I use this exercise to solidify my timing right at the beginning of a practice session. It's been great for my technique and my sense of rhythm and timing. Stick with it and you'll find it gets easier and easier.
This is a quick tutorial on a really tasteful backup roll Craig Smith taught me when I was taking lessons from him. It works great with chords where you are fretting the fifth string with your thumb. I use "Salty Dog" as an example because of it's quick-moving chords, but I encourage you to try it out in as many situations as possible!
This is based on Ron Block's version of "Man of Constant Sorrow" as he plays it with Alison Krauss and Union Station.
We're in the key of F, playing out of D position. This means you'll have your capo on the 3rd fret. I recommend you start with the capo there so you can play along with me and then play along with their recording, which you can find here.
This is a short lesson about using the blues scale a la Ron Block. A lot of this is played on the 2nd string with the 5th and 1st strings acting like a drone.
*Okay, because this is so advanced I don't know if I'd actually call it a trick, but it is a great start for learning how to blend melodic and single string like Noam.
Stick with this in the key of G for a few weeks until it starts to feel relatively comfortable, and then start doing it in different keys.
Make sure that you know your G scales in melodic and single string styles before tackling this. It'll be way more difficult to do it without that knowledge.
Playing out of Bb without a capo is actually not very hard and it can be rewarding. The G and D strings are extremely helpful as they are important notes in the Bb scale.
Work on learning the notes in the Bb scale in single string and melodic positions, then take a favorite fiddle tune and see if you can play it out of open Bb. Kind of the same thing that we did in the D video.
In my opinion, this is the most inspirational interview thus far. If you know Jens, you know how deep he can go, and he's an amazing person and musician. Just being in the same room as him is an experience in itself.
Enjoy this video, and please let me know if you have any comments or questions.
Get schooled in playing melodic in D! I've included many of the things that I've practiced to up my chops when playing fiddle tune melodies and improvising. The best thing for you to do is watch and listen to this video a ton, then check out the tab.
Learn the scales using a combination of tablature and video, and then attempt to figure out the fiddle tunes using just the video and your ears. Using tab for the songs defeats the entire purpose of this method!
Have fun and if you have questions, type them in the comment section below!
Here's the full hour-long interview with Mike!
If you're coming from the M80 video on YouTube, go to 5:41 to continue from where we left off.
Unfortunately, my camera crashed on us a couple times during the interview, but I was able to put up the audio. I apologize for the inconvenience, and this will not happen in future interviews.
Mike and I had some great conversations about rhythm, groove, learning by ear, J.D. Crowe nuances, and so much more. I really hope you enjoy it!
Tab will become available so you can start to work on some of the melodic concepts Mike and I discussed.
Hearing the metronome on 2 & 4 is a refreshing and fun way to practice.
It's always a little challenging to start out, especially if you've never done this before. To limit the amount of frustration you may encounter, make sure you take a tune that you know really well :).
Start out counting with the click, and then play from there. Eventually you will really feel the rhythm on 2 and 4, and you're playing will groove more.
This video briefly goes into Ryan Cavanaugh's technique using a common fiddle tune. While tabbing it out, I realized that my tendency is to play TITM, which I've heard is something Noam Pikelny does quite a bit, and Dennis Caplinger does as well.
I'm still working to figure out Ryan's style, but I'm not sure there really is a 100% accurate description of his technique. At this point, he probably just hears something in his head and plays it.
The more you experiment with different ways to play this melody, the easier it will be to use these techniques when improvising. For example, try starting the melody with your index finger instead of the thumb, and see where that takes you.
This is a continuation of the G scales and modes concepts discussed in previous videos. It's important to have a good handle on the G scales before getting into applying melodies.
This video will show you how to take a simple melody and apply it to your instrument just using your ears and the scales. The scales are the building blocks to allow you to more quickly figure out melodies, licks, vocabulary, and eventually improvise!
No tab on this one, as it defeats the purpose of the exercise.