Learn bluegrass mandolin by ear, in the oral tradition of Bill Monroe.
Bill Monroe, the Father of Bluegrass music, led his bands as a vocalist and mandolin player. His iconic style of mandolin playing is unlocked for you in this course. It is significant to note that Monroe’s playing came out of the oral tradition. There was no sheet music or tablature used in the process of Bill Monroe learning the mandolin. He learned to play by watching and listening, developing a keen ear for tunes. In this class you will learn to hear small phrases, practice those in context, building vocabulary and structure that way – learning things in bite-sized pieces. Eventually students are able to hear larger and larger musical word groups and the process of learning becomes exponentially quicker and a lot easier. You remember the music because you learn it by ear and by heart. You will emerge from this class with some classic Monroe tunes under your belt and what may be a new world and skill set to you – learning by ear.
My amazing mom, Murphy Henry, left tablature and written materials in the dust when she realized her capacity to teach all by-ear was fostering much quicker and more musical development in her students. I went to sleep for a decade with those instructional tapes literally playing in the background of my life, so I learned to teach this way also with a specialized focus on one of my main passions, Monroe Style.
I learned how to share the process of listening to and eventually hear small phrases, practicing those in context and building vocabulary and structure that way, explaining things in bite-sized pieces. Eventually students are able to hear larger and larger musical word groups and the process of learning becomes exponentially quicker and a lot easier. You remember the music because you learn it by ear and by heart.
My specialty is teaching Bill Monroe style mandolin and explaining a codified system of improvisation that has fundamental bluegrass devices one can engage with to create their endless flavors and tones informed by the strong and rich tradition. ~ Chris Henry