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VIDEO LESSONS

Noya Mountain Music has a vast collection of immersive pre-recorded lessons where musical exploration meets convenience and expertise. Dive into a treasure trove of video lessons tailored for various skill levels and musical inclinations. Whether you're drawn to the magnetic pull of the Monroe-style mandolin or the timeless resonance of the guitar, we have something special for you. We understand that every learner is unique so our offerings span from single songs and tunes to comprehensive 12-week courses, all meticulously designed to cultivate your musical prowess. Whether you're a seasoned player seeking new challenges or a budding musician eager to refine your craft, Noya Mountain Music is your gateway to limitless inspiration and growth. Join our community of learners today and unlock the transformative power of music, one lesson at a time.

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Click on a lesson image above or go here for all video lessons.

Monroe Courses
Monroe Style Courses

Noya Mountain Music has 11 (and counting!) full 12 Week Monroe Style courses. These teachings are a revolutionary approach to learning Monroe Style mandolin based on codified modular devices blended with melody in powerful ways. It is the big modern game changer for folks wanting to understand and assimilate Bill's approach. It is recommended that all students begin with Monore Style Improvising 1. MSI 1 lays down the foundation for all subsequent courses that can then be explored in any order. The first three 12 week courses are detailed by week and the rest of courses will flow in a similar way with different songs and tunes. Students can stream or download videos and flash drives are also available for an additional fee. Click on any course title below for details.

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Monroe Style Improvising 1

MSI1

MSI-1 came to life authentically from the 12 week Monroe style workshop led by Christopher Henry and David McLaughlin. The curriculum is the comprised of the study material given to the students that were taking the class. In this intensive students will learn:

The Infinity Shape

The Infinity Shape is a name for an efficient arpeggiating finger pattern that easily connects all of the registers of the mandolin. It’s optimized to use as an essential roadmap through all arpeggios nodes from the bottom G to the 15th fret E.

Devices

Staggered Arpeggios, The Bouncy Lick and the Slidey Lick - understand them and learn how to modulate them (change them slightly to fit the tune, chord, or improvisational idea) and then blend them in according to our own personal creative taste with as much of the melody as we can. This is really an expansive opportunity to get to know more of the bluegrass sound but relate to it from wherever you are as a musician.

Weeks 1/2 - The first two weeks are spent in what one would hope to be familiar territory for folks who have been around the music a while. Old Joe Clark, Soldier’s Joy, Big Mon, and Salt Creek are tried and true favorites and applying the devices here is a good place to start.

Weeks 3/4 -  Delve into thinking about how Monroe approached some of his finest improvisational work. On and On and Bluegrass Breakdown are two examples of how his energy and ideas changed over the years and we study it extensively as we learn more about rhythmic improvisation with the “Paddy on the Turnpike” lick on BGB and start to work in the staggered 16th notes up and down the Infinity Shape. We also look at the major/minor improv idea in Bluegrass Breakdown. “The Lick” which is classic Monroe vocab is introduced, along with The Scooper, and the Half-Scoop – all familiar Bill-isms that can teach us a lot and be great engines for improvising in a really authentically traditional style, of course which was revolutionary at the time, so we leave the door open for everyone to always flavor to taste!

Week 5 - The 5th week is spent studying composing. There is so much to be learned from writing your own tunes and it is a big part of how we can grow and understand our own music, but also Bill’s. So we find a way in here by exploring compositional ideas and relate that to our own creative experience and write a tune! I show you some thoughts on how I found myself into a tune and some simple but effective ways to approach melodic shape and form.

Week 6 - Here we focus on two epic examples of Bill’s genius. Why Did You Wander which as a standalone engine can take you a long way with your bluegrass mandolin picking. Getting back into more tremelo which we explored early in On and On, we look at Bill’s original break on Can’t You Hear Me Calling which is absolutely tremendous and can teach us a lot about how to incorporate nuanced, melodic tremolo more comfortably into our improvisational toolkit.

Week 7 - Week 7 gets right into the heart of Bill’s fantastic driving Gospel bluegrass mandolin with I Saw the Light and I’ll Fly Away. We study live recordings featuring Del McCoury and my maestro, Peter Rowan, including his last show which was sure to have been an emotional experience and that is represented well by the spirit of the music that particular evening. He has an amazing modular ending lick that he used in many different ways and we explore that in detail. Now we’re starting to get more comfortable switching back and forth between the melody and the Monroe devices. 

