Each and every year, I hold a holiday party where students learn to play Christmas tunes. They are assigned a song and together, work for weeks on playing the tunes. We held our party last week and each of the three groups did a wonderful job. They all had fun working together as well.
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Christmas music, whether you are a big fan or not, is an excellent genre to practice in order to learn more on your instrument. First, most if not all musicians have heard these tunes throughout their lives. The familiarity makes it easier for the beginning student to pick out a melody line. Secondly, these are not simple songs to play. Unlike a I, IV V progression commonly found in blues, rock or country music, some Christmas tunes can have more complicated chord progressions. These different chord progressions are beneficial to students wanting to expand their knowledge and rhythm technique.
David Grisman’s Acoustic Christmas
Let’s not forget that as you attend the holiday parties each year, one of these times, someone will ask a group of musicians to play a Christmas tune. Others will enjoy singing along to these tunes. So it helps to expand your repertoire and learn a couple of holiday tunes.
One of my favorite Christmas albums is by mandolin great David Grissman. Bela Fleck, Mike Marshall and others appear on this album as well. It was one of the first albums I could find that had Christmas arrangements for bluegrass instruments.
If you care to learn Christmas tunes, I offer an acoustic Christmas collection of tabs for guitar, banjo, mandolin and fiddle. You can learn more about this on my website of by going to my previous blog (click the tag Acoustic Christmas Music or go to this blog link: http://blogs.fretmentor.com/?p=959). Email me or leave a comment below on how to acquire these tabs.
Once again, have a happy, safe and musical Christmas holiday season.
Born in Detroit, Michigan, David F. Jakubiak has been involved in music since the age of 7, beginning as a clarinet player and then at 9 turning his attention to stringed instruments. He earned trophies in group talent competitions while a student at the University of Michigan. The instructor earned a BA degree in Organizational Psychology from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Public Administration at the University of Kansas. At college, he also studied classical music and music history.
His passion is teaching music and in performing as a musician. In addition to on-stage performances, David has played in various venues from outdoor festivals to small nightclubs. He plays, performs and teaches various styles of music, including rock, pop, blues, jazz, classical, country and bluegrass styles. He performs and teaches acoustic and electric guitar, five-string banjo, and mandolin. His styles range from Scruggs, melodic, Reno and old-time style on banjo, to finger-style and flat-picking technique on guitar, to various styles of mandolin.
For over 45 years, Mr. Jakubiak has taught all age groups, taking a personal interest in each student to ensure that they receive the attention and lesson plans that meet their needs and interests. His lessons and instructional materials place a strong emphasis on the practical use or music theory to ensure that the student understands the instrument and learns how to improvise to develop their own style. Mr Jakubiak teaches group and studio classes, webcam lessons over the internet, and individual private lessons to students of various ages. He has compiled and produced eight instructional books on CD as well as numerous instrumental arrangements.
David has written for Banjo Newsletter, a monthly publication for the banjo enthusiast and has published an article in Issue #37 of the Fretboard Journal. He is the founder of www.fretmentor.com.
To contact David Jakubiak, please feel free to e-mail him at david AT fretmentor.com (substitute the @ sign for the word AT)