Classes Offered

Explore immersion & elective options

Registration & Fees

NEW in 2020! Bekah Rolland will host singing immersion.

Roots & Boots Classes & Electives

Immersion Classes:

Mandolin

Intermediate/Advanced Mandolin:
John Reischman

Novice/Intermediate Mandolin:
Mark Miracle

Guitar

Intermediate/Advanced Guitar:
Peter McLaughlin

Novice/Intermediate Guitar:
TBA

Fiddle

Intermediate/Advanced Fiddle:
Chris Brashear

Novice/Intermediate Fiddle:
Rachel Burnett

Banjo

Intermediate/Advanced Banjo:
Rudy Cortese

Upright Bass

Intermediate/Advanced
KC Groves

Singing

All Levels
Rebekah Rolland

Electives:

Various Instructors (1 hour)

Subject to change based on student needs and desires

Vocal class
Harmony Singing
Songwriting
Upright Bass
Jam Classes
Guitar Explorations
Finger-picking Guitar Techniques
Fiddle & Banjo Duets

Immersion Classes

Mandolin

• Intermediate/advanced bluegrass mandolin with John Reischman

In this class we will work to improve your playing in all aspects of bluegrass mandolin. We will focus on everything from creating a strong rhythmic chop, to clean single note fiddle tune style playing, to double stops that work well in bluegrass songs. We will also add to your repertoire by learning some bluegrass standards like Bill Monroe’s Cheyenne, David Grisman’s Dawg’s Bull, as well as some of my originals including Salt Spring and The Eighth of February.

Students should be able to play the melody and rhythmic accompaniment to some fiddle tunes at a medium tempo.

• Novice/Intermediate Mandolin with Mark Miracle 

In this class we will be working on establishing and/or reinforcing some basic skills on the mandolin with a focus primarily on bluegrass styles. We will be exploring how to preform a solid rhythmic chop to back-up others, including simple two finger chords with relative minor chords to back yourself up on a singing songs.  We will be learning a few simple, but well known tunes that are essential to a standard bluegrass repertoire and that are likely to be played at bluegrass jams throughout the world. Students must be somewhat familiar with their instrument and know how to play basic chords in G, C, and D.

Guitar

• Intermediate/Advanced guitar class with Peter McLaughlin

The focus in this course will be on more advanced level guitar flatpicking styles. Peter will discuss developing bluegrass flatpicking guitar solos, adapting fiddle tunes to guitar, crosspicking methods, playing leads out of chord positions, left hand positions (including up-the fretboard using the whole neck), band dynamics, improvisation, microphone techniques, preparing for guitar contests, and ways to improve timing and tone. There will also be discussion of some of the “master” flatpickers and their styles. 

• Novice/Intermediate guitar (instructor TBA)

In this class we will help you to get comfortable playing in a group setting by working with familiar songs from the folk and Bluegrass repertoire. This class will be an introduction to the techniques and skills needed to play in various keys, which will also help you to better accompany yourself while singing. We’ll make sure you know your basic chords and have the ability to move between them. We’ll concentrate on how to create a solid rhythm in order to backup others, and get into some simple lead playing. Time permitting, we will also look into how the notes and chords are structured on the fretboard.

Fiddle

• Intermediate/Advanced fiddle with Chris Brashear

This course will help the more experienced player learn skills in cross-tuned fiddling, back-up fiddling, on some fun Southwestern and Arizona Fiddle Tunes. Chris will focus on style and bowing techniques that give fiddle tunes their groove. This workshop is meant for students with experience on the violin (even if they’ve never “fiddled”) and more experienced fiddlers looking to expand their repertoire and sound. We will spend our time addressing topics in master class style, practicing bowing techniques, and learning several tunes by ear. Sheet music will also be available.

Along the way, we can also cover techniques for the bow hold and bow arm to get your best tone, especially when playing quick tunes, tricks for improving your intonation, and some style tips for ‘sounding like a fiddler’. This is a great track if you’re looking to learn new tunes while charting a road-map for improving your playing.

• Novice/Intermediate Fiddle with Rachel Burnett

Our novice to intermediate fiddle classic will focus on developing your current technique and expanding your repertoire of fun fiddle tunes commonly played in jams. The goal is to make your playing more fluid, and build your musical confidence so you are more comfortable playing in a group setting with other instruments. Bringing a recording device will probably be helpful for most students, but more importantly a willingness to dig in and start playing.

