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Cello Lessons: Introduction to Bluegrass

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[MUSIC]
Welcome to the Bluegrass Curriculum
here at the ArtistWorks Cello School.
If you're here I hope you love bluegrass,
because that's what you're gonna get.
So bluegrass is a fascinating
style of music.
You take a lot of Celtic fiddle styles
that immigrants brought over to America,
and then you start to combine that to
some bluesy African-American influence,
and then you start to speed it up and
introduce the concept of
soloing from jazz, and
then you sing in a really high voice and
you've got bluegrass.
Bill Monroe hoo,
is the father of bluegrass.
Every time I hear his name I have a little
bit of bluegrass Tourette's in me and
I have to go hoo.
But the more bluegrass you play,
the more it will infect you, as well.
Bill Monroe had a band called
Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys.
This band is what codified,
what we now call bluegrass music,
and it was particularly when the
three-finger banjo player Earl Scruggs,
joined his band that the sound of
Bluegrass as we know it and love it today.
Truly was born in like I
think the early 1940s.
Actually it had developed
surprisingly late.
When people hear this music,
they assume it has traditional roots,
hundreds of years old.
And it does, but
the bluegrass sound that we think of
is definitely a mid
20th Century invention.
And although Bill Monroe's quoted as
saying specifically that every time he
wrote a new tune he was specifically
wanted it to sound really old.
So it's a fascinating style of movie and
possibly the best thing about it,
I think, is the culture of
jamming that surrounds it.
At any Bluegrass Festivals,
there's tons of bluegrass festivals.
Really great places where, in addition
to professional bands performing,
half the audience is amateur musicians.
They'll just sit around campfires and
outside their tents, and motor homes, and
just play for fun.
And I learn so
much from those experiences.
I use to play,
in Darol Anger's Republic of Strings.
And I got to go to a lot of
these Bluegrass Festivals.
And it was actually a life
changing experience.
Because growing up as
a classical musician,
music was not necessarily something
I played for fun with friends.
While hanging out on a Saturday night.
But that's what bluegrass musicians do.
And so, I love the idea of using
music as a social activity.
So learning a few Bluegrass tunes
can get you into some jams.
And so
that's the big goal of this curriculum.
If to get you to learn
some of the repertoire.
Cuz that's, you can't enter a bluegrass
jam if you don't any bluegrass tunes.
But we're also gonna talk a lot about
style and getting you to fit in bluegrass.
Bluegrass doesn't traditionally have Cello
in it, but thanks to the groundbreaking
work of our friend Rushad Eggleston
in the band Crooked Still.
Bluegrass cello is now
a thing that exists,
and it's actually taking over the world.
There's a lot of bands out there now,
folk bands, bluegrass bands with cello.
So I hope you enjoyed this curriculum.
If you are new to the cello or
are still even new to bluegrass,
there are a couple bluegrass
tunes in the beginner curriculum.
Blackberry Blossom is
a really great tune to know.
And even like you are my
Sunshine is a Bluegrass tune.
Cripple Creek.
So go through that beginner curriculum.
Look for those bluegrass tunes.
And after you've done that,
then you'll be ready to embark
on the intermediate level of
bluegrass tunes in this curriculum.
[MUSIC]