Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Miniseries #009, Reno Style IV



Hey All,
This is a technique that I came up with, I'm not sure if Reno did this or not, but it seems to make things a little smoother, and speedier for myself. Hopefully it will help you too if your interested in this type of stuff. Strum down, pick up. Strum down, pick up. I use the index mostly for picking up, but the middle would work as well. Get your test tubes out, and do a little experimenting!

Until next time...
David

Miniseries #009, Reno Style III



Howdy All,
In this video you will see and hear another Reno style technique. That is the brush against two or more strings. You can use the brush for two note chords(double stops), three note chords(triads), and four note chords, or to brush against all the strings for that matter. Reno also used a cool effect on some of these brush techniques, that is to mute the bridge with part of your hand. Look to the video to get the best idea of how it may be done. A picture is worth...you know.
Rock and Roll Everyone....
David

Miniseries #009, Reno Style II



Hi Everyone,
One aspect of the Reno style is the use of single string passages. This video is for right hand practice.
I must say first off, that I am no expert in the Reno style. What I am going to try to translate to you, is how I interpret some of things Reno has already done. The first thing I worked on was the thumb and index approach as seen in this video. Practice that first, then, move on to playing a forward roll (TIM)(i made a verbal mistake in this video calling it TMI, but its (TIM) on one string, and also the backward roll,(MIT) on one string.
Later in this series, we will mainly mix TI, TIM, and MIT to work on some single string ideas.
Keep it Going.
David

Miniseries #009, Reno Style I



Hey All,
Joe and I play a Gospel standard called "What would you give in exchange for you soul". I believe this was the first song that Bill Monroe ever recorded in his career. If I'm wrong, let me know.

This song is the kickoff to a series I'm doing on the Reno style. Don Reno that is.

David

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Historical MusicMoose.org Lessons

Hi Everyone,

Tonight marks the point where all of the original MusicMoose.org lessons, write-ups and tablature for the banjo series have been transferred to davidcavage.blogspot.com. This includes 143 lessons in the chronological main series, 8 miniseries consisting of 58 lessons, 1 Christmas special and one guitar rhythm special. On the original MusicMoose.org website, some of the lessons became unordered and/or mislabeled and every attempt was made to organize this as best as possible, especially in the chronologically ordered lessons. Some of the long-time followers may notice that the miniseries are not ordered by date of post. Since each miniseries is self-contained, the ordering of miniseries modules was not as critical as the main series so long as the lessons in each miniseries was ordered correctly.

From here on we'll start working on all new material starting with a new miniseries on Don Reno banjo. Keep a look out for this soon, the lessons have been recorded and about half have been rendered and ready for posting.

I wish everyone best of luck with their banjo studies and we'll see you soon.

David Cavage
davidcavage@gmail.com

Miniseries #008, Cluck Old Hen IV

Miniseries #008, Cluck Old Hen III

Miniseries #008, Cluck Old Hen II



Hi Everyone,

Syncopation.......what is it? I like to think about syncopation in music as playing and or hearing something that is unexpected to the ear. If we go back to the vamping series , we can relate syncopation in rhythm by listening to the strong down beats of 1 and 3 and add syncopation by playing something on the off beats of 2 and 4.

We can also use syncopation in our "lines"....... by lines, I mean the notes we select to play any given tune or song in our soloing. If we were to take a line using single string or Keith/Thompson stylings, we can use syncopation by starting our lines on something other than the down beats. Also, we can use syncopation by using rests in our lines and picking up the line in an unexpected place.

Remember we can break up a measure using any combination of notes or rests. We can use whole, half, quarter, eighth, sixteenth, thirty second notes or rests to break up a measure any way we want to. We can break up our lines using syncopation using any fractions of notes or rests that we would like as well. You can practice by playing a simple line on the down beats, then play the same line on an off beat and try to listen to the results. You can start a line at any given fraction throughout a measure, or, you can start a line with no syncopation and add syncopation along the way.

We can also use syncopation using the Scruggs style. We can take any given roll or roll pattern or lick, and use the same methods described above to get syncopation in the style. You can experiment by taking a simple roll or pattern or lick at trying the same excersises mentioned above. This we take a little time and practice, and a good place to explore is in jamming with others. A comfortable Jam will allow you to try some of these things out. You may even find yourself using syncopation without realizing it.

We'll be discussing more about syncopation and many other things along the way of the Moose in future lessons.

Rock On All,

David

Miniseries #008, Cluck Old Hen I



Hi Everyone,

Here is the introduction to a very cool fiddle tune called "Cluck Old Hen". In this short series of lessons, I'm going to be talking a little bit about syncopation, and about using it in your playing. You can use syncopation within any style or combinations of styles on the five string banjo.......be it Keith/Thompson, Single String or Scruggs style.

In this version, I'm sticking fairly close to the Scruggs style, and just going outside the "box" a little bit in the second version by straying from the melody and mixing the use of mostly chromaticlines, along with a touch of blues, with syncopation throughout those lines.

Hope you enjoy the tune everyone,

David





Guitar Special: Three Types of Bluegrass Rhythm



Note: Guitar used in lesson was a promotional guitar used on the original MusicMoose website.

Miniseries #007, Scruggs Licks Revisited VI



Hi All,

The only thing more I'd like to say about this series is this........Just remember to think about the Minor Pentatonic scale and its relative major (or vice versa) for one way to work around playing the Blues, if you wish. Again, it is only one way, not thee way.

One more thing..............learn the rolls well, they will go a long, looong way in future lessons.

Rock On

David

Miniseries #007, Scruggs Licks Revisited V



Hey all you Blue Mooses,

Lets talk a bit about harmonizations of the Pentatonic scale. Remember, if this term (harmonization) is unfamiliar , you can simply go back to the previous lessons I've done on this subject.

Remember we can harmonize any scale we want. We can take a scale.........pick out any notes we want.............number them.........and proceed to form chords with all of the modes, up and down the neck.

Lets harmonize the Bb major pentatonic scale, or the Gm pentatonic scale. Remember they will be the same notes, since they are related (Gm is the relative minor to Bb). You can look to the tablature for this harmonization. Remember, this is only one way to harmonize this scale, and I chose this harmonization because of the first position you see and hear in this video. 1st string open, 2nd string 1st fret, 3rd string 3rd fret.

This is a very common position/formation in Bluegrass Banjo. It has a very bluesy sound to it. Many things can be done in and around those three notes.

Next, we can start harmonizing up the fretboard. You can see the second harmonization in this video, and all the harmonizations in the tablature. Now with this second harmonization, you can hear and see exactly where some of these Crowe/Bluesy type of Licks are coming from. Experiment on you own, and see how many Licks you can come up with.

Remember, you can memorize these positions/harmonization for use in blues improv. Try different harmonizations as well, with 2 or more notes if you like.

