Earlier this year, Peghead Nation Co-founder and Grammy-winning guitarist Scott Nygaard taught a popular live workshop series called Creating Bluegrass and Roots Music Solos. We recorded all of the sessions, and you can now subscribe to this workshop to receive all the original video lessons, notation and tab files, listening recommendations, and audio tracks that Scott shared with his students. Take a look at Scott’s course introduction video above, and go to the main Creating Bluegrass and Roots Music Solos page to join the course with a monthly or annual subscription.
In this workshop, you’ll learn the difference between scalar melodies that sound good played against the chords of the song you’re playing and lines that just don’t cut it. You’ll learn how and when to use “color” notes in your lines to create different sounds. You’ll learn to use “blue notes” with the major scale to give your playing a vocal quality. You’ll learn to use pentatonic scales in a way that sounds great combined with a chord progression, not like aimless noodling. You’ll learn about thematic soloing and improvising, how to create lines with a sense of forward motion, how to combine the melody of a song with fills, melodic variations, arpeggios, and more. Scott is one of the most inventive and original flatpicking guitarists in the bluegrass/acoustic music scene, and has recorded, toured, and gigged with Tim O’Brien, Joan Baez, Jerry Douglas, Chris Thile, Darol Anger, John Reischman, and many others.
Please join us for this unique, deep-dive into learning to improvise! Use the promo code ScottLand at checkout to get your first month free!
Here is Scott’s statement about what you’ll learn in Creating Bluegrass and Roots Music Solos:
Have you learned a few scales and arpeggios, but can’t figure out how to turn them into music? Have you gone further and learned major scales and arpeggios all over the neck of your instrument, but are thinking there must be something else you need to learn, because they still don’t sound like music? Do you wonder how the musicians you love ever turned these things that sound like boring exercises into exciting music?
In this workshop, we’ll look at how to turn scales and arpeggios into solos that sound great, whether you’re improvising or playing a composed solo. And you’ll learn that it’s not how many scales and arpeggios and scale positions you know, but how to use the major scale to your advantage. Because that lowly major scale contains 98% of the information you need to know to play bluegrass and roots music. You just need to know how to manipulate the major scale to do what you want it to do.
Since I am a guitarist, this workshop will naturally appeal to and be geared to some degree to guitarists, but I think mandolinists, fiddlers, and progressive banjo players can get a lot out of it as well. The only prerequisites are that you are comfortable with the major scale in the keys you play in, and have a desire to improve your soloing. You don’t have to be a budding virtuoso to benefit from this course. If you want to play simple, melodious solos on your favorite songs, you can benefit as well.
I hope you’ll join me,
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