| These lessons are designed to teach, not specific songs, but techniques used in all
bluegrass or when playing acoustic instruments. Hopefully, my
lessons will broaden your general
knowledge of music as well. Bluegrass is an art that has suffered in
popularity until lately; letís give it all the help that we
can. Send this letter to a friend and help them to enjoy the wonderful
music called bluegrass.
The best piece of information that I can share is: As a computer needs data to work,
so does your brain. The way to program yourself is to listen to
music. Whatever kind of music that you want to learn, pick a song
and listen to it until you are sick of it, then you
are programmed. Maybe that is a little extreme but you get
the idea. You must know what something sounds like in order to
reproduce it. When do I have time? I drive 20 minutes to work
and 20 minutes home every day. Multiply that times five times per week
and you'll find that I get to hear my
music 3 hours and 20 minutes each week and I don't have to do without anything
to do it.
How to know if the bridge is in the right location.
This process works with the banjo, mandolin, and guitars with "movable"
First pick one string; I use the first string. Find the fret that is
located in the middle of the strings length. This is sometimes marked with
a double dot. When fretted, the note will be one octave higher than when the
string is played "open". Now, over that fret we want to "chime" the note.
"Chiming" is done by barely touching the string and picking the note,
then quickly moving your finger
away so that the string can vibrate. This makes a beautiful sound and can
be done after a little practice. Now compare the chimed note to the fretted
note, they should sound the same. If the fretted note is lower, then the
bridge is too far away from the neck. Too high, and the bridge is too
close. Adjust until the notes are the same.
Time to play the banjo! Click
here to tune with me.
Try this exercise.
Using the forward roll found on site http://www.projectsandhobbies.com/playingthebanjo.htm
letís concentrate on the second string and see what kind of sounds we
can make. Start your forward roll and move the fretted position all the
way up and
down the neck while continuing the roll. Only the second string should be
to my example.
Now lets try doing this on the forth string. The difference here is
that we will only go as far as the fifth fret and the pointer finger will
float over to the forth string. See if you hear something that could be
used in most any song. Listen
to my example.