Week 8 - Rawhide - top of the mountain in a way. We examine Bill's high break in great detail and start to understand in more complexity how the melody can be woven through the devices in a way that can blend with fluidity. All our devices are in play here. Since this tune goes around the horn so to speak 3-6-2-5, there are great spaces to really practice the Infinity Shape many different places and gain flow with sliding between different chords to start the devices.

Weeks 9/10 -  In weeks 9 and 10 we look at a couple of the most popular bluegrass jam session tunes, New Camptown Races and Daybreak in Dixie. Frank Wakefield can teach us a lot about Monroe style improvisation and NCR is in the great key of Bb which can be difficult at first. It also has a minor 6 chord which is a new harmonic color that we approach the staggered minor arpeggios and other details including the elusive major third on the way down to C. These are some of the really fun details that are wonderful to explore. Daybreak in Dixie is a wonderful number to work up speed on with the Infinity Shape, Slidey Licks, Bounce Licks, and everything else we have focused on. It’s all starting to come together now. 

Weeks 11/12 - Now we blast off into the refined compositional world of David McLaughlin who has been a guiding force in the creation of this whole course. Georgia Stomp and Granite Hill are two of the most instructive tunes one can learn early on. Now that our ears are tuned in from ten weeks of all by-ear study, we can hear David’s language as it relates to Monroe and start to discover the accessibility of improvising with downstrokes and being able to flip to the tremelo more smoothly and mathematically. Granite Hill is a wonderful tune basically built from Monroe Devices so we’re kind of getting two for one here!! A fantastic driving number that can teach a lot about speed and also can really be a great addition to so many picking situations.

Songs and Tunes Studied in MSI 1

Old Joe Clark

Soldier's Joy

Big Mon

Salt Creek

On and On

Why Did You Wander?

Bluegrass Breakdown

Paddy on the Turnpike

Can't You Hear Me Calling?  I Saw the Light

I'll Fly Away

Rawhide

Daybreak in Dixie

New Camptown Races

Georgia Stomp

Granite Hill

Monroe Style Improvising 2

MSI2

Diving Deeper

This course is a natural extension and evolution of the previous course. Now students can use the system taught in MSI 1 to move through all of the material. 

Week 1 - This course starts out continuing with a Bill Monroe lineage master, Christopher's father, Red Henry, and a couple of his masterpieces: Little Big Mon and Perfect Mason. Little Big Mon can teach a huge amount about how to play a Monroe Style melody in three different places in the key of A.

Week 2  The 2nd week looks at the charging ripper, Perfect Mason, which advances knowledge about flow in the key of B and also teaches a lot about speed and drive. Students will receive a video of Red playing with the Red and Murphy and Co. band from 1983 and it is quite amazing! We also get video from this year of Red explaining how to play the melody correctly.

Week 3  Week three returns to Monroe's compositional world with Come Hither to Go Yonder and the ancient tones. Students will learn more about how to stay within the tune's structure, but still be able to come up with interesting improvisational variations that are hopefully tasteful and appropriate.

Week 4 - Next, for week four, there are some good common jam session fiddle tunes that will be familiar to many – Whiskey Before Breakfast, Arkansas Traveler, and Bill Cheatham. Students will learn how to improvise Monroe Style over these very popular melodies focusing on the core concepts of staggered 16th notes and Slidey Licks.

Week 5 Week five examines the first first waltz-time number, Blue Moon of Kentucky. Students will explore the original recording and start to understand how Bill would improvise with tremolo to great effect. Blue Moon of Kentucky will also be observed in 4/4 time with Bill's classic break and language there.

Week 6 In week 6 students cruise over to Flatt and Scruggs’ side of town with a super standard – Gonna Settle Down. This is an opportunity to contemplate the use of some of the fiddling on the recordings as a guide to merge with Bill’s ethos to come up with a nice blend of the two different connected and related worlds.

Week 7 - Ronnie McCoury joins in week 7 and discusses about how he came up with Quicksburg Rendevouz, the third part derivation from Midnight on the Stormy Deep, and the Monroe connections. This comes with a Quick Study video, and also a very in depth look at one of Ronnie’s techniques we call the folded bounce.

Week 8 - 9-Pound Hammer in A from the Monroe Brothers is looked at in week 8. Bill’s style evolved a lot thought the years in different ways and it can be really important and valuable to have a good solid study with his earliest efforts and get that sound in your head so that is can be used as a tonal reference from time to time while improvising.

