The Murphy Method has a long history of teaching folks to play the banjo, demonstrating songs and techniques without using printed music of any kind. Before you start thinking that it’s an anti-intellectual approach, consider that this is simply bringing the folk tradition into the age of technology. For centuries music was conveyed from a master to a pupil, face-to-face, one-on-one.
The Murphy in The Murphy Method is Murphy Henry, a life-long banjo player and one of the most celebrated instructors our music has ever seen. She has legions of loyal fans who love her many DVDs on banjo music, especially those who had been unable to achieve success using books or tablature. Her method consists of teaching students to learn songs piece by piece, strictly by watching and listening – and then doing.
Her company also offers instruction in other bluegrass instruments, but she has always had a five string focus.
As does her latest release, Improvising in 3/4 Time (Waltz Time). It’s all about helping banjo pickers feel more comfortable playing in waltz time. Using familiar songs (Amazing Grace, Angel Band, White Dove), Murphy demonstrates both simple and more advanced solos, and discusses how you can use three chords and a roll to “fake” your way through anything else you might encounter.
Here’s a sample from the presentation…
DVDs can be purchased now for Improvising in 3/4 Time (Waltz Time) from The Murphy Method web site, and downloads will be available shortly.