Happy “hump day” everyone. Mental and physical fatigue is creeping in…but by the time today is done, we’ll be over half way there.
INTERMEDIATE BLUEGRASS FIDDLING
I think The Blues is an essential part of a musical upbringing. Using the major scale as our foundation, we created or “spelled” the blues scale in numbered scale degrees (see picture above). Once we had the key of A nailed, we took it’s open string fingering and moved it one string down for the key of D. Then we took the key of A low octave closed fingering one string up for the key of E. We learned how where the chords fall in a standard 12bar blues and played our three scales in the appropriate places. You can’t teach the blues without a blues bass line, so we did that too. Next up, call & response. The class rounded out with Maiden’s Prayer – a slower number that used all the chords found in the A Blues.
ADVANCED BLUEGRASS FIDDLING
The focus of today’s lesson was double-stops. I talked about the hours and hours I spent as a youth drilling the double-stop section of Stacy Phillips’ Hot Licks for Bluegrass Fiddle. I would take one of the licks and move it through all 12 keys, trying to keep the fingerings as consistent as possible. We took one I remember from Bobby Hicks’ break on Toy Heart and transposed it all over the fiddle. One of his intervals (b7 & 9) reminded me of the B part for Kenny Baker’s Grassy Fiddle Blues. The only logical course of action was to learn it.