Tonality in Pentatonic & Blues (Guitar Lesson)

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Tyler Grant

Tonality in Pentatonic & Blues

Tyler covers some key terminology and scales that are used in the bluegrass genre.

Taught by Tyler Grant in Bluegrass Flatpicking seriesLength: 19:26Difficulty: 2.5 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.

jaxjrcomjaxjrcom replied

145 blues

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1 chord dominant 7th for blues

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minoxidil scale flat 7

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Martinguitar58Martinguitar58 replied

Tyler; love your lessons and your workshops were great as well. I'm trying to combine going through both without getting ahead of myself

scannon120scannon120 replied

Your lessons are awesome and the way you explain the relationships of tonality, scales and how it all fits together has been so great. Thanks for teaching here.

eldenfromtneldenfromtn replied

I really appreciate your lessons, and so glad you are on Jamplay! From now on you are my favorite guitar player.

danonwheelsdanonwheels replied

I find your lessons Great and well explained it works for me Tyler

egilegil replied

Just the teacher I needed :-) Instructional without talking too much, nice tune too

drrocek44drrocek44 replied

great teacher I really am learning I have played for over 50 years and still I'm learning

Bluegrass Flatpicking

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. Learning to flatpick properly is absolutely crucial to the Bluegrass style.

Series IntroductionLesson 1

Series Introduction

Welcome to Tyler Grant's series on bluegrass flatpicking! Tyler offers a vast history of awards and live experience that defines his knowledge of how to successfully accomplish the skill of utilizing a...

Length: 4:01 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Fundamentals of Hand ControlLesson 2

Fundamentals of Hand Control

Tyler Grant opens his series by demonstrating proper left and right hand techniques.

Length: 28:36 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Songs and TunesLesson 3

Songs and Tunes

Tyler Grant demonstrates and explains the difference between a song and a tune.

Length: 7:47 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Major Scale in BluegrassLesson 4

Major Scale in Bluegrass

Tyler introduces the major scale and explains how it is a fundamental component in almost all of bluegrass music. Starting with the C major scale, Tyler provides tools on how to use ear training and numbering...

Length: 26:17 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Finding Melody by EarLesson 5

Finding Melody by Ear

Here's an ear training lesson for bluegrass flatpickers. Tyler moves through first position scales and explains how to use numbers and their associated tones to help train your ear so that finding the...

Length: 20:35 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Tonality in Pentatonic & BluesLesson 6

Tonality in Pentatonic & Blues

Tyler covers some key terminology and scales that are used in the bluegrass genre.

Length: 19:26 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
New River TrainLesson 7

New River Train

Tyler applies the scales taught in previous lessons to the melody and solo sections of the tune "New River Train".

Length: 15:05 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
The Gal I Left Behind MeLesson 8

The Gal I Left Behind Me

In lesson eight of his bluegrass flatpicking series, Tyler Grant teaches the tune "The Gal I Left Behind Me". This is another flatpicking study in the key of C.

Length: 17:52 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
G Major ScaleLesson 9

G Major Scale

Now that you've spent some time learning the C major scale and some melodies based on it, it's time to move on to the the G major scale. In lesson nine, Tyler Grant demonstrates the G major scale and...

Length: 16:52 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Miss McLeod's ReelLesson 10

Miss McLeod's Reel

Continuing on with his flatplicking studies, Tyler Grant offers up a tune lesson in the key of G. He teaches "Miss McLeod's Reel".

Length: 17:05 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
D Major ScaleLesson 11

D Major Scale

By now, you should be comfortable with the G major scale. Now it's time to tackle another commonly used scale in bluegrass flatpicking. This time Tyler Grant takes you through the D major scale.

Length: 17:46 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Banks of the OhioLesson 12

Banks of the Ohio

Tyler Grant is back with another tune for his Bluegrass Flatpicking series. In this lesson he teaches the traditional tune "Banks of the Ohio," which encompasses the techniques you've learned thus far.

Length: 21:32 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Forked DeerLesson 13

Forked Deer

Tyler Grant is back with another traditional bluegrass standard. "Forked Deer" likely comes originally from old world fiddle tunes, and like "Banks of the Ohio," is good practice for what you've learned...

Length: 21:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
TransposingLesson 14


Tyler Grant is back with another lesson for his bluegrass flatpicking series. In this lesson, he discusses how to transpose tunes to different keys.

Length: 28:43 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Keys of A and E MajorLesson 15

Keys of A and E Major

Now that you know how to transpose out of the keys of C and G, it's time to start taking a look at performing in the keys of A and E Major.

Length: 13:18 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Variations on TunesLesson 16

Variations on Tunes

Tyler Grant is back with a look at how to make variations on the tunes you are playing. This can be done either on the fly through improvisation techniques, or by writing specific variations and arrangements...

Length: 16:18 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Bluegrass VocabularyLesson 17

Bluegrass Vocabulary

Tyler Grant is back with another lesson for his Bluegrass Flatpicking series! In lesson 17, he discusses basic vocabulary that is used in the bluegrass scene and demonstrates how and when those items...

Length: 23:19 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
The Guitar BreakLesson 18

The Guitar Break

In lesson 18 of his series on bluegrass flatpicking, Tyler Grant discusses the 'guitar break' or solo.