Week 9 - Week 9 cruises on down to the key of G and looks at the enduring classic, Long Journey Home, again with the Monroe Brothers. Bill's early style is so distinct and having two weeks to dive deep and analyze his earliest concepts is really valuable for a broad perspective of his improvising development. David expertly demonstrates most of the breaks from the original recording.

Week 10 - White House Blues in week 10 is one of the most interesting, exciting, and adaptable versions of what we call “The Lick”. The Lick was introduced early in MSI 1 with Bluegrass Breakdown, but its earliest recorded instance may well be the original version of White House Blues. It is so powerful and modular it often becomes a favorite tool in the toolbox!

Week 11 Week 11 circles back to standard jam session fare with Gold Rush! There is a nice simple melody in a complex adaptation that is explained note-for-note so students can get the original feel in their hearts and fingers. Then devices are used while learning to find the melody three different places. Throw in all your favorite tricks!

Week 12 -  Sweetheart You Done Me Wrong is explored in this special week, 12. Students will feel into ideas about how Monroe would approach backup in a completely non-chop way. The way in which Bill wove a beautiful supportive melody behind Lester’s singing stands the test of time as one of the most beautiful examples of bluegrass mandolin. Students focus a lot on the letter and spirit of what Bill did there  - and try to understand the connection to the Smoky Mountain Schottische. This is also a super sweet week because Peter Rowan joins to empower with wonderful insight into Bill’s world and psychology relating rare personal anecdotes. This is an exclusive look at the full 90 minute section of his appearance in the Monroe Style Workshop!

Songs and Tunes Studied in MSI 2

Little Big Mon

Perfect Mason

Come Hither to Go Yonder

Whiskey Before Breakfast

Arkansas Traveler

Bill Cheatham

Blue Moon Of Kentucky

Gonna Settle Down

Quicksburg Rendevouz

9 Pound Hammer

Long Journey Home

White House Blues

Gold Rush

Sweetheart You Done Me Wrong

MSI3

Monroe Style Improvising 3

Lineage Expansion

MSI 3 has 13 more tunes featuring classic repertoire with meticulous note-note-note, phrase-by phrase, all by-ear instruction that you will only find in this course. Students will continue with the core modular devices that provide a way into understanding how to implement the improvisational jump-offs in intuitive, practical ways that are not only great practice with the tunes taught here, but can be easily incorporated into all of your mandolin picking across the board in your own creative way.

Week 1 - MSI 3 starts off with Lonesome Moonlight Waltz. Here students get to know how to play a steady, linear tremolo and adapt it to this classic melody while also keeping in mind how to tastefully employ staggered 16th notes to arpeggiate through the beautiful chord changes. The Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe album is used for reference of “the truth”.

Week 2 Bluegrass Stomp is a classic blues form that has helped folks get well acquainted with the use of heavy, repeated downstrokes for great effect. A special guest this week helps provide another voice in understanding Bill’s classic gambit and first improvising jump-off. Favorite devices can be used as students will learn more about how to stay within the tune's structure and still come up with interesting improvisational variations that are hopefully tasteful and appropriate.

Week 3 - Big Mon is one of the most popular go-to Monroe tunes in jam sessions and on stage. In week 3 students dive into the nuclear level to really understand what Bill’s creative and improvising mind-set was here that makes a stark contrast to the twin fiddles on the original recording. Students will also look at how to arpeggiate their way through the chord form to create a Monroe Style break for the third part which often does not get played. Time will be spent examining the form in great detail trying to decode what Monroe shares with his breaks in the context of the other instruments. Big Mon is a great vehicle for the growing lexicon of modular devices

Week 4- Salt Creek is one of the classic parking lot picking tunes of all time. Its chord form easily lends itself to expansive creative opportunity. Here students will study a general Monroe Style break, not note-for-note off the record, but in doing so, it will help them find their legs with what the special guest this week calls “the ladder lick”, also known in the course as a modulated staggered arpeggio.

Week 5 In this week, and all the following weeks, David McLaughlin provides beautiful and thoughtful demonstrations on his 1923 Gibson F-5 Lloyd Loar Mandolin. Turkey in the Straw is a tune that Bill taught David directly and so our study is based off this note path. Staggered arpeggios and Slidey licks work to great effect over this classic melody

Week 6 - Goin’ Up the Big Sandy River shows us lots of interesting things like how to employ a minor third over a major chord to create a great Monroe-style bluegrass tonality. We also get a ton of great practice quickly arpeggiating through the 1-4-5 chord pattern of the B part. We use the Kenny Baker Plays Bill Monroe album again for our guide on this tune.

