Bluegrass Guitar Essentials: Webisodes 5 & 6
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Bluegrass Guitar Essentials: Webisodes 5 & 6

Open String Transitions & Major Scales
4.7 (3 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
16 students enrolled
Created by Eric Beaty
Last updated 12/2016
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Current price: $10 Original price: $30 Discount: 67% off
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  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • 2 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Learn a quick way to navigate the fretboard quickly using Open String Transitions
  • Know how to use the Major and Major Pentatonic Scales in the “Three Essential Keys.”
  • Learn new “Short Scale” variations on the Major and Major Pentatonic scales for authentic Bluegrass Guitar sounds and faster playing.
  • Understand how to transpose each scale into different keys.
  • Learn how to transpose Pentatonic Scales in various keys
View Curriculum
  • A basic level of understanding of how to play guitar (basic chords, a few songs, basic strumming concepts, etc.)
  • An interest in improvising on the guitar, wanting to better coordinate your left and right hands, and a desire to become a better player than you are right now
  • It is recommended (but not required) that you begin with Webisodes 1 & 2, then progress through the remainder of the course in order to more fully comprehend these and future Bluegrass Guitar Essentials lessons.

"Another EXCELLENT course. I completed previous course and this one is just as good if not better. Best tuition I have ever had. Thank you, Eric. Just finished this course and it is EXCELLENT. I obviously will need to go back over several bits, but it has been so useful. Thanks again." - KEITH, UDEMY STUDENTWEBISODES 5&6

"I like the modesty and teaching speed of the instructor." - SHOOTER, UDEMY STUDENT, WEBISODES 1&2

"This is without doubt, the BEST course I have ever done. BRILLIANT, Eric. Thank you so much. I have already purchased some of the next courses and there is so much to learn. Worth EVERY penny (or dollar in the U.S.)." - KEITH, UDEMY STUDENT, WEBISODES 3&4

In Webisodes 5 & 6 (Open String Transitions and Major Scales) of my Bluegrass Guitar Essentials series, you’ll learn about how to traverse the fretboard with ease via the use of Open String Transitions in what I refer to as the "Three Essential Keys" (G, C, & D).

You’ll also learn the Major and Major Pentatonic scales in these keys, which will help you develop a better understanding of things like: 

  • How to apply scales to your playing
  • How to use scales to broaden the scope of your improvising
  • How using scales can help you better navigate the fretboard
  • The difference between Major and Major Pentatonic scales and the advantages of each

Lastly, I'll show you one of the most important techniques to playing faster runs and licks—which nobody ever talks about—Short Scales!

You're sure to improve your understanding of how to apply the Major and Major Pentatonic scales and their Short Scale variations by the time you've thoroughly practiced and applied all the techniques I show you in this course.

I know how frustrating it is to comprehend how to use scales, but in these lectures I cover and explain them extensively so you won’t be left behind when jamming with others during festivals or friendly jam sessions.

"Obviously a very passionate and technically skilled musician, that [is] able to pass on his knowledge in the old-fashioned way, from person to person." - ALLEN, UDEMY STUDENT, WEBISODES 11&12

"Absolutely BRILLIANT. This is opening up a whole new world on how to move up the fretboard." - KEITH, UDEMY STUDENT, WEBISODES 13, 14, & 15

Who is the target audience?
  • Anyone wanting to learn and understand how to apply scales to their playing
  • Anyone who has always wanted to learn how to improvise on the guitar
  • For an overview of the entire Bluegrass Guitar Essentials series, check out the Free Webisodes 1 & 2 course here on Udemy.
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Curriculum For This Course
16 Lectures
Open String Transitions
2 Lectures 24:52

One of the most important aspects of having the freedom to navigate the fretboard is the concept of Open String Transitions.

When I finally watched enough Tony Rice and Bryan Sutton videos, I realized the main tool they used to traverse the neck so quickly was Open String Transitions.

In this lecture, I'll show you how to utilize them in your own playing.

Note: Please refer to the Downloadable Materials section of Lecture 2 for the companion ebook.

Preview 10:57

In this lecture I continue the Open String Transitions, but for the keys of C and D. One of the best things about C and D are that they share similar scale shapes and can therefore be duplicated most of the time, just in a different position on the fretboard.

There are a few more for these keys than I showed for the key of G, but it's important that you discover some of these ideas for yourself through experimentation during practice.

Open String Transitions in C & D Positions
The Major Scales
6 Lectures 01:08:15

In this lecture, there are some great ideas I'll share with you about scales such as:

  • The difference between Diatonic and Pentatonic scales
  • Various Scale Formulas
  • Relying on your ear to find the right notes for your personal taste in music
  • The importance of finding the melody of a tune via the "Bible Method" of location
  • How chords are actually made up of scales
  • And much more

This lecture will help better prepare you for the lectures that follow, so don't skip this lecture!

