Newsletter #8 • December 2005
News, Music, tablature, MP3s, GarageBand files, to download, play along with & learn!

Hello and welcome to our Musix Newsletter #8!
This issue is a little different from past issues. Yes, we still have a couple of downloadable music/TAB/MP3 sets but we’ve added two tunes/files written with GarageBand. They’re rhythm sections that you can download and use to practice improvisation. You supply all the leads! Kind of a cyber version of BackUP TRAX. Don’t panic if you don’t have the GarageBand software on your computer. You can still download and play along with the accompanying MP3s. Those of you who do have GarageBand can download the GarageBand files, change them at will or record your own multi-track leads to the rhythm section.

Musix Newsletter #8 includes two holiday tunes with standard notation, chords, tablature, in .pdf and MP3 formats. You can download and print .pdfs of the music and listen to the MP3 examples.

Mandolin: “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear.” Easy arrangement with single string notes and tremolo.

Flatpicking Guitar: Carter-style arrangement of “Away in a Manger.”

GarageBand file #1: An energetic slightly Latin rhythm track for “Sally Goodin.” You can play along with this for days on end discovering all kinds of new variations as you go.

GarageBand file #2: A one chord groove for “Reuben’s Train.”

Musix News
The biggest Musix news is that my two Guitar Workshop videos, Basic Swing Guitar and Basic Country Flatpicking Guitar are about to be released on DVD. We should have them in stock by the second week of December 2005. Reserve yours now. A lot of you have waiting for them for quite some time. Basic Swing Guitar teaches chords and comping techniques to some of the most popular swing/jazz standards. Jazz violinist Jeremy Cohen, one of the hottest swing fiddlers in the world, provides the leads to my backup. Basic Country Flatpicking Guitar teaches Carter-style solos in a variety of keys. Both DVDs offer a great place to start if you’ve always wanted to jam along on swing tunes or play solos on traditional folk and bluegrass melodies.

Getting into Bluegrass Mandolin
My latest mandolin book/CD set is Getting into Bluegrass Mandolin. It’s the follow up to my more basic books First Lessons: Mandolin and You Can Teach Yourself Mandolin. Getting into Bluegrass Mandolin helps you navigate the treacherous waters toward bluegrass mandolinhood. Click here for full info “Getting into Bluegrass Mandolin.”

First Lessons: Mandolin DVD
First Lessons: Mandolin is now available in a book/CD/DVD set at a special low price of $14.95. (We also still have the book/CD set available.) How do we do it at that price? We’re crazy, that’s how. That and the fact that Musix is the “little profit dealer.” Click here to check out “First Lessons: Mandolin.”

Future Projects
We’ve finally finished a massive bluegrass/old time/gospel songbook in three editions: one each with guitar, mandolin, and banjo TAB. The Parking Lot Picker’s Songbook ended up including over 215 great standards recorded by Monroe, the Stanley Brothers, Flatt & Scruggs, Jimmy Martin, Doc Watson, and others, written with music, TAB, chords, lyrics and recordings of ALL the songs (on two jam-packed CDs packaged with the book.) Each song includes a reference section detailing which artists recorded which songs plus an extensive artist/song index. Banjoist Bill Evans collaborated with me on the banjo edition and his work is superb. The title will have something about “parking lot picking” and “songbook” in it but at this point it has not been set in stone or type.

Uff da, Let’s Dance! Scandinavian House Party Tunes for Mandolin book/CD set is finished and in Mel Bay’s “in box”! When it’ll see paper and ink is anyone’s guess, but we’ll keep you posted. These tunes are so much fun, I can hardly stand it. We posted one, “Auction Pa Strommen,” in Musix Newsletter #3. Click here to go there. Uff da!

A few of you have asked about my guitar crosspicking books. I’m still working on them and expect to record the CDs in January 2006. Some of you have also asked why it sees to take so darn long to get something in print. First of all, I actually have to do the work. It would be so cool if I could just think of a project, plan it out, wake up the next morning, after the elves have done their work, and find a completed stack of books and CDs. So far this has not happened.

After I do my work, I send the finished masters to Mel Bay and it starts out at the bottom of their “to-do” stack. Mel Bay has hundreds of other writers whose work is as important to them as mine is to me, so there you are. It takes time. I’ve often thought of publishing these projects on my own, possibly distributing them online, but I must admit I am daunted by the prospect of marketing them to stores and/or the public. Sounds like another big effort pulling me away from playing music. So, I’m happy to have Mel Bay do the dirty work that I’m not enthusiastic about. In return I have to exercise my patience. See below.

