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:
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.
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.
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.
In this lecture, there are some great ideas I'll share with you about scales such as:
This lecture will help better prepare you for the lectures that follow, so don't skip this lecture!
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 formulas, why they're so important, and how to incorporate them into your playing.
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!
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.