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!
Red Apple Rag | The old-time fiddle tune “Red Apple Rag” comes from fiddler Arthur Smith, but Scott learned it from Seattle fiddler Hank Bradley, who included a third part, and Scott recorded it on his first solo record No Hurry. In this lesson, you’ll learn the way Scott played all three parts on his recording.
Contrary Motion Fingerbusters | In this lesson, Matt gives you some examples of the kinds of contrary motion phrases he uses inspired by early jazz guitarists and pianists.
Chord Shapes with High-D Drone | Learn a series of major chord shapes in the key of D on the top three strings that you can use while playing an open fourth-string drone in dropped-D tuning. Flynn walks you through three inversions of D, G, and A shapes and shows you how to play the D major reel “The Sunny Banks” and the D modal reel “Jenny Picking Cockles” with high-D drone chords.
Red Wing | “Red Wing” is a Western swing tune that has become popular in the bluegrass world, and its melody originally comes from the 19th century German classical composer Robert Schumann. It’s a simple melody and can be played in a number of different ways, so, in this lesson, Joe shows you how he would “mandolinify” it.
Scale and Arpeggio Review, Part 2 | Chad picks up where he left off in the last lesson, reviewing a variety of scales (major, Mixolydian, Dorian, melodic minor) and their corresponding chord arpeggios in the keys of G, C, F, and Bb.
New Camptown Races | The bluegrass mandolin instrumental “New Camptown Races” comes from mandolinist Frank Wakefield. It’s in the key of Bb, an unusual key for a mandolin tune, so Sharon starts by reminding you of the Bb major scale in open position, then teaches the tune.
Wheel Hoss | Learn the way Bill Monroe played “Wheel Hoss” on his December 31, 1954, recording, with Charlie Cline and Bobby Hicks on fiddles.
When It’s Over | Joe’s new tune “When It’s Over” came out of a tune-writing class that he teaches at Berklee College of Music. It’s a contemplative tune that Joe originally wrote on the mandola, but it sounds just as good on the mandolin.
Sarafina | John’s new tune “Sarafina” is a beautiful waltz and it is not a particular challenge for either hand; the challenge with a lyrical tune like this is to get the notes to sustain and ring with a full tone and to play with a relaxed feel.
King of the Fairies | A set dance is a tune that is not of regular eight-measure parts. In this lesson, Marla teaches“King of the Fairies,” which is in E minor and has an eight-bar A part that repeats and a 16-bar B part that also repeats.
I’m Getting Sentimental Over You | The jazz standard “I’m Getting Sentimental Over You” was made famous in the 1930s by the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. Aaron’s arrangement combines short melodic lines that outline the underlying chords with many of the chord melody voicings you’ve already learned.
Bury Me Beneath the Willow | Sharon uses the bluegrass standard “Bury Me Beneath the Willow” to show you how to move out of the basic closed-position fingerings you’ve been learning to other nearby positions. After showing you the basic melody of “Bury Me Beneath the Willow,” Sharon shows you how to harmonize the melody with double stops and some melodic embellishments and a typical Bill Monroe ending lick.
Sitting on Top of the World | “Sitting on Top of the World” comes from the blues and folk tradition and has become a bluegrass jam session standard. In this lesson, Bill shows you a straightforward solo and one with some more advanced licks.
Running Through the White Oaks | “Running Through the White Oaks” comes from the African American string band Gribble, Lusk, and York. Evie recorded the tune with Karen Celia Heil on her Riding the Rooster album and worked out the melody of the tune in her own way, and that’s what you’ll learn here.
Single-String Exercises | Wes gives you some great single-string exercises using the 3–3–2–3 fingerboard mapping positions. He starts by showing you a few “half positions” for playing in G that corresponds to the seventh position, third, and fourth positions in the fingerboard mapping scheme, and then shows you a melodic pattern exercise in these positions.
Dance All Night | Chad’s version of the old-time fiddle standard “Dance All Night” comes from John Lusk, who was the fiddler with the African American string band Gribble, Lusk, and York. The trio were recorded in the 1940s for the Library of Congress, and “Dance All Night” is from their first 1946 recording.
We Can’t Be Darlings Anymore | In this lesson, you’ll learn Bobby Hicks’s solo to the Flatt and Scruggs song “We Can’t Be Darlings Anymore” from the Bluegrass Album Band recording. Chad includes some great double-stop licks and a nice long tag.
Old Dad | The dance tune “Old Dad” was originally an Irish tune called “Pigtown Fling,” but in the US it goes by many names. It’s a two-part tune in the key of G, and Bruce’s version owes a lot to the way fiddler John Rector played it. In addition to the basic melody, Bruce also shows you a variation on the A part that John Rector played.
Blue Moon | The Rodgers and Hart song “Blue Moon” is a jazz standard, but has been recorded by pop singers as well. You’ll learn how to play it with a simple swing, walking-bass feel in this lesson, and Zoe also shows you how to play the melody of “Blue Moon,” giving you advice on finding the notes and phrasing the melody.
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.