In Webisodes 11 & 12 I'll show you:
If you're ready to advance your skills and knowledge of the fretboard for Bluegrass Guitar, you'll find everything you need in Webisodes 11 & 12 as well as 13, 14, & 15 (coming soon) to get you well on your way to burning up tons of blistering flatpicking phrases!
I begin BGE Webisodes 11 & 12 with some of the most common chords used for Bluegrass Guitar. Some of these are very basic chords, so they should be easy to learn for most people.
Note: Make sure to download the companion ebook in the resources section of Lecture 4. Follow along with it as you complete each lecture in this course. I've also included a .zip file of all the licks tracks for these webisodes for you to download, extract, and listen to as you watch the videos.
Also, throughout this course, be sure to check out the External Resources sections as well for even more Bonus content, usually in the form of related YouTube video lessons I've created.
In this lecture, I'll share with you one of the best-kept secrets of navigating the fretboard: An Alternate D-Chord Shape!
With this new form of a D-chord, you can easily add extra reach and additional notes to your playing, especially in the higher areas of the fretboard when soloing in the key of G.
This is a great way to play a very common chord in a more uncommon shape, which gives you access to the notes you need when playing in closed positions up the neck.
In the 3rd lecture of this course, I'll demonstrate the purpose and function of 7th chords.
In regards to Bluegrass Guitar, there are really only 2 main functions I consider when using 7th chords:
Even though this lecture is short, the information contained herein is invaluable to understanding how to effectively use the common chords known as 7th chords.
Again, you can refer to all the chords from these lectures by downloading the companion ebook file from Lecture 1.
When I refer to the 6 chord in this lecture, I'm not speaking of a Major 6th chord. I'm simply referring to the chord that takes the place of the 6th degree in the Major Scale, usually in a minor form.
In this lecture, I'll briefly go over how I use the popular "Nashville Number System" in Bluegrass Guitar and how you can locate the various chords you need for common Bluegrass chord progressions.
Now that you have a foundation for some of the most commonly used chords in Bluegrass in the key of G, it's time to move into learning similar chords in the key of C.
A lot of people have trouble playing the F chord on guitar. Never fear. In this lecture, I'll show you some tips and tricks to mastering that pesky F chord and switching between it and some of the other chords in the key of C.
Now that you have a foundation for some of the most commonly used chords in Bluegrass in the keys of G and C, it's time to move into learning similar chords in the key of D.
Just like with the F chord, many people have trouble playing the Bm chord on guitar. In this lecture, I'll show you how to view this chord in relation to the F chord you just learned (Tip: It's also very similar to the Am chord), so you can master various ways to play the Bm chord once and for all.
Now that we've covered the Essentials Common Chords in various keys, it's time for a brief summary of them so you can have a better understanding of how they work and how to apply them to your own playing.
I'll also share the fun of using chord substitutions in your playing to help you develop your own signature sound.
Now we come to one of my favorite subjects to discuss: Uncommon Chords.
What are uncommon chords? Simply put, they are the chords that many players such as Tony Rice, David Grier, Bryan Sutton, and many others add to their playing to get those distinct sounds that aren't commonly found in more traditional Bluegrass playing.
Uncommon chords are what enable Tony Rice to add that amazing Jazz-like quality to his sound. They also help the jaw-dropping rhythm playing of Bryan Sutton to stand out from the rest of the instruments in his band.
In this lecture, I'll begin by showing you one of the most "common" uncommon chords that Tony Rice uses constantly in his playing: G9sus4 (sometimes incorrectly referred to as G11; I'll explain why in this lecture).
Some of the most fun you can have while playing Bluegrass guitar is incorporating the use of 9 chords into your playing.
9 chords (such as C9, D9, E9, etc.) are what give your playing a nice Bluesy quality, useful for adding groove and emotion in your playing.
These chords are more commonly found on the 5th string. In this lecture, I'll show you how to get the best sound out of your 5th string 9 chords and how to spice up your playing with this versatile uncommon chord.
Also, these are moveable chord shapes (just like the 5th string 9 chords), you'll be able to play them in all the keys!
