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Bluegrass Fiddle and Beyond: Etudes and Ideas for the Modern Fiddler

by Matt Glaser
available from

Improvise with more expression and freedom in bluegrass and related styles. These ideas, exercises, and etudes will help you expand your palette of improvisational techniques and sounds. Develop your versatility over the fingerboard, and master harmonic and rhythmic ideas on the violin. 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:

  • Uncovering a melody's most defining notes, and using it in a new context
  • Reharmonizing chords and changing modes
  • Breaking down, rearranging, and varying melodic and rhythmic cells
  • Using position shifts, string crossings, and double stops
  • Drawing from tetrachords, guide-tone lines, and other constructs

Matt Glaser is a fiddler, educator, and author, who has performed with Stephane Grappelli, David Grisman, Lee Konitz, Bob Dylan, J. Geils, Leo Kottke, Joe Lovano, Charlie Haden, Michael Brecker, Kenny Werner, Alison Krauss, Bela Fleck, the Waverly Consort, Fiddle Fever, and most recently, the Wayfaring Strangers. He is artistic director of the American Roots music program at Berklee College of Music, after serving as string department chair for twenty-eight years, and has mentored thousands of musicians.

"The most comprehensive and humorous journey yet into the world of bluegrass fiddle and beyond."

Stuart Duncan, Fiddler, Recording Artist

"Matt Glaser makes a valuable contribution to the violin literature. These etudes prepare any violinist for the technical demands of improvising at all levels."

Mark O'Connor, Violinist, Composer, and Educator

"Matt Glaser is one of those very rare musicians who plays with mind-bending virtuosity, who understands everything about what he's doing down to the smallest detail, and then can articulate it with utter clarity. In this book, Matt provides a valuable toolbox for fiddle players who want to expand their improvising skills. Get it, and get to work!"

Bruce Molsky, Fiddler, Teacher

Matt Glaser is one of an elite group of teachers who can combine of musical expression and theory in a way that is not only interesting, but aesthetically desirable. In this book, Matt makes it all make sense, in his surprising, funny, affably abrasive way. It's an approach to music and ideas that takes us to the living essence of what it is to be a feeling and thinking human being. He is a philosopher king in these glittery degraded times. Dig him now.

Darol Anger, Fiddler, Producer

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