Beginning Upright Bass (1-2) - Topics covered in this class include getting a good sound with minimum stress, finding the notes on the fingerboard, keeping steady time, playing in tune, and playing appropriately (while having fun) in a variety of musical settings.
Intermediate Country Bass (2-3) - Focusing on Honky-Tonk, Western Swing, and Rockabilly styles, we'll study how to hear, outline, and connect chords using two-beat and walking bass patterns. Attention will be given to playing supportively, energetically, and simply.
Beginning Fiddle for Guitarists (or anyone else) (1-2) - Dive into the fretless, pickless world of the fiddle! We'll start with the basics. Which piece goes in what hand how? What finger goes where when? Then on to the simple secrets of tone production. Finally we'll pull it all together into a tune or two by the end of the week. Bring a working fiddle and bow and a tape recorder.
Intermediate Fiddle (2-3) - If you can get around easily in first position and have some tunes under your belt already, then you're ready to explore some of the techniques that make it sound like a fiddle. We'll cover drones, double stops, pulses, bowings, and more, all in the context of the tunes where they live. Arcane secrets revealed! Bring a working fiddle and bow and a tape recorder.
Uke Fun for Everyone (1-4) - We'll start with the basic chord forms and simple right-hand rhythms and play a lot, from fiddle tunes to Tin Pan Alley to swing. You can use one of our collection of ukuleles and banjo-ukes, or you can bring your own.
Intro to Flatpicking (2) - Learn how to hold onto that darn thing and accompany yourself and others. We'll cover the basics, including "boom-chuck" backup, alternating bass notes, simple bass runs, and the wonderful world of strums.
Beginning Singing (1-2) - You have always wanted to know more about your singing voice. You love to sing but feel shy and insecure. Fret no more! This is your chance to learn the techniques of singing, breathing, voice-placement, etc. in a comfortable and supportive environment. Please bring familiar songs for use in class.
Intermediate Singing and Performance (2-4) - Bring your songs and we'll explore both singing and performance techniques. This is a class for the "somewhat" through "very" experienced singer.
Songwriting (2-4) - Okay, the point is not that this is a psychic thrill ride (complete with Bob's patented safety bars); the point is that you have many wonderful songs within you and, like most of us, you need a few directions to the place in which they start offering themselves to you. We're all in this together, and we all help each other along. If you need nuts and bolts, we can oblige; if you need a benign and supportive kick in the butt, we can give you that, too. Bob supplies the maps, asks the questions, and negotiates the assignments; you write the songs, and damn, they're good ones.
Bob's Cheap Guitar Tricks (Guitar for Singer-songwriters) (2-3) - Learn enough guitar to escape the Kumbaya syndrome in one week! Bob Franke is an incredibly lazy guitarist: so how does he write songs in all those different styles? When he performs, why do you forget that he has no accompanist? Why does he exhibit no shame in using a capo EVEN IN GUITAR CAMP? The needs of a solo performer require much attention to the bass strings and much use of open strings; a songwriter needs enough understanding of the guitar to gain a varied musical palette. This will be a _lot_ of information going by very quickly, but the techniques are all so simple you'll amaze friends and strangers alike, and the other teachers in camp will forgive the bad attitudes I'm teaching you because at last, the songwriters will stop playing in the rhythm that Peter, Paul and Mary established 35 years ago. You'll learn the tools to play (and write, if you like) in blues, rock, and country idioms, learn the basic open tuning and slide techniques, and doggone it, you'll sound good. If you don't need to be a virtuoso but could use a little respect from the virtuosi, this is a good course for you.
Folkie People Magazine (1-4) - Songs about people reveal lots about us all; besides, gossip is such fun! Learn about real and almost real characters: heros and heroines, lovers and losers, nonconformists and nobodies. Enlarge your repertoire and impress your friends. Learn great stuff that's not in Rise Up Singing.
Make Friends with Your Metronome (2-3) - Optimize your practice time. Learn exercises to strengthen your hands fast. Learn to use your metronome to speed your learning of new rhythms and tunes. Use it to keep a running record of your progress.
Intro to Swing Guitar (3) - We'll examine the movable chord forms used to play popular music of the 30s and 40s. These chords make it easy to play in any key and, with the right-hand rhythm, let you swing with the best of them.
