies of bluegrass songs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can play the jam-session favorite “Wagon Wheel” using just two roll patterns, the alternating thumb roll and the forward-reverse roll.
In this lesson, you’ll learn to add roll patterns to the melody of the bluegrass standard “Blue Ridge Cabin Home.”
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.
Learn the first part of the old-time tune "June Apple," with "Nashville shuffle" bowing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Peghead Nation’s String School is your source for roots music instruction, bringing you full courses in guitar, mandolin, banjo, ukulele, fiddle, and Dobro, featuring talented instructors, high-quality video instruction, accurate notation and tab, and fun songs to play right from the beginning. Enroll and become a Peghead today!