Rock On,

David

Miniseries #007, Scruggs Licks Revisited IV



Hello Everyone,

There are quite a few things I'd like to mention about this video. The first is types of learning. I think most everyone has a different way of learning, so what I try to do is give different approaches to perhaps the same outcome. I'll take Licks for example. You can learn a Lick by memorizing it, then you will have it in your memory banks any time you'd like to play it. You can also learn where the Licks are coming from. Now, this is a little more complex, because, I believe that being individuals, we see things, or conceptualize them in our own ways. Being these are my lessons, I can only give you my ideas on ways to learn, or more importantly, to improvise. I have to say that my ways of thinking about the fingerboard are almost in constant change, trying to visualize and execute sounds at the same time, without really thinking about it. That is something I'm always striving for, sometimes I succeed, sometimes not, so keep that in mind.

I'd like to keep with the 4th String Position for right now. Some of these licks have a very Crowe style sound to them, and if you have ever listened to Jimmy Martin, you can readily hear some of those Licks within this series. A lot of those licks had a very bluesy sound about them, so thats what I'd like to talk about.........the Blues.

Do you have to be down and out to play the Blues? ............ Nah, I dont believe so, but we've all gone through our share of things to relate to playing with that "feeling", of the Blues , if we want to really get into the down and dirty. But I'll leave that for another day. Right now I'd like to relate the Blues to the Minor Pentatonic Scale. If you haven't gone over my previous lessons on Relative Minors/Pentatonic scales, you may want to visit those lessons before reading on.

Since we are basing these Blues licks in G, one way to approach blues improvisation, and where these licks maybe coming from, is to think about the G Minor Pentatonic scale and its modes and harmonizations.

I'll give you two ways I think about the G Minor Pentatonic scale for the time being. I think about it as its own scale..........G Bb C D F or I think about it as being the Relative Minor to Bb.

What I'd like you to do, if you wish, is to Play the Bb major Pentatonic scale and its five modes. The fifth mode,will be the G Minor Pentatonic scale. Also remember, that the "chord" of Gm, is the relative minor to Bb. When playing the Blues,when in the key or chord of G, like all these licks are based, we can use the Pentatonic Modes of Bb for "a" way to think about blues improvisations, and where these licks are coming from.

David

Miniseries #007, Scruggs Licks Revisited III



Boogie Woogie All,

You can hear in this video that by changing a few different notes, and adding some triplets to the previous 4th String Position Lick, we have dramatically changed the way the Lick can sound, while still maintaining the "thought", and the position of the 4th string position chord.

Also take notice in this video, that even though we are doing a little single string work, we can still associate it with the forward roll........ Thumb..... Index..... and Middle.........or T I M. I have tabbed out the right hand fingering in the tablature as well, so you can look at it (measure 6) and actually see the forward motion, or roll, of the right hand . Remember......we can associate any style with the rolls of the right hand.

David
Note: Due to editors mistake, this video is labeled as part 2, but it is really part 3.

Miniseries #007, Scruggs Licks Revisited II



Hi Everybody,

Lets start out with the 4th String Position G chord to form our first licks as in this video. This lick is a very common Scruggs style lick, and is heard often in the Bluegrass Banjo. I'd like to mention as well, that this Lick is moveable...........pick any of the twelve major chords to play this lick in this 4th String Position.

We can also relate this lick to the Relative Minor series I did previously. In this video you can see that when we raise our ring finger to the 5th fret, on the second string, we are getting the relative chord of Eminor, that being the relative chord to G major. This is a common move, and its relationship can go along way in your backup and in your soloing as well. There are many ways to visualize the banjos fretboard, and seeing the relative minor within this lick is one way to approach some aspects of improvisation.

In the tablature associated with this video, you can see some roll patterns that can be used after this lick. It is a classic Scruggs style sounding lick. I'd like to make mention that.............always keep in mind that you can expand on , or change up any lick to make it different. Even the slightest change in noting, or timing, can change the way a lick will sound.... dramatically.

David

Miniseries #007, Scruggs Licks Revisited I



Hi All,

The next series is going to be a continuation in the Lick department. Eventually, we will have many, many licks built up in this section.

The Licks we are going to go over in this series are based on the Scruggs/Crowe style.

We can also relate these licks to the previous lessons on the Pentatonic Scale, and the lessons on relative minors. If you haven't gone over those lessons, I encourage you do so, because in doing so, you will see and hear where these licks are coming from.

Keep it rollin,

David



Miniseries #006, Scruggs Licks V



Hi Everyone,

OK... the left hand technique from the third to second fret in this video is a push off....not a pull off. I will be more conscious of my wordings in future videos...its starting to P......me off! lol

Lets build another pattern now. Again we are going to play this pattern on just he open strings to start with. This will get you familiar with the pattern and the feel of the pattern with your right hand. I'm using 1/4 notes and 1/8th notes in this pattern, so it is not going to be as flowing as the last pattern we just worked on. Although it doesn't flow like the last pattern we can still keep playing the pattern over and over until it is ingrained in our right hand. Just be aware of the 1/4 note timing associated with those notes.

After you have become comfortable with this pattern we can start to add the left hand into the picture. We start with a 2-3 hammer-on on the second string. That gives us a lick. Then we can put in the 3-2 push off on the third to give us yet another lick. We can build on these patterns infinitely if we want to, and you will see what I mean in future lessons. I'm going to say this again because of its importance before moving on........when applying the left hand fingering and left hand techniques into these patterns.......the timing of your right hand is not going to change...not going to change.

Keep it Rollin Everyone,

David

Miniseries #006, Scruggs Licks IV



Hi All,

Lets continue on with this roll pattern that we've been working on. First let me say that again I misspoke calling the left hand technique a pull off when in actuality it was a push off once again. sheesh. I mentioned in this lesson as well that its good to play with different forces of the right hand. You can try this in your practice were as you can play a lick lightly or you can play the lick harder to start to bring out finesse in your right hand. In different playing situations you may have to pick the strings harder or you may have to pick the strings lightly depending on the circumstance.

It is good as well to practice different left hand technique such as using the hammeron as opposed to the 2-4 slide associated with this lick. Using these different left hand techniques brings out slightly different effects using basically the same notes as you can see and hear in this video.

Also in this video we changed the fingering just a little. Switching from using the fourth string fretted at the second fret to using the fourth string fretted at the third fret. By changing just this one note within the pattern we have changed the sound of the lick. Using the fourth string at the third fret now gives the pattern a bluesy sound......or a minor sound...........or a seventh sound...... depending on what you may be playing at the time.

I'm going to be explaining this in my regular lessons as to why changing just one note in the pattern is changing the sound. It comes down to scales......by changing notes in the Major Scale we create other scales. The fourth string fretted at the third fret ( going back to notes on the fingerboard this is an F note)....that F note when playing this pattern in G can be associated with a G7 scale.....a blues scale.... a pentatonic scale....a minor scale and so on.

