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Thread: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

  1. #1
    Registered User Chris "Bucket" Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    The content looks impressive. Check out the video. https://www.noyamountainmusic.com/?f...ojbYjSHDPCBpyQ
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    Default Re: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris "Bucket" Thomas View Post
    The content looks impressive. Check out the video. https://www.noyamountainmusic.com/?f...ojbYjSHDPCBpyQ
    Purchased!

    I think this course really breaks some new ground, compared with other Monroe-style instructional options out there, by focusing on several core concepts, or building blocks, or whatever you want to call them, that are foundations of the Monroe style. Personally, I like this approach because it can become a toolkit for improvising and can help me see the patterns that appear across many different Monroe tunes.

    Other courses I’ve seen, like Mike Compton’s Monroe Style course on Peghead Nation, tend to take a tune-by-tune, note-for-note or phrase-by-phrase approach, which is just fine as one way to approach it. Same goes for the classic Sam Bush DVD instructional on Monroe style, or the Mel Bay transcriptions plus sound clips packages.

    To use a cooking analogy: When I first tried to learn to cook, I used recipes and followed them to learn how to make one dish, then another. Along the way, a sense of what tastes good and the typical steps in making, say, a soup, crept into my awareness through the back door as the patterns repeated themselves. But it wasn’t until I went to culinary school and learned core concepts like sautéing or braising that I could really make my own good food from a set of ingredients and not just follow someone else’s recipe. But good food can result from either process, and as long as the end result is tasty it doesn’t matter how you get there.

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    Default Re: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    I have been part of the workshops that Chris has been putting on with David McLaughlin that have been used to develop this and I will echo that they are breaking new ground. If you are interested in bluegrass specifically Monroe style and are in the intermediate skill level there is so much to learn from these. Specifically 1. Ear training 2. Monroe Vocabulary 3. Repertoire.

    For folks like myself that need the extra push to start breaking down specific solos from recordings he really walks you through that and gives you the tools to do it on your own. Also give you great Monroe vocabulary that you can generalize into your own playing where ever you see fit. I can’t recommend Chris’s teaching enough. He is very generous with his expertise. This may be a bit challenging for a beginner though.

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    Default Re: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    Is this offered in DVD form or only by downloading?

  6. #5

    Default Re: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    I like Chris and have used his lessons to learn a few Monroe tunes...Lockwood, Southern Flavor, Trombolin and others. His lessons are definitely not for beginners...but hang in there and it comes after awhile.

    Josh, how does one find out about the workshops...I suppose I could email Chris directly but I haven't seen any promos for them.
    Northfield F5M #268, AT02 #7

  7. #6

    Default Re: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    Quote Originally Posted by bigskygirl View Post
    I like Chris and have used his lessons to learn a few Monroe tunes...Lockwood, Southern Flavor, Trombolin and others. His lessons are definitely not for beginners...but hang in there and it comes after awhile.

    Josh, how does one find out about the workshops...I suppose I could email Chris directly but I haven't seen any promos for them.

    Chris has been capping the workshops at 10 people so that he can engage with each student. He has advertised it a little bit in the Monroe Mandolin Facebook group when he needed to fill slots. He may have some spots opening up for the next 2 sessions. Either find him on Facebook or through his website/email. https://www.noyamountainmusic.com/

  8. #7

    Default Re: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Levine View Post
    Chris has been capping the workshops at 10 people so that he can engage with each student. He has advertised it a little bit in the Monroe Mandolin Facebook group when he needed to fill slots. He may have some spots opening up for the next 2 sessions. Either find him on Facebook or through his website/email. https://www.noyamountainmusic.com/
    Thanks Josh, I’ll email him. Figured it was on Facebook since I hadn’t heard of it anywhere else.
    Northfield F5M #268, AT02 #7

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    Registered User Jake Biddix's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    Thanks for the heads up! I purchased this as well. Excited to dive into it. I have recently rewatched the Sam Bush Homespun video on Monroe as well as Ronnie McCourry's DVD as well and completely agree. No doubt that Ronnie does a lot of the techniques that Chris Henry explains in the introductory video, but Ronnie does so in the context of a song whereas Chris breaks it into digestible chunks. Very well done, and it is a lot to digest. But exactly what I need I think.
    Jake B.
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    Default Re: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    Totally agree. Just one thing to know: If you’re accustomed to a deliberate, very structured, progressive learning curriculum like you’d find on, say, Sharon Gilchrist’s Peghead Nation courses, then it can take a little adjustment to get comfortable with Christopher’s breezier, faster-paced and sometimes rambling teaching style.

