• Classes

  • Week Two 2020

Advancing Beginner Guitar is for players who know their basic guitar chords and not much else. We’ll get up the neck a bit, try out some tunings, fool around with rhythm and fingerpicking basics, and learn some shortcuts and cheap tricks. Bring a capo and a favorite song or tune.

We’ll take some melodies that you already know, put them on the guitar in the treble, and then add a bass accompaniment to create a solo arrangement. This is an empirical approach, intending to supply the technique of solo fingerstyle from the ground up.

The usual method of learning the style is to copy existing arrangements from the old masters, yet the blues is really an improvised form. We’ll take it from the beginning, learning the basics of how to create your own arrangements and improvisation. Basic fingerstyle skills are a prerequisite.

In this class, we will explore the elements of flatpicking from the basic down-up right hand delivery, to cross-picking, rhythm ideas and back-up guitar techniques. This class will strive for a relaxed atmosphere which will encourage a non-competitive and musical experience in order to show how much fun this very conversational style of guitar playing…

Playing familiar songs right from the start, we will learn the basic tools for song accompaniment and playing with others. We’ll cover the basic chords, learn which chords commonly go together, and practice changing chords in rhythm. During the week, we will learn basic strumming styles and will touch on simple music theory and other…

Lorraine will introduce (or perhaps re-introduce) you to your five-string banjo.  We’ll cover position and tuning, how to play simple chords and lead lines, and draw out repertoire from the legacy of Southern Mountain women whose music offers a strong and barely tapped resource.   Bring a playable instrument.

This class is intended to introduce basic techniques, styles and approaches to the use of the harmonica in blues and folk music. Topics covered include: breathing, playing in both 1st and 2nd positions, bends, trills, tremolo, rhythmic comping and other effects. Students are required to bring at least one harmonica in the key of C,…

Take a leap from basic harmonica and start moving toward difficult techniques: cross harping and more advanced work in different effects. Bring what you know, share with others and learn new ways to play! 

This class is for old-time banjo players who have a basic handle on the claw-hammer style — the fundamental right-hand technique, maybe some drop-thumbing and the ability to play a basic repertoire of tunes up to speed. We’ll go from there to look at some classic techniques and tunes specific to southern old-time styles, including…

Since the dawn of man, the rhythm bones have passed from hand to hand through generations to become one of the most widely played instruments in the world. After many travels the bones made their way to America and became an integral part of American popular music. Come learn a bit more about the history…

Filling in the Cracks is for any guitar players who do OK but want to spiff it up, for old folkies needing to lose bad habits, for more experienced players looking for a technical boost, or for any who have nothing else to do that period. We’ll get you to play just like yourself, only…

Find the calm and peaceful center in the eye of the storm….in the eye of the energy of expression. How to claim the space around the beautiful and exciting moment of presenting your song and transmitting your message! Sloan will be offering tools for preparing and practicing songs and will give individual attention to each…

Three Strings, No Waiting: Playing swing rhythm is big fun and easier than you think.  Using a few easy chords and right- and left-hand techniques, you can start comping your way to four-beat heaven.  We’ll learn the basic three-finger chord fingerings, the best way to move from one chord to the next and the simple…

Let’s take a look at the mysterious and magnificent mandolin. We’ll cover the rhythm chops and comping as well as tremolo, hammer ons, pull offs and other fun ornamentation to include in your improvising as well as learn a cool tune or two to try stuff out on. The class will feature written material, so…

Same four string pitches, one has a bow, the other frets and a pick.  This class welcomes both instruments and the people who play – or want to play them! We could explore Old-Time, Cajun, Quebecois (or other northern) tunes, playing back-up chords, and singing with your instrument. Other topics are possible depending on class…

I’m a specialist in rhythm guitar with an emphasis on getting a “full band” sound out of a single instrument. We’ll use a workshop format to focus on specific songs that you’d like to take to the next level. I’ll be teaching easy techniques that will lead to instant gratification.

Sing for energy and sing for joy. We’ll sing great songs that are easy to learn, and the class will include plenty of vocal warm-ups and wake-ups. Everyone welcome.

Who is your performing self?  How can you find a way to take charge of the moment?  I love working with people to help them find their best self on stage. Come sing a song, and we will work together to help you become more comfortable and more effective in your performance. We can view our time on…

Inside each of us lives a beautiful and unique instrument, so let’s sing together with joy and freedom! In this workshop we will move our bodies, soften our hearts, open our mouths and let our voices out to play. With a concentration on the breath and an emphasis on vocal health and self-care, we’ll use…

The distinctive sound of blues being playing on guitar with a bottleneck slide has its roots in Hawaii, the Diddley bow and its one-stringed ancestors in Africa. In this class, we will study the proper technique for holding a slide and intonation. We will begin with the first known bottleneck style recording by Sylvester Weaver…

Over the course of two decades, Maura Kennedy has written and co-written over a hundred songs as a member of The Kennedys including some, like “Stand” and “Life is Large”, that have become classics in the contemporary folk canon. Her lyrical and melodic style have a quality of uplift and encouragement, and her longtime work…

As songwriters, we often approach songwriting as serious business. What if it was a game? Here’s a chance to open the window and let a fresh breeze blow through. What happens when we remove our inner critic from the equation? Maybe we find beginner’s mind—and a little surprise inside the box to take home. Everyday…

We will learn real world sound skills and wander through some “big picture” theory without getting too technical. Much of what makes good sound is really basic: beat back hums and buzzes, set up your stage well, monitor levels in the right places, have good communication with the stage. Class tips and hands-on experience will…

A heapin’ helping of country guitar licks as we take a look at the unique styles of Scotty Moore, Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, James Burton and other roots guitar greats. Intermediate with some forays up the neck.

In his career as an accompanist to singers, Pete Kennedy has learned and applied the lessons of tasteful backup and soloing across a range of genres. Blues guitar is a unique style in which the lead guitar functions as a duet with the vocal line. In this workshop Pete will emphasize vocal style phrasing and…