• Classes

  • Blues Music Camp 2018

Utilizing the bass string of a guitar can be essential in providing your own accompaniment or offering the foundation for other players to build upon. We’ll cover techniques from thumping to palm-muting and string damping that has been used effectively by the likes of Son House, Charly Patton, and Lightnin’ Hopkins. Some knowledge of basic…

Paul Rishell and Annie Raines will teach this class together. Like Eli Whitney’s cotton gin, the blues ensemble sound is made up of small parts that work integrally. Learn how to listen to your fellow musicians while accompanying them, and discover ways for making songs by Chicago and Swamp blues greats come to life in…

Blues Harmonica Part I is designed for the advanced beginner or intermediate student who wants to dig deeper into the blues. We’ll work intensively on rhythms and bass lines, improving bending techniques, tongue-blocking, and improvising. In Part II we’ll work on applying those techniques to learning signature riffs of Chicago Blues masters including Little Walter,…

Paul Rishell and Annie Raines will teach this class together. This course explores the story of the Blues, the tragic and heroic figures who shaped it, and its lasting appeal. We’ll play some songs ourselves, spin some of our favorite records and talk about the influence of blues on all genres of American music as…

  You’ve got your songs worked out and your set list written. The mic is hot, the lights are up, and eyes are on you. Now what? Learn what makes for an engaging performance of any style of music, but especially Blues! It’s not just nailing the chord changes or singing a melody.

Some singers express themselves employing a multi-octave range. Others get their point across using a few notes. We’ll explore in this class how to choose songs, melodies, keys, and ways of phrasing that suit your individual voice. Some experience singing will be helpful but is not necessary.

So you’ve got the band together. Or maybe you’re planning on sitting in with musicians who have not played your songs before. Communication is key! Learn the methods and terms necessary to convey to other musicians the key, tempo, rhythm, intros/outros, and feel of any song you want to play with others. Some experience playing…

We’ll listen to great recordings of harmonica masters across a wide spectrum of blues styles, including jug band music by Noah Lewis and Will Shade, the Piedmont Blues of Sonny Terry, amplified Chicago Blues of Little Walter, James Cotton, as well as “Swamp Blues” artists like Jerry McCain, Lazy Lester and Slim Harpo. This is…

From Blind Willie McTell to Elizabeth Cotton to Brownie McGhee, the Piedmont blues guitar player has always been adept at providing his or her own accompaniment. Learn the techniques required to improvise Piedmont blues melodies, to play your own instrumental breaks, and provide “responses” to a vocal line! Some experience in basic fingerpicking will be…

The first class will cover basic fingerpicking, barre chords and an introduction to open tunings. We’ll start with the repertoire of artists like Robert Johnson and take it from there. The second class will explore more advanced techniques and an introduction to slide. We’ll be extending the possibilities of basic fingerpicking through the repertoires of…

Ever wanted to take a guitar solo when jamming with friends, but not known quite where to start? How about wanting to simply accompanying another instrument who is already holding down a song’s chord progression? This class will explore techniques of lead guitar phrasing using the major and minor Pentatonic scales. Some experience recommended but…

Knowing your instrument and its functions is only one half of the equation necessary for a great live performance! Join us for a hands-on examination of the gear that can help you sound good to and for your audience. From microphones, direct boxes, mixers, EQs, and speakers, we’ll help you dial in your own live…

The dreaded slide guitar playing in standard tuning… It’s not as complex as you may think! In this class we’ll delve into basic bottleneck slide techniques in standard tuning, working from simpler tunes to a more intermediate level. Some bottleneck playing and string-muting chops required.

Part of connecting with an audience – whether in a living room, open mic, or on stage in front of hundreds – is storytelling. Being able to convey a story that is concise, entertaining, and meaningful is essential to keeping your audience engaged. Blues is certainly filled with interesting stories! Learn how the masters from…

From Blind Lemon Jefferson and Lightnin’ Hopkins to T-Bone Walker, Albert Collins and Stevie Ray Vaughan, the legacy of Texas blues guitar will be explored in this class from Texas’ own Paul Size. We’ll explore what makes Texas blues guitar styles so unique and so Texas!  Knowledge of basic chords, up-the-neck play, and barre chords…

Singing blues and R&B rests a lot on intuition and feeling, but it also requires good technique! Practice, and finding a comfort level with your own voice, bring confidence and provide the foundation allowing you to “lose yourself” when singing a song. We’ll explore the ways you can build confidence, learn your strengths, and take…

T-Bone Walker, Pee Wee Crayton, Lowell Fulson, Johnny “Guitar” Watson. These are some of the great West Coast/Swing/Jump Blues players who brought the guitar out of the rhythm role in bands out to the fore. We’ll explore the single-string, horn-like phrasing of the masters who helped give World War II-era California its swing! Some understanding…

When you think of blues music, perhaps you think of Robert Johnson. Maybe you think of B.B. King. Maybe Stevie Ray Vaughan. Blues music has a large range and it’s longer than most people realize. From music theory to the language of lyrics, blues has defined not only itself, but every other genre of music…

  From Mississippi John Hurt to Dave Van Ronk, fingerpicking the guitar is a useful way of exploiting the melodies and harmonies of songs. It can also open up new ways of singing and presenting a song. In this class we’ll explore the country roots of fingerpicking and find ways to apply it to your…

We all love the classics, the standards, and the folk tradition of the blues, but that’s not to say you can’t write your own! Songwriting and making up songs has always been a part of the blues tradition, from Bessie Smith to Big Mama Thornton to Janis Joplin. In this class we’ll find compelling ways…

Learning new songs and playing music does not always require an understanding of music theory or knowing how to read music. In this class we’ll explore ways to intuitively “feel out” a song, from figuring out its key to finding the chord changes. This will be a guitar-centric course, but other instruments are welcome. Some…