Beginning Bluegrass Theory Video
May 12, 2020 at 5:04 PM #84228
I looked through Dr. John’s technical videos and I didn’t find anything like this video so I’m assuming he won’t mind if I just post this here in an effort to be useful. If this video is inappropriate for the site, please take it down and forgive me. I’m having fun with my new video editor. The video begins by building Major scales in several key signatures.
May 12, 2020 at 6:49 PM #84231
- This topic was modified 3 months ago by Frederick.
Good basic stuff, Fred. I haven’t thought about those classic old mnemonics since my legs swung off the bench, and were too short to reach the piano pedals! My favorite way back then was “All Cows Eat Grass”!! Its funny how those mnemonics immediately took me back to about 1968. LOL.May 12, 2020 at 8:11 PM #84234John (BGD)Keymaster
Fred, thank you for the great video! I appreciate the time you took to create that!May 12, 2020 at 10:02 PM #84235
Good lesson, Fred!May 13, 2020 at 9:29 AM #84238
Yes, Sam, mnemonics are a blast. Those few I mentioned in the video have stayed with me all these years and have been very helpful. I even know some for electrical and electronic work. 🙂
Thank You Dr. John. I’m happy that you appreciate the video. 🙂
Thanks, Peggy. 🙂May 13, 2020 at 1:28 PM #84239
Fred…maybe you could continue on and make a series of lessons on youtube.May 13, 2020 at 3:38 PM #84240
I am working on Part 2, Peggy. Eventually I want to get to where the student can identify the structure behind a given tune, sight read and even write some Bluegrass music. Part 2 is a continuation of key signatures, time signatures, notes and rests, etc.
I kind of had a YouTube channel in the back of my head. Thanks for the suggestion. 🙂 (Any suggestion on topics to cover will be greatly appreciated, too.)May 13, 2020 at 6:27 PM #84241
Circle of Fifths and finding chord progressions from it…I mean, I get that…that’s something helpful to me, but I’d still love a lesson on that, if you could ever get to that.May 13, 2020 at 6:30 PM #84242
Also…some chord substitutions…like sometimes you can do the minor…umm…the II minor as a substitution for the IV chord…i.e., sometimes playing out of C major, you could have spots where you could choose the d minor chord where you’d normally put the F major chord…I mean…that might be just not worthy of a lesson, but I guess as a long-time guitar player, it’s been interesting and helpful to me to know about any kinda stuff like that.May 13, 2020 at 6:31 PM #84243
Of course, ANY lessons would be helpful…lol…so, go at it!May 13, 2020 at 7:42 PM #84246
Very good, Peggy. I’ll include all of what you’ve mentioned. Thanks for the suggestions. 🙂May 13, 2020 at 10:07 PM #84247
Oh cool…ok…good stuff on the way then!May 15, 2020 at 11:21 AM #84257
Passing tones/passing chords (and when/why to use them), is good topic to learn about, too.
When I first started playing by ear and jamming with others, I was blown away by hearing players flatting the 7th between V-I, doing walk-downs, walk-ups, and etc. It was all so foreign to me, but sounded so cool! I figured a lot of it out on the banjo, but I am just starting to try figuring some of this stuff out on the fiddle. I sometimes sit down at a keyboard to figure it out, and then go back to my fiddle. But I feel like that is somehow “cheating”. LOL
Basic scale/chord theory really comes in handy when backing up other instruments and singers (on any instrument).May 15, 2020 at 11:29 AM #84258
And, why do we call it theory, anyway? Isn’t it all pretty much set in stone and based in mathematics and wavelengths, etc.??
Asking for a friend. LOLMay 15, 2020 at 12:36 PM #84259
I’m guessin’ they call it “theory” because from what people have studied about music that works out vs. music that just doesn’t cut it, they came up with what does or does not work, and the part that works has been formulated over the centuries into a…I don’t wanna call it a science, but it’s sorta a science I guess…but a well-obsevered set of formulations that have proven to work out in centuries of Western music. I’m guessin’, here, but that’s what I’d say.
As far as scales…I’ve never found them as useful as chordal progressions…but then, that’s just me…I’ve never memorized a melody in my whole life…been playing guitar for almost 60 years now and been singing since I was big enough to pronounce the words of hymns growing up…and I still can’t do a melody line note-for-note…that’s just me…I like the general gist of the melody and what I’ve heard called the “melodic contour,” (music theory people call it that…lol) which is basically the shape of how the melody goes so the gist of its meaning comes out. And, for whatever goofy reason, that’s all I’ve ever cared about…I don’t really go for the notes, but the general shape and direction of the melody…maybe the intention of it, somebody could say. So…to me, the chordal progressions are what really turns me on…not so much the melody, but hints of something how it goes. I see the melody as something that (oughta be) is possibly ever-changing with a mood…and the chords can reflect that if you know about chord progressions…and…there’s a ton to know aabout that that would take a lifetime of studying…the theory is tough, from what little I’ve seen or been able to grasp.
I learned a bunch when my daughter had me doing the sound track for an early Baroque opera she was wanting to sing and act out for her youtube channel a few years back…oh my gosh…I’m not kidding…I would spend 12 grueling, mind-bustin’ hours trying to come up with a 1 minute little section of music for her. It was tough. But I did find something they call “figured bass,” they had back in those days where it was sorta like a bunch of improvising jazz musicians would be today…but instead of an improvising bass, keyboard, and sax…it was an improvising bass, harpsichord and bassoon…they would code out the general shape of the melody, the melodic contour, by writing little numbers below a notated bass line. Ugh…I started trying to learn to read and understand that to do the opera…daggone…I’m tellin’ ya…THAT was hard! Not sure I understood it right or followed it right, but daughter accepted the tracks I sent and sang on them and used them…so I guess it was the closest thing she could get.
But it was another situation of melodic contour…melody idea, rather than followiing exact notes, which would be easier if you were living back in the Baroque times, I’m sure. But as far as scales go, I do like mountain dulcimers, and I have one without the cheating frets that allow you to get out of your mode. You are pretty much forced into an awareness of modes because if you tune to the wrong mode, you flatout cannot get the notes you need to follow that melodic contour…insteaad of chord progression being important there, you basically have no chords at all, just drones, but the actual notes you need won’t be there at all in the wrong mode…so you confront the old modes, face-to-face, out of necessity, if you play a mountain dulcimer.
Anyway, I’m rambling on here about this stuff. I do find it all fascinating, but those who make a study of it are a lot smarter than I am…lol…it’s pretty hard stuff. Ok…gotta drink coffee…working in the garden today…lots of record-breaking cold has really messed us up. So…trying to get caught up…need lots of coffee breaks during the rains and then work between rains…lol. Thinkin’ of music while working…that works for me!May 15, 2020 at 3:49 PM #84261
I will gladly include passing chords, passing tones, appoggiaturas, etc, so the student gets a well-rounded introduction into the world of theory. 🙂May 15, 2020 at 8:17 PM #84263
Gonna keep you busy, Fred…lol.May 16, 2020 at 1:15 PM #84286
I sure am busy, Peggy. I’ve listed everything you and Sam have mentioned and plan to include such material in upcoming videos. I want to have the videos follow a natural progression to make the material make more sense. You know, when you build a fire you start with twigs and then branches before you throw on the heavy logs…lolMay 16, 2020 at 2:47 PM #84287
OK, Peggy. From now on, “Sam’s Rule” is as follows: “I will only read the first two paragraphs of Peggy’s posts”. LOL. My attention span is too short!May 16, 2020 at 2:49 PM #84288
Be careful Fred, this stuff can get real deep, real quick!
Seriously, I look forward to seeing your videos.
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