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 “Play21” and get your first month free!
Some of These Days The early jazz standard “Some of These Days” an unusual 32-bar form in which none of the eight-bar sections are repeated (ABCD). Matt shows you an Eddie Lang–style accompaniment and chord melody version of “Some of These Days.”
Maid on the Green “Maid on the Green” is a jig in the key of G major, but Flynn backs it up in dropped D tuning, with some great examples of things you can play when backing up jigs in G while in dropped D tuning.
Liza Jane There are a few old-time fiddle tunes with “Liza Jane” in the title. This one originally comes from Kentucky old-time fiddler J.P. Fraley, though Joe learned it from Todd Phillips’s record In the Pines.
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.”
Practicing Sharon gives you advice on practicing the material in Intermediate Bluegrass Mandolin, including how to increase the tempo of fiddle tunes by practicing with a metronome, how to troubleshoot your technique in tricky passages, and more.
A Good Woman’s Love Bill Monroe recorded “A Good Woman’s Love” in May 1957. He plays a sparse melody-oriented half solo in the key of G, with “little bitty” intro notes followed by long metered-tremolo melody notes.
Old Gray Coat This jazz waltz was written by guitarist Tony Rice, and his recording of the tune on his album Acoustics features Sam Bush on mandolin. Joe first heard the tune at a concert by Tony, Mike Marshall, Darol Anger, and Todd Phillips.
Walk Along John to Kansas To play the oid-time tune “Walk Along John to Kansas,” John often tunes to an open-G tuning (GDGD), which is how you’ll learn it in this lesson.
The Choice Wife The five-part slip jig “The Choice Wife” (also known as “O’Farrell’s Welcome to Limerick”) is a pipe tune in D Mixolydian. In addition to showing you the melody, Marla shows you how to imitate the pipe ornament known as a “cran.”
Autumn Leaves “Autumn Leaves” is one of the most popular jazz standards. Aaron’s arrangement (in the key of G minor) starts with a rubato treatment of the first half and then goes into time (a tempo) for the second half.
“Keep on the Sunny Side” Verse Sharon uses the folk and bluegrass classic “Keep on the Sunny Side” to show you a new double stop and a series of double stops that occur in many songs.
Verona “Verona” comes from the great jazz guitarist Bill Frisell, who recorded it on his album Gone, Just Like a Train, but it is well-suited to the octave mandolin. It’s in the key of D, has a typical jazz AABA 32-bar structure, and uses diatonic chords in the key of D. Joe uses it to introduce some movable chord shapes and talk about different rhythmic approaches to comping with the octave mandolin.
Banjo Signal Don Reno recorded his instrumental classic “Banjo Signal” in 1954. The first part of “Banjo Signal” features fifth-string fretting high up the neck combined with a one-measure forward roll, and the second part includes an early melodic-style phrase.
Pentatonic Scale Positions Pentatonic scales are an essential part of Western modern music theory. In this lesson, Wes shows you movable fingerboard positions for the G major and E minor pentatonic scales.
Five Miles from Town “Five Miles from Town” is a dance tune that comes from Clyde Davenport, who is known more as a fiddler than a banjo player. It’s a somewhat crooked tune and is played in the key of D, in double D tuning.
Back Up and Push “Back Up and Push” is another bluegrass barnburner. It’s in the key of C and features “hokum bowing” and some great sliding double stops.
Duck Creek “Duck Creek” comes from Texas fiddler Peter Tomlinson (P.T.) Bell, who was recorded in 1941 at the age of 74. “Duck Creek” is a bright, happy square dance tune in the key of A, played in AEAE tuning.
Big Nuthin’ The groove in the Roches song “Big Nuthin’” is loosely based on a Brazilian samba, and the bass line has a cool, syncopated feel with distinct patterns in the verse and chorus. It’s also a good workout in the key of Eb.
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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