A sub-genre of country music which blends improvising with folk-like melodies. Pioneered by Bill Monroe in the 1930s in the "bluegrass" state. Learning to flatpick properly is absolutely crucial to the Bluegrass style.
Orville Johnson starts out his Bluegrass Flatpicking Series with a lesson on alternate picking, a technique that is absolutely essential to almost all guitar styles.Length: 25:21 Difficulty: 1.0 FREE
Orville teaches a classic song called "John Hardy" in the style of Mother Maybelle Carter.Length: 15:54 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville teaches the classic song "Bill Cheatum" in the bluegrass flatpicking style.Length: 23:20 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson explains how to play the classic song "Blackberry Blossom" in the bluegrass flatpicking style.Length: 26:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson shows how the classic bluegrass fiddle tune "Whiskey Before Breakfast" can be adapted to the guitar.Length: 24:05 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson teaches how "Billy in the Lowground," a classic fiddle tune, can be adapted to bluegrass style guitar.Length: 20:40 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson teaches the classic bluegrass song "Salt Creek."Length: 19:56 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Orville Johnson teaches the classic buegrass song "Midnight on the Water."Length: 39:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Orville Johnson teaches a solo guitar version of the classic song "The Wayfaring Stranger."Length: 21:12 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson demonstrates the classic bluegrass song "The Eighth of January."Length: 20:32 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Orville Johnson teaches "Over the Waterfall."Length: 21:40 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson demonstrates one of the most widely used bluegrass licks. This lick is named after "Lester Flatt" and simply called the "Lester Flatt G Lick."Length: 15:14 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson explains how to play the classic song "June Apple."Length: 21:27 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Orville Johnson teaches a bluegrass guitar version of the classic song "Soldier's Joy."Length: 13:22 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson teaches the "The Arkansas Traveler" in the key of D.Length: 26:06 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson teaches his version of "I Don't Love Nobody."Length: 19:14 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson covers the classic tune "Old Joe Clark."Length: 19:27 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson continues building your bluegrass fiddle tune repertoire with another great song called "The Red-Haired Boy."Length: 27:49 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson teaches "Black Mountain Rag" in the key of E.Length: 26:25 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In continuation of his previous lesson, Orville Johnson teaches "Black Mountain Rag" in the key of A.Length: 23:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson takes a look at the bluegrass standard "St. Anne's Reel".Length: 20:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In this lesson, Orville Johnson teaches a fantastic new tune called "Glory in the Meeting House".Length: 19:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In his latest Flatpicking Bluegrass lesson, Orville Johnson teaches a tune called "Under the Double Eagle".Length: 31:50 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson continues building your bluegrass flatpicking repertoire with another great tune called "Crossing The Big Sandy River".Length: 11:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Orville Johnson teaches another great bluegrass flatpicking tune called "When He Calls Me".Length: 12:45 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Orville Johnson teaches "Ragtime Annie," another bluegrass tune to add to your repertoire.Length: 15:13 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson continues to build your bluegrass fiddle tune repertoire with a fun tune called "Bonaparte's Retreat".Length: 20:13 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson takes a look at another fiddle tune called "Reuben's Train" in this lesson.Length: 13:57 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Orville Johnson takes a look at a fun song called "Turkey in the Straw" in this lesson.Length: 9:54 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
In this lesson, Orville introduces an exercise called "The Mirror Technique." This is a technique that will improve the communication between your picking hand and fretting hand.Length: 21:09 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Welcome to yet another lesson on picking exercises! Orville demonstrates how to achieve double picking and triplet picking techniques that are common in all musical styles.Length: 23:25 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
This traditional song offers the standard A and B parts and is another essential song to add to your repertoire of tunes that can be played with friends.Length: 18:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Orville teaches a blues melody in G major and also explains how to "comp" or accompany/compliment the melody with the Freddie Green rhythm.Length: 19:54 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville reopens the subject of lead techniques. He presents ideas on how to successfully build a solo and understand how to leave space to be most effective when playing with others.Length: 14:33 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Time to design a solo! Orville breaks down the techniques needed to build a successful solo while both explaining space and scale theory.Length: 19:49 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
This lesson is all about harmonic structure. Orville uses the theory taught in the previous lesson to help you choose the correct notes when building a solo.Length: 23:03 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
How about another classic Bluegrass Flatpick tune titled "Bully of the Town." This tune offers up a chance to use a capo and apply key change techniques.Length: 25:23 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Orville Johnson is back to his Bluegrass Flatpicking series. In this lesson he discusses and teaches the tune "The Beaumont Rag." This tune is a great picking exercise as well as being fun to play.Length: 23:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
About Orville Johnson
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Orville Johnson was born in 1953 in Edwardsville, Illinois and came up on the St. Louis, Missouri music scene, where he was exposed to and participated in a variety of blues, bluegrass and American roots music. He began singing in his Pentecostal church as a young boy, in rock bands in middle school, then took up the guitar at 17,with early influences from Doc Watson, Rev. Gary Davis, Mississippi John Hurt, and Chuck Berry. In the early 1970's, Orville spent several seasons playing bluegrass on the SS Julia Belle Swain, a period-piece Mississippi river steamboat plying the inland waterways, with his group the Steamboat Ramblers.
Orville moved to Seattle, Washington in 1978, where he was a founding member of the much-loved and well-remembered folk/rock group, the Dynamic Logs. Other musical associates include Laura Love, Ranch Romance, File' Gumbo Zydeco Band, Scott Law, and the Twirling Mickeys. Johnson, known for his dobro and slide guitar stylings and vocal acrobatics, has played on over 100 albums. He has appeared on Garrison Keilor's Prairie Home Companion, Jay Leno's Tonight Show and was featured in the 1997 film Georgia with Mare Winningham. His musical expertise can also be heard on the Microsoft CD-ROMs, Musical Instruments of the World and the Complete Encyclopedia of Baseball. He teaches as well at the International Guitar Seminar, Pt. Townsend Country Blues Week and Puget Sound Guitar Workshop.
Orville released 4 recordings in the 1990's: The World According to Orville (1990) Blueprint for the Blues (1998) Slide & Joy (1999) an all-instrumental dobro tour de force and Kings of Mongrel Folk (1997) with Mark Graham. He also appeared on 4 discs with the File' Gumbo Zydeco Band and produced Whose World Is This (1997) for Jim Page and Inner Life (1999) for Mark Graham. In the 21st century, he has released Freehand, a new Kings of Mongrel Folk disc, Still Goin' Strong, and been featured in the soundtracks of PBS' Frontier House and the Peter Fonda flick The Wooly Boys as well as the compilation cd Legends of the Incredible Lap Steel Guitar.
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