So the possibilities of changing just that one note can be played over many different chords in many different ways. Again I'll be explaining why these things word and sound like they do in my regular lessons. Music is just a cool thing....thats what I'll say right now!

Rock On Everyone,

David

Miniseries #006, Scruggs Licks III



Hi Everybody,

First let me start with the Verbal Mistakes! Remember when Im doing these videos they are totally unscripted and I make mistakes in my wording sometimes. Thats why its important to read this text! These videos are Raw when I do them so if you catch something I said that doesnt sound quite right...LET ME KNOW. The bad verbage was this....the only left hand technique I used in this video for the fourth string was a PUSH OFF..... I mentioned hammeron and pull off...I dont know how that comes out of my mouth sometimes....but it does. lol

We are continuing to build off this pattern by adding a PUSH OFF on the fourth string. You can hear the slight difference by using the push off as opposed to just picking the note without the push off. Thats not to say that you have to use the push off all the time....play however you like...try them both.

Lets make another lick as well by adding a 2-4 slide on the third string. Just by adding these notes with the slide we are making yet another lick based off this one roll pattern.

There are many things we can do with these licks.....we can string them together to play over as many measures as we want....we can also use some of these licks to play over different chords as well. Some of these licks contain the same notes from different scales..so they can be played over different chords as well to great effect. I'll be talking much more about this in future segments but I just want to make you aware of this now.

Before I end this text I'd just like to say again that when adding the left hand techniques......THE TIMING OF THE ROLL DOES NOT CHANGE.

Timing is everything,

Roll away all,

David

Miniseries #006, Scruggs Licks II



Hi Everyone,

Lets start off this new section with a breakdown of a Scruggs style Lick. First we are going to make a roll pattern built from the rolls. We can create patterns from any of the rolls we have already gone over. For this first example we are going to create a pattern built from the forward/backward roll.

Once you feel comfortable with this roll pattern playing just the open strings, then we can add techniques of the left hand to create licks from the pattern. You can hear and see in this video that for our first lick we are only using one fretted note. The fourth string fretted at the second fret which is an E note. This E note comes out of a G scale..... the sixth note in the G major scale.

G A B C D E F# G

Dont be too concerned about where it is coming from right now, but you can see that the E note is there in the G major scale and we are working out of the Key of Gmaj right now in this example.

Lets talk about timing for a moment.... always remember that when working on these licks that the timing in your right hand DOES NOT CHANGE. The techniques of the left hand are not going to change the timing in the roll pattern. Thats very important to remember when working on these licks.

Learning some of these licks is going to help you understand the process of improvisation as you continue to work on these licks....especially in Bluegrass since a lot of songs and tunes in Bluegrass have a similar feel and similar chord progressions to them. Remember as well that even though we are working on these licks and eventually building up a resevoir of them, they are there to only HELP in the art of Improvisation....they are only one of many different tools to help us understand and create our Improvisations.

David

Miniseries #006, Scruggs Licks I



Hi Everyone,

This is the introduction to a "Licks" section here on the Moose. Mark, Ryan, and myself are going to catalog many different licks in many different styles for the Banjo. I'm going to start off with the basic breakdown of a couple Scruggs style licks so you have an opportunity to see how a basic lick is constructed and the possibilities that can follow. We are going to be doing all kinds of licks, from Scruggs , Reno, Stanely,, Fleck and really any style type licks associated with any player. There will be Bluegrass, Jazz, Blues and just about any other Licks you may want to pursue.

Remember that Lick is a short musical phrase. Learning some of your favorite licks can help you in the improvisational process, especially in bluegrass banjo. It can give you an opportunity to "change up" different licks in different spots. A lot of these licks are interchangeable so you will have opportunity to hear how they can be interchanged and also strung together. We will also have different licks for different chords.

THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT SENTENCE!!...........although we will be using licks to help in our improvisations...............IT IS VERY IMPORTANT TO LEARN BASIC FOUNDATIONS OF THEORY that we have gone over so far and will continue to go over in the future. When you KNOW the notes of the fingerboard, when you KNOW how chords and scales are constructed, you will know where these Licks are coming from. Knowing the basics will also help you construct your own licks and eventually you wont be playing licks......you will be just PLAYING.

Rock On Everyone,

David

Miniseries #005, John Hardy VIII



Hi Everyone,

Continuing on with the D/D7th chord leading back to the G chord to finish this song up. Remember the three finger chord formation for the previous C7th chord? its the same formation we are using for a portion of this D7th section.

Before I finish typing, I would like to say as well that, you can take a piece of any previous licks or sections and make them your own. You can add different left hand techniques to make it your own, you can change the timing of the licks to make them your own, you can do many things with a previously learned piece of music and then play around with different sections or licks to see what sounds good to you. Always remember.....If it sounds good...It is good.

Keep it going Everyone, If you have any questions about anything, give me a holler.

David

Miniseries #005, John Hardy VII



Hi All,

We are staying in the D and D7th chords within this video, and using just a bit of single string to make a nice variation within this D section. It may feel a little strange at first using your pinky to fret, and also the single string work within, but with a little practice, everything will start to feel comfortable and fall into place.

Rock On,

David

Miniseries #005, John Hardy VI



Hi Everyone,

After this C chord variation, we then go back to the G chord with bit of a Scruggs lick shown in the video. Then we proceed on to the D chord portion of this song. We are going to use Dmaj. and D7th chords throughout this section.

I'd like to say as well that, as you learn this song, and other songs along the way in the Scruggs style, notice that when we are soloing, that very rarely are we using full/closed chords. Sometimes we are using two note chords, sometimes three note chords, and even sometimes fretting one note in different places to get the melody, and to get the flavor of the underlying(full/closed) chords that the song or tune is made up of.

I would like to say as well, that in backup, we will use the full/closed chords a lot of the time, more so than in our soloing.

Keep it goin,
have fun,
study well!

David

Miniseries #005, John Hardy V



Hi All,

Now we are going to the C Chord again. This time we are going to use another variation over the C chord. We are going to use the C7th chord in this variation. I'd like you to take a look at the C7th fingering in this video. This goes back to previous lessons on 7th chords, and you can see by sliding this formation up the neck two frets we get a D7th chord. We will use the same fingering when we get to that portion of the song.

I'd like to mention again, with the theory you've already learned, by using that C7th chord formation, and working your way up the neck one fret at a time........you will get.....starting with the C7th.....then up one fret to get a C#7th, D7th, D#7th, E7th, F7th.....(rememeber no #'s or b's between E and F, and B and C),F#7th, G7th, G#7th, A7th, A#7th, B7th, and back to our octave, or twelve frets away to form another C7th chord up the neck. We can also say C7th, Db7th, D7th, Eb7th, E7th, F7th, Gb7th.....etc.

