NEW LESSONS JUST ADDED TO THE STRING SCHOOL!
Each month, our instructors add new tunes, in-depth technique lessons, and play-along tracks to many of our courses. Check out this month’s additions below, and sign up for any new course with promo code “Play20” and get your first month free!
Playing Triplets and “True Life Blues” Scott shows you a few different ways to play triplets, including using “sweep picking” and down-down-up picking, and demonstrates them on a solo to Bill Monroe’s “True Life Blues.”
Soloing with “Drop Two” Minor Six Chords Matt uses “I’ve Found a New Baby” to show you a great method of improvising chord-melody style using the four-note minor six and diminished chord shapes you’ve already learned.
Standard Tuning Backup Flynn talks about backing up Irish tunes in standard tuning using chords you probably already know and a few inversions you may not know.
Over the Waterfall The old-time fiddle tune “Over the Waterfall” has a simple melody that can be easily filled in with eighth notes to make it more complex. Joe shows you a basic version and an embellished version.
Two-Note Chord Comping | Chad shows you how to use double stops on the bottom two strings to accompany (“comp”) songs, using the chord progression for “All of Me.”
“Gonna Paint the Town” Bill Napier Solo The solo that mandolinist/guitarist Bill Napier played on the Stanley Brothers’ 1958 recording of “Gonna Paint the Town” is a great example of creating a solo by using arpeggios in the key of G.
The Prisoner’s Song Bill Monroe recorded “The Prisoner’s Song” in 1951 with a studio band. The mandolin solo is one of Monroe’s oddest and most characteristic, with some strange chromatic runs played with tremolo.
Crockett’s Honeymoon “Crockett’s Honeymoon” is an old-time fiddle tune that originated in Ireland as “The Honeymoon Reel.” It’s a straightforward fiddle tune in the key of G, but it can be a challenge to play at fast tempos.
Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans John’s version of the jazz standard “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans” comes from Stéphane Grappelli, who played it in the key of D.
Cúnla The five-part jig “Cúnla” is one of the “big tunes” and is both a tune and a song. As a tune it’s usually known as “The Frieze Britches.” There are a few versions, but Marla’s is based on the way the Irish group Planxty played it.
Just Friends The jazz standard “Just Friends” is played in many ways: as an uptempo swing tune, as a ballad, etc. Aaron shows you a ballad version of “Just Friends” and uses it to demonstrate some of the ways he plays rubato.
Big Spike Hammer The Osborne Brothers classic “Big Spike Hammer” uses the “six minor chord,” often noted as a vi chord. You’ll learn the arpeggios and double stops of the iv chord in the key of B and a solo to “Big Spike Hammer” in B.
Home of the Red Fox Bill Emerson’s banjo tune “Home of the Red Fox,” recorded on his album of the same name, has become a favorite of artists like The Infamous Stringdusters and Billy Strings, and you’ll often hear it at jam sessions.
Letter from My Darling JD Crowe’s break to the bluegrass classic “Letter from My Darling” recorded with the Bluegrass Album Band is itself a classic and a great lesson in rendering a vocal melody on the banjo.
Jack Wilson “Jack Wilson” is a straight-ahead square dance tune in the key of D. The version you’ll learn was recorded in 1941 by fiddler John Morgan Salyer and banjo player Claude Helton.
Georgie “Georgie” comes from Virginia old-time banjo player Matokie Slaughter. The B part includes an alternate-string pull-off on the top string and muting of the top string on the brushes.
Old Ebenezer Scrooge Bill Monroe’s instrumental “Old Ebenezer Scrooge” has four parts and is in the key of A minor. Chad’s version is based on the way Bill played “Old Ebenezer Scrooge” on the mandolin.
Happy Hollow “Happy Hollow” comes from the great western North Carolina fiddler Marcus Martin. It’s a two-part tune in the key of A, played in AEAC# tuning, which is often called “Black Mountain Rag” tuning or calico tuning.
You’ve Got a Friend Carole King’s pop hit “You’ve Got a Friend” has a great bass pattern and is in the key of Ab, so you’ll get a workout in the key of Ab with this lesson.
PLAY-ALONG RHYTHM TRACKS – Available to all subscribers. Guitar accompaniment video, downloadable audio, and chord charts for popular bluegrass, old-time, and roots tunes and songs.
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