Swing Accompaniment (3-4) - This class is designed for those players familiar with movable chord forms. We'll look at voicings and moving bass lines that work best when accompanying vocalists and other soloists.
Roots to Rock: the Evolution of Country Music (1-4) - Learn the standards as well as the obscure, from old-time to honky-tonk and rockabilly. Don't be left out when it's time to jam!
Back Up and Push: Rhythm Guitar for Beginners (2-3) - Learn basic rhythm techniques for bluegrass, honky-tonk, hillbilly, and swing. We may also cover some basic latin and finger-picking patterns. You should be able to move easily from one chord to another.
Bluegrass Lead (3-4) - Explore the main components of lead guitar in a bluegrass/country setting: fiddle tunes, crosspicking, and the blues. We'll use these techniques to construct solos and devise variations to existing melodies--the prelude to improvising. All questions of technique, timing, tone, and taste will be discussed at length.
Swing Lead (3-4) - The Swing Lead class will concentrate on learning the vocabulary of the great swing soloists. We'll learn some swing era solos and study the harmonic and theoretical concepts they imply. We'll also work on the nuances of phrasing and "how to swing," as well as the basic theory needed to begin improvising in the swing style.
Travis Style Thumbpicking (3-4) - Fingerpicking and Travis-picking are not the same. Learn the things that are different in Travis style picking from other styles of fingerpicking. Work on developing a strong thumb lick, use of thumb-over-the-neck chords, and different types of rolls and drags.
Travis Style Thumbpicking Repertoire (2-4) - You don't necessarily need to play thumbpicking style, but we'll play those songs that fit so well with thumbpicking - Merle Travis tunes, old pop standards, early jazz, they're all good for thumbpicking. This will be a fun-type class.
Melodic Fingerstyle (3-4) - As Chet Atkins says, "the idea is to sound like two lousy guitarists playing together." We'll start with a simple melody and add a simple bass part (the second guitarist). This is a great way to start doing your own arrangements on fingerstyle guitar.
Advanced Fingerstyle (4) - The two lousy guitarists have improved; now they're playing more complex tunes, like Miss the Mississippi, a great waltz in a setting that includes singing, interesting bass lines, and some of the licks from Lani McIntyre's Hawaiians in the middle.
Hearing Chord Changes (2) - Use what your ears already know to recognize chord changes and harmonic structures in tunes and songs. We'll mostly play and sing but will do some music theory.
A Melody a Day (3-4) - Focus on hearing melodies and making them beautiful on your instrument. For people who like to (or would like to learn how to) play and listen at the same time.
Folk Songs (1-4) - We'll concentrate on songs that invite participation: old and new favorites that are immensely singable and enjoyable. From the philosophical to the satirical, we'll cover humorous tales with twists of fate, songs of requited and unrequited love, songs of the mountains and the seas, and others that are just plain fun to sing. You're welcome to come to relax and sing, to learn new songs, to listen or to practice playing in a jamming situation. You can choose to participate in all 5 sessions or drop in as needed as a respite from a more brain-draining class. We'll be concentrating on covering a lot of material each day, but will also take time to review some of the songs covered in the previous day's class.
Beginning Guitar (1) - This is a class for the complete beginner or the very-nearly-so beginner. We will get started by learning a couple of chords and then use some familiar songs to practice them. By adding just a few more chords and a few basic strums you'll watch your song-playing options increase dramatically. You'll learn how to change the chords in a song or tune from one key to another and how to use a few easy techniques to spruce up your playing.
Stagecraft: the Power of Presence (1-4) - Presence is "being there," undistracted, alive to each moment on the stage. We'll work with instruments, voices, sound system, the stage itself, and being present in the rehearsed and unrehearsed moment. Work towards your own goal in a supportive and challenging environment. Make a powerful connection with your audience through your music and have a blast!
Momentum Songwriting (2-4) - Learn to avoid getting stuck and/or unduly precious in your efforts. Here are the rules: write a song a day (bad songs are okay). Choose from two different daily assignments or anything else that you come up with. Let it be messy. Let things be unresolved. Let yourself be surprised by the quantity and quality of inspiration inside and all around you.