Rock On

David

Miniseries #005, John Hardy IV



Hi Everyone,

From the C chord variation from the last video, now we go back to the G chord. We are going to do mostly backward/forward rolls in this section. This section will give your right hand a bit of a workout. I'd like to mention again, after good practice of all the rolls we have gone over so far, you will be able to do many things with your right hand without even thinking about. This does take time and practice though, so keep at your practice of the rolls. I practice rolls all the time. Sometimes without even using any left hand fingering. This helps to keep your right hand strong and versatile.

I'd also like to make mention throughout this section that when we picked and fretted the fourth string just behind the third fret......that was giving us the color of a G7th chord within the following roll. If you went through the series on 7th chords you will see that that fingering gives us the G7th. That G7th sound is the perfect compliment chord extentsion leading to yet another C chord in the next portion of this song.

Keep it goin,

David

Miniseries #005, John Hardy III



Hi All,

Lets continue on with John Hardy. Lets go back to C chord again. This time we will use a variation on the C chord. If you look at this video you will see the first two finger C chord is in the second string position, then, we slide up to the C chord using the third string position (barre position). So we are using the second and third strings positions for our variation throughout the C chord.

Also in this variation is a 3-2 pull off on the first string. Try to make your left hand techniques just as nice and clean as you can, always striving for that clean sound.

Rock On,

David

Miniseries #005, John Hardy II



Hi All,

Lets start to pick on John Hardy. This song is in the key of G. We are going to do a few lead off notes that will lead us right into the second chord in this song, which is a C chord. We build a pattern using the forward roll over the C chord, an then, back to the G chord again in this first installment of John Hardy.

Well John Hardy was a desperate little man,
strapped on his guns everyday,
laid down a man on the West Virginia line,
You oughta see John Hardy gettin away,
Oh you oughta see John Hardy gettin away.

Keep it goin everybody,

David

Miniseries #005, John Hardy I



Hi Everyone,

In this next series of lessons we will be going over a very well known, and much Jammed upon song, called John Hardy. We will go over this song note for note within the intermediate/advanced range.

You will notice within this video that I mentioned the new Music Moose Online Store. We decided to add the store at this time, because throughout the year, we did not even make enough through the advertising on the site to pay for server space. We thought the Online Store would be an easy way for you to help support the Moose, and to support the instructors. We currently have shirts and strings, and hopefully more merchandise in the future.

We would like to keep bringing you free lessons in the future. If we can make enough from the store to pay for the server, and to give our instructors a few dollars for their efforts, we will surely continue on with the Moose, and hopefully bring in more instructors in the future.

So check out the store, tell us what you think. If you see something that you'd like and we don't have, we'll try to do the best we can to keep the store stocked. We also think our prices are right in line with other online/bigbox stores. We want to offer the cheapest prices we can for you.

I'd like to personally thank all of you for your support. With
your help we will keep the Moose alive an well into the future.

Thanks Everyone,

David

Lesson #143, Sally Goodin' XII

Lesson #142, Sally Goodin' XI

Lesson #141, Sally Goodin' X

Lesson #140, Sally Goodin' IX



Hi All,

Here's a variation that I used for the last section of the upper break. It sort of has a reno/stanley sound to my ears. And with that variation, we are going to end the section on the upper neck portion of Sally Goodin.

In the proceeding videos, we will take a look into playing this tune down the neck.

Up she goes, Down she goes.....

David

Lesson #139, Sally Goodin' VIII



Hey Moosers,

This section is more advanced than intermediate. Please don't ever get discouraged if you can't seem to play things right away. Things will all come together in due time, no pun intended. I make mistakes all the time, and I've been playing for many years. Sometimes playing with rough edges is what makes music real..........its the real deal folks.......no spit and polish , or no cover up studio work. Sort of like life itself ain't it.

Keep it Real!

David

Lesson #138, Sally Goodin' VII



Hi All,

I would like to make mention again of the two finger position we are incorporating into this version. It is showing up a lot, and you can readily see it within the fourth position D chord in this video.

Also mentioned in this video is picking up ideas from other instruments. This version came out of what I heard in my head.....of what a fiddler maybe doing, as opposed to the traditional Scruggs type approach to this tune. Listen to everything.........and use what you like. Its all good.

Continuing on with the scale work in this section of the tune...............remember the first five notes of the G major scale we used? now lets add some lead in notes to that fragment......what are those notes? they are the 5th, 6th, and 7th notes of the G major scale!, leading to the G, or first note of the G major scale on the open 5th string. Pretty cool huh.........we split the scale pretty much in half, only this time we started with the 5th degree of the scale and worked it up from there. Again, experimentation is the key. Play around with different ideas, and the things you come up with will be your own.

Rock On,

David

Lesson #137, Sally Goodin' VI



Howdy Mooses,

In this video, we are going to use some scale work intertwined with the scruggs. Since this tune is mostly played in G..........lets use the G major scale. Actually we are using only a fragment of the G major scale, those being the first five notes.

As I've said before, there are many different ways to finger any particular scale on the five string. In this version, the G scale fragment can be thought of as a Keith/ Thompson approach.

Also in this video, we are using our thumb to fret the fifth string. This will take a little getting used to ( It did for me anyways, when I first started doing it). Your fretting hand will stretch out after awhile, so keep at it............but never over do it! If your fretting hand starts to fatigue, give yourself a good break.

Coffee anyone?

David

Lesson #136, Sally Goodin' V



Hi Everyone,

Lets take a look at the 2-4 slide using the alternating thumb roll. In one section of this version, I simply took that lick/roll, and moved it up the neck for a 7-9 slide, using the same roll. Once you learn a lick, try moving it around on the neck and listen to the different sounds you can achieve using the same roll patterns. You maybe surprised at what you can come up with.

Also in this video, I used a classic Scruggs' type lick. You will hear this lick a lot in many a bluegrass banjo playing.

Have fun,

David

Lesson #135, Sally Goodin' IV



Hi Mooses,

I made a verbal mistake in this video........the two finger position is on the "ninth and tenth frets respectively". I made a mistake and called it on the eighth and ninth.

You will notice a lot of chokes within this version. It will definitely be challenging in a few places within. Be aware of, as in this video, how in one spot we are "holding" the choke............through one roll, before we release it again on a following roll.

Keep it going.....

David

Lesson #134, Sally Goodin' III



Hi Everybody,

Take a good look at the two finger position in this video ( your index and middle fingers of your left hand). This position will be used a lot in the upper portion of this tune. As you look over this position throughout the tune, try to be aware of closed position chords it may be coming from, and also, try to be aware of any scales it may be used in.

Remember that there are only two chords throughout this whole tune, those chords in the key of G............ are G and D. If you look at the tablature, you can see where the chord changes occur. After you have a grip on this tune, try to listen for the chord changes as well. If you happen to have a guitar to accompany you, that will make it easier as well to hear the changes.

