It's been a cold winter for many, however Spring is almost here and bluegrass festival season is just around the corner and it’s a good time to start working on some new music for the festivals this summer!
The March "Song of the Month" is a fun "bluegrass-campground-jamming-sitting-around-the-fire" tune that's perfect for first year students: "Old Time Religion". The melody and chords are basic, the words simple and easy to remember and sing, doesn't go too fast and just about everybody has heard it. The download is below.
More harp guitars and fanned fret guitars are being released this month, some with new, exotic tone woods, including more highly anticipated semi-custom harp guitars and fanned fret guitars.
The 2014 Harp Guitars are here and they're Fanned Fret Harp Guitars! How about that! Many have written in saying that they want a fanned fret guitar and also a harp guitar but can't afford both, so, why not a "Fanned Fret Harp Guitar"?!? It's the perfect combination.
This is an especially exciting release for 2014; it's available in four models: steel string, nylon string, 13 string and 21 string in several combination. The ETA for the first fanned fret harp guitars are scheduled for release July, 2014 and straight into the holiday season. See the details below.
Bocote from Mexico has just arrive in the shop. It's a beautiful, excotic "rosewood alternative" tone wood that we're all excited to start using. Details below... I'll be posting more photos and videos coming this month with the new harp guitar and fanned fret guitar releases.
As more updates are available, I'll keep you informed with my newsletter. Have a great March! Jay
|Here's an interesting video clip from
around March, 2000.
My banjo student, Mike owned/operated a local TV studio in Las Vegas. One of the shows that was featured on the channel was "The Thursday Counselor". In this clip, Mike asked me and my picking buddy, Marty Warburton to be guests on the show. It was broadcast live. Before we went on the air, Marty and I were tuning up the instruments off stage.
Marty asked me, "So, what are we going to do?"
"I have no idea" I replied. "Let's just go with the flow and see what Trip (the host) is going to ask".
And that we did; the show was improvised, we played literally by the "seat of our pants" and had a ton of fun! During the show, I gave Trip his first fiddle lesson, he played his first fiddle tune in less than 60 seconds. Click on the image at the right for the full video and 60 second fiddle lesson.
More fond memories from Las Vegas :)
|For March, we have a brand new
arrangement of "Old Time Religion". It's a classic that many
folks know and is easy to play. The vocals are simple so
everyone in the jam can easily jump in on the fun. The chords
and melody line are also simple; great for the first year
The banjo has two arrangements, including a dandy up-the-neck solo the second time through. There are nice double stops for the fiddle and mandolin. I've included to guitar solos; a "Carter Style" solo with the melody in the bass and a great beginners "cross picking" arrangement. Fingerings and pick direction are included. The Dobro arrangement includes tasty rolls and the bass includes some very effective chromatic runs that can be used on many other songs with a similar chord structure.
This is also a nice song for friends to jam together or teachers to use with their students.
I've included several play-along mp3s with and without the lead instruments and rhythm back up tracks. It's all here and it's free!
Download: old time religion.rar
You will need a password open the .rar package with the tablatures and audio files. It's included in my monthly newsletter. Sign up today and get started playing "Old Time Religion"!
See this link for help with the .rar package (Windows and Mac) if you're new to downloading files.
The Fanned Fret Harp Guitar for 2014 is a result of many requests and desire to meet these with an instrument that will satisfy most guitarists’ needs.
Requests have been coming in for a “seventh bass”, “nylon (classical) string”, “super trebles”, “fanned fret” and so on. The images at the right are the Nylon string version, 51 mm (2 inch) nut. Click on the images for a larger view.
The Fanned Fret Harp Guitar for 2014 combines many of the important features that meet these “upgraded” requirements. There are four new models to choose from with various customized features:
1. 13 String Fanned Fret Harp Guitar – Steel String
2. 13 String Fanned Fret Harp Guitar – Nylon (Classical) String
3. 21 String Fanned Fret Harp Guitar – Steel String with Super Trebles
4. 21 String Fanned Fret Harp Guitar – Nylon String with Super Trebles
Within these four models, there are several variations:
1. Nylon or steel string
2. 44.5 mm nut or 51 mm nut
3. Radiused or flat fret board
4. Any tone wood that's legal for import and export can be used for the top, back & sides
5. ... and more
Click here for all of the details of this fascinating instrument!
Bocote, from Mexico, has just arrived in the shop and will be one of the many new exotic species of tone wood that will be added to the line up. Bocote is related to Ziricote and will be a treat to use in our builds this year. It will be paired with Alaska Sitka, Carpathian Spruce and Curly Sequoia Redwood.
I'll be posting more photos and videos as the Fanned Fret Harp Guitars start leaving the shop with this new exotic specie.
2014 is going to be a great year for the harp guitar!