Evidence for the international growth in the popularity of bluegrass pops up fairly regularly on our radar. From the launch of new live performance events outside the US, to the number of bands across the world who play the music, it is getting harder and harder to remain free from the influence that bluegrass exerts on the popular culture.
And that’s a very good thing!
Here is another bit of news on that front. Mel Bay has announced the publication of a new bluegrass fiddle book with all of the text presented in both English and Spanish. It is jointly titled in both languages as well, The Bluegrass Violin – El Violín en el Bluegrass, and was written by Spanish educators and performers Oriol Saña and Lluis Gómez.
The book seems designed for experienced violinists who want to learn about bluegrass. In addition to a simple explanation of what the style incorporates at the beginning, it introduces some bow articulations and slur techniques unique to bluegrass before launching into a series of demonstrations of the shuffle rhythms and how to implement them. It would also be appropriate for violin students who want to get their feet wet in the genre.
Over 52 pages, The Bluegrass Violin shows a dozen popular fiddle tunes, plus several vocal numbers, plus tips on some of the “little things” that would help you at a jam session or in a band. These include the chop rhythm often used when a mandolin is soloing, kick-offs and lead ins, and how to play common phrases in closed positions, i.e., the fiddle capo.
US fiddlers are represented as well, with a preface written by Casey Driessen, and audio examples of the exercises and tunes recorded by Patrick McAvinue.
The e-book edition of The Bluegrass Violin – El Violín en el Bluegrass is available now from the Mel Bay web site, with a printed version to be released some time later this month.