Newsletter #10 • December 2006
News, Music, tablature, MP3s, to download, play along with & learn!
Time seems to be speeding up on me, it’s December already. It’s been a very busy year with lots of traveling, lots of playing, writing, and goofing off. I enjoyed it all, but I’m glad to be home for awhile. I’ve used the time to catch up on things and put together some music for you to download, listen to, play along with and learn. I also collected some photos from my archive that I thought you might enjoy seeing. Most of them have never been published before. Click here to go to the photos.
Here’s a listing of the music:
Mandolin Duet: “Angels We Have Heard on High.” I’m a sucker for a pretty old Christmas tune and I also love to play duets. So, I arranged a duet version of this old holiday favorite.
Guitar Duet: “Angels We Have Heard on High.” What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, as it were. The music’s the same as above but with different tablature.
Mandolin Double Stop solo: “Away in a Manger” in the key of G. We posted a simple version of this song way back in Newsletter #1. By now you’ve mastered it and are probably ready for a slightly more challenging double stop solo.
“Avalon for Swing Guitar.” I’ve been working on a Gypsy Jazz play-along project and having a ball with it. “Avalon” is a preview. Learn the chords, melody, and jam along with the band.
“Avalon for Swing Mandolin.” Same as above but with mandolin chords and tablature. Click here for book/CD info.
Blues Guitar: “Frogs for Snakes.” A finger style blues plus a play-along track. From my BackUP TRAX: Basic Blues for Guitar.
Parking Lot Picker’s Songbooks
They tell me that my massive 225 song plus audio book of bluegrass, old time and gospel will be out soon, hopefully sometime in January of 2007. The title is, The Parking Lot Picker’s Songbook. There’ll be three editions, one with guitar TAB, one with mandolin TAB, and one with banjo TAB. Bill Evans and I collaborated on the banjo book. As soon as it’s available, we’ll let you know.
Uff da, Let’s Dance! Scandinavian House Party Tunes
We’re still waiting for the Uff da, Let’s Dance! Scandinavian House Party Tunes for Mandolin and Uff da, Let’s Dance! Scandinavian House Party Tunes for Accordion book and audio sets. All I can say is “Uff da!!!” These tunes are SO cool I’m tempted to start posting them. I bet Mel Bay wouldn’t be too happy about that. When publication gets closer, I’ll definitely post another one. “Auction Pa Strommen” is in Musix Newsletter #3.
“String Band Classics” for mandolin is available packaged with the CD of the original Highwoods String Band Rounder Recordings. Click here for String Band Classics for Mandolin.
“Getting into Bluegrass Mandolin”
If you’re looking to get started in pickin’ ’grass, check out our best-selling book / audio set. Click here.
Just finished making the recordings to my two guitar crosspicking books. I’ve decided to also finish up a crosspicking method to show you how to make up your own solos. Christmas Crosspicking Old-Time Gospel Crosspicking Solos Somebody stop me! I’m also working on about ten other projects with some video things in the works. We’ll tell you more about them all as they get closer to publication.
Dix Bruce and Jim Nunally
Jim Nunally and I will be at the 2007 NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) show in Anaheim, CA for Martin Guitars. The dates are January 18—20 and we just tickled pink! We’re tentatively scheduled to hold forth at the Martin booth at 3:00 PM on Thurs. and Fri., 4:00 PM on Saturday. Could a couple of guitar pickers find a better gig? I don’t think so!
Please take a second to let us know what you think about Newsletter #10. We’d like to know what you liked or what you’d like to see posted in future issues. By doing that, you’ll help us keep it going and filled with things you enjoy and can use. Click the following link to send us an e-mail. Email Musix.
Happy Holidays to you all,
Click here for foolishness.
Now, on to the music & MP3s!
MP3 recordings to the following are presented at one speed only to save cyberspace. Click on the links to download the .pdfs (which include music, TAB, chords, lyrics) and MP3s. Similar recordings on the CDs that accompany all my books are full length, in split track stereo and presented at both slow and regular speeds.
Mandolin Duet: “Angels We Have Heard on High.”
