Classes2018-12-17T19:37:51+00:00

Classes Offered

Pick your curriculum

Registration & Fees

Roots & Boots Classes & Electives

Classes:

Mandolin

Intermediate/Advanced Mandolin:
John Reishman

Novice/Intermediate Mandolin:
K C Groves

Guitar

Intermediate/Advanced Guitar:
Peter McLaughlin

Novice/Intermediate Guitar:
Avram Seige

Fiddle

Intermediate/