Now that we've covered the 5th string, it's time to show you how to play 6th string 9 chords.
In this lecture, I'll show you three different ways to play 6th string 9 chords so you can choose which one works for you. Also, since these are moveable chord shapes (just like the 5th string 9 chords), you'll be able to play them in all the keys!
While these aren't as easy to play as their 5th string counterparts, I'm confident that you'll find them just as useful in your playing as your ever-growing arsenal of other uncommon chords.
The next uncommon chord set is for 6-9, or add9, chords. These are great chords for giving an unexpected, Jazzy feel to the endings of your songs.
Our last lecture in this section will cover the use of some of my favorite chords: Minor 7 (m7) chords.
The more common minor chords are definitely useful, don't get me wrong, but I like the way minor 7 chords add an extra laid back feel, once again giving a soft, jazzy quality to ordinary minor chords.
I think you'll agree that minor 7 chords are some of the cream of the crop where uncommon chords are concerned.
In this section, I'll be showing you one of the best tips for navigating the fretboard: Short Chords!
I've already covered scales in previous webisodes, but with short chords you can easily find your way around the fretboard using a few easy to memorize shapes and experimenting with the notes around them.
We begin this section with the first lecture, which covers the F shape, which will allow you to play solos and licks in the keys of F, G, A, and other keys which have their root chords beginning on the 6th string.
The next shape in our series of short chords is the B shape.
This new shape will allow you to effortlessly navigate the fretboard for the keys of B, C, D, and other keys which have their root chords beginning on the 5th string.
There are also some licks we'll be learning soon that have this short chord shape as their foundation, so make sure to watch this lecture several times if necessary.
This last lecture in the Short Chords section covers the D and A Shapes.
These two shapes are great for exploring the fretboard beyond the first 5 frets, especially for the key of G. (The alternate D-Chord shape I taught you early on in Lecture 3 will definitely come in handy here.)
The A shape works great with the pentatonic scales I covered in Webisodes 5-8, so if you haven't watched them—or it's been a while since you have—now would be a great time to check them out.
Bonus: To help you create your own chords, I've included a blank chords section titled "Create Your Own Chords" in the included ebook. Print a few of these out and experiment with what you've learned so far, then if you have any new ideas write your own chords down on this page.
In this final section, we'll begin learning various useful licks in the key of G.
Some of the different types of licks I'll be covering in these licks sections include
These lectures are a bit longer since there are so many licks to cover, so please be patient!
Remember to refer the resources in Lecture 2 for the ebook containing all the tabs of each lick and the zip file for downloading all the audio files for the licks at once; otherwise, you can download them one at a time in their corresponding sections.
Lastly, as a special bonus, I've included a private lesson video I recorded a while back showing even more Basic Bluegrass licks!
(Note: The licks for the keys of C and D, as well as the Diagonals section, will be available in the upcoming final Webisodes 13-15.)
I'll begin this G licks section with Licks 1-3.
Here, I'll cover several variations of "end of a phrase"—or "tag"—licks as well as a few first fret pull-off licks before moving into more standard Bluegrass licks.
In Licks 4-9, I'll cover:
I'll also show you some tips for faster and more accurate playing, such as keeping your fingers close to the fretboard.
Continuing our theme of Essential Licks in the Key of G, Licks 10-13 will cover:
Licks 14-20, the final licks in Webisodes 11 & 12, will cover:
I'll also give you some extra tips for experimenting with the licks you've just learned and how to place them in songs.
Bonus: To help you create your own licks, I've included a blank tablature section titled "Create Your Own Licks" in the included ebook. Print a few of these out and experiment with what you've learned so far, then if you have any new ideas write your own licks and solos down on this page.
I have been teaching guitar online since YouTube first became popular back in 2007. To date, I have completed two MASSIVE courses for guitar entitled Texas Blues Guitar by Eric Beaty and Bluegrass Guitar Essentials.
Now, I'm in search of a place to host multiple future courses related to guitar, and perhaps business and writing. Basically, all the free videos I upload to YouTube don't really contribute to my overall financial health, so I'm looking for better avenues to support my family without sacrificing the desire to help others enjoy the benefits of learning new skills.