String Band Classics, Vol. 2: The Highwoods String Band for Mandolin is still not in print. I hope to see it before I’m old, toothless and crabby.

Martin Guitar Clinics
Jim Nunally and I had a great time touring the Northwest for Martin Guitars in September 2005. At these clinics we play our usual music and also demonstrate the latest greatest Martin guitars. (Watch for that D-18 Authentic model. It’s a killer!) We hope to play for Martin in your area soon. Ask your Martin dealer to set up a clinic and we’ll be there!

By the way, Jim and I will be performing on News Years Eve at The Freight & Salvage in Berkeley, CA. It’s our favorite gig and once again this year we’ll be trading sets with High Country. Drop by if you’re in the area. It’s a good idea to buy tickets in advance as these things usually sell out.

We’ve got some deluxe projects that make great gifts for the serious musician on your list: Don’t forget the massive Jethro Burns Complete Mandolin and the book of transcriptions from classic recordings by Bill Monroe. The big daddy of them all is our three volume, 9-CD, all inclusive Ear Training course.

Don’t forget all of our other books, CDs, DVDs and more. They make great gifts for that special musician. Great gift for yourself too! Click here & press the instrument buttons.

Now, on to the music & MP3s!
MP3 recordings to some of the following are presented in mono and 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: It Came Upon the Midnight Clear.
Easy arrangement with single string notes and tremolo.

“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” MP3
“It Came Upon the Midnight Clear” pdf

Additional lyrics:
2. Still through the cloven skies they come, with peaceful wings unfurled,
And still their heavenly music floats, o’er all the weary world.
Above its sad and lowly plains, they bend on hovering wing.
And ever o’er its Babel sounds, the blessed angels sing.

3. Yet with the woes of sin and strife, the world hath suffered long,
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled, two thousand years of wrong,
And man, at war with man, hears not, the love song which they bring.
O hush the noise, ye men of strife, and hear the angels sing.

4. For lo! the days are hastening on, by prophet bards foretold,
When, with the ever-circling years, shall come the Age of Gold.
When peace shall over all the earth, its ancient splendors fling,
And all the world give back the song, which now the angels sing.

Flatpicking Guitar: Carter-style arrangement of Away in a Manger.

“Away in a Manger” MP3
“Away in a Manger” pdf

Additional lyrics:
2. The cattle are lowing, the poor Baby wakes,
But little Lord Jesus no crying He makes,
I love Thee, Lord Jesus look down from the sky,
And stay by my cradle ’til morning is nigh.

3. Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay,
Close by me forever and love me I pray,
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,
And take us to heaven to live with Thee there.

GarageBand file #1: An energetic slightly Latin rhythm track for “Sally Goodin.” For the audio track, you can download any of three files.
“Sally Goodin” spoken intro MP3

“Sally Goodin” GarageBand file. This file requires that GarageBand 2.0.2 is installed on your Mac. Once downloaded, you can open the file and change it any way you want, add to it, subtract from it, slow it down, record your own leads, vocals, tuba solos, etc. This is the first time we’ve tried posting these types of files and there may be some bugs we have to work out.

“Sally Goodin” MP3 #1 
This is an MP3 recording of the audio contained in the Garage Band file above. Download it and listen to or play along with it.

“Sally Goodin” MP3 #2
This is a recording of me soloing with the rhythm track, and having a ton of fun doing it.

GarageBand file #2: A one chord groove for “Reuben’s Train.” As with “Sally Goodin,” the audio track is available in three files.

“Reuben’s Train” spoken intro MP3

“Reuben’s Train” Garage Band file. This file requires that GarageBand 2.0.2 is installed on your Mac.

“Reuben’s Train” MP3 #1
This is an MP3 recording of the audio contained in the Garage Band file above. Download this and listen to or play along with it.

“Reuben’s Train” MP3 #2
This is a recording of me playing along with the rhythm track.

Let us know if you like the GarageBand files. Also let us know what other subjects or tunes you’d like us to cover in future Musix Newsletters.

Happy Holidays and best wishes for a safe, happy, and healthy 2006. Thanks for your support of Musix and our web site.

Dix Bruce

© Copyright 2005 by Musix