Once you know a few basic pentatonic patterns, it’s remarkably easy to get up and down the guitar neck, improvising a lead. Includes use of techniques like hammer-ons, pull-offs, trills, slides, and string-bending
First time players will learn basic tuning and playing skills, while more advanced players can enjoy developing variations and arrangements of some fine tunes and songs. There will be extra dulcimers available to borrow for the weekend. All levels.
In this class we will learn how to determine what scale(s) and chord voicings you
will need for a given jazz song. We’ll get better at spotting the indicative clues
found in chord progressions, and will talk about soloing strategies.
Hands-on introduction to the voice of this uniquely American folk instrument. Bring your own autoharp, if you have one, and there will be a few extra ones available. All levels.
Play some fingerstyle guitar? Come learn Bennett’s Rockafolky banjo technique, an easy two finger, thumb driven, picking style.
Simple songs with depth, and maybe a round or two. We will sing them together and you will have lead sheets to take home. All levels.
We’ll lay the groundwork for understanding blues guitar techniques that are the foundation for rock ‘n’ roll and contemporary country music. We’ll examine the chord forms and techniques (that allow solo guitarists to sound like two guitarists) with an eye to understanding how to find and employ these sorts of forms up the neck and how best to use them as soloists. A few chords, a few licks, a simple strategy, and enough guitar information to hold it all together.
How to find your calm and peaceful center in the eye of the storm....in the eye
of the energy of expression. How to claim space on stage and be in the beautiful
and exciting moment of performing. Exploring the world of "owning it"! Experience being your authentic self and in the flow with an audience. Releasing your inner strengths to
savor the moment so you can perhaps remember your performance instead of the memory being erased by nervousness. Sloan will provide a safe and supportive atmosphere all around performance. Song selection, intros, elements of taking care of yourself on and off stage, tools for preparing, practicing, facing and engaging happily with an audience. We're gonna talk a little and check in with what you need. We're gonna get everyone up on
stage. We're gonna have fun. All levels.
Bring your voices and instruments. Let’s make a joyful noise together, and learn some fine music at the same time. All levels.
Old-time five string banjo. We’ll focus on timing and on learning to play by ear (recording devices helpful here). A couple of great, accessible tunes.
G, C, and D are not only the simplest chords on the mandolin, they’re also
important templates for accessing other chords. In this session we will talk
about modifying and moving our core chords shapes in order to find any chord,
on any part of the neck.
Learn to make the jump from arpeggio-based pattern picking to holding a chord pattern, bass, and melody together at the same time. This approach encompasses all kinds of music from simple folk songs to Beatles to swing!
John Doershuk, soundman extraordinaire, will coach three sessions for folks who want hands on performance experience at the microphone. All levels.
When you sit down to play guitar with a friend, you’re not limited to thrashing out the same chords in the same strum pattern at the same time. Learn how to come up with alternative parts to enhance your jamming experience.
We will play through, jam on, and dissect several simple jazz songs, with a focus
on some key simple music theory concepts that will make these songs less
intimidating. All Levels.
The voice is the most personal instrument and learning a new way to use it can transform you.
African-rooted aesthetics – carrying traditional spiritual concerns – gradually brought the art of singing in America to dramatically new territory and changed what we expect of pop, blues, soul, jazz, gospel and even country singers today.
From a white choirboy, folk singer, to stage singer and Blues singer, I’ve spent decades exploring what it means to sing in an African-influenced tradition. Come prepared to learn something of the differences between European and African traditions and techniques/strategies to use your own voice to greater emotional effect. No instruments required. All levels.
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!
With an emphasis on vocal health and self care, we will use a combination of vocal warm-ups and work-outs, to help relax and strengthen the voice - making it more flexible and reliable. Individual attention and support is offered to each person in class as well as for the group as a whole. All levels.
Simple ways to dress up a guitar part while supporting the vocal, always in service of the song. Bring a capo and a flat pick (heavy thickness pick recommended; there will be capos for sale in the shop if you don't have one).
Starting with a seed from a traditional song - lyrics, a melody line, a fragment of one or both, or even just an idea - we will develop/adapt/rework to bring it into our personal present. Bring a public domain song (pre-1923 source) with you, or look through books and sheet music provided for something that sparks your interest. All levels.
day we'll show up and allow ourselves to dip into the waters of creativity - we will listen, we will write, we will mine ideas and marry together music and words. Using games and prompts - we will practice being in and writing in "non-edit" mode and see where each of us are led. Through examples and discussion we will play with our ideas and open ourselves to inspiration. You'll leave the class with a whole new outlook on your songwriting process, with new skills to help you grow as an artist, and a new song to sing. Jump on in...the water is fine! All levels.
Even before John Hurt was re-discovered in 1963 at the age of 71, his recordings had influenced a small coterie of guitar aficionados. His introduction to a wide audience at the height of the folk music revival allowed him to play a pivotal role in establishing fundamental finger picking techniques that have marked the music of everyone from Doc Watson to Beck; Bob Dylan to Bruce Cockburn and Jerry Garcia.
In this class we’ll explore Hurt’s repertoire while focusing on his right and left hand techniques with a special eye to establishing the right/picking hand muscle patterns necessary to maintain a steady alternating bass while developing independence on the high strings to play melodies.
Join Bennett for a diagnostic and therapeutic guitar coaching session.