“Your courses have opened my musical mind, focused my practice and expanded my skill far beyond expectation.”-Steve F.
“This was the best online learning experience I’ve ever had. And, for the time and money, the best music learning experience in any format: DVD, video, group, or individual live lessons.”—Christine R.
This course will focus solely on playing rhythm—something we do probably 90% of the time when we’re playing with other people in a jam session or other group settings! So why not learn some new approaches? This course will help students learn ways of playing rhythm in bluegrass and folk music, with a bit of blues and “newgrass” mixed in. Basic chord forms will be given, and the course will gradually build on these into chord inversions, double stops and melodic “fills.” Songs will be taught in several keys to help students get more comfortable with the fretboard and gain more confidence to be able to play more effectively in jam sessions. Each week, students will be given chord exercises and rhythm exercises along with two or more songs to practice. Some of those exercises will be more basic, and as we go through the class session, the exercises will get more advanced. Each week, students will be encouraged to focus on the exercises that best suit their ability level. The goal will be to help students become more adept at playing rhythm in various keys and styles and develop a more solid sense of timing.
The course is intended for beginning to intermediate-level students (though absolute beginners may find it too advanced as we’ll be moving through chord styles fairly quickly in the first few weeks), or to any students wanting to improve their backup playing.
The course is also designed to challenge students who took the Rhythm Mandolin course in winter 2020; each week, exercises ranging from fairly easy to advanced will be given for students at various levels of experience.
Classes meet every Wednesday at 9 pm eastern time, with practice/review sessions on Saturdays at 12:30 pm eastern time. The week of February 22 is off, so there will be eight weeks of classes in nine weeks time.
Here is the curriculum:
WEEK 1 (1/4)
Reviewing open style rhythm
Basslines between chords
Adding dynamics between phrases
Keep on the Sunny Side of Life
If I Needed You
WEEK 2 (1/11)
Barre style chords
Minor chords in a couple of styles
Bass notes as target notes
Red Rocking Chair
WEEK 3 (1/18)
Bluegrass Chop chords in various keys
More dynamics in rhythm playing
Moving between chord inversions
I’m on My Way Back to the Old Home
WEEK 4 (1/25)
Moving between inversions
Adding 7th chords
Nine Pound Hammer
I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
WEEK 5 (2/1)
A bit of blues rhythm
Some double stops
Adding some more fills to your backup
See See Rider
How Long Blues
WEEK 6 (2/8)
More double stops in backup
Going between chords and double stops
One More Love Song
WEEK 7 (2/15)
More advanced chord progressions
Getting smooth transitions between chords
Mixing in different chord styles
Tricky progressions in various positions
Salty Dog Blues
WEEK 8 (3/1)
Putting it all together
Trying various rhythm styles: folk, bluegrass, blues and rock
Adding fills and double stops in various styles
Transposing to various keys
Sittin’ on Top of the World
Trouble in Mind
The course fee is $225.