Week 7 - The Watson Blues gives a perfect chance to study how to use a fast tremolo over a blues form. This is one of the most challenging and rewarding studies. To get the nuance and articulation of this study can take a long time, but teaches invaluable essences of Bill’s improvisational palette.

Week 8 - For our Christmas week – we took on two selections: Santa Claus, a great tune in G that has the pre-eminent example of a lick that we have used since the beginning of the course, the “Santa Claus” lick, and Christmas Time’s a Comin’ where Bill shows us how to a marvelous sextuplet triple tremolo to thread with a simple melody for a tremendously textural effect

Week 9 The last four weeks get into some really intense and challenging material. Ebenezer Scrooge is one of the most powerful and epic instrumental tunes of any genre, a true bluegrass masterpiece that Bill wrote after watching The Christmas Carol one night. The opening eighth notes designate the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future in a very dramatic way. This four part tune is a really big lift so to speak and offers us insight in many directions, not the least of which is the careful precision that Bill used to draw his melodic lines and textures. We explore how to generate some of our own creative ideas by modulating our devices in ways that reflect the important melody shape.

Week 10 - Old Daingerfield is one of the most popular Monroe tunes in the modern world. It gets played a lot by traditional and progressive pickers. We dig in deep to study the Master of Bluegrass original recording and the tricky business with the 5 beat C part beginning that has been a mystery for many for a long time. We look at a couple different slight variations that give great insight into how Bill would improvise in subtle ways while remaining right in the heart of the tune. This is a skill that takes a lot of time, patience, study, and practice.

Week 11 -  The Tanyards is one of the deepest and most esoteric tunes in Bill’s catalog. He never recorded it and tapes have circulated for years in the underground amongst the mandoluminati and has been a real favorite study with some of the folks that love Monroe’s music the most. This tune goes from minor to major in a very dramatic way. We look at how to find the melody in different registers and voicing which provide perspective with regard to the different tonalities that can be generated that way.

Week 12 We look at an “easier” classic tune for our last week. That gets quotation marks because Bill’s exact melody lines are anything but easy to understand at first. Southern Flavor is an archetypal melody shape that descends largely from John Henry and reflects some of the Native American tonality that Bill was connected to, the ancient tones thrive in this piece. We learn how to approach the main melody in three different positions for an expansive improvising opportunity.

Songs and Tunes Studied in MSI 3

Lonesome Moonlight Waltz

Bluegrass Stomp

Big Mon

Salt Creek

Turkey In The Straw

Goin Up The Big Sandy River

Watson Blues Santa Clause

Christmas Time's A'Comin

Ebenezer Scrooge

Old Daingerfield

Southern Flavor

The Tanyards

MLin1

Monroe Lineage 1

Classics and More

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In this 12 week course the Monroe Lineage studies continue with Christopher Henry, David McLaughlin and special guest, Mike Compton. Included are note for note videos. hacking teaching videos, demo videos and practice tracks at different speeds. 

Songs and Tunes Studied in

Monroe Lineage 1

Lochwood

Road to Columbus

Tennessee Blues

Paddy on the Turnpike

Jerusalem Ridge

On and On

Feast Here Tonight

The First Whippoorwill

Little Maggie

Little Cabin Home on the Hill 

Will You Be Loving Another Man?

Blue Ridge Cabin Home

Monroe Lineage 2

MLin2

Monore Style Masters

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In this 12 week course the Monroe Lineage studies continue with Christopher Henry, David McLaughlin and special guests Mike Compton and Red Henry. Included are note for note videos. hacking teaching videos, demo videos and practice tracks at different speeds. 

Songs and Tunes Studied in

Monroe Lineage 2

Kentucky Mandolin

Uncle Penn

McKinley's March

Blue Night

Rose of Old Kentucky 

Dusty Miller 

Stoney Lonesome

Midnight on the Stormy Deep

Land of Lincoln

Old Joe Clark

On My Way Back to the Old Home

Pocahontas

John Henry

The Golden West

Monroe Legacy 1

MLeg1

Widening the Circle

In this 12 week course the Monroe Legacy studies continue with Christopher Henry, David McLaughlin and special guest Lauren Price. Included are note for note videos. hacking teaching videos, demo videos and practice tracks at different speeds. 

