This will be a multi-level repertoire class. As first time players learn basic tuning and playing skills, more advanced players will develop arrangements of a traditional Appalachian mountain song, a lively dance tune, and a poignant Irish instrumental. All levels.
Want to play folk banjo but struggle with frailing? Bennett’s Rockafolky banjo technique may be the answer. All levels.
Understanding doublestops in terms of scales as well as partial chords, how to effectively use doublestops in both lead and backup playing. This approach helps underscore the harmonic underpinnings of commonly used doublestops and their place in the chords over which they are played. Int
Bennett is almost always in Drop D tuning, no matter what key he is playing in. Explore power chords, simulated DAD-GAD (with a capo), and more. Not for absolute beginners. Int.-Adv
Bring your voices and instruments. Let’s make a joyful noise together, and learn some fine music at the same time. All levels.
The construction and constituent parts of the mandolin, how each contributes to the functionality of the mandolin as a whole, as well as setup tweaks that you can do yourself to improve playability. This class looks at how to take care of your instrument as well as how to identify when things are amiss. All levels
A look the most common bluegrass and folk progressions and the mandolin as a great medium for playing rhythm along with them, and we’ll unlock a fundamental secret to navigating the mandolin fingerboard. beg/int
Some of the loveliest Appalachian music finds its dulcimer voice in minor tunings. Bring your dulcimer and savor this sound. All levels
Nope - it's not double C. Sometimes called “Pete Seeger C”, this tuning is my fall-back choice for song accompaniment. Come learn the basics, and then we’ll follow up with a few good songs and tunes. Adv. Beg/ Int.
John Doershuk, soundman extraordinaire, will coach three sessions for folks who want hands on performance experience at the microphone. All levels
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 Kennedy's will help you find ways to achieve the rapport that folk performers always seek with their audience.
In 2012, Cliff wrote original music for -- and performed it in -- the Folger Shakespeare Theatre’s production of the Taming of the Shrew, which won him a Helen Hayes Award. Enjoy songs and stories from that experience
Blues music is based on traditional call-and-response styles, and when the singer takes a pause at the end of each verse, that's when the guitar's "voice" sings a response. We've all heard B.B. King's Lucille answer him! I will show you licks, known as turnarounds, that fill this crucial moment in the blues. We will look at the styles of Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Lightnin' Hopkins, Doctor John, Robert Johnson, and take a stab at a fancy Doc Watson riff. Bring an acoustic guitar and a recording device. Intermediate.
In his later years, George Harrison revealed that he was the "uking Beatle", and it is suspected that he may have written some of his great songs on the ukulele, since they lay so perfectly on the instrument. We will learn the chords to "Something" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", with chord chart handouts. George once said that everyone who is into the uke is a bit "crackers", so if that's you, bring a uke and we will have a bit of fab fun!
New videos, including Beatle uke and blues turnarounds, are posted on my YouTube
channel at: https://www.youtube.com/user/gretsch5129?feature=mhee
In this class we will explore how to arrange songs to prepare them for performance and/or recording. Please bring at least two printed copies of your songs with chords if possible. We’ll use as many as time allows.
There is nothing like getting a group of people together to sing in one big voice. Sally will lead familiar songs as well as rounds, partner songs and songs from around the world. Be part of the fun! All Levels
There is a valuable dictum in the creative arts: "show, don't tell". Many of the great songs, including the Child Ballads, are cast in story form, with characters, plot and conflict. We root for the protagonists, hiss at the villains, and inwardly shout "don'd do it!" to Matty Groves, Polly Von and the innocent but gullible Pretty Polly. In this workshop, we will create an imaginary event and have the class write verses from the diverse points of view of various characters, making each person as real to the listener as Tom Dula, John Hardy or Eleanor Rigby...no need to sing or play, so all creative types are welcome. All levels
Join Bennett for a diagnostic and therapeutic guitar coaching session.
Learn useful warm-up techniques, breathing exercises and easily accessible repertoire to keep you singing smoothly and cheerfully. All levels
Do you ever feel that the sense of excitement and drama that propels you along when you write or learn a new song can get lost in translation when you hit the stage? Or perhaps feel sometimes that your guitar arrangements don't match up to your finely honed lyrics? Maura Kennedy is known not only as a charismatic singer, but also as a creative and dynamic rhythm guitarist. Her goal? To sound like a full band with just an acoustic guitar and a flatpick. She will share her secrets, including volume control techniques for the picking hand, and innovative full-sounding chord voicing for the left hand, and she will address backup ideas for a few specific student songs in this high-energy workshop.
This class will begin with a brief history of melodic writing and then show, through new chord and vocal arrangements, how your melodies will be much more accessible. Please bring songs you haven’t finished or recorded yet.