Sally On,

David

Lesson #133, Sally Goodin' II



Hey all,

In the introduction, you can see that I used a metronome. A metronome is a time keeper, it is a perfect time keeper, it doesn't lie. You can set your metronome to very slow speeds when you are starting out. You can also perceive the sound however you feel comfortable. If you want to think about that sound as being the sound of a bass (thats what I do), you can think about it that way if you wish.

I also spoke about using the capo and "transposing" in this video. Transposing means to play a piece of music in a different key that what it was written in. Using a capo is one of the easiest ways to transpose in alot of cases in Bluegrass. Lets take a look at the key of G.

The banjo is tuned to G, and that open G is associated with the third string position (barre position). Some very popular keys in Bluegrass are the keys of G, A, Bb, and B. To quickly transpose to these keys we can simple put a capo on any of the desired related frets and away we go. Remember to raise the fifth string as well whenever you use a capo. I would also like to say that we can transpose into any of the twelve keys, but the fingering will begin to change as we get into the first and second string positions.

Keep it going,

David

Lesson #132, Sally Goodin' I



Hi Everyone,

First off , let me say that even though this tune, Sally Goodin, is in the intermediate lessons, it may be considered advanced as I look through it now. I would also like to mention that we had a little technical difficulty when we taped this series, that being that there will be no camera shot of the right picking hand throughout. The good news is that we have fixed the problem for future lessons. The tab will have to be your source for some of the right hand rolls, and you can always ask me in the forums and I will help you out as much as I can.

Hope you enjoy my arrangement of this tune, and I hope it makes you want to get up off your chairs and try your hand.........or foot I should say! at a little buck dancin.

David





Lesson #131, Darlin' Corey IX



Hi Everyone,

If you hear a phrase or lick you like in any song or tune you are working on, try different things with them. Try exploring other portions of the neck with the same fingering, or use different rolls around different licks to come up with interesting sounds that you like hearing in your own playing.

Improvise!

David

Lesson #130, Darlin' Corey VIII



Hi All,

Lets move up the neck for this next version. We are going to use basically the same moves as the first version, the only difference is that we are going to use the fourth/first string position now.

Remember, you can use any of the three basic positions to explore these concepts of the harmonized blues scale.

Work you way around the neck and try to come up with your own version or variations to Darlin Corey.

David

Lesson #129, Darlin' Corey VII



Hi Everyone,

You can use some basic rolls and licks within this version to use as backup as well. Take simple rolls, and play them right through the verses, or to compliment another instrumental break. Most of the time its the simplest rolls that sound best. One of them I used in this video is a simple alt.thumb roll.

Try this song at different tempos/speeds. Its good practice to try different speeds on different tunes and songs just for right hand practice alone.

David

Lesson #128, Darlin' Corey VI



Hi All,

There are only a few things I'd like to mention from this video. One of them being that in this first version, the two finger C chord position is being held almost all the way through this first section. Even at the 4th and 5th frets, its still that C chord second string position.

Also I'd like to mention that you can choke a string in any direction you wish, whether it be towards you or away from you. Try it both ways and use what works best for you.

I'd also like to mention that is good practice to try different rolls, or anything else that differs from the tab in any way that feels, and sounds most comfortable to you. This is the best way to get you own style underway.

Roll away,

David

Lesson #127, Darlin' Corey V



Hi Everyone,

We are using mostly a two finger second string position C chord throughout a lot of this first version down the neck. You can see as well by using the second harmonization of the C blues scale, is what this song starts on.

Even though this is a folk song, you can hear a little bit of that Rock and Roll in it......its all good!

David

Lesson #126, Darlin' Corey IV



Hi All,

In this video I play and sing the song Darlin Corey so you can hear how it goes.

I played three different versions, and tabbed them out as well for you. In the first version, you can see and hear that we are using portions of the C blues scale with a two finger harmonization that came from the previous lesson. I am using the second string position with a two finger C chord to start. Use this two finger chord all the way up the neck with the blues scale, and you can see why portions of this song use the harmonization we went over at the beginning of this series.

Rock On,

David

Lesson #125, Darlin' Corey III



Hi All,

In this video you can hear that we are tuning the fourth string down from the note of D, to the note C. By doing this we are creating what they call drop C tuning. In this video you can see that I use a very handy device, thats an electronic tuner....very useful to find perfect tuning on just about any instrument!

We will use this C tuning in Darlin Corey in the upcoming videos.

Tune er' up,

or should I say down.......

David

Lesson #124, Darlin' Corey II



Hi Everyone,

There are many ways to harmonize a scale, and in this lesson we are going to harmonize the blues scale using all major chords. By playing the fourth/first string position up and down the neck with the blues scale, we are getting a Rock and Roll sound, a powerful sound, and we will relate parts of this lesson to the song Darlin Corey in the next upcoming lessons.

You can also use this harmonization using any of the three basic positions, those being the fourth/first string position, the third string position, and the second string position. Just find the root note on whatever position you'd like to use, and away you go.

Rock On,

David

Lesson #123, Darlin' Corey I



Hi Everyone,

In the next few lessons, we are going to discuss C tuning and the song Darlin Corey. Before we actually get into the song though, I'd like to talk a little bit about the Blues scale. I want to relate the blues scale in this lesson to the minor pentatonic scale that we went over previously. The only difference between the minor pentatonic scale and the blues scale is that the blues scale has one more note.

We know that the minor pentatonic scale contains five notes. A blues scale contains six notes. To make a blues scale from the minor pentatonic scale we are just going to place a note between the 3rd and 4th degrees of the minor pentatonic scale.

When we play that note in between the 3rd and 4th degrees, we are creating a chromatic line, since that piece of the scale works its way up and down in half steps.

The scale pattern in this video is also moveable, you can move in up and down the fingerboard and name the blues scale by the note you start it on. Remember as well that you can play any scale however you want on the fingerboard, just find the notes, and see how many different ways you can create patterns.

Another pattern would be to play the scale on one string. Find a G blues scale on the fourth string alone, then in the next lesson, we will harmonize it, and relate it to the song Darlin Cory.

Keep it going Everyone,

David





Monday, May 11, 2009

Miniseries #004, Take this Hammer + 7th Chords and Backup Discussions XVII



Hi Everybody,

Lets finish up the series. I hope you all enjoyed this little mini-series on Take This Hammer and some of the back-up that can go along with it. We will continue to explore an infinite number of possibilities in our playing.....whether that be soloing or back-up. We will continue on a great musical journey.

In my ending comments in this video, I mentioned a few words about discouragement. Don't ever feel discouraged! even though sometimes things may not seem to be sounding right, or you may be having difficultly with some of the things you are trying to play. Everyone goes through it, its part of the process of learning. Sometimes I'll get a little frustrated with my playing....so I'll put the banjo down for a few days......pick it back up.......start to play and hear new things.

Keep it going Everybody,

Have fun,

Study well,

Rock On.

