Earlier this spring, cellist Bryan Wilson (Music BFA 2011) released String Jams, a new book series for string instruments (violin, viola, and cello), available in both beginner and advanced editions.
Each book includes high-quality backing tracks for each song in varying tempos, recordings of each song recorded by Wilson, detailed information about improvisational approaches, improvisation cheat sheets and loop tracks, and more.
Beginner String Jams includes sheet music for eight original songs, each in different musical genres, including hip-hop, synthpop, and hard rock. On Wilson’s official website, the book is described as “perfect for players looking to go beyond the classical realm to become familiar playing and improvising in a multitude of styles.” The beginner edition is recommended for string players with at least two to three years of experience on the instrument.
Advanced String Jams is similarly structured, and includes 16 original songs in 15 contemporary genres. The advanced edition is recommended for string players with at least five to six years of experience on the instrument.
To listen to some of Wilson’s accompaniment tracks from the books, check out the String Jams playlist on YouTube.
Wilson is a cellist, composer, educator, and former member of the NYC-based post-rock band You Bred Raptors. He has performed across North America, and has taught composition and chamber music courses at various institutions, including CalArts’ Community Arts Partnership (CAP). His debut album, Oso Perezoso, combines his classical music upbringing with hip-hop elements, and was inspired by his family. In 2011, Wilson released Cello Chords, a comedic catalog of the instrument’s various chords, shortly after graduating from CalArts.