Basic Bare-hands Guitar (1) - We'll learn how to accompany over 100 songs by ear with only 3 chords and a few strums. Plus we'll learn how to hold and play the guitar to minimize risk of long-term injury and how to get the most from practice time.
Fingerpatterns: the Basic Song Accompaniment Toolkit (2) - Play guitar while you sing, without a songbook! Customize your playing with a variety of fingerpicking patterns. Learn secrets of playing by ear, mastering the F chord, and playing with others. If you can already play EADGC chords and keep a steady rhythm, this class is for you.
Tropical Guitar (3-4) - Expand your rhythmic horizons with African-based rhythms of the Caribbean. Using simple chords we'll learn at least one easy progression per day including calypso, ska, tango, rhumba, and mazurka. Concepts such as polyrhythms, projection, damping, and dynamics will add to your jam session toolbox as you learn new ways of hearing rhythm. If time permits we will include a Hawaiian slack key tune.
Chord Variations and Hot Guitar (3-4) - Gain a new understanding of how blues, jazz, and swing really work; use black fingerpicking, ragtime, and early jazz styles to bridge the gap between "folk" and "swing." We'll learn many new versions of chords and study syncopated picking techniques, expanding your right and left hand repertoire.
Introducing the blues (2-3) - Want to add blues sounds to your music and blues songs to your repertoire? We'll learn an assortment of song styles, focusing on chords, licks, progressions, and turnarounds that characterize that alluring "blue" sound; then we'll sing and play them and have fun.
More blues guitar (3-4) - This class will challenge the intermediate to accomplished guitarist. The songs will range from modern to classic blues, from uptown B.B. King-style songs that use bar-chords to rough-hewn Lightning Hopkins-style tunes. We'll work on chords, riffs, turnarounds, and solos.
Introduction to Fingerstyle Technique (2-3) - For beginners who want to explore fingerstyle technique, this course will introduce basic fingerpicking using solid principles that can later apply to classical, folk, country, or jazz. Our emphasis will be on troubleshooting problems as they arise, relaxation, and avoiding injury.
Fingerstyle Options (3-4) - For fingerstyle players already comfortable with alternating patterns, Fingerstyle Options provides a survey of some basic style and repertoire options for further exploration. Simple and intermediate arrangements and techniques will be presented and studied to demonstrate folk, ragtime, and classical approaches as well as arrangements of some well-known fingersytlists.
A Basic Approach To Improvisation (3-4) - We'll learn how to make sense of chord progressions and what works or doesn't work when playing over them. We'll start with simple concepts and examples, such as songs with three, four, maybe five chords, and progress from there. We'll address some of the most frequently asked questions, such as "Why can't I play one scale over an entire chord progression?" or "How can I make my solos sound like more than just scales and arpeggios?" We'll take the basic melody of a song and use that as a springboard for approaching all soloing.
Jazz Vocal Harmony (2-4) - Stretch your musical horizons by learning three- and four- part vocal arrangements that engage and intrigue the heart, soul, and mind. We will sing arrangements of beautiful standards by Ellington, Cole Porter, Antonio Carlos Jobim, and other American and Brazilian composers.
Flatpicking Accompaniment (2-3) - Learn how to accompany yourself and others with strums, rhythm patterns, and interlocking lines. We'll use flatpick and pick-and-fingers techniques to explore these concepts.
Dobro Nation (2-4) - Join the dobro nation! Learn some tunes and techniques, delve into bluegrass, blues, and old-time country, come to view the dobro as a life-style, not merely a musical instrument.
Swinging Vocal Duets (2-4) - Bing Crosby & Rosemary Clooney, Betty Carter & Ray Charles, Sarah Vaughan & Billy Eckstine - these are some of the vocal pairings that took place during the era of popular music around the 40s and 50s. We'll listen to duets by these and other artists and try to capture their flavor in our own renditions--both in group singing, and in pairs (optional). No music reading required, just a good ear and the ability to sing back what you hear. (By the way, we won't concern ourselves with gender; gals can sing guy parts and vice-versa.)
