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!
Sail Away Lady Uncle Bunt Stephens’s 1926 version of this old-time fiddle tune has a distinctive syncopation common to Southern Appalachian mountain fiddling. Scott shows you how he adapted Stephens’s version to the guitar.
Red Hot Dan “Red Hot Dan” is an obscure song recorded by Fats Waller in 1927 that featured a solo by the great unsung guitarist Bobby Leecan. You’ll learn Leecan’s solo as well as Matt’s chord melody arrangement of “Red Hot Dan.”
The Lilting Banshee Flynn shows you some advanced drone accompaniment and chord substitutions in the key of A minor using the jig “The Lilting Banshee.”
Red-Haired Boy The fiddle tune “Red-Haired Boy” is popular in bluegrass, old-time, and Celtic circles. You’ll learn the standard melody as well as a version that comes from guitarist David Grier in which he adds two bars of empty space at the end of each two-bar phrase.
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.”
Soldier’s Joy” Bill Monroe Solo In this solo to the fiddle tune “Soldier’s Joy,” Bill Monroe strips down the melody to the bare essentials, which allows him to really drive the melody with constant eighth notes.
Brown County Breakdown “Brown County Breakdown” is another of Bill Monroe’s triple fiddle tunes, a three-part tune in the key of E. Bill only played the third part on his original recording, so Mike shows you a version that comes from a live recording in which Monroe plays all three parts.
Jethro’s Tune Jethro Burns was one of the greatest jazz mandolin players ever, and he influenced generations of mandolinists. This swingy minor key tune features a “super pull-off”—five notes with one pick stroke—and has a fun chord progression to improvise over.
Bitterroot Waltz John’s original “Bitterroot Waltz” has two parts (the first in B minor and the second in D major) and features tremolo and a lot of double stops using the G major and D major harmonized scales.
Kid on the Mountain “Kid on the Mountain” is another “big tune,” a five-part slip jig in E minor and G with lots of repeated phrases.
C Jam Blues The Duke Ellington tune “C Jam Blues,” as you might have gathered from the title, is a blues in the key of C that is often played at jam sessions. Aaron’s arrangement includes variations that create different rhythmic riffs using block chords.
Down in the Willow Garden “Down in the Willow Garden” is a traditional folk ballad that has long been a part of the bluegrass repertoire. This lesson builds on the patterning for the vi chord (in this case, Am in the key of C).
Introduction to the Octave Mandolin Joe gives you some background on the octave mandolin, including some of the well-known octave mandolin players, and talks about what and how you will learn in this course.
Sam Brown Hill “Sam Brown Hill” comes from the great guitarist Duke Levine, who recorded it on the octave mandolin on his album The Fade Out. It’s a simple melody with three parts, in the key of E, played out of D position with a capo at the second fret, but it’s a good example of how octave mandolinists flesh out melodies with chords and double stops.
Old Dangerfield The Bill Monroe instrumental “Old Dangerfield” is popular in bluegrass circles everywhere. In this lesson you’ll learn Sierra Hull’s octave mandolin version. Sierra is a virtuoso mandolinist but she has relatively small hands, so she changes the melody of “Old Dangerfield” somewhat when she plays it on the octave mandolin to make it fit the larger instrument.
Inverness “Inverness” comes from fiddler/mandolinist John Mailander who recorded it on his album Walking Distance. It’s a beautiful, contemplative melody that alternates measures of 6/4 and 4/4. It’s in the key of F, so Joe plays it as if it’s in D, but with the capo at the third fret. You’ll learn the melody and also some of Joe’s favorite octave mandolin chord voicings in the key of D.
St. Anne’s Reel “St. Anne’s Reel” is a common jam fiddle tune in bluegrass, old-time, and Celtic music circles. It’s in the key of D and Bill plays it melodic style, with the kind of melody a fiddler might play.
Garfield’s Blackberry Blossom “Garfield’s Blackberry Blossom” is an old-time fiddle tune that bears no relation to the bluegrass jam favorite. Wes plays the melody with some rolls and some melodic-style passages based around two-note shapes.
Chinquapin Pie “Chinquapin Pie” comes from banjo player and singer Hobart Smith. It’s in the key of F, played in G modal tuning, gDGCD, and includes double thumbing, crossovers, muting, and “hammer-ons from nowhere.”
Two O’Clock in the Morning “Two O’Clock in the Morning” is a fast breakdown that Chad learned from the fiddling of the great bluegrass fiddler Benny Martin.
Flying Indian “Flying Indian” comes from the fiddling of Jesse Shelor, who was recorded by Victor Records in the historic 1927 Bristol Sessions in Bristol, Virginia. It’s a straightforward, lyrical dance tune in the key of G.
Day Tripper The Beatles’ classic “Day Tripper” is a 16-bar blues in the key of E and the well-known bass line is a good exercise in playing dominant seven arpeggios.
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.
Our instructors have released great new lessons, tunes, and techniques in our guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, dobro, ukulele, and bass courses.Read More
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