David

Miniseries #004, Take this Hammer + 7th Chords and Backup Discussions XVI



Hi Everybody,

Lets continue to break it on down. There's not a lot more I say about this video other than whats in it. Keep it going everyone, Take your Time......Take it slow......and Take that Hammer in good stride.

Rock it,

David

Miniseries #004, Take this Hammer + 7th Chords and Backup Discussions XV



This lesson has been re-editted and a writeup will be coming shortly!

Rock on.

David

Miniseries #004, Take this Hammer + 7th Chords and Backup Discussions XIV



Hi Everyone,

Lets continue to break this song down. Try to get your notes just as nice and clean as you can. Try to get your rolls just as nice and clean as you can. Try to get your timing and separation just as nice and clean as you can. Try to get your left hand techniques just as nice and clean as you can.

Strive to be Mr. or Mrs. Clean!

Rock On,

David

Miniseries #004, Take this Hammer + 7th Chords and Backup Discussions XIII.5



Hi Everyone,

You can hear in this video the transition from the song itself into the backup patterns discussed previously. You can transition into your backup in many different ways. This is only one possibility out of an infinite number of others. You don't even have to play a transition at all if you don't want too, sometimes silence works the best, especially if you are in a band situation with a full compliment of instruments.

In this video we are also going to take apart Take This Hammer. So I'll let you all get at it if you'd like. You can watch the video........read the Tablature......read the Sheet music......learn it the best way that suits you!

Rock On, and Roll Away

David

Miniseries #004, Take this Hammer + 7th Chords and Backup Discussions XIII



Hi All,

Continuing on with this pattern with the fretted Fifth. We can use this pattern over the D chord(5 chord) as well. We can use this pattern on any chord or any chord progression we want. We can also connect the previous patterns with this pattern as well. We can mix'em up anyway we would like.

Although I will be teaching many more patterns and many other ways to play back-up on the five string, It would be good practice for you to combine these patterns in different ways on your own. Also you can to create your own patterns with the seventh chords, and always remember........If it sounds good........It is good!

Turn On your Back-up Beeper
and let her go

Rock On,

David

Miniseries #004, Take this Hammer + 7th Chords and Backup Discussions XII



Hi Everyone,

Continuing on with the back-up and the seventh chords. We can also use the seventh chord on the C or the Four chord. We can add the seventh in the 4 chord(C) to create a bluesy effect. The sound of the C7 doesn't really want to resolve to the ear, although it will go back to the 1 chord (G). Its really up to you, the player, to decide how you want to interpret the use of these seventh chords, whether it be in your back-up, or in your soloing.

In this video, I give you another pattern, only this time we are going to fret the fifth string with our thumb to get the 7b seventh within what ever chord we are working on. By using our thumb (sometimes I'll fret the fifth with my index) within this next roll pattern, we can get another cool sounding pattern, coming right from the Stylings of Scruggs.

Roll On

David

Miniseries #004, Take this Hammer + 7th Chords and Backup Discussions XI



Hi Everyone,

Lets play some seventh chords now within the picking patterns we went over. By adding the seventh chords in our backup, we are adding a little color to the canvas. We can play the whole backup using just the major chords, and it sounds good just using them, but adding different chords now and then keeps things interesting.

You can hear for yourself how the D7 sort of wants to naturally proceed to the G chord, or expressing ourselves using the Nashville number system......how the 5 chord wants to go to the 1 chord. Let me say this as well.....although 7th sounds "want" to resolve naturally to the ear towards another chord.....the 7th sounds don't "have" to resolve the way our ear may want it to. This is something we will discuss more in depth in advanced lessons, but I thought I would mention it here because of its relativity. You can sort of listen to what I mean by at one point in this video I go from a D7 to a Dmajor then resolve to G. In another ....D7 to Dmajor to D7 to G.

We can really apply these colors anyway we want, and its really up to the artist to decide when they would like to add these colors....if at all...and also its up to the artist to decide the "shade" of the color. Perhaps dull? perhaps bright? maybe inbetween? Freedom to do what we want creates the most beautiful and the most individual of paintings.

Rock On

David

Miniseries #004, Take this Hammer + 7th Chords and Backup Discussions X



Hi Everyone,

Lets go over another picking pattern. This pattern will contain all eight notes. You can look to the video and to the tablature as well to get this pattern under your fingers. Once you become familiar with this pattern, we can connect it to the other pattern we just went over. We you do connect the two patterns together, you will be playing through two measures. Remember....anytime we have a count of 4 within the time signature of 4/4, we will have gone through 1 measure.

We can also use both of the sliding transitions with both of these picking patterns. After you become familiar with the slides and with these patterns, eventually, you will be able to switch between these patterns at will, sliding up or down the neck in a very natural way. I hope you find these patterns and transitions useful....I know I sure do.....especially when I'm jamming on the Bluegrass. You can use these techniques with many many tunes and songs in Bluegrass. Blue Moon of Kentucky comes to mind immediately.

Rock On Everybody,

David

Miniseries #004, Take this Hammer + 7th Chords and Backup Discussions IX



Hi Everybody,

We can use this picking pattern and its transitions with any 4th string position chord.
We can use any of the twelve 4th string position chords and transition any of them with this sequence of notes.

We can also slide into these 4th position chords by doing the slide on the count of 1. When sliding on the count of 1, we will have to do our sliding quite rapidly to get to the next chord with good timing. A little practice and it will fall into place.

The same holds true with this sliding transition as in the first way we did it. We can use this sliding action on the count of 1 to transition between all twelve of the 4th position chords.

Happy Sliding!

David

Miniseries #004, Take this Hammer + 7th Chords and Backup Discussions VIII



Hi Everybody,

Lets start to discuss a little bit about backup in these next videos. As you already know, if you went through the vamping series.....that was one way....a very important way to play basic backup through the use of the closed chords. What we are going to do now is, take those same chords and play picking patterns with them to create another way to backup up other musicians.

You can look to the tablature as well as the video to learn these picking patterns. I use these patterns a lot in traditional bluegrass. They come from the styling of Scruggs, who is brilliant in his compliment of the others. I can say as well that these patterns can be used in many songs and tunes in bluegrass, not just take this hammer.

There are many ways to transition this pattern from one chord to another. In the first example of this video, we are going to play a slide starting on the count of 4 within the pattern. As we pick the note on the count of 4, we slide the note all the way up to our next chord in the fourth string position. You can hear and see how this is taking place in the video. We can do our transitioning in any direction.. that being sliding up the neck, or sliding down the neck. It may take a little time to get these slides to come together with the pattern, but it will with a little practice.

Roll Away

David

Miniseries #004, Take this Hammer + 7th Chords and Backup Discussions VII



Hi Everyone,

As we move up and down the fingerboard with the seventh chord double stops and triads, we can associate their locations with the three basic chord positions. By this I mean that we are expanding on the three basic positions.......sort of like branches from the core of a tree.....these extensions are branches from the core of the three basic positions. You can look upon these extensions the best way you see them in your own visualizations of the fingerboard....as branching off any of the positions you see fit. I sometimes look at them as the nearest extensions to the nearest position.

