SUMMER CAMP—SEMINARS & SEMINAR LEADERSB: Beginner // I: Intermediate // A: Advanced
Intermediate Guitar: Triads (I)
This will explore some ways of using triads that are derived from the major scale. We will look at the root positions, first and second inversions of the major, minor and diminished triads, and observe how they are laid out on the fingerboard. Then we’ll have some fun using them in creative ways over a simple chord progression.
Can an instrumentalist put a series of improvised ideas together that resonates like a well told story or a song lyric, but without the use of language? You bet!! In this class we’ll look at ways to blend the technical and artistic aspects of improvisation to create a unique, wordless narrative. Tension and release, (dissonance and consonance) dynamics, phrasing, call and response, melodic motifs, rhythmic motifs and more will be discussed. Let’s see what we can find! A good knowledge of some basic Jazz chords and some major and minor scales would definitely be an asset.
Introduction to Bluegrass Rhythm Guitar (Advanced Beginner)
Rhythm guitar is the backbone of a bluegrass band or jam. Learn to play solid rhythm that will support lead instrumentalists and singers using the bluegrass ‘boom-chuck’ strum, and adding bass runs and the iconic bluegrass G-run. Unleash the power of your guitar by learning how to use a flat pick. Please bring 2 – 3 picks of various thicknesses to class.
Sing & Strum Bluegrass and Old-Time Repertoire (Advanced Beginner)
Learn classic songs from The Carter Family, Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs and more. Explore how to learn a song from the ground up – choose the best key for your voice, figure out the chords, and use a capo effectively. All songs will be easy ones with two or three chords. You should be able to play basic first position chords (G, C, D, A, E, F) and change smoothly. All acoustic stringed instruments welcome.
Legato Playing for Guitar – Hammer-ons and Slides (B / I)
Picking every single note of a guitar lick is only one way to express yourself. When you add in hammer-ons, pull-offs and slides, you’ll discover a whole new world of expression that can add motion, style and speed to your playing. Printed materials will be available and there will be something for both beginners and intermediate players.
If you’ve even wondered how to fit in better in a jam or band situation, this course is for you. We’ll explore the value of simple textures and rhythms, when to fill and how to do effective melodic accompaniments that support and don’t get in the way. This course is suitable for people playing chordal, melodic and percussion instruments.
From my Mouth to Your Ears: Singing in the Oral Tradition
Immerse yourself in vocal grooves, bass lines, beautiful melodies and rich harmonies. We will be learning accessible a cappella arrangements of traditional songs from around the globe – all taught in the oral tradition. Singers with all levels of experience will enjoy this full body approach to learning new music.
Discover the joy of vocal improvisation! We will take a curious and playful approach as we explore spontaneous vocal music. Games and exercises will be introduced as useful tools for rehearsal, performance, songwriting and composition. This is an accessible approach that will benefit soloists, ensemble singers, composers and instrumentalists alike. No experience necessary, just a desire to play and have some fun.
Intro to Bossa Nova/Samba Back-up (I)
We will work on learning right hand picking patterns used to accompany Sambas and Bossa Novas, with emphasis on rhythmic accuracy, playing chord changes in the right places relative to the patterns and internalizing the patterns. We’ll use simple but appropriate chords as we practice the patterns.
We will arrange a tune per class session, in class, with emphasis on examining chord voicing options, deciding how we want the tune to groove, and arranging the melody so that you can hear it clearly. Some previous knowledge of Jazz chordal vocabulary will be needed.
For beginners or as a “brush-up” for more experienced singers. Learn about tone quality, flexibility of voice and comprehensive breathing. All will be achieved in a peaceful and safe environment that will enable you to utilize your singing voice to its top potential.
Free Your Voice: The Singers Master Class
Here is your opportunity for some personalized coaching on vocal technique. Discover a safe and fun space to take a risk, build confidence, and find your authentic voice. Practice strategies and techniques to gain better control of your breath and the musculature most associated with healthy vocal production. Unleash your musical creativity and learn to connect with your audience with confidence and emotional depth. Come prepared with a song of your choice memorized. Please bring sheet music or a chord chart.