    I’m finding that the great content is all there in each lesson, but that I’m needing to (a) edit the video in order to break out just the technique or section I need to focus on without having to constantly rewind and locate that explanation or demonstration that whizzes by, and (b) put these smaller chunks into my Amazing Slow Downer app in order to learn them and build up speed.

    As long as I do that, it’s a wonderful course for me. I can see literally years worth of material to chew on here. But not everyone may be able or willing to do that customization to improve “digestibility.” And some of you more advanced players can probably just watch the lessons in real time and pick it all up on the fly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jake Biddix View Post
    Thanks for the heads up! I purchased this as well. Excited to dive into it. I have recently rewatched the Sam Bush Homespun video on Monroe as well as Ronnie McCourry's DVD as well and completely agree. No doubt that Ronnie does a lot of the techniques that Chris Henry explains in the introductory video, but Ronnie does so in the context of a song whereas Chris breaks it into digestible chunks. Very well done, and it is a lot to digest. But exactly what I need I think.

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    Registered User Isaac Revard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    It’s been a couple weeks now...any further reviews on this course? I’m about to pull the trigger and buy it.
    “I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around and play mandolin.”

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    Default Re: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac Revard View Post
    It’s been a couple weeks now...any further reviews on this course? I’m about to pull the trigger and buy it.
    I think it's a huge value and a must-buy for anyone interested enough in Monroe style to be reading this thread.

    How much you get out of it, though, depends on you: Do you need a teacher who speaks slowly and says, "now play it along with me five times," and lessons that are very focused on one building-block concept at a time? Or are you okay with a faster-paced teaching style and prepared to watch and rewatch, practice and repeat, days or weeks at a time, until the concepts sink in and you're ready to progress? Once I got used to the style and approach, and accepted the work I would need to do to break down and digest each learning chunk for myself, then I was fine with it. After a few weeks now, I can see my own learning curve will be very slow, but it does eventually come.

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    Registered User Isaac Revard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    Thanks Gina! I just bought it! I’ll give a little review after a couple days or so. Can’t wait to check this out tonight!
    “I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around and play mandolin.”

  17. #13

    Default Re: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    It took me a few weeks but I finally made it thru the 1st video, alot of concepts to work on, refine, and apply to my playing. I have used several of Chris’ tune videos so im used to his teaching style but like Gina said it’s not for the person who wants slow, deliberate instruction. Chris is more of a “introduce the concept and let you run with it” teacher, I like him very much.

    I think this video series is a great resource that will take a long time to get thru, it’s not the type of thing I’m gonna watch and work thru in an hour or so and move on to the next one. I watched a concept then worked on it for awhile until I was comfortable before I moved on to the next section.

    For anyone interested in Monroe style this is a great resource.
    Northfield F5M #268, AT02 #7

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    Default Re: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    Having been through most of the material I can say that it may be helpful to watch the first videos and get an overview of the modules and then proceed to a song you like. It is tough to get the modules down cold right out the gate. You could go in order or you could find one you really like. You will continue to see the modules, so you can always go back and watch the first video again if you have a hard time. Daybreak in Dixie really lends itself to using the modules and it is later in the series so a little more intentionally laid out and a little more organized. I really like how they come out of Camptown Races as well.

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    Default Re: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Levine View Post
    Having been through most of the material I can say that it may be helpful to watch the first videos and get an overview of the modules and then proceed to a song you like. It is tough to get the modules down cold right out the gate. You could go in order or you could find one you really like. You will continue to see the modules, so you can always go back and watch the first video again if you have a hard time. Daybreak in Dixie really lends itself to using the modules and it is later in the series so a little more intentionally laid out and a little more organized. I really like how they come out of Camptown Races as well.
    Josh, by "the modules," do you mean the modular bits (staggered 16ths, slidey lick, infinity shape, bouce, etc.)? I've been trying to figure out whether I should get all those technical pieces working first (around Lessons 0-2) and only then move forward into the later, more tune-based lessons -- or whether once I get staggered 16ths down I should move on and pick up the other pieces as I go through the lessons?

