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Blazing Bluegrass Banjo Volume 2

Blazing Bluegrass Banjo Volume 2

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Blazing Bluegrass Banjo Vol. 2

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Songs Include:

Margarita Breakdown
Danny's Dance
Iola Explores
Fisher's Hornpipe
Lone Star
One For The Road
Jerry's Breakdown
*Accompanying tablature sheet music inside this package.



Learn how to play tunes in different keys, positions, and timings. Margarita Breakdown-Scruggs Style breakdown using Keith/Scruggs tuners. Dannys Dance In-6/8 time, this Irish Jig will broaden your banjo horizons. Iola-Explores the "Melodic Banjo Style (D-tuning) key- D. Fishers Hornpipe- Banjo players hated this one, until now! (G-tuning) Key of D. Lone Star-(G-tuning) Key of A-minor, this will help with all your minor chords, keys, and licks. One For The Road- uses a "Diminished Chord" which is easier than you may think! Jerrys Breakdown- this Jerry Reed tune is interesting for banjo in the key of E! (Intermediate-Advanced)


Banjo Newsletter Review June ’96 by Jim Pankey "Video One, Developing Jamming Skills". On the box this video claims to cover "things you’ll need to know when you start getting together with other people". I admit I’ve considered a project like this myself. I now, however, can erase that from my "to-do" list; Greg does a terrific job here, explaining those simple but not so simple issues the player encounters in a jam session. Many times the beginner player may know several tunes and can play them well alone, or maybe with the teacher, but the group aspect of playing is absolutely terrifying. It’s the fear of the students, even the "good" ones, sometimes have difficulty in a jam because they just don’t know what to do. How do I start a tune? OK, it’s started, now what? I’ve got to do an ending too? You’re kidding, you really play this in D? Greg starts the video by discussing scales and how they relate to chord shapes. Now before you condemn the man by discussing scales, hear me out. He explains them in a friendly, coherent, and pleasantly fresh way. No hours of practicing scales, no advanced music theory; he gives you just the basic and necessary information to get you started. After scales—intros and endings. Banjo students often get confused when counting off. This video has many intro examples, and each one is explained clearly. Greg demonstrates how to listen to the tune to see where it comes in on the beat, and how to count to that spot. Greg seems to prefer counting measures in 2/4 time (One and Two and). At first, to me, this seemed a bit clumsy; I’m used to counting to four and felt I would lose my place; but for the beginner needing an easy way to count off a tune, it works just fine. Transposing tunes? This is where the scales come into play. Greg explains how to transpose by using the numbers of the chords and notes (most commonly called the Nashville Number System). He gives examples of intros in the key of G, then shows how each can be transposed to the key of C. This is great stuff—beginners will find this very helpful. Of course if the intro is transposed, the ending and the tune need to be transposed. Greg gives several endings and shows how each can be transposed, and finally shows how these skills can be used to transpose a whole song by the "hunt and peck" method. Several examples are given and by the end of this video, with ample practice, the student should have a good grasp of these ideas. Tunes include Arkansas Traveler, 8th of January, Pike County Breakdown and Wildwood Flower. Beginners and intermediates—I highly recommend this video. You’ll gain valuable playing skills and jamming skills. Hats off to Greg Cahill for a job well done. "Video Two, Expanding Stylistic Variety". This video offers many challenges for the advancing banjoist. Greg discusses tunes that include the use of Keith Tuners, D-tuning, and tunes in keys and timings sometimes alien to the banjo. This should be helpful to any picker interested in developing new licks and ideas, as well as eliminating the lack of confidence many players face when playing in unfamiliar keys. Fans of Greg Cahill will be particularly interested in these video as all but two are original Cahill compositions. This is, however, both good and bad—good for those who have recorded versions; but if you don’t, some of these tunes could be a considerable challenge. I must say in Greg’s defense that he does include at the end of the tape, each tune played with guitar accompaniment. I found this very helpful. Each tune is presented as a particular "problem" in banjo playing (i.e. key, timing, or tuning). Two great examples are Greg’s originals Iola, played melodically in D-tuning, and Lone Star, played in A-minor from G-tuning. I like that approach to teaching—give an example to help the student meet their own particular challenges. Each tune stands well on its own but the possibilities seem endless with with the principles Greg endeavors to convey with the tunes. I suppose my only disappointment was with Jerry’s Breakdown; they said the tune was in E, and it was, but capoed at the second fret and played from the D position. I’m a real nut for the key of E and had my hopes up. However, I find Jerry’s Breakdown sufficiently challenging just as Greg has arranged it, and now in retrospect I’m glad it wasn’t in G. Tunes include Fisher’s Hornpipe and Margarita Breakdown. Beginner players, get Blazing Bluegrass Banjo 1 and practice practice practice. I really recommend Video 2 for the intermediate and advanced crowd, just as the box suggests; you’ll find many good ideas here. Greg Cahill fans, you’ll love this video; you get a great deal of insight into Greg’s approach to playing and working out his original tunes.

Bluegrass Unlimited Magazine (Review): May 1998 issue Many years ago I had an opportunity to review an old LP by the Chicago-gased bluegrass band Special Consensus & was amazed at the banjo gymnastics by bandleader, Greg Cahill. I remember making special mention of Cahill’s fine bluegrass banjo playing in the review. Cahill has remained one of my favorite bluegrass musicians ever since first hearing him on record. In the intervening years I’ve had an opportunity to hear Cahill live with Special Consensus & in late-night jam sessions. I’ve never met another professional musician with a stronger commitment to the bluegrass banjo & such an honest enjoyment in picking informally. Blazing Bluegrass banjo is a set of two bluegrass banjo insturction videos & tablature by Greg Cahill. The instruction is considered of an intermediate level: you won’t find beginners’ information on picks, parts of the banjo, & basic rolls on these videos. Instead, Cahill covers a wide variety of examples of banjo technuque & theory & a great selection of tunes. Blazing Banjo 1 provides a 60-plus minute course in banjo theory intended to help develop jamming skills. Cahill first teaches scales, initially playing out of the G-chord position on the 5th fret & then moving the pattern to other keys. Following information on up-the-neck chord inversions. Cahill covers examples of song introductions, pre-endings, & endings in the keys of G, openC, & open D. Some famous licks from the likes of Earl Scruggs & Don Reno are explained before being put to use on tunes like “Pike County Breadkown” in the key of G, “Wildwood Flower” in the keys of G & C, “Eighth of January” in the keys of G & open-0D, & “Arkansas Traveler” in open-D & D played with the capo on the 2nd fret. Blazing Bluegrass Banjo 2 is intended to expand stylistic variety through tabs & actual playing examples by Greg Cahill. the tunes, played both slowly & up-tempo, cover a wide variety of keys & tunings. Cahill starts with his own composition, “Margarita Breakdown,” in G-tuning making use of D-tuners. Other Cahill banjo originals are included, such as “Danny’s Dance” in open-D in 6/8 time, “Iola” played in D-tuning, “lone Star” played in Am, & “one for the Road” in the key of A. “Fishers Hornpipe” is played in open D & “Jerry’s Breadkown” is played in the key of E, in G-tuning capoed on the 2nd fret. Both videos, either purchased seperately or together, should improve the playing of any intermediate to advanced level bluegrass banjo player. “Blazing Bluegrass Banjo 1” provides more than just information on jamming skills. Cahill gives tips on constructing good breaks, a necessary skill for any banjo player who plays music with other people. “Blazing Bluegrass Banjo 2” will teach versatility by placing banjo tunes in a variety of keys & tunings. Highly recommended.



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