With Book, App, Compositions, Workshops and Classes
String Groove ® is a method created by violinist Edgar Gabriel to teach improvisation and alternative styles to string players. String Groove instructs with a method book, CD, workshops, courses, contests, string ensembles and now the new String Groove App for Apple iPad. The book with CD “String Groove, Ideas For Improvising” is available for violin, viola and cello. Since its publication in 2001, it has become widely recognized and is currently being used by students and teachers around the globe. This book and CD of 12 original tunes are in the styles of: Irish Fiddle, Smooth Jazz, Jazz Blues, Rock, Middle-Eastern, Old-time Fiddle, Salsa, Heavy-Metal, Cajun Fiddle, Rock Blues, Swing Jazz, and Funk.
Both the string student and the professional musician can greatly benefit from this system. It works on two levels of complexity. While it is designed for beginners of improvisation, students must be proficient on their instrument to improvise successfully. Full comprehension of first position on a stringed instrument is required for String Groove's most basic level (Suzuki Book 3 or equivalent). The advanced material may require upper positions and a higher level of technique if the students wish to challenge themselves. String Groove can work for non-stringed instruments such as flute. String teachers will find String Groove ® to be a valuable teaching resource. The book includes instructions and theory to help you perform and improvise in these styles. Relevant background and music history is contained throughout the book. There is also a section about microphones and electronic instruments. String Groove's mascot Mr. Groove, or Mr. G for short, helps you throughout the book to not take improvisation too seriously.
The String Groove book with CD is available from the EGI Store, Amazon.com, Shar Music, JW Pepper and more. The Cd alone is now available for download streaming and purchase.
The String Groove App for iPad is an extension of the String Groove Book. The full version includes 10 tunes (chapters) from the original book with new interactive exercises to help you improvise. There is also an advanced section for each chapter for the accomplished player. Also included are extras such as slower background tracks, tutorial videos and listening. The App can be set to alto and bass clef but defaults to treble clef. The full version is only $2.99 and now a free 'Lite' version is available with one chapter, the rock tune "Attitude". Available at the Apple App Store purchased with the iPad.
WORKSHOPS CLINICS and CLASSES
Edgar is has travelled as far as far as Gothenburg Sweden to teach his String Groove method. From beginning students to seasoned professionals, Edgar motivates all string players and teachers to improvise. Often workshops are combined with a concert for a full interactive experience. Edgar also teaches String Groove Improvisation classes and ensembles at Harper and Elmhurst Colleges in the Chicago area. Contact Edgar about a workshop for your students.
STRING GROOVE ENSEMBLES
String Groove Ensembles are for string students, teachers and professionals who would like to add new (eclectic styles) material to their repertoire. Improvisation sections are included in many of the pieces, however, they can also be performed without improvisation. For more information, audio/video and to download scores of String Groove ensembles see below. The ensembles are only available through the EGI Store.
"Brother Ray" s a 16 Bar Blues. It is inspired by Ray Charles, whom Edgar Gabriel had the honor to work with in the 1990’s. The piece was originally written for String Quartet. When performing with a string ensemble, double stops are not necessary and the parts can be divided. Improvisation is required for this piece. Grade 3.
Watch Lincoln High School Orchestra with Edgar Gabriel under the direction of Monica Hrudik and Joan Geraldson perform Brother Ray.
"La Cuerda Caliente" is an original Mambo for full orchestra. The other String Groove ensembles are for String Orchestra. This work is scored for strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion and piano, Grade level 4. Watch the Elmhurst College Philharmonic perform La Cuerda Caliente.
"Civic Blues" is a String Ensemble work in the Big Band Swing Tradition. It is a minor blues that transitions into Latin Jazz at the bridge. An optional drum part is included. Civic Blues is for advanced middle-school, high school, or professionals who want to add some jazz to their repertoire. Grade Level 3.5. Watch the Vernon Hills High School Jazz Strings with Edgar Gabriel under the direction of Frank Lestina perform Civic Blues.
"Moderato Allegro" is a Third Stream rock string orchestra ensemble. The technical requirements warrant a high school to conservatory students and professionals. "Moderato Allegro" can be played with improvisation or without. The first violin requires sixth position. Grade Level 4. Watch the Vernon Hills High School Jazz Strings with Edgar Gabriel under the direction of Fran Fatta, perform Modrerato Allegro.
"The Heartland Breakdown" is a Country Fiddle Hoe-Down for string quartet or string ensemble. This piece can be performed with improvisation or without. After the themes are stated, each player can play the solo provided in the part, or improvise their own solo. “The Heartland Breakdown” is for advanced middle-school, high school, or professionals who want to add some fiddling to their repertoire. First violins briefly reach fifth position. Grade Level 3.5. Watch the Vernon Hills High School Jazz Strings with Edgar Gabriel under the direction of Fran Fatta, perform The Heartland Breakdown.
"Irish Whiskey" is an Irish jig written for a string quartet. It also sounds wonderful as a string ensemble. It can be performed with or without improvisation. “Irish Whiskey” is for advanced middle-school, high school, or professionals who want to add an Irish Jig to their repertoire. First violins briefly reach fifth position. Grade Level 3.5. Listen to the Third Coast String Quartet perform Irish Whiskey.
"Blue Bows" is an ensemble arrangement for String Orchestra or String Quartet of a Jazz Blues in the book “String Groove, Ideas For Improvising.” The piece requires jazz swing blues improvisation in G. Grade 2. Watch Lincoln High School Orchestra with Edgar Gabriel under the direction of Monica Hrudik and Joan Geraldson.
"The Blarney Stone" is another is another ensemble arrangement for String Orchestra or String Quartet of a song in the book “String Groove, Ideas For Improvising.” This is an easy jig that kids love. It can be played with or without improvisation.
"Fiddle Twinkle" is country fiddle variations of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" in the key of D. This string quartet or ensemble piece is designed for students at the beginner level to play a piece they know with students at higher levels in a fiddle style. Grade level 1-2
"Besame Mucho" is a violin piano arrangement of written for the concert violinist or accomplished student who would like to add a wonderful popular Latin song to their repertoire. The violin part carries the melody embellished with double stops, left hand pizzicato and other extended techniques. The written piano score provides a rhumba rhythm to accompany and enhance violin part. A short solo is also written into the piano part. For convenience, the chord changes are provided in the piano score.
"Theme and Variations for Solo Rock Violin" is a solo violin work for the very advanced student or professional. This piece was written for violinist Rachel Barton Pine. Edgar wrote this as Rachel requested a solo rock work for acoustic violin. Listen to Rachel Barton Pine perform Theme and Variations for Solo Rock Violin.
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Feel free to download any of these scores. You can purchase the parts at the EGI Store.
Watch this segment from "Ben Around Town" Chicago Public Television.