Chapter 1 - How to Hold the Bones
Chapter 2 - Beginning Rhythms
Chapter 3 - Another Good Lick (Pickup Notes)
Chapter 4 - Triplets
Chapter 5 - Quadruplets
Chapter 6 - Putting Things Together
Chapter 7 - The Off-Beat
Chapter 8 - Finishing Touches
Click HERE to view the 'Bones Unlimited' book
Before you begin this course, make sure you want to learn the percussive style of rhythm bones playing. There are two general styles of bones playing, traditional like the Irish and many others play with lots of triplets, and percussive which uses taps in much the same way a drummer does. Fred wrote the book titled 'Bones Unlimited' to teach his percussive style, and it is rich in structured exercises. He then made a video to demonstrate the exercises in the book. The book and video are the only known instructional materials that teach the percussive style. (The only other comparable instructional video with lots of structured exercises is by Aaron Plunkett, and he teaches the traditional style. Click HERE to see a preview. Another great traditional style video is 'How to Play the Bones' by master player Percy Danforth. Currently it is only available as a video tape, but click HERE to see an excerpt. )
Click HERE to see Fred demonstrate the percussive style. Then skim through the other videos in the Instruction section on this website, particularly the Bones Fest Worskhop videos, and look at videos in Mike Passerotti's YouTube Summary. While neither the traditional or percussive style is better, a combination of the two gives the rhythm bones player a lot of tools to play music. The percussive style lends itself to almost any kind of music and rhythm. As the name suggests, the traditional style has been around for maybe thousands of years.
The book and video are divided into the chapters shown above. Click HERE and the book in PDF format will appear in a separate browser tab so you can go back and forth between the video and the book. It will be easier to learn if your browser will let you 'open the book tab in a new window.' Then you can resize both windows, place them side by side or one on top and one on bottom, and can see both the video and the book simultaneously. Use Adobe 'Find' function to locate chapters or exercises in the book.
The videos have frequent chapter marks meaning you can use your next/previous buttons to skip/backup the video. The backup feature can be used to repeat an exercise. (Note: the adding of chapter marks is a work in progress, and will be completed as fast as possible.)
Bones Unlimited was initially produced and marketed in four separate book/video sets. Later these were combined into a single book and video. Following Fred's death, his widow sold the rights and inventory to Jim Meyer who later donated them to the Rhythm Bones Society.
Copyright 2007-2011 by The Rhythm Bones Society. All Rights Reserved.
Please join the Rhythm Bones Society, and help us continue efforts like this to keep rhythm bones alive for the next generation. Click HERE to join.