Songwriting (1-3) - This class is designed to stoke your songwriting creativity, especially at the where-to-begin point.
Songwriting (2-4) - This class is designed to stoke your songwriting creativity, especially at the where-to-go-next point. In either of these songwriting classes there's plenty to learn and to try, no matter what experience you have or have not had with songwriting. You'll have loads of company whether you're an old hand, or are writing your first tune.
Carter Family Songs & Stylings (1-3) - The first family of country music collected, composed, and recorded a wealth of wonderful songs. This class will survey their repertoire and recreate their precious harmonies and arrangements. Expect to sing a lot in this class.
Early Days of Bluegrass (2-4) - Bill Monroe and His Bluegrass Boys gave form to the musical style we now call "bluegrass" about 1945. Early Days of Bluegrass will survey the bands that helped create and popularize bluegrass music in the decade that followed. Expect to sing a lot in this class, too.
Rhythm Guitar (2-3) - We'll explore the myriad ways to play rhythm guitar within the basic boom-chick (bass note & strum) framework. Included will be basic base note combinations, quarter-note runs, eighth-note runs, upper-position three- and four- string chords, and perhaps even a peek at Texas backup.
Fiddle Tunes and Variations (3-4) - In this class we'll use three or four standard tunes to explore what can be done with variations. We'll learn alternate versions that are still faithful to the tune, but that say a little more and go a little further.
Bluegrass Banjo (2-3) - Build a solid foundation with basic rolls and chords and then move on to simple songs and steady backup in the first few days of this class. Later we will create new arrangements with interesting backups and will explore melodic and bluesy banjo styles.
The ABCs of Flatpicking (2) - Learn how to get the most out of your pick. This class will start with simple backup and progress to bass runs and melodic flatpicking. Be prepared to play a lot in this class.
Hands-on Music Theory (2-3) - You already know more music theory than you realize. We'll use the music theory you already know to expand the usefulness of the chords you already play. We'll review the theory in case you've "forgotten" it.
Fingerstyle Christmas (3-4) - We'll learn an assortment of Christmas solos in time to perfect them for the holidays. Music and TAB will be provided so we can learn several tunes without having to memorize them.
Stagecraft, the Next Frontier (1-4) - Scared stiff or just shy when it comes to sharing your music? Need some tips on using microphones, performing alone or with a band and feeling comfortable when all eyes (and ears) are on you? In a supportive atmosphere we'll deal with all this and more.
Rookie Guitar (1) - Surprise yourself and come home from camp playing the guitar! While we're having fun, we'll cover enough basics to give you a solid start by learning strums, some great songs and a few tricks to add style to your playing.
Swing Lead (3-4) - An important part of improvising is learning how to think harmonically. Using standards, we'll learn to recognize chord progressions that occur frequently in countless songs and spot the key centers within them. Using the CAGED system, we'll learn some practical scale/arpeggio fingerings that always work on these chord progressions. Finally, we'll learn how to recognize and use chord extensions and alterations.
Swing Rhythm (3-4) - Using swing/jazz standards as examples we'll examine the most often seen chord progressions that occur in hundreds of songs and learn practical guitar chord shapes that work well within them. Just a few different fingerings for the four basic chord types will give you fifteen to twenty chord voicings that are easy to grab and sound great. We'll have some theory discussion, but mostly we'll be playing.
Beginning Mandolin (1-2) - In this class we'll learn the basics for playing mandolin: right- and left- hand technique, simple chord forms, and scale patterns. We'll also learn several simple but interesting tunes in a variety of styles. This is an ideal class for guitarists who want to learn a new instrument.
Bluegrass Mandolin (2-3) - We'll build the techniques needed to play solos and backup confidently in a bluegrass band -- techniques such as tremolo, double stops, tone production, and the rhythm chop. We'll also take a look at different keys, noting the unique opportunities that each presents for soloing.