Songwriting: (All Levels)
Give your songwriting skills a boost! We’ll do fun creativity games, talk about what makes a song strong and we’ll do exercises to improve your skills on the different aspects of writing, lyrics, melody and rhythm. Be prepared for lots of assignments.
Guitar Soloing for people who have no clue: Level 2-3
Do you freeze up when someone says ‘take it!’ Do you have no clue how to go from playing chords to playing single note leads? Do you worry that your guitar playing friends will start to talk behind your back? Come to this class and learn how to dazzle those same nay sayers with your new skills. We’ll start with building a solo out of just a few notes in a safe and un-terrifying way with just enough theory to have some comprehension but not too much to confuse.
Licks & Tricks (I)
This fast-moving class opens a bag of tricks and licks for the intermediate player and beginning improviser – licks, practice shortcuts, chop-builders, soloing tips, rhythm grooves and right hand techniques, and much more.
Blues Guitar (I)
Designed for the intermediate guitarist, this seminar teaches the essential ingredients of blues guitar playing. Strumming patterns, classic blues licks, pentatonic scales, chord voicings, turnarounds and various popular blues forms will be explored.
Bluegrass legends Tony Rice, Clarence White, and contemporary masters Bryan Sutton and David Rawlings; what are they doing to get that cool, clear, rhythmic sound? Do you already play guitar and want to try your hand at flat picking? Maybe you already flatpick and want some new ideas for improvement? In this class, we will talk about some right and left hand techniques for smooth and even playing as well as tone and timing pointers and exercises. We will apply this to a fiddle tune and the melody of a bluegrass song. We will go over reading guitar tab, and work on how to find song melody notes on the guitar. Time allowing, we’ll dig into a bit of Carter style technique. Let’s pick!
Intermediate Western Swing Chords
Come spice up your playing repertoire with some guitar swing chords! They’re great for backing up texas style fiddle tunes and classic Western Swing songs from the likes of Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys, Lefty Frizzel, Gene Watson, and of course Red Knuckles and The Trailblazers! Using some classic songs as templates we will go through some standard chord progressions, so the 6-2-5-1 can be as familiar to you as the Nashville 1-4-5. We will talk about some of the rhythmic nuances that give this genre its infectious groove. We will look at some cool chord inversions that can lead to bass lines up and down the big E string, or playing all the chords while barely moving your hand. We will explore how the diminished chord and extended chords can be your friends. If there is time we can get into some improvising with chords or other licks and tricks over some standard songs.
Hopefully, students will have already tried some closed 4 note chord shapes like G6 or Am7 or D7. I will provide some song and chord shape handouts. Be open to a little theory, but it won’t be too cerebral, we can build a couple more concepts on what you already know. In most cases it will be showing how something you already know can be applied somewhere else. Let’s Swing!
Introduction to Percussion
This class will cover basic rhythm theory involving subdivision of 4/4, 3/4, 6/8 time signatures with hands on playing of various drums and hand percussion. A terminology component is designed to help you interpret and communicate various popular rhythms, straight vs. swing time-feels, and what the heck ARE Mozichuks and Hummalakas? You will also learn to play these rhythmic time-feels with brushes on — yes — pizza boxes! And assorted hand drum and percussion instruments or “toys”. *Please bring drum brushes, if you have or can borrow (buy?), and any hand drums or percussion you want to play — we’ll supply the pizza boxes!”
Introduction to Mandolin
Are you a guitar player who is thinking about adding a second instrument?The mandolin has advantages of being portable and loud for it’s size. In this course we will learn to play some basic songs starting with open string chords to closed position and learn some basic lead work.
Introduction to Blues Fingerpicking
We will take the 12 bar blues form and begin with ‘dead string’ bass with melody on top so your guitar can sound like a full complete song. We will progress to alternating bass, staying with standard tuning, though these ideas will work nicely with any open string tunings if you so desire.