Beyond Bluegrass Banjo

Etudes and Ideas for the Modern Banjo Player

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  • Suggested Retail Price: $19.99
  • Format: Book/CD
  • Pages: 72
  • Dimensions: 9 x 12
  • ISBN: 0-87639-118-8
  • SKU: 50449610
  • Publication Date: May 04, 2011

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Specialist Music Theory Certificate Program

A solid understanding of music theory is no mere academic exercise but a common language that will enable you to concisely communicate with other musicians, a core component of any collaborative endeavor with music. From basics like reading and writing music notation and using scales to advanced topics such as modal and pentatonic melodies and harmonic tensions, you’ll leave this program with a concrete foundation in music. As a result, you’ll approach your next project with a full set of tools and much more confidence.

Play and improvise with more expression and freedom in bluegrass and related styles.

These ideas, exercises, and etudes will help you expand your palette of improvisational and compositional techniques and sounds. Develop your versatility over the fingerboard, and master harmonic and rhythmic ideas on the banjo. The CD has demonstration and play-along tracks, performed by an all-star bluegrass band.

You will learn to build solos using techniques such as:

  • Recognizing a melody’s defining notes, and using them in new contexts
  • Reharmonizing chords and changing modes
  • Breaking down, rearranging, and varying melodic and rhythmic cells
  • Arranging melodies in different registers that span the full length of the fretboard
  • Drawing from chord forms, tetrachords, guide-tone lines, and other constructs

“This book opens up new vistas on the banjo, particularly useful for advanced players. Thanks to Berklee authors Hollender and Glaser, you will find a lot of fresh, musical sounds, informed by a solid theoretical base. It securely fills a hole in the middle of banjo pedagogy.”

—Tony Trischka, Banjo Great

“This is a very valuable resource for banjo players. I like that the emphasis is first and foremost on furthering one’s musicianship and that the scope of the discussion is not narrowed by whether the application is technically ‘banjo-friendly’. The tunes provide concrete and insightful examples of how the concepts can be effectively put into practice on the banjo. Very worthwhile.”

—Noam Pikelny, Banjo Player (Punch Brothers), winner of the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass

Beyond Bluegrass Banjo is designed for the intermediate to advanced contemporary bluegrass banjo player who is ready to get serious about applying jazz concepts to their playing. Matt Glaser’s compositions will open your ears to a world of new sounds, and Dave Hollender’s arrangements and analyses introduce concepts that will open your mind to new ideas about improvising, composing, and arranging. I guarantee that your fingers and your brain will be supremely stretched after spending even just a bit of time with this important new book.” 

—Bill Evans, Author of Banjo for Dummies


Dave Hollender

Dave Hollender is a banjo player and bassist who has performed bluegrass, jazz and classical music with the Wayfaring Strangers,…

Matt Glaser

Matt Glaser is a fiddler, educator, and author, who has performed with Stephane Grappelli, David Grisman, Lee Konitz, Bob Dylan,…