Women In American Music (1-4) - This is a listening and repertoire class, exploring the many women in blues, jazz, and country music of the 20s through 50s. I'll provide lyric sheets for the songs and talk about the lives and contexts of the performers. In class we'll listen to the originals, with a different focus each day, Blues, Jazz Piano Players, Tin Pan Alley, and Hillbillies. As with the many songs written by men and performed by women, this music is not gender-specific.
Blues Songs with More Than Three Chords (3-4) - Learn fingerstyle arrangements of piano based classic blues tunes from the 20s and 30s, some from downhome musicians like Louise Johnson, some from more sophisticated sources like Thomas Dorsey and Georgia White. We'll listen to the originals in class, and work on a different song each day.
Learning Fingerstyle via the Country Blues (3) - Designed for those comfortable with patterns and simple melodies but ready to break out of the constraints of these simpler techniques, this class will use transcriptions of Country Blues classics taken from old masters such as Mississippi John Hurt, Blind Blake, and Rev. Gary Davis. Requirements are: comfort with/mastery of the aforementioned fingerstyle patterns and simple melodic arrangements, solid basic left-hand skills. Barre chords (or the ability to use thumb in lieu thereof) are a plus.
Fingerstyle Grooves - (Beyond Alternating Bass) (3-4) - Explore music in styles not typically associated with fingerstyle playing. Learn concepts, techniques, and approaches for creating satisfying solo or accompaniment arrangements in these styles. Genres will include: blues; r&b; pop; and possibly even some hard-rock. Requirements are: comfort with intermediate - advanced melodic fingerstyle arrangements and a willingness to play in class.
Didjeridoo (or Yidaki) (1-4) - Make, play, and decorate your own didjeridoo. We'll attempt to illuminate 40,000 years of Australian aboriginal tradition in 6 hours of class. Come and learn circular breathing--it could change your life!
The Lagerphone and the Australian Folk Tradition (1-4) - You'll make a fair dinkum (genuine) Aussie rhythm stick out of beer bottle caps and then explore the rich colonial folk song and dance tradition from down under.
Swing Cafe: Course One (3) - Hot to jam, but still in a pickle? Don't be chicken, get pickin' with this moveable feast of high-calorie harmonies. Simmer serenely along the surface of the fingerboard, on frets past five and chords beyond 7. Nourish your technique with slow-cured standards played chord by chord, and finger by finger. No corn on this menu, just an evergreen salad, with 100% fat-free arrangements. Tasty!
Beyond I-IV-V: hearing and understanding chord progressions (3) - If your heart whispers "Body and Soul", but your fingers answer "Old MacDonald", it's time to get the rest of you over to this class. We'll use ear training techniques to learn new tunes more easily and memorize them more effectively. Theory exercises to find the right chords faster in a jam. Chord embellishment to add color and variety to your accompaniment. And how to recognize chord progressions more quickly, and locate them more accurately. Practical examples from folk, country, blues, and swing.
Cowboy Songs (1-4) - This class will consist of sharing cowboy songs for participants to collect (record) and learn at a later date. Song sheets will be provided (lyrics and chords) although exact arrangements will be left to participants' own tastes and abilities. Appropriate arrangement techniques for different styles in the genre (i.e. traditional versus hollywood) will be discussed. The instructor will present the bulk of the material and participants will each be invited to present one song a day as well. At least 50 songs will be presented.
Beginning Finger Picking (2) - Learn right-hand picking patterns and bass runs and how to employ these tools for finger-style accompaniment for singing or melody instruments. We'll also learn several easy finger-style arrangements in which the thumb of the right hand plays a bass line while the index finger (also of the right hand) plays the melody simultaneously and at the same time!
Getting Started with Voice (1-2) - Each of us has a unique voice, shaped by physiology, genes, and environment. Locating your voice may take you outside mainstream conventions of what a "good voice" is like. We'll explore useful techniques -- including some from world music -- to break down barriers and start you on that path.
Music in Motion (1-4) - This class will get you on your feet and playing music while you walk. Using two different tropical percussion ensembles (Brazilian batucada drums and Indonesian tuned bamboo angklung), we'll have a blast learning to feel the rhythms in our bodies.