Traditional Bluegrass Guitar Improvising Video Course

Following on the success of their 12-week class on guitar improvisation last year, Chris Henry and David McLaughlin have remade the Zoom videos into a downloadable course that covers the depth and breadth of bluegrass guitar.

Calling it their Traditional Bluegrass Guitar Improvising Course, the download version is expanded substantially from the Zoom sessions, with 24 songs and tunes taught, along with a wealth of information about both rhythm and lead guitar. The course follows the same 12 lesson format, but with far more input and video demonstration from David. Chris tells us that it includes more than 100 separate videos demonstrating songs, licks, and techniques.

And it all follows the instruction style pioneered by Chris’s mom, Murphy Henry, and her Murphy Method of teaching bluegrass music without the use of printed sheet music. Listen, watch, learn, and play is the way it works, with each example shown on video at slow speeds where even a new player can understand how it’s done.

The lessons are broken down into 12 weeks, but students need not wait a week if they can absorb the material quickly, nor start a new week until they feel comfortable moving on.

The course breaks down as follows:

  • Week 1 – Mother Maybelle
  • Week 2 – David McLaughlin
  • Week 3 – Main Vocabulary for G
  • Week 4 – Jam Standards
  • Week 5 – Bill Napier
  • Week 6 – Doc Watson
  • Week 7 – Don Reno
  • Week 8 – Bill Monroe
  • Week 9 – Alton Delmore
  • Week 10 – George Shuffler
  • Week 11 – Chubby Anthony
  • Week 12 – Jam Time

Looking at these names, you can see that the instructors aren’t kidding when they say it’s traditional bluegrass guitar. Guest teachers who chime in with Chris and David include Billy Strings on Doc Watson, and James Stiltner on Bill Napier.

Also included in the course are sections that cover how to hear tunes, cross picking, creating drive, developing speed, melodic modulation, guitar language, hearing chord changes, arpeggios and intervals, kick offs, double stops, and more.

The Traditional Bluegrass Guitar Improvising Video Course can be purchased now for an introductory price of $250, going up to $299 on March 1.

More detailed course information can be found online.

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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.