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Modern Country Guitar

Bluegrass Instruments and Influence (Guitar Lesson)


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Nick Amodeo

Bluegrass Instruments and Influence

Nick explains the musical role that each instrument plays in a bluegrass band.

Taught by Nick Amodeo in Bluegrass with Nick Amodeo seriesLength: 17:01Difficulty: 1.0 of 5


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Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.


SteveAikenSteveAiken replied on February 1st, 2015

Without the history the lessons are not complete. Good job, keep it up

tokenflametokenflame replied on February 14th, 2012

so, the mandolin takes the place of the snare drum, and the snare drum was something you hit with a stick, my grand dad use to hit me with a stick, guess I'm a snare drum.

rickmcdanielrickmcdaniel replied on June 24th, 2011

Nice lesson on how it all fits together.

carlosmacmartincarlosmacmartin replied on May 24th, 2011

I've watched up to lesson 5 in this series and can say that Nick's approach is top notch! I appreciate the time he's taken to explain the background of Bluegrass.I firmly believe in learning about the history behind any style of music.A BIG THANK YOU,Nick!

jnc51jnc51 replied on April 25th, 2011

Nick, great last two lessons. Being originally from NYC I didn't get much Bluegrass listening. I loved the short history lesson and the roles of the other instruments including the guitar. Looking forward to more lessons. I will be attending my first local workshop in two weeks and every week thereafter; at least that's the plan.

maxjubermaxjuber replied on March 10th, 2011

What type of acoustic guitar is best for bluegrass? Dreadnought? spruce top? 000?

Nick.AmodeoNick.Amodeo replied on March 11th, 2011

max, the vast majority of bluegrass players prefer some sort of spruce topped dreadnought, for its resonance and volume and clarity. as i explain, the guitar is really the only instrument in a traditional bluegrass band that can play big full chords, so we look for guitars that provide that sound.

wb_munchausenwb_munchausen replied on March 1st, 2011

Keep it up Nick, I am looking forward to more. The Doc Watson/Tony Rice type of flatpicking has been up to now not addressed on Jamplay

stratmusicstratmusic replied on March 1st, 2011

This was really good and important info. to have in order to know what to do at a bluegrass jam...which I want to do! Thanks Nick!

nash24nash24 replied on March 1st, 2011

Are you going to do any GUITAR lessons???? TOO many history lessons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tyler.RughTyler.Rugh replied on March 1st, 2011

Nicks Lessons are built around the foundation of bluegrass as a whole. And to start his series off he wanted to first explain Some historical aspects. History flows deep in Bluegrass Music and is something Nick firmly believes in. He will however very soon be diving into actual applied techniques. There is plenty of information to follow.

Bluegrass with Nick Amodeo

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

A sub-genre of country music which blends improvising with folk-like melodies. Pioneered by Bill Monroe in the 1930s in the "bluegrass" state. Nick will present flatpick techniques.



Lesson 1

Series Introduction

Nick Amodeo introduces the Bluegrass Series and explains what to expect in the following lessons.

Length: 2:27 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

History and Influence of Bluegrass

Nick discusses the history of bluegrass and the influence it has had on other styles of music.

Length: 27:44 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 3

Bluegrass Instruments and Influence

Nick explains the musical role that each instrument plays in a bluegrass band.

Length: 17:01 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

Bluegrass Chords

Nick explains how to play some of the most commonly used chords in the bluegrass genre.

Length: 19:42 Difficulty: 2.5 FREE
Lesson 5

Right Hand Techniques

Welcome to a right hand "boot camp" with Nick Amodeo! In this lesson, Nick demonstrates several picking and strumming exercises that will whip your right hand into shape.

Length: 24:48 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

Right Hand Boot Camp

Nick Amodeo continues his discussion of picking technique in this installment of right hand "boot camp."

Length: 24:33 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 7

Crosspicking Techniques

Nick presents several exercises that develop string skipping and crosspicking technique.

Length: 23:35 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 8

Common Bluegrass Scale Exercise

Nick covers some exercises and scales that develop left hand technique.

Length: 33:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

Bluegrass Ornaments

Nick explains how to play various slurs such as slides, hammer-ons, and pull-offs. Also included are some common bluegrass licks that utilize these techniques.

Length: 30:54 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 10

Bluegrass Right Hand Rhythm

Nick covers some basic bluegrass strumming patterns.

Length: 12:23 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 11

Left Hand Boot Camp

Nick covers some of the most commonly used scale patterns in bluegrass.

Length: 31:45 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Nine Pound Hammer

Nick applies fundamental guitar techniques from previous lessons to the song "Nine Pound Hammer."

Length: 31:39 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 13

Texas Gales

Nick demonstrates his interpretation of "Texas Gales." You might say this one will blow you away!

Length: 38:30 Difficulty: 4.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

Cross Picking: Home Sweet Home

Nick teaches the song "Home Sweet Home" and uses it to demonstrate cross picking techniques. Nick also covers the chords, and a chord with melody version to correspond with a picked version he has created.

Length: 57:24 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only

About Nick Amodeo View Full Biography Nick Amodeo is a multi-instrumentalist based out of Denver, Colorado. A self taught musician, he took up guitar at age 12 before moving on to mandolin and electric bass. He is the 2005 Colorado state mandolin champion, and was featured on the 2007 Downbeat magazine Blues Album of the Year, Otis Taylor’s “Definition of a Circle.”

Nick has shared the stage with such artists as Buddy Guy, Chuck Campbell, Mollie O’Brien, Nick Forster and Pete Wernick of Hot Rize, and many others. Nick currently is the mandolin department at Naropa University in Boulder, Colorado and has over 10 years teaching experience.

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