Banjo

• Intermediate/Advanced Bluegrass banjo with Rudy Cortese

Some ultimate goals in to learning to play the banjo are being able to play with solid timing, to create your own breaks, and to improvise fluently. In this class you will add to and build on what you’ve already learned in order to do just that. We will see how melody, harmony, and rhythm work together and learn how to present ideas effectively.

Topics to be covered in this class will be, among other things:

  • Working up your own solos and licks
  • Playing rhythm and backup and learning more about fitting the banjo into a band
  • Playing in unfamiliar keys
  • Learning your way around the fingerboard
  • Learning some specifics of right and left hand technique to improve your tone, timing and speed
  • Learning to break away from arrangements picked up from tabs (often the big challenge for people wanting to move their playing to a new place)

Prerequisites:

Students must have familiarity with the basic open and closed chord shapes, and have proficiency changing between them. They should know some of the standard repertoire of bluegrass songs and Scruggs arrangements and licks on the banjo. Also, students should be comfortable with basic roll patterns associated with the style.

You will need a 5 string banjo, a set of fingerpicks, a thumbpick, and a capo. It is also advisable to bring a notebook and writing utensil.

More descriptions for upright bass and singing coming soon!

Electives

Our versatile teachers will be working together in these various electives for an exciting mix of instruction. Please check the schedule during camp for elective descriptions, exact times, and instructors. We will be adding more electives as the camp fills up. If there is an elective you’d like to see, let us know!

Evening Jams after dinner are open to all.

• Vocal Immersion (NEW in 2020!) for all levels with Rebekah Rolland

This vocal course is for everyone and will focus on the elements of good vocal technique and its application in the singing of Bluegrass and Americana music. The class is designed for vocal students of all levels, from those just becoming acquainted with their voices to those hoping to take singing to the next level. We will work on a variety of songs and exercises meant to build confidence, strength, control, and expression in their vocal development. We will will also learn to apply the principles of vocal harmony, blending, and dynamics through a number of group-singing activities.

Finally, in keeping with folk tradition, students will explore the styles of past and present icons who have come to define traditional styles of singing–from the high, lonesome sound of Bill Monroe to the soaring melodies of Joan Baez to the smooth and soulful croons of Tim O’Brien.

• Bluegrass harmony singing for all levels

This class will give students an opportunity to sing leads and harmonies on songs from the classic bluegrass repertoire. We share a catalogue of songs left to us by Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, the Stanley Brothers, Hazel & Alice – as well a huge body of songs from earlier predecessors in rural country music like the Carter Family. We will look at vocal style, phrasing, fundamentals of pitch and enough about music harmonies to help you find your way in a duet, trio or quartet.

• Songwriting for all levels

We will explore techniques for developing melodies, “hook lines”, and stories to help you craft your own original songs.

• Upright Bass for all levels

Whether you play the bass or not, this elective is designed to help musicians understand the basics of playing notes, understanding keys, and developing a solid rhythm to accompany others in a group setting.

• Jam Classes (all levels)

We will offer various levels of jam classes, breaking students into small groups for an intimate, guided jamming experience. Novice students can take jamming 101 class which will offer instruction on jam etiquette, backup, simple leads, and harmony singing. We will play in a circle where you can try out leads in a safe, supportive environment lead by all instructors. Fast jams will be for advanced students who can work together and get input from instructors, on developing speed, technique, and soul. 

Only requirements: You must be able to tune your instrument (electronic tuning devices welcome) and change smoothly between G, C, D, and A. Fast playing is not expected, nor is the ability to solo required.

• Guitar Explorations (intermediate-advanced)

In this class we will look into other musical styles on the guitar including Cowboy and swing chords, gypsy jazz, and more eclectic, creative styles.

• Fingerpicking Guitar techniques (novice-intermediate)

In this class we will look into other musical styles on the guitar including Cowboy and swing chords, gypsy jazz and more eclectic, creative styles.

• Fiddle & Banjo duets (novice-intermediate)

Historically, the fiddle and banjo have been close friends and in this elective we will explore that history, and how to play basic fiddle tunes exchanging leads and backup.

More descriptions for electives coming soon!