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    • #13094

      I hope this is not redundant. From time to time there are topics that talk about adding variation to a certain tune. These talk about what can be done with one tune only. Is there, or can there be, a topic about how to go about adding variation to any tune? When it comes to adding variation to a tune for which there has been no instruction, I cannot apply it to that tune. In banjo there are always the addition of slides, pulloffs, hammer-ons, runs and such. Is there or can there be some instruction on a basic tool kit for adding variation to a tune? I don’t generalize well from one song to another and need something less abstract i.e. how to find places in a song to embellish and what to consider adding or subtracting?

    • #13095

      Fiddlehed’s got great videos on
      -double stops
      -rhythm variation (swing feel, etc)
      -accent patterns
      -bowing patterns (georgia shuffle)
      -grace notes
      (All on youtube)
      Any of these can be added to any tune. I think you just have to develop a feel for what works well in what song through practice/experience.

      Other variations I’ve encountered in his videos that should be in your toolkit are anticipating notes (coming in early) and adding additional notes from the scale. I’m sure there are more.

    • #13154
      jason kleinberg

      Hey Art,

      As pointed out by CorrinRad, there are lots of youtube lessons on different forms of variation. Over the next few months, we’ll be working on a more organized approach for adding variation that I think you’ll find to be useful.

      In the meantime, two bits of advice.
      -Practice variation with scales. This prepares you for adding variation to tunes.
      -Make the basic melody sound good. Always the most important thing.

    • #13470

      Jason: Thanks for the comment on playing scales. My teacher had been giving me some exercises like the ones you set out. She didn’t however tell me the reason for doing them. Simply knowing the reason for the rule “this will help you with improvisation” is a HUGE help. I am working through the exercises you set out and am having fun with them. Thanks so much.

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