If you’re not used to reading four staff music (two standard staves and two tablature staves) things can get a little tricky when you have to jump from the end of one line to the beginning of the next. Hint: mark each part (Mandolin 1 and Mandolin 2) with a different color highlighter to make it easier for your eyes to follow the right part down the page. The MP3 is in stereo so you can isolate either part by adjusting the balance on your player. Start by listening to and playing along with only the part you’re working on. Once you can play it, bring in the other part and practice the duet. Then learn the other part the same way.
Angels We Have Heard on High mandolin duet MP3 to download.
Guitar Duet: “Angels We Have Heard on High.”
If you’ve read the paragraph above for the mandolin duet, you can skip the following. If you’re not used to reading four staff music (two standard staves and two tablature staves) things can get a little tricky when you have to jump from the end of one line to the beginning of another. Hint: mark each part (Guitar 1 and Guitar 2) with a different color highlighter to make it easier for your eyes to follow the right part down the page.
The MP3 is in stereo so you can isolate either part by adjusting the balance on your player. Start by listening to and playing along with only the part you’re working on. Once you can play it, bring in the other part and practice the duet. Then learn the other part the same way.
Angels We Have Heard on High guitar duet MP3 to download.
Mandolin Double Stop solo: “Away in a Manger” in the key of G. We posted a simple version of this song way back in Newsletter #1. (For you guitarists, there’s a Carter-style lead version in Newsletter #8.) Double stops are when you fret (or “stop”) and play two notes at the same time, often with tremolo. It’s an essential technique to master whether you play bluegrass, jazz, classical or any other style of mandolin. The theory behind the double stop is that one of the notes is the melody and the other harmonizes it. Suggested fretting finger numbers are shown between the standard music and TAB staves. The upper number represents the finger number used to play the higher string, the lower number, the lower string. If you can’t make the stretches, improvise! Leave out the tremolo until you feel comfortable with the double stops. The hammers in measures 2, 7, and 14 may be difficult at first. If the family’s waiting for your great performance at Christmas dinner, leave them out for now. For more info on double stops, check out “Getting into Bluegrass Mandolin”
Away in a Manger double stop solo for mandolin MP3 to download.
“Avalon” for Swing Guitar & Mandolin
I can’t wait to finish the Gypsy Jazz play-along project. I got together some of my favorite players and we recorded the rhythm to some great swing standards with a Hot Club or Gypsy Jazz feel.
The format will be like my other BackUP TRAX sets: you play along with the band and learn the repertoire. For the Gypsy Jazz set I’ve added sample solos in addition to the usual rhythm chords and melody. That way you’ll have something to play AFTER you play the melody! Everything will be presented on the CD at both slow and regular speeds. As I mentioned above, to save cyberspace, I’m only posting the fast version in this newsletter. I also shortened it significantly but you’ll get to jam along with the band on a few choruses. With the eventual full length version, you’ll get a good long ride to practice your melodies, rhythm, solos, and riffs. I hope to have it in print soon. In the meantime, we have lots of great BackUP TRAX with a bunch of great jazz and swing standards. Click here.
Learn the chords first. There are two separate chord sheets: one for mandolin, one for guitar. Once you can play the rhythm along with the band, try learning the melody. It’s fairly simple and made up of mostly half notes. Now get in there and swing!
Blues Guitar: “Frogs for Snakes.”
Here’s a finger style blues to help you through them holidaze. The first page of the music details the melody that I play on the MP3. The second page shows a variation that you can add to your repertoire after you learn the melody.
The technique is a bit of a challenge if you’ve never done it before. You’ll be playing triplets with your thumb and first two fingers. The thumb will play the root note of the chord on the first note of the triplet. Your fingers will play notes on the second and third strings, mostly, on all notes of the triplet. You’ll recognize it as one of the classic blues licks.
Print out the music and listen to the excerpt of the melody. Then try playing it along with the full band. Again, this is a shortened version of the play-along track. “Frogs for Snakes” is from my play-along book and CD set “BackUP TRAX: Basic Blues for Guitar.” Play the “hoe handle A” where you see “A*.” You can print out a chord grid below.
Frogs for Snakes melody and TAB to print.
Frogs for Snakes melody excerpt MP3 to download
Frogs for Snakes rhythm section/band excerpt MP3 to download.
© Copyright 2006 by Musix