• Classes

  • Winter Weekend 2018

The use of a dulcimer capo yields rich possibilities for pitches and patterns and dramatic shifts in voicing.  I’ll bring a few extra capos and loaner dulcimers.   Novice/beginner players are welcome to observe, and be coached as time allows.

All instruments welcome, and singers too, as we give fresh voice to some great music.  Listening skills and playing by ear will be encouraged.

The Emerald Necklace. Anyone can learn to play this little finger-style tune of mine, complete with the right-hand harmonics. Along the way, you will pick up a great deal of understanding about the fingerboard, and about tone control. There’s hammering-on and pulling-off, slurs and other handy little tricks. No fingerpicking experience is necessary, but a…

For players with some experience and a key of C harp, come learn techniques that will have you bringing out the blues.

Hear some lovely music and learn about this ancient instrument.  There will be an opportunity for individual hands-on time if you would like to try playing, and if you have your own harp, bring it along.

Part presentation, with some playing time too.  (Wanna-be harp players, we’ll have some available for purchase at the WAMW store.)

Enjoy the claw-hammer style banjo.  Leave the session with a new or perhaps a renewed grasp of the basics of five-string banjo. My gravity-fed teaching style will get you playing before you know it.

John Doerschuk, soundman extraordinaire, will coach three sessions for folks who want hands-on performance experience at the microphone.

An innovative all-inclusive music workshop featuring my original music compositions.  We will integrate tunes, spoken word, rhythms and groove into a frenzy of heartfelt music.  Bring instruments (any level), voices, and percussion. Come experience how tone and movement weave a groove for the human soul.

Singing is fun! Inside each of us lives a beautiful and unique instrument.  In this workshop, we will move our bodies, soften our hearts, open our mouths and let our voices out to play!

There is a process to building your capacity to extemporize solos on guitar. We’ll explore how to overlay a I-IV-V progression with improvised soloing derived from minor and major pentatonic scales and fragments of chord forms, and perhaps also talk about building improvisations over more complex progressions.

Students should have at least some minimal finger-picking experience. You will need a bottleneck slide of any material. Make sure it fits comfortably over the pinky of your fretting hand. Session 1 – basic bottleneck slide techniques and open tunings with a few open-tuning arrangements, working from simpler tunes to a more intermediate level. Session…

What song structures are available for us when writing social (marching) tunes?  If you are considering writing this type of song, or have some songs you have written but are not satisfied with yet, come on along!

We will be talking about the “craft” of songwriting or “building” a song after the initial creative impulse. What are some specific tools we can use to “fix” our songs and know when they’re complete?

Southern Two-finger Old Time Banjo. “Southern” means black-influenced, with more attention to rhythm and less to harmony than “Northern” styles, more thwock than ring, in banjo terms. My style (for want of a better word) is called “RockaFolky” because it unabashedly goes from picking Will the Circle Be Unbroken to Not Fade Away.

This is our time to create songs from a place of freedom, flow and fun. Using games and prompts, we will practice being in and writing in “non-edit” mode and see where each of us is led.  Jump on in…the water is fine!

I will teach the bass from the ground up – from how to hold it (whatever form of the bass you bring), to playing a tune within the class period!  Feel how bass tones shake the earth.

With a handful of chords, a pick and a strum, you can begin playing real music on the guitar in the first few minutes of your first lesson. That’s really all there is to playing the guitar: pick ’n’ strum. We can get ever more refined and elaborate with it – but we don’t have…

Some experience in basic fingerpicking will be helpful for this look at coordinating a thumping, single-note bass part with more complex melodic and accompaniment treble passages, including string-damping techniques to get the familiar bluesy ‘deadhead’ bass sound. I’ll be trying to shed some light on the sounds of players such as Lightnin’ Hopkins, Mance Lipscomb…

How to claim space on stage and be in the beautiful and exciting moment of performance.  I will provide a safe and supportive atmosphere, concentrating on the vocal aspect of performance.

Narrative songwriting is learning how to craft the song without getting in the way of the story. Letting the story tell the story and the music carry it along, you never know where you might end up!

We’ll assess the skills each player in the room can bring, and figure out how to utilize them as well as discuss what to add/how, why, and when.