Brian Wicklund’s American Fiddle Method — Bluegrass Fiddle
“Bluegrass makes the world better.” This is how Brian Wicklund, creator of the American Fiddle Method, welcomes you to his newly developed online courses, Bluegrass I and Bluegrass II.
Brian’s number one goal is to provide students with the tools to start jamming, now. He reminds us that jamming is a warm community of opportunity to learn, to make mistakes and to move forward with a fearless spirit even if we haven’t yet accomplished all of the techniques.
As in his earlier America Fiddle Method Beginning & Intermediate Methods of learning fiddle (reviewed in the April 2021 issue of Bluegrass Unlimited), you can move at your own pace while Brian stays enthusiastically true to clarity and attention to detail. Seasoned with his usual good humor and encouragement, he leads us from other genres of fiddling into the high energy world of bluegrass.
The two tunes he has chosen, “Lonesome Road Blues” and “Cripple Creek,” give us a familiar calm and confidence to move forward on our Bluegrass I & II journey. Bluegrass I is formatted with two levels of learning. The lessons provide access to “Play Along, Tutorial, Audio and Sheet Music” sections for a thorough visual and auditory experience. Starting with tips for success, he moves to the basic melody, slowly layering back-up chords, chops, kick-offs, endings, and ending tags.
Then come the basic ornaments we fantasize about ever understanding or actually playing as we listen to the great fiddlers of bluegrass. Slides, hammer-ons, drones, double-stops, they are all here. Brian concludes by demonstrating how to put the whole package together.
Advancing into the five levels of Bluegrass II, the ornaments become more detailed along with improvising around the melody. Additional theory is explained in relation to double stops, scale work, upper positioning and transposing. Bowing variations are effectively explored along with the art of double and triple harmony fiddling.
Both courses—I & II—include a dandy list of ten standard bluegrass jam songs and ten instrumentals waiting for your new learned licks and techniques. With Brian’s extensive background in teaching, touring with bands and session work, he is generous and downright kind to share this knowledge with the world of fiddlers waiting to become bluegrass players.
Thank you Brian, another great addition to the American Fiddle Method. And agreed, the world is a better place with bluegrass! Please check out the Bluegrass I and Bluegrass II methods along with the other courses he offers at americanfiddlemethod.com
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