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    Default Re: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    Quote Originally Posted by Gina Willis View Post
    Josh, by "the modules," do you mean the modular bits (staggered 16ths, slidey lick, infinity shape, bouce, etc.)? I've been trying to figure out whether I should get all those technical pieces working first (around Lessons 0-2) and only then move forward into the later, more tune-based lessons -- or whether once I get staggered 16ths down I should move on and pick up the other pieces as I go through the lessons?

    Yes, he refers to those as modules. The most common ones are the staggereds, slideys, bounce, infinity shape, and then you see some other stuff as well, but those common ones he refers to again and again as they work there way in and out of tunes as appropriate. The way Daybreak in Dixie is written allows for all of those to work there way in fairly easily. So you can learn a tune and see how they work in and perfect the technique as you go along. It's up to you how you want to approach the material, but I like the approach of introducing and then mastery through generalization and application.

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    Registered User Isaac Revard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    I’m a couple days in now and just finished watching/reviewing the first video. I think that first video alone was almost worth the expense of this course. So much was packed in there. Definitely going to watch it again before I move on though. I don’t think I’ve been this pumped about a course before. I had a couple questions prior to watching and Chris was super responsive via text messaging—I’m very impressed. So far so good—I’m working on the modules and all the other fun stuff (the screamer and the Santa Claus etc.—I love the names).
    “I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around and play mandolin.”

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    Default Re: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    Yes, Isaac — I’ve just been sticking with videos 0 to 2 for the past three weeks, particularly Lesson 0, getting progressively more comfortable with the modules. As I learn a module, I start playing it over a chord progression. So far, the only tune I’m doing is “On and On” to keep things simple. But as things feel smoother and faster, I figure I can then start going through the subsequent lessons and applying the modules to more tunes.

  25. #19

    Default Re: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    I just got the first lesson. It is superb. On the first go-through one might wonder if Mr. Henry is remotely trying to kill you. But after going through it a couple of times everything begins to fall into place. It’s really smart, his teaching vibe is super warm and the material is really great. Plus, after blowing the download because of problems on my end, he wrote back in no time with a solution. I can’t recommend this highly enough, and though especially for Monroe fans, this stuff will be invaluable in any kind of improv. I’ll be doing the entire course. I haven’t enjoyed a course this much ever. Tremendous learning value.

  26. #20

    Default Re: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    For those that were asking about the workshops, Chris was advertising on Facebook as a couple slots opened for the next 2 seminars. He caps it at 10, so not sure if they are still available but contact him if you want to check.

  27. #21

    Default Re: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    Quote Originally Posted by Isaac Revard View Post
    I think that first video alone was almost worth the expense of this course. So much was packed in there. Definitely going to watch it again before I move on though. I don’t think I’ve been this pumped about a course before).
    I second all of this. I’m only through the orientation vid and halfway through the second of the first week (out of is it 10 I think) and this is the best instructional I’ve ever worked with. Just superb. True that it’s packed and you have to rewind a lot to work through, but this is great. C. Henry is a great player and you can tell from the tapes that he is genuinely interested in generously sharing.

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    Default Re: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    FYI — As an alternative to constantly rewinding, there’s an iPhone or iPad app called AudioStretch that I found and it’s making these lessons accessible at last. It’s a slow downer app, but it also slows down video without changing the pitch. There’s a free version and a paid version will fuller features.

  29. #23

    Default Re: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    Quote Originally Posted by Gina Willis View Post
    FYI — As an alternative to constantly rewinding, there’s an iPhone or iPad app called AudioStretch that I found and it’s making these lessons accessible at last. It’s a slow downer app, but it also slows down video without changing the pitch. There’s a free version and a paid version will fuller features.
    Thank you Gina, I’ve been looking for something like this.
    Northfield F5M #268, AT02 #7

  30. #24

    Default Re: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    The VLC media player also does this. Works on computers and portable devices too. A great open-source program.
    Palatable to a Goat: New Music from Gregg Daigle and Don Grieser, now on bandcamp
    http://HillbillyChamberMusic.bandcamp.com

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    Default Re: Chris Henry New Monroe Improvisation Course

    Quote Originally Posted by bigskygirl View Post
    Thank you Gina, I’ve been looking for something like this.
    You're welcome. Wish you were here in N. California so we could play our Northfields together!

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