The extensions of the double stops, triads and closed position chords are all moveable as well. We can move them up and down the fingerboard to cover all of the twelve notes.

I will be discussing many more things about chords in future lessons. We will keep expanding on things we have gone over previousl. We will continue to Rock and Roll on the Banjo!

David

Miniseries #004, Take this Hammer + 7th Chords and Backup Discussions VI



Hi Everyone,

Lets continue to work on the sound of the seventh chord up the fingerboard of the banjo. Again...all we are doing is finding the 3rd and flatted 7th degree of a major scale to form a seventh chord double stop. In this series, we are working on a G7 chord, but we can apply this formula to all of the twelve major scales to form all of the seventh chords.

What we are doing is finding the closest notes of the 3rd and 7b along the fingerboard. When we find one, we just move up to the next, and so on all the way up or down the fingerboard.

We can also make our triads (three note chords) along the fingerboard as well , adding the 1 or the 5. We can of course also add them all together to create our full or closed position 7th chords.

Rock On,

David

Miniseries #004, Take this Hammer + 7th Chords and Backup Discussions V



Hi Everyone,

Lets look into the seventh chord even further, but first, let me say that a chord inversion is playing the notes of chords in different ways. By different ways I mean in different spots on the fingerboard. If we look at the twelve notes in music, and look at the banjos' fingerboard, we will see that we can hit any of the twelve notes at different locations on the fingerboard. This is important as we look at chord inversions and a deeper look at the seventh chord.

While using the four note seventh chord (1 3 5 7b) in the fourth, third and second string positions, we can get the sound of the four notes by playing patterns with the "three" fingers of our right hand. Although we are not using a pinch or vamp lets say....we can still get the full sound using patterns over the four note chords.

1 3 5 7b they are the degrees of the major scale that outline the seventh chord....we can also get the sound of the seventh chord using two notes from the four....those notes are the 3 and the 7b. We can find the 3rd and flatted 7th all along the fingerboard of the banjo to create two note chords ( double stops) to get the sound of the seventh chord without even using the 1 (root) or the 5.

Rock On

David

Miniseries #004, Take this Hammer + 7th Chords and Backup Discussions IV



Hi Everyone,

1-3-5 3-5-1 5-1-3
1-3-5-7b 3-7b-1-5 5-1-3-7b

The top numbers are our triads in fourth, second, and the third string positions.
The next set of numbers are our 4 note seventh chords associated with the triads.
We can play the combination of numbers anyway we want to get our triads and our seventh chords.

Remember as well that the third string position triad (barre position) at the twelveth fret ........ 5-1-3 ......is the same as the open string triad..........5-1-3

We are working on four note seventh chords at the moment, seventh chords that contain all of the four notes of the 1-3-5-7b
We can get the "color" or "sound" of the seventh chord in different ways, and I'll start to discuss this is the following lessons.

Rock On the Banjo,

David

Miniseries #004, Take this Hammer + 7th Chords and Backup Discussions III



Hi Everyone,

To flat (b) a note on the banjo, all we have to do is go back 1/2 step or one fret. To sharp (#) a note on the banjo , all we have to do is go ahead 1/2 step or one fret. Remember we are going to number the major scale......do is 1, re is2, me is3, fa is 4, so is5, la is 6, ti is 7, and back to do is 8, or the octave.

Lets look at our first chord extentsions....the seventh chord. The formula for a seventh chord is this.....the 1 the 3 the 5 and the flatted 7 (7b). Going back to previous lessons, we know a major triad is the 1,3,5. Now we are extending the triad to create our 7th chords. 1,3,5,7b

Looking at the fourth string postion on the banjo, we can add the 7b to the triad on the first string fretted behind the third fret.....that is our 7b (an F note). Remember as well that since we have two D strings on the banjo ( the fourth and first strings), anytime we fret one of them, we can also fret the other one, or "FLIP" fretting to get the same note, just an octave higher in pitch. That is very important to remember as we continue to look at the seventh chords throughout the banjos fingerboard.

Rock On All,

David

Miniseries #004, Take this Hammer + 7th Chords and Backup Discussions II



Hi Everyone,

First let me tell you the chords to Take this Hammer. The key is G......
the chords are........G-D-G-C-G-D-G (1_5_1_4_1_5_1)

Lets Look at what is called the Nashville number system for a moment. Look at the chords to Take this Hammer above. Notice the numbers directly beneath the chords. The Nashville number system is as simple as this........If a song or tune is in the key of G.....we use the major scale starting with G.....then we number the scale as well.....do re me fa so la ti do...........1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8. the 1 is the G chord......the 5 is the D chord........and the 4 is the C chord .......its that simple.

Lets take another example....say we want to play this song in the key of C#.........no problem.... play a C# major scale and name and number the notes.......the 1 is a C# chord...the 5 is a G# chord....and the 4 is an F# chord. You can use this system on all the twelve notes and the major scales associated with them. I'll be discussing this in future lessons, but I thought I'd mention it here as well because of its relationship to this video.


Looking at the single string major scale pattern in this video, we can call it a "moveable" pattern. Its moveable because all we have to do is name the note starting on the fourth string........then we have the major scale of the note we started with. We can use this pattern for all the twelve notes to create all of the twelve major scales.

Roll Away,

David

Miniseries #004, Take this Hammer + 7th Chords and Backup Discussions I



Hi Everyone,

We are going to go over another song using the Scruggs style in the up coming lessons. The name of the song is called "Take this Hammer". Along with discussing the solo of this song, we are also going to continue our discussions on theory and begin to talk about some back-up techniques in this song. The discussions on chord theory is related to chord extensions that we are going to use in the back-up. These first extensions will be on the Seventh Chord. All we will be doing is "extending" or "expanding" on the Major Triads we have already gone over.

Back-up, or backing up other musicians is a very important part of playing music with others. Like I've said before......if you plan on jamming with others, you will be playing back-up banjo most of the time. In playing with others, we always want to try to make the soloist sound as good as he or she can be. We are going to start with some basic picking/backup patterns in the Scruggs style in this series to begin one way to compliment other musicians.

If you have any questions along the way in this series, please don't hestitate to ask, and I'll do my best to answer them for you.

Rock On Everyone,

David



Miniseries #003, Worried Man Blues V



Hi Everyone,

Lets finish up this song now in this segment. Again let me say something about that D chord and solo within. We are using two fretted notes out of that second string position to play our solo within that D chord. I am using different notes within the D major scale to add a different color to that section.

The roll pattern within this D chord section is a little tricky, so it may take you a little time to get this section down, but just take your time and you will have it down in good time.

