Monroe Style Mandolin Improvising course with Chris Henry

Chris Henry, noted Bill Monroe mandolin stylist, has announced a new way to learn how to play like Big Mon. He has launched a Monroe Style Improvising course for players who are already familiar with the basics of this building block of the bluegrass style.

Henry is part of the second generation of The Murphy Method, developed by his mom, Murphy Henry, to teach people to play bluegrass instruments without the use of printed music, completely by ear. He has worked for years assisting his mom and dad, Red Henry – another student of Monroe – with their video production, and has inherited Murphy’s natural skills as an instructor.

You may have also seen Chris on stage, touring with the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band, or in other groups with whom he has been associated. He has a number of recordings under his name, and with his band, Hardcore Grass.

Now that he has moved from Nashville to Charlotte, NC, Chris has launched his own company, Noya Mountain Music, to market his private and group lessons, offered both online and in person.

The new Improvising course, which can be purchased in part or full online, was taken from the first twelve weeks of the online workshop he offers with David McLaughlin, former Johnson Mountain Boy, who has likewise dedicated years to playing contemporary bluegrass using the Monroe approach. Along with guest instructors like his dad, David, and Ronnie McCoury, Henry presents elements of Monroe’s style in a structured, formulaic process designed to take you into the mind of the master.

These 12 weeks of the course can be purchased as a download for $25 each, or as a complete package for $250. You can find each week’s content described in detail online, and either follow along sequentially, or pick and choose based on your particular interests. Chris told us that he has never seen students learn so rapidly using this method, with the light bulb coming on for many of them during the course.

Here’s a video Henry created to explain a bit more.

Full details on the Monroe Style Improvising Course can be found online, along with information on the many various songs and techniques that Chris offers as individual lessons for mandolin and guitar.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.