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 learn some shortcuts and cheap tricks. Bring a capo and a favorite song or tune.
First time players will learn basic tuning and playing skills, while more advanced players concentrate on developing accompaniments and arrangements. Great songs and tunes - some playing by the numbers, and some playing by ear.
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 come in handy at festivals, coffee houses, and home recording. Class members will be asked to crew on stage and be at the mixer for the final student concerts.
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 can be. Written materials will accompany the class.
Tuning the guitar, learning how to hold it, and strumming chords "in rhythm" is where this class will begin. Folks who have never played as well as beginning guitarists are welcome. We will cover playing to accompany songs as well as session tunes. Bass runs and dynamics will also be practiced. Before we are through we hope to get everyone to play a blues run or a rock and roll riff...enough to make you want to play more.
Discover the charms and delights of the mandolin. We'll include tuning, basic right and left-hand techniques, chords, simple rhythms and basic melodies. Bring a playable instrument, a recording device, and a relaxed attitude, and you’ll be picking tunes in no time!
It's fun! The instrument is ideal for playing chords and easier than many instruments for learning to play melodic accompaniment. This class is for learning basic techniques on the right and left hands, learning tunes and songs 'by ear', basic session essentials and plenty of practice playing in rhythm. As the week progresses, the class will play traditional old-time tunes in several tunings (please bring a capo), look at tablature and try a basic finger pickin' pattern...ring, ring the banjo.
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 holding the harmonica, playing in both first, second, and third positions, and harmonica maintenance. We will also explored special effects like bends, trills, fanning, tremolo, and throat pops. We will also address things like accompanying yourself on harmonica with other instruments, etc. Students are required to bring at least one diatonic (10 hole) harmonica in the key of C. Harmonicas will be available for purchase in the camp store.
Bottleneck slide guitar is one of the oldest and most expressive of the blues guitar styles. It was first recognized in the early writing of W.C.Handy at the turn to the Twentieth Century and it is a must for blues, rock and country players world-wide! We will explore the different tastes of slide, using examples from the music of players like Muddy Waters, The Black Ace, Son House, Robert Johnson and more. Great lessons in a variety of tunings! Music in standard and TAB will be provided. You bring your favorite guitar, slide and recording device. We will be playin’ the blues!
East Coast blues guitar players such as Blind Blake, Blind Boy Fuller and Gary Davis were known for intricate, melodic arrangements, at their best echoing the great stride and blues pianists of the 1920’s and ‘30’s. While their left hand technique was remarkable; their right hand technique could be stunning. Their right hands essentially did the duty of a piano player’s two hands, with the thumb playing independent, often syncopated bass lines against the melody and chord work of two (and sometimes only one) finger.
Focusing on the right hand, we’ll break open this style and learn that it is not that difficult, just different, from the basic finger-picking technique that many of us folkies and blues guitarists use. Looking at classics from several players, we’ll start to re-think the role of the thumb and move beyond the straight alternating-bass patterns that we’re used to. It’s a great style to play around with; it swings, and it can really move a guitarist out of some long-term habits and give her a whole new world to explore.
Students are urged to bring an audio recorder to class; videotaping will be allowed at the discretion of the instructor.
Being from the "loving-all-kinds-of-fiddling-styles" school, I would like to offer a class on the language of fiddle styles. What makes an Irish tune sound Irish? (and how do they make those neat ornamental sounds?), an old-time tune sound old timey? (rhythm with the bow, emphasis on the correct syllable), How do those Quebecois fiddlers do that thing with their feet and fiddle at the same time? All questions answered and new techniques taught to help you on your journey.
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 more so. Drop-ins welcome all week.
We will study and perform music from the string band traditions of rural America. Additionally Nova Scotia, Quebecois, Irish, New England, Scandinavian, African American, dance, and ballad traditions will also be explored with listening, practice, and performing components. Emphasis on ensemble intuition, playing by ear, and lifetime personal music making skills (transposition, harmonizing, etc.). Violin, guitar, banjo, mandolin, bass, accordion, concertina, penny whistle, flute, bodhran, harp, ukulele, or piano ~ All Welcome!