David

Miniseries #003, Worried Man Blues IV



Hi Everyone,

We are continuing on with the Worried Man Blues. There isn't a lot more I can say about this song, except to take your time and try to get that right hand and left hand in time and in conjunction with each other.

You can also take notice in this song that we are breaking up the rolls with quarter notes in places in this song, so as not to have the rolls and patterns sound monotonous.

I can say this about the song as well, that if you listened to me singing the song in the beginning of this series, I was singing the melody of the song. If you listen to the way the banjo sounds throughout , you can hear me play the melody within this version.

Just like a singer can interpret the melody of any given song, the banjoist can interpret the melody within his or her soloing. Its important to try to bring out the melody notes of any song or tune you are playing, especially in Traditional Bluegrass. I'm going to be delving into this subject very soon In the beginning Banjo Lessons right after I teach a few other things related to combining right and left hand techniques and also Vamping for backup.

When we go on to explore other kinds of Music, such as the Blues, NewGrass, Jazz and Rock, we can take many liberties on the melodies and stretch them as far as ones' mind can reach.

Enjoy the Worried Man Blues all,

David

Miniseries #003, Worried Man Blues III



Hi Everyone,

We are going to get into taking this song apart in this video. Let me start off by talking about the lead in notes. The Pinch and then the thumb picking the fourth string in the first part of this video are lead in notes. These lead in notes can be left out of this song once you begin to play this song over the guitar track. You can leave them in , or leave them out, just be aware of the timing coming in and out of your soloing using the lead in notes or if you desire to leave them out.

For those of you who would like to use tablature, I have tabbed out this song for you as well. Remember, you don't have to be able to read tab to become proficient on the Banjo, I am just giving you another resource for those of you who would like to learn from tab as well. You will also notice that the sheet music is available above the Tablature as well. I want to have the sheet music there as well in case you have difficultly in the timings of things I am going to present to you.

Don't be concerned with the first measure of lead in notes in the sheet music.(the measures are numbered in red ) because that first measure involves rests. I will discuss rests used in sheet music in the near future. Its quite simple, it just goes back to ryhthm and counting series involving the beat associated with the four notes we went over.

You will see in the sheet music that the whole song consists of quarter notes and eight notes. If you look at the sheet music you will see that each measure has four beats associated with it, because............ we are using that all important 4/4 time.

Look at the second measure, the one with the red number 2 above it. The first note in that second measure is a quarter note. Remember the series on ryhthm and counting. That quarter note has one beat associated with it. (that is the count of 1 as your foot hits the floor). Now look at the next two notes, those next two notes are eight notes. The flags on these two notes are tied together in sheet music to make them look nicer on paper. So... the first eight note has 1/2 associated with it as well the second eight note. 1/2 plus 1/2 = 1. One beat associated with playing those two eight notes one after the other.( this is the count of 2 and) when our foot comes off the floor. The next two eight notes ( 3 and) is when your foot hits the floor again. Again those two eight notes played one after another has a count of 1. Then the last two notes in the measure are eight notes as well (4 and) when your foot comes off the floor again. So we can count this measure as follows.........1 2and 3and 4and...

If you get in trouble with the timing on this song, just look at the measure you are dealing with and count to 4 with your foot and consider the beats associated with the 1/4 and 1/8th notes.

Rock On,

David

Miniseries #003, Worried Man Blues II



Hi All,

Here is the version of Worried Man Blues on the Banjo. Now the first thing I would like to say about this video is.....after I reviewed this video.... concerning the D chord in this song, what I meant to say is that we are using two FRETTED notes out of the second string position for the D chord. I am using SEVERAL different notes to play through the melody section when playing through the chord change of D.

Using just those two fretted notes out of the second string position along with the open second, first and fifth strings gave that section a different Color within the solo. I'm going to be explaining why these different techniques sound like they do. It involves the Scales that different chords are built from. The second string (the open B string) is the seventh degree of the D major scale, but don't worry about that right now, just concentrate on the song itself.

Also in this video, you can see why this C chord played closest to the nut (also coming out of the second string position) is what it is. It looks a little different in the video because we are using different fingers of our left hand to make the formation more comfortable and versatile. You will see what I mean about it being more versatile when we start to work around that C chord in the future.

I would like to mention a few other things before you start on the Worried Man Blues as well. Once you become familiar and comfortable playing this song, I would like you to pick this song with different forces of the right hand. When I say forces, I mean play it harder and then play the song softly. Playing songs harder and softly will start to bring out finesse in your right hand. It will also help to bring out different accents (definition) when we start to explore advanced concepts of accenting melody notes and using these forces to bring out expressions on the Banjo.

What I say "expressions", I mean the different feelings you can create in your music. I'll give you an example and I'll use Ralph Stanely as this example. When you listen to Ralph, his singing and playing, In my opinion, is one of purest sounds you will hear in Traditional Bluegrass Music. His singing and playing is coming from deep inside. It is a very straight ahead sound, but that sound is filled with soul and great expression.

We will get into bringing out your own expressions on the Banjo as We get into advanced concepts on the Banjo in future lessons. Good Luck with Worried Man Blues everyone, and play well.

Rock On,

David

Miniseries #003, Worried Man Blues I



Hi Everyone,

This next song we are going to work on is called The Worried Man Blues, an old traditional folk song that we are going to adapt to the Banjo in the style of Earl Scruggs. Although this will be my arrangement of this song, it is still based on the styling of Mr. Scruggs.

I wanted to sing this song for you and play the quitar as well so you can hear what the song sounds like and also for you to better hear the chord changes within this song. Sometimes its easier to listen to the chord changes on guitar than banjo because of the fullness of the chords that the ryhthm guitar produces. It very important for you to start LISTENING to how these three different chords sound as the changes occur. Your ears are your most important appendages in music. The three chords we are using in this song are. G which is the key chord of the song, then C, then back to G, then to D, and back again to G.

I played this song at two different tempos (speeds) so you can start off slowly then build up your speed on the Banjo.

When I begin recording again within the next day, I am going to explain the very important technique called " Vamping ". It is a technique used in playing backup so you can chord along and practice your full chord changes while playing with other people. You will be able to practice your Vamping along with many of the tunes and songs that are going to be offered on this site. I know Jeff Wisor, our fiddle instructor taped many fiddle tunes that you will be able to practice your vamping, along with many other possibities on the Moose.

Go slowly Everyone, and keep your Ears wide open to the changes.

David

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Christmas Special: Frosty the Snowman!



MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

Here is a great holiday song that everyone is familiar with. Although there are many things within this song that we haven't covered yet in our lessons, I thought it would be a great song for the holidays. If you go through the tab, just remember that this arrangement is in C tuning. Just tune the 4th string down to the note of C.

You'll probably see some chords that you may not be familiar with as well within this version, but don't worry about them for right now, just enjoy the melody! We'll cover all these things in upcoming lessons.

All the best in the upcoming New Year!

David