Bluegrass Rhythm and Backup Guitar
Phrasing, Form, and Embellishments
Playing rhythm guitar requires a lot of thought and musical flexibility. This class will cover how to listen, how to frame a song, and tricks to embellish your rhythm playing.
1. Marking Chords, Dominant 7ths, Dynamics, Licks
3. Song Sections
4. Ensembles Size and Stages
5. Listening and Responding
Hit Parade of Love - PDF
Don't Fall in Love With a Rambler - PDF
Old Home Place - PDF
Carter Style - C-position
1. Carter Style - Presentation Video
2. Modified Carter Style - Presentation Video
Maybelle Carter Videos:
Videos, recordings and charts to jam along with.
Here are a few songs to jam along with. I have included videos, recordings, lyrics and charts. All the songs are in the key of G. Some of these songs have more complex chord progressions meaning they don't stick to just I-IV-V. Look through the chart first and make sure you know the chords.
Remember, upper-case roman numerals denote major chords, lower-case roman numerals denote minor chords. I have included the transposing chart to help you decipher the chords.
Bluegrass and Swing Music
Bluegrass and Western Swing are different styles of music from different regions of the country. But they have become closely associated over the years. Bill Monroe's legendary fiddler, Kenny Baker, started his musical career playing western swing. Hot Rize's alter-ego band, Red Knuckles and the Trailblazers, were festival favorites throughout their 40+ year career. So, it's worth learning a bit about the style.
2. Playing Rhythm in the Western Style
Waltzes and Country Songs
Bluegrass has a unique way of styling waltzes. This class will give an overview of how to play a "power-waltz" and apply rhythm techniques and bass lines.
This class will also present some application of country music styles of playing. Specifically, Honky-Tonk styles using chords in an E-grip.
1. How to play Waltzes
2. Waltz Song Charts
Folk Ballads, D Position and Drop D
Playing out of a D chord position can sometimes limit the tonal range that you can get on the guitar. Because the lowest D-note available in standard tuning is the open D string, often the D-chord sounds less full than other chord positions. This class will explore why we would choose an open D-position and how drop-D tuning can work in bluegrass, and acoustic music.
1. Tuning to Drop-D - To tune your guitar to drop-D simply tune your low-E string down one full step to a low-D. Doing this means that any note played on the low E-string in standard tuning will now be up two frets. So, your G-note will now be on the fifth fret rather than on the second.
2. Drop-D Songs