Length: 13:17 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Guitar BreaksLesson 19

Guitar Breaks

In lesson 19 of his bluegrass series, Tyler offers up some thoughts on guitar breaks. To discuss and demonstrate the concept, he uses the song "Sitting On Top Of The World".

Length: 13:24 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
I'll Fly AwayLesson 20

I'll Fly Away

Much like the previous lesson in this series, lesson 20 is all about solos and guitar breaks. Using the tune "I'll Fly Away," Tyler Grant demonstrates more ideas for guitar breaks and solos.

Length: 6:20 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Rhythm IdeasLesson 21

Rhythm Ideas

Tyler Grant is back with lesson 21 in his Bluegrass Flatpicking series. In this lesson, he discusses rhythm tendencies for the genre as well as the addition of bass runs.

Length: 24:44 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
G RunsLesson 22

G Runs

In lesson 22 of his Bluegrass Flatpicking series, Tyler Grant discusses the 'G run'. This is a melodic line typically played in the bass register in G major but can also be used in any key.

Length: 9:54 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Cold Frosty MorningLesson 23

Cold Frosty Morning

Tyler Grant is back with another tune to add to your bluegrass repertoire. "Cold Frosty Morning" gives you some practice playing in a minor key in the bluegrass style.

Length: 20:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Sally in the GardenLesson 24

Sally in the Garden

Continuing with his instruction in minor keys, Tyler Grant offers up the tune "Sally in the Garden". This tune is in the key of D minor.

Length: 19:51 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Rights of ManLesson 25

Rights of Man

To conclude Tyler Grant's look at the bluegrass flatpicking style, he offers up one more tune in a minor key. Lesson 25 focuses on the tune "Rights of Man".

Length: 20:44 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Tyler Grant

About Tyler Grant View Full Biography Tyler Grant brings his Flatpicking expertise to JamPlay!

Tyler took first place honors at the Rockygrass guitar contest in 2003, the Wayne Henderson festival contest in 2005, the 2008 New England Flatpicking Championship, the 2009 Doc Watson Guitar Championship at Merlefest and became the National Flatpicking Champion for placing first at Winfield in 2008. He has been an instructor at CalArts, Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamp, Rockygrass Academy, Augusta Heritage Center Bluegrass Week and Grand Targhee Music Camp. He has been featured in Acoustic Guitar Magazine, Flatpicking Guitar Magazine and Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine. He lives in Lyons, Colorado, where he writes music, enjoys the outdoors, teaches lessons and records for Grant Central Records.

National Flatpicking Champion Tyler Grant is a versatile guitarist and multi-instrumentalist with a wide range of musical expertise. He is an internationally recognized guitar virtuoso with two solo albums and an impressive resume as a session musician, bandleader and sideman. He has shared the stage with such luminaries as Tony Rice, Sam Bush, Tim O’Brien, Jerry Douglas, Chris Thile, John Oates, Steve Kaufman, Leftover Salmon, Yonder Mountain String Band and The String Cheese Incident. Tyler showcases his powerful and original style of Flatpicking on his latest CD release, Up the Neck. His current band project, The Grant Farm, is taking root and growing fast.

Tyler graduated from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in 2000 with a Bachelors degree in Guitar Performance. After moving to Nashville from Southern California in 2003 he joined Adrienne Young’s band and toured with her for nearly two years, acting as musical director and playing on her acclaimed CDs Plow the End of the Row and The Art of Virtue. In 2004 he joined Casey and Chris Henry and the Two-Stringers. In the fall of 2004 he toured China with Abigail Washburn and Friends and appeared on her Song of the Traveling Daughter CD. During the first half of 2005 he toured with phenomenal Canadian fiddler April Verch. Tyler revealed his talents as a singer and songwriter with his first solo album, In The Light, released in June 2006 on FGM Records.

From 2005 through 2010 Tyler made hundreds of appearances across the country as a member of the Drew Emmitt Band and the Emmitt-Nershi Band, featuring the frontmen from two of the world’s most popular jambands: Leftover Salmon and the String Cheese Incident. Tyler played on Long Road, the latest acclaimed Drew Emmitt release, which reached #1 on the Jam Band chart, and New Country Blues, the outstanding current release by the Emmitt/Nershi Band. In 2011 Tyler will focus his attention on solo dates, acoustic duet acts with Andy Thorn and Benny Galloway, and his latest band, The Grant Farm.

Tyler took first place honors at the Rockygrass guitar contest in 2003, the Wayne Henderson festival contest in 2005, the 2008 New England Flatpicking Championship, the 2009 Doc Watson Guitar Championship at Merlefest and became the National Flatpicking Champion for placing first at Winfield in 2008. He has been an instructor at CalArts, Steve Kaufman’s Acoustic Kamp, Rockygrass Academy, Augusta Heritage Center Bluegrass Week and Grand Targhee Music Camp. He has been featured in Acoustic Guitar Magazine, Flatpicking Guitar Magazine and Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine. He lives in Lyons, Colorado, where he writes music, enjoys the outdoors, teaches lessons and records for Grant Central Records.

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