Songs and Tunes Studied in

Monroe Legacy 1

Wolf Trap Blues

My Sweet Blue Eyed Darlin' 

Roanoke

Little Georgia Rose

Can't You Hear Me Callin'

Wheel Hoss

Travelin' Down This Lonesome Road

Honkey Tonk Swing

Why Did You Wander

Pike County Breakdown

Frosty the Snowman

Jingle Bells

God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman

 

mando.png

Monroe Legacy 2

MLeg2

Forging Ahead

In this 12 week course the Monroe Legacy studies continue with Christopher Henry and David McLaughlin. Included are note for note videos, hacking teaching videos, demo videos and practice tracks at different speeds. 

Songs and Tunes Studied in

Monroe Legacy 2

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Kentucky Waltz

Monroe's Hornpipe

Get Up John

Toy Heart

Earl's Breakdown

Evening Prayer Blues

Is It Too Late Now?

Boston Boy

Walk Softly On This Heart Of Mine

Blue and Lonesome

Tallahassee

Scotland

True Life Blues

Monroe and Beyond 1

MaB1

Embellishing the Tradition

In this 12 week course the Monroe and Beyond studies continue with Christopher Henry, David McLaughlin. Included are note for note videos. hacking teaching videos, demo videos and practice tracks at different speeds. 

Songs and Tunes Studied in

Monroe and Beyond 1

Sitting Alone In The Moonlight

I'd Like To Be Over Yonder

Shenandoah Breakdown

When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again

Walls Of Time

Tombstone Junction

Live and Let Live

Monroe's Blues

Wayfaring Stranger

Crying Holy

Sitting On Top Of The World

The Old Gray Mare Came Tearing 

       Out The Wilderness

Monroe and Beyond 2

MaB2

Unlocking Potential 

In this 12 week course the Monroe and Beyond studies continue with Christopher Henry, David McLaughlin. Included are note for note videos. hacking teaching videos, demo videos and practice tracks at different speeds. 

Songs and Tunes Studied in

Monroe and Beyond 2

Brown County Breakdown

Columbus Stockade Blues

Rawhide

When You Are Lonely

Bluegrass Breakdown

I Wonder Where You Are Tonight

Louisville Breakdown

I Saw The Light

Frog On A Lily Pad

On The Old Kentucky Shore

Trombolin'

Roll On, Buddy

Bill's Dream

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Monroe Style Jamming 1

MSJ1

Branching Out

This course takes a new turn! Instead of deciphering the super challenging note-for-note arrangements of Bill’s tunes, in MSJ 1 students branch out and are encouraged to find their own style incorporating favorite Monroe devices and weave them in and out of the melody to create a flow that is unique. David McLaughlin provides demonstrations and articulates strategies for learning and growing to become a comfortable, confident jammer. Christopher provides a way for beginner to intermediate pickers to understand how to pick out the simple eighth note melodies and turn those into 16th notes. This can also be helpful for more advanced students in navigating the dynamics of learning a basic melody then embellishing it with Monroe Style devices. There are also extemporaneous intermediate and advanced level videos for each selection showing examples of how to use devices with some note-for-note explanation. Each song and tune also comes with a demo/practice track from Christopher so you can see different ways it can all come together at different tempos and then also use the real live rhythm tracks to practice to as an alternative to practice platforms apps.

Songs and Tunes Studied in MSJ1

Your Love Is Like A Flower

Daybreak in Dixie

How Mountain Gals Can Love

Clinch Mountain Backstep 

Sunny Side Of The Mountain

Theme Time

Long Black Veil

Cherokee Shuffle

Why You Been Gone So Long

Rebecca

Farther Along

Grey Eagle

Monroe Style Jamming 2

MSJ2

Synthesizing Style

This course builds off the previous and successful MSJ1. Students are encouraged to continue stretching and develop more proficiency practicing the core devices as each individual's style continues to evolve. Main devices are incorporated and woven throughout the melody in order to spontaneously play breaks that have creative balance and practicality. In this course the student is more expected to be able to pick out the basic melody by listening and by watching David’s wonderful demonstration videos. There are dozens in the course and include various tempos and each song and tune also comes with a demo/practice track from Christopher so you can see different ways it can all come together.

Songs and Tunes Studied in MSJ2

Billy In The Low Ground

Ocean Of Diamonds

Denver Belle

Big Spike Hammer

Foggy Mountain Breakdown

These Old Blues

I'll Love Nobody But You

Sledd Ridin'

Gonna Settle Down 

Red Haired Boy

Take This Hammer

Dixie Hoedown

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