This class assumes that you have a little knowledge of the fretboard and can play some single note lines as a soloist. Fiddle tunes and fiddle tune variations are a plus but not a necessity as we work through more advanced techniques with ear training and written materials available as a guide to having fun and sounding good.
We will continue to explore the music of the early string and jug band musicians and the mandolin blues of the post-war era. But I would like to introduce some new ideas and inspirations you may find in the music of other blues musicians. Exercises and arrangements will introduce the “blues” elements that shaped this music and we will work on several pieces in the solo format. Music in standard and TAB will be provided, and the use of recording devices is strongly encouraged.
Bob will lead a dialogue (and give handouts) about poetic meter and what a powerful tool it is, hoping to develop an awareness in students both of the prevalence of ballad meter in folk song and all of its modern derivatives, and the fact that it's there because it works. With practice and exercise we’ll also become more aware of the meters the class participants generate spontaneously in the first drafts of their songs, and learn to honor those meters and use them, both as guidelines for honing their lines and koans for unlocking their imaginations.
Pete Kennedy has backed just about everybody, and been mentored one-on-one by Doc Watson, Chet Atkins and David Bromberg. His teaching style includes stories and tips from those sessions, and this week it's geared toward intermediate players and songwriters seeking to broaden their horizons simply by turning a few gears. This class will explore a different tuning each day, including G, D, DADGAD, and Dminor, with songs and licks from traditional sources, great blues players like Robert Johnson, Elmore James and Skip James, and even a look at the surprising similarity between Keith Richards and Joni Mitchell! Remember; open tuning means never having to play an F chord...
Pete and Maura Kennedy have performed on stages all over the US and the British Isles, from Royal Albert Hall and the Beacon Theater to Falcon Ridge and the Newport Folk Festivals, but many of the most valuable lessons they have learned in over a thousand live shows have been in the intimate setting of a folk concert, where the audience is attuned to every word and note, and they have learned that the anxiety of performing can be converted into creative energy that lifts up the audience and performer in one collective gesture. This workshop will involve performing a song for a small, appreciative and compassionate team of fellow students who together with the Kennedys will help you find ways to achieve the rapport that folk performers always seek with their audience.
Come have some serious fun! We'll study the nuts and bolts of how music fits together. Emphasis is on understanding diatonic and chromatic scales, simple chord structures, chord progressions and musical vocabulary. All Levels.
It's no small thing to write a song well, but there are many resources to help you accomplish this task. We'll enumerate many of them in an opening lecture, then help you overcome obstacles with individual songwriting assignments, attention to meter, and cogent and compassionate critique designed to turn your "inner critic" from a destructive force to a servant of your goals. It's a fun and safe ride.
We will explore techniques to harvest the rich stories and images that arise while we sleep. This creative consciousness, which occupies one-third of our lives, is usually forgotten during our waking hours. Maura will give you tools to recall this material, and ways to fashion it into song lyrics that will lift your creative process above craft and technique. You will surprise yourself in this class!
The guitar is perhaps the most versatile instrument in American folk music. It can play rhythm and melody, and it can be both percussive and sustaining. Just how does one get the guitar to play the blues? That is the goal of this class. We will explore the history, tradition and aesthetic of the Blues, while all the while learning tunes that help us understand the principles that underpin a wide variety of traditional (acoustic) blues styles. We will touch on areas like chord organization, regional differences, improvisation, scales, timing and tone. All levels are welcome in this class but a strong familiarity with first position chords is highly recommended.
Learn how to warm up and stretch your voice safely, keeping it flexible and supported. Simple exercises can help extend your range, color and volume. Get a clearer understanding of how your voice works and ages so you can take advantage of the natural gift you've been given for as long as you live! Wear comfortable clothing and be prepared to move!
Continuation of Vocal Yoga session 1