Intro to Swing Guitar (3) - Get that distinctive swing sound using movable chord forms all over the guitar neck and throw your capo away! Intro to Swing Guitar will focus on rhythm backup (as opposed to solo lead playing) so you can accompany yourself or others. Some basic theory will be included.
Party Guitar (1-3) - Be the life of any party with this collection of unplugged classics. Each day we'll learn two to four songs, mostly golden oldies with a few obscure gems thrown in. You don't even need a guitar for this class (of course, it couldn't hurt).
It Sounds So Sweet: Jug Band Music (1-3) - Learn why jug bands from the early black jug bands to the 60s revival white bands agreed "It's hard to beat." It's easy to play and it's fun! You can join the LLFRJS (Lower Lake Flora Ragtime Jug Stompers) as a singer, guitarist, jug-player, kazooist, or... you name it; all are welcome.
Fingerstyle Accompaniment (3-4) - We'll learn a number of strums and picking patterns suitable for accompanying fiddle tunes, folk songs, blues, and some South American styles. Along the way, we'll also pick up some left-hand voicings suitable to the different styles.
Expanding Your Chordal Vocabulary (3) - Working in a variety of musical styles, we'll learn songs and tunes that use chords other than I, IV, and V. We'll also concentrate on building skills in transposition and identifying chord changes by ear.
Basic Flatpicking (2) - By hand and by ear, we'll begin to lay down a foundation using a flatpick. With simple country songs and folk music we'll learn fundamental picking and strumming techniques applicable to all kinds of music. Never again will you panic when someone says "Let's pick!"
Simply Melody (3-4) - Working deliberately by ear, we'll explore some single string melodies on the guitar. Using both hands and all sides of the brain, you'll create the tone, pulse, and continuity that will make your guitar sing.
Whole Body Singing (1-2) - Finding, releasing and enjoying your natural voice, for the shy, shower stall, or silent singer! Don't let that gradeschool experience dampen your song! Discover how your body is designed to sing, is born an instrument, destined for music. Be prepared to shed inhibitions, improvise, be supported and support others, and create beautiful sound, harmony and celebratory noise.
Creative Sparks from Ancient Fires (1-4) - The art of songwriting is rooted in mythic dimensions, the vital teachings across generations, the passing on of wisdom and stories that remind us of who we are and can be. In this open songwriters circle we'll discuss the craft and soul of songwriting--listening to, singing, and writing songs that capture essential truths and teachings--songs we would want to give to our children's children.
Vocal Technique (1-4) - This is a class for the singer wanting to brush up on the basics, breath support, and techniques for producing a healthy sound and good tone. We'll also devote some time to vocal troubleshooting and application to repertoire.
Unusual Vocal Repertoire (3-4) - Let's learn some tunes! With a focus on solo repertoire _not_ in the mainstream, from folk to Brazil to pop to jazz, we'll cover them all. Curious?
The Art of Becoming a Ham (1-4) - In this hands-on class we'll take turns getting up in front of the class every day. We'll develop confidence, focus, and our sense of fun with mental preparation concerning breath, attention, anecdote preparation, "presentness," doing our best work, body-rhythm connection, getting comfortable, and "taking the turf when it's ours." Class size will be limited to maximize participation.
The Instrumental Components of Songwriting (2-4) - This class will consist of exercises with your instrument (musical of course!) with the intent of broadening our horizons, blasting ourselves out of ruts, and creating inspiration through bold forays into the void: Chords, rhythm, form, thematic repetition, and melody, in an all-new updated 1998 curriculum! The lyric is one way to convey meaning; the music itself is another. Innovative musical ideas can strengthen the lyrical statement.
Beginner Bass (1-2) - Start right at the beginning with bass holding, carrying, care, and feeding; names of strings; and the similarities to other instruments (e.g. guitar). We'll learn basic scales and chord patterns, camp songs, and, if time allows, some simple blues.
Swing Bass (2-4) - This class is designed to give you all you need to know to create and play great walking bass lines. We'll work on scales, modes, chord spelling, etc. and then we'll connect the dots to make swinging, cohesive lines. We'll learn examples of great bass lines and patterns and set you up so you can create your own.