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Bluegrass Lessons - Teach yourself bluegrass jamming, bluegrass guitar, banjo, fiddle, dobro, mandolin and bass fiddle.
How should I learn to play bluegrass guitar, bluegrass banjo or bluegrass mandolin? Or any other bluegrass instrument, such as bluegrass fiddle, bluegrass bass fiddle or bluegrass dobro? What is bluegrass music style and how do I learn it?
If You're Searching For The Widest Selection and Lowest Prices For Bluegrass Tabs and Sheet Music, Search No More:
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People learn to play bluegrass music in different ways. Some folks are able to pick up a banjo, mandolin or guitar and find their way around the instrument without much help. They seem to be able to learn by "playing by ear." Those minority of people have a great musical gift. But most of us are not that fortunate.
Most of us who want to learn to bluegrass guitar, bluegrass banjo, bluegrass fiddle or any other bluegrass instrument need help. Well, fortunately, there is lots of help out there for folks like us. Assuming you've already got your instrument, you're already to go. Where should you start?
First, you might find a teacher. If you can find an affordable teacher, that's great. But don't sign up for bluegrass banjo or bluegrass fiddle lessons unless the teacher can play bluegrass music and teach it well. There are a lots of part-time "teachers" out there offering lessons and, while they might be adequate for starters, they are unlikely to be able to teach you how to play great bluegrass banjo, guitar or mandolin solos, or how to play as part of a bluegrass band. Make sure your teacher demonstrates his or her ability and style of playing before you agree to pay for lessons.
Second, you might use an instruction book. Most bluegrass music instruction books are written with tablature (tab) notation. Tablature (Tab) is a system of symbols telling you where to fret notes to get sounds. Many people find that tablature is the most natural medium for bluegrass music notation, as it is a very effective way of telling you where to put down your left hand fingers and of indicating basic timing. Tab is written for those whose "musical thinking" is in terms of licks and finger positions.
Tab has also become something of an obsession in bluegrass music, as the sources for bluegrass music tablature are endless. And, so Tab books come with CDs that you can listen to so you can actually hear what the music is supposed to sound like. Yet, while some folks love tablature, others find it difficult.
So, third, you might try using instructional bluegrass DVD's, tapes and videos. Since learning from a bluegrass tablature book is difficult for some, bluegrass music lesson DVDs and videotapes are also very popular. Whether you are trying to learn to play bluegrass fiddle, banjo or guitar, it may be easier for you when watch a professional do things the right way. Most importantly, since bluegrass DVDs and videotapes let you hear what the music is supposed to sound like as well as see the left hand finger positioning and the right hand technique, it can be a very effective way to learn how to play your bluegrass instrument. Take the time to find bluegrass lesson DVDs or videos for your particular instrument, whether you play bluegrass guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin or dobro. Then, as long as you feel comfortable with the learning process, the only thing standing between you and bluegrass jamming is practice.
Once you've learned the basics, it doesn't take much to get your skills up to jam-quality caliber. Remember that bluegrass music is meant to played in a band, with several instruments providing rhythm while another instrument takes the solo break. In order to properly jam with others, you should be well-versed in the rhythm and lead fundamentals of your bluegrass instrument. For a good intro to bluegrass jamming, read An Introduction to Bluegrass Jamming by Tom Barnwell. For a funnier take on jamming etiquette, read the Ten Commandments of Jamming.
Lastly, go to bluegrass festivals, concerts, jam sessions and picking parties. Talk to other players. They will usually be very willing to help you. Play with other players whenever you can. People sometimes ask, "How long will it take me to learn?" If you stick with it, the answer is "the rest of your life." Even the best bluegrass musicians are still learning new things. Your own progress will depend on how much natural talent you have and how much time and effort you spend developing that talent. Regular practice is essential. And, if you really want to play, you will find the time to practice.
A great selection of bluegrass music instruction books (both song books and tab books) as well as DVDs and videotapes can be found right here at Bluegrass Works. When you shop through Bluegrass Works for bluegrass instrument instruction books, lesson videos or DVDs, both new or used products are available safely and conveniently through Amazon.com. Most titles are in stock and ship the same day!