Preview 09:58

In this lecture I'll further delve into the types of scales used in the Bluegrass Guitar Essentials series (more specifically Major and Major Pentatonic for this particular course you're viewing now).

In addition, I'll further explain the concept of scale formulaswhy they're so important, and how to incorporate them into your playing.

Types of Scales and Their Formulas

To make learning the scales presented in this and future Bluegrass Guitar Essentials webisodes easier, I've decided to present only the Open, Closed, and Short Scale variations in the videos. (The entire scale for each of the three main chord positions—G, C, and D—are included in the companion ebook, available in the Resources section of the first lecture in this course.)

This way, you can implement them in your playing right away and get started impressing your friends at jam sessions and festivals!

The G Major Scale: Open & Closed Positions

For the most part, most Bluegrass guitarists I've seen (professional or otherwise) choose not to use entire scale patterns in their playing. Instead, we like to implement what I refer to as "Short Scales," which help increase the speed of your playing as well as allow for easier fretboard navigation.

In this lecture, I'll share with you the benefits of using Short Scales in your playing to accomplish the same results.

The G Major Scale: Root Notes & Short Scales

In this lecture, I'll show you some of the same patterns you learned earlier, but for the key of C Major. The great thing is, you don't need to learn any new scale patterns because they're exactly the same, only beginning with a different root note.

The C Major Scale Positions

The shapes of the D Major Scale will be easy to learn since it's basically the exact same as the C Major Scale, only shifted up two frets! This makes it easy to learn other keys that have a root note on the A string.

The D Major Scale: Open Position
The Major Pentatonic Scales
7 Lectures 01:06:50

This lecture will introduce you to one of the best kept secrets of Bluegrass Guitar: Pentatonic Scales!

Unlike Major scales, which have seven notes, Pentatonic scales allow you to play even faster by eliminating two out of the seven notes, resulting in only five notes—hence the name Penta- (five) tonic (tones)!

I'll also talk about what I call "Color Notes" These "extra" notes, located in an around the Pentatonic scale, help you spice up your phrasing even more! Simply work within the "skeleton" of the Pentatonic scale shape and "flavor" your phrasing with a few notes around it.

BONUS: Check out the YouTube video I've included in the External Resources section for even more tips and tricks on using the Pentatonic scale for Bluegrass Guitar.

The G Major Pentatonic Scale: Open Position with Color Notes

Now that you've mastered the closed position of the G Major Pentatonic Scale, I'll show you the next step: learning the closed position.

This will help you translate the scale into various other keys, resulting in a more comprehensive knowledge of navigating the fretboard.

BONUS: I've included another bonus video in the External Resources section, so be sure to check it out as well.

G Major Pentatonic Scale: Closed Position

I mentioned earlier that the Pentatonic scale eliminates two of the seven notes in a Major scale, thus allowing you to play faster. But what if you could eliminate even more notes, resulting in even faster playing!

In this lecture, I'll show you the basic "Short Scale" shape of the G Major Pentatonic scale, which will allow your playing to reach even faster speeds!

BONUS: Once again, I've included yet another bonus video in the External Resources section. This one covers the topic of "Easy Lead Playing in G."

The G Major Pentatonic Scale: Short Scales

Since we've covered many of the main topics regarding the G Major Pentatonic Scale, this lecture on the C Major Pentatonic Scale will be a brief overview of the same...only in a different key.

The C Major Pentatonic Scale: Open & Closed Positions

Once again, we've covered much of these "Short Scales" in the G Major Pentatonic section (Lecture 10), this lecture will be another brief overview for the Pentatonic Short Scales in the key of C.

The C Major Pentatonic Scale: Short Scales

Similar to the C Major Pentatonic Scale (Lecture 12), the open position for the D Major Pentatonic Scale will be the exact same shapes, only shifted up two frets.

Preview 05:09

In this lecture, I'll briefly go over the Closed Position and the Short Scale versions of the D Major Pentatonic Scale, which you can once again translate to other keys with root notes on the A string.

BONUS: For even more instruction, check out the bonus videos in the External Resources, which will go over "Easy Lead Playing in D."

The D Major Pentatonic Scale: Close Position, Short Scales, & Outro
Special BONUS Promo Video & Tabs: Lonely Tonight
1 Lecture 17:56

Special BONUS Promo Video: In this video, I'll show you the solo to another of the songs I wrote when I was playing with the group Wilder Mountain: "Lonely Tonight."

This is a song that I wrote in waltz (3/4) time, so it will be a good example of playing a slow, soulful solo—which requires a bit more finesse and charm than all the blazing fast picking that Bluegrass Guitar is mostly associated with.

As with other bonus promo videos in previous Bluegrass Guitar Essentials Webisodes, this video includes a full tablature transcription in the Downloadable Materials section.

Lonely Tonight: A Lesson in Soulful Bluegrass Soloing
About the Instructor
Eric Beaty
4.7 Average rating
26 Reviews
1,090 Students
7 Courses
Popular YouTube Guitar Instructor & Entrepreneur

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.