Playing Fiddle on a Basic Bluegrass Song That You May Not Have Heard Before
You're playing fiddle on an bluegrass song with 3 or 4 chords. Maybe you've heard it before and maybe not. How should you approach the song? Ellen will cover keys, chords, analyzing melodies and how to fake a respectable solo break.
While the focus will be on a bluegrass song, Ellen's approach will also be very useful for county, folk, and other styles.
Iconic Fiddle Breaks
In Bluegrass, quoting performance on the original recording is a badge of belonging and a way of connecting past with present. Quoting can develop into subtle, nuanced commentaries on the original solo and others in the style. We'll learn several iconic "breaks" and how they can be used in other contexts. These will be different breaks from previous FHOs.
New to Jamming?If you're new to jamming, you probably have some questions. What happens at a jam, both musically and socially? What are the different types of jams? What might you be watching and listening for? How are online jams different from in-person ones? What are the ways you can participate in a jam, even if you haven't actually heard the tune before?
In this jam, you'll get practical answers to many of your questions, and a chance to try out jamming on some relatively common tunes at a slow pace. Andy and Joy will bring fiddle, banjo, mandolin, cello, and octave mandolin to this jam, but all instruments are welcome, and voices, too. Bruce Molsky -
Singing while Playing the Fiddle
The strings of the fiddle and the human voice have a lot in common, and can be made to blend beautifully. Bruce will lead the class through some exercises to get fiddle and voice working together so we can play through a simple song, and also demonstrate a couple of his own favorites.
Instructor - fiddle, vocals
Making Sense of Chords - VIEW ANYTIME
This workshop will help you to harmonize, play double stops, back up a tune or song, and play along with tunes you've never heard before. Really! Primarily for fiddle and cello, but other instruments are welcome to join us.
Very helpful handout included. You don't have to be able to read music for this workshop.
Capturing Emotion and Mood in Composition
A time to share ideas, techniques, and approaches for composing music that touches the heart. We’ll analyze some emotionally powerful tunes, examine their structure, and try to learn how their melodic, rhythmic and chordal content is able to convey human emotion. We’ll talk about the different approaches that we’ve each used to successfully embed feelings and emotions, and even have our music tell a story. There’ll be time for attendees to share their own ideas and observations, and ask questions.
Instructor - fiddle
Building a Hot Fiddle Break from Scratch We'll take a simple melody and go through all the steps to turn it into a classic bluegrass fiddle break by adding double stops, ornamentation, hot licks, and bowings. After the basic process is explained, we'll look at the same melody and explore different options based on classic and contemporary bluegrass fiddle styles. Tracy Silverman
Using Strum Bowing to get into the Groove Tracy Silverman recently wrote The Strum Bowing Method, which is about using your bow to groove as if you're strumming a guitar. It's groundbreaking and fantastic, and Tracy is a clear and inspiring teacher. For fiddlers in many styles, and cellists as well. Tracy will start with an introduction to strum bowing at L2, and then pick up the workshop pace to L3 for more techniques, rhythms, and ideas that can apply to multiple fiddle styles. Last but not least... Austin Scelzo (That's me!)
Moving Fiddle Licks Around withIn a Musical ContextPractice Bill Monroe and Bobby Hicks style licks in real musical scenarios to move them from finger/muscle memory to intuition. Take licks you already know and practice them over I, IV, and V chords, then transpose them to different keys so that you can use them in any musical scenario.
Bobby Hicks Licks and Tricks
Learn some killer Bobby Hicks fiddle breaks and licks and get them transposed to keys where you’ll find them most useful in a jam setting. Included are famous licks such as the waterfall arpeggio.
10-time Grammy winner Bobby Hicks is known for two major achievements in his professional life as a bluegrass fiddler: his flawless work on a series of now legendary instrumentals that were recorded in the middle and late 1950s while he was a member of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys and for his near quarter-century tenure with country/bluegrass headliner Ricky Skaggs and the band Kentucky Thunder.
MANDOLIN Dan Bui of Twisted Pine
Basics of Mandolin Groove
Playing rhythm, backup, or accompaniment is one of the most important (and fun) things that we do as mandolin players! In this workshop, we will examine the basic boom-chuck strum pattern and its variations. We will expand this to a breakdown of the bluegrass chop, as created by Bill Monroe and expanded upon by many players. We will explore various ways to practice rhythm, and discuss the role of the mandolin in a string band ensemble. Stylistically, we will see how these techniques can be applied to folk, bluegrass, country, old-time, swing, contemporary bluegrass, pop, disco, funk, and whatever!
Right Hand Technique on the Mandolin
How can you play creatively and harness the uniqueness of your instrument? Explore mandolin playing with Emory, including techniques and new approaches that can bolster your creativity.
Here's a 2017 interview with Emory Lester on Mandolin Café, with a fascinating Q&A about his heroes, history, and development as a creative and inventive mandolin player.
Time and Rhythm
Ideas for playing rhythm in bluegrass or not bluegrass. Chopping, strumming, cross picking. How to feel time and develop a strong sense of it. How to play something that supports the folks you’re playing with and makes them sound better.