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Bluegrass Guitar Lessons: “Dark Hollow” - Key of C (Intermediate)

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[MUSIC]
We've
covered a whole lot of stuff at this point
concerning Bluegrass rhythm.
And what I feel are,
are key elements of what really defines
Bluegrass rhythm as a style.
And I think as a, as an intermediate
player, these are, these are things to,
a lot of these things we've talked about
are things to work on.
Things to develop.
And so we're going to try to put a lot of
these a lot of
these things we've talked about into
action with some tunes.
And the way we're going to do this, I'll
play the tune and
we're going to talk about it.
We're going to talk about a lot of the
things about developing common sense.
And we've talked about how playing
Bluegrass rhythm is sorta
it's own little improvisation.
And so basically,
I think the best way for me to explain it
is just to you know, give you you know.
These are real opportunities to this or do
this and, and
so the first tune is Dark Hollow.
And so what you have here is, is you'll,
you'll see me.
I'll play with this track.
Of, I have a lead line of me playing the
melody.
And so I'll, I'll play real time here.
I'll play play along with the track and
and then talk about what we're,
what I'm, what I'm looking for.
And these are the things that I, I, I do
myself.
So, here we go.
[SOUND] One, two, three.
[MUSIC]
What I was doing there was using every,
everything we've talked about up, so far
in, in this tune.
And some of the key things to sorta look
out for.
Wha, and one of the common sense things
we're talking about and the, the,
the little dance that happens between
rhythm and melody.
Is is learning to, you know, you listen to
a melody like that.
[MUSIC]
Is the first phrase,
and the chords a dun dah dun dah dun dah.
And so there's a bit of space.
One of the first things to think about as
a rhythm player is learning to be aware of
where these phrases happen.
And learning to listen for these things.
So.
So what I
will do as a rhythm player as I come along
with that here's how I get through that.
[MUSIC]
That
time I, I put it some of the extra, extra
strum strums stuff we talked about.
And it helps sorta fill out, fill out the
thing.
What I don't' wanna do is.
you know how it gets in the way of the
phrase, and the melody, is to just
[MUSIC]
You can hear how that sorta brash it's in
the way and its sorta an elephant in a
Chinese shop kinda effect.
And so, a smoother thing to do, is to
utilize the tool as a, as a way to
embellish, enhance over our fill so, the
feel of the tune, so the first melody.
[MUSIC]
And
the next line
[MUSIC]
It goes to the F chord.
So I'll walk into the F chord, right.
[MUSIC]
You know,
and these are, these are key things to
kinda look out for, and a lot of times,
to know about the extra strums.
Is to look in between phrases.
You want to add rhythmic information when
there's not a melody going on.
That's a, that's a key element to look out
for.
And again, as you listen to other
recordings you can,
you can hear people doing that and that's
what's happening there.
A lot of the, you'll see bass runs used
inside the melody.
[MUSIC]
Because the way a bass
run enhances things.
It sorta adds another counter note, a
little counter melody for just a second.
[MUSIC]
You know, and it adds this, and
again, we're talking about this big
picture that's created with
common sense Bluegrass rhythm.
And and that's, that's why that sounds
good.
You know, it's it doesn't, it, it, it
enhances the lead,
but it doesn't get in the way.
And those are things that are sorta hard
to describe, but it's, I can just,
you know, just show you.
And, and, talk to you about why I've, I've
chosen to do certain things.
And so, basically, those, those are two
little things within,
the part of the melody of Dark Hollow.
[MUSIC]
And I'll try some,
I'll play it one more time.
And, I'll try some, yet some, some
different kinda things.
And, you can sorta pay attention, and
think about a lot of the things we've
talked about.
I'll try within the chords, I'll try some
more alternate bass notes.
And, you know, and you can see how those
things happen.
So, here, let's do it one more time there,
and we'll, we'll start it.
One, two, three
[MUSIC]
So in a way, I'm improvising.
And this is, this is what's happening here
just basically using
the three elements of the extra strums,
the alternate bass notes.
We had that exercise.
[MUSIC]
And putting all this to use in a song.
Three key elements, the, the extra strums.
In between the phrases walking.
[MUSIC]
And also alternate bass things.
Either this, either the root, root five
kinda idea
[MUSIC]
Or those, those are kinda three tools
that I'm, I'm using and trying to use.
I'm using them in a way that I hope
enhances, and
it doesn't get in the way of a beautiful
melody like that.
And so, we're gonna continue on with three
more tunes, and look at different ways.
And we're gonna get into some different
ideas about voicings and intensity, and
things look out for that way too.
I think one of the, an effective way to
make some of this,
some of these more conceptual things I'm
talking about.
Maybe hit home a little more is to show
you, what I'll actually do
is play what I would consider the wrong
way to kinda approach a melody like this.
And so we'll start the backing track, the
lead line one more time and
I'll, and you've heard me play it what I
consider the right way.
And so here, here's in contrast is a
different way to go about it.
Which is you know, hopefully bad.
>> One, two, three.
[MUSIC]
That's horrid.
Please don't ever do that.
[LAUGH] What I was doing there was I was,
you know, disregard for
any sorta sense of the pocket of the
melody.
The phrasing of the melody goes if you
noticed.
If you compare the other way, hopefully
the melody didn't get lost.
And if you listen to that way you were
thinking good lord I wish you would
just stop.
So that's you know good and bad you know
evil.
And, and evil way is no way to be.
And so, we'll contrast a couple more of
these tunes like that.
It really does sorta give you an idea of
what to be looking out for
in your own playing.
[MUSIC]