Understanding the guitar chords for
bluegrass and the piano chords in general. All of the chord rules
are explained here.
How to play and sing at the same
Have you ever looked at a person and marveled at how they were able to
play their instrument and sing effortlessly? It seems so easy
until we try it. The timing may be off, to say the least, and most
notes may be missing all together. It can be very discouraging and
you might feel that you are not capable of possessing such a talent.
If the truth were known, the person that makes it look so easy, once
walked in your shoes. The practice that it took to learn, was done
at home where no one could hear it. Of course you can practice
more, but you have to believe that it's possible. Keep the faith,
and it will come.
Let's try an exercise to try and understand how our brain
works. First of all, believing can make anything
happen. Try patting the top of your head with one hand and then
rub your stomach in a circle with the other. Do this all at the
same time and see what happens. If you are doing this right now,
you are likely rubbing your head or patting your stomach or nothing is
working like you are trying to get it to at all. I am sure that
you feel like a nut but everyone sitting at their computer looking at
this page is doing it too.
Now let's see if we can make it work correctly. Pat your head
at a steady rhythm and think about how it feels. When you have
that, continue to do so and slowly introduce the rubbing of your stomach.
Within a couple of tries you can make it happen with ease. You now
have a trick to amaze your friends. Now change hands and you will
have to start over again.
Learning to play and sing is like that exercise only much
harder. Playing the guitar for example, start a steady rhythm and
listen to it. Think about when the first word should fall and try
to start on that note. You can pick out points in the guitar
playing to help you to line up your words. As you become more
comfortable with the timing, you will be able to free up and sing with
more confidence. "A LOT" of practice and you can acquire
the same talent that you may have once envied. Now let's try to
stand on one finger while juggling a chair, a watermelon, and an egg at
the same time. Just kidding, you would have to stand on two
fingers to make it happen.
Here is a different approach to banjo playing;
tuning in a minor chord. The rule for making a major into a
minor is to flat to third. Just tune the second string down
one fret. Now ignore all of the chords that you normally use
because they don't work with this tuning. My banjo
page has an arrangement that I call "another good
roll" and that is the same as in this example. The
difference is that here we are doing it in a minor and the other is
the major. Listen to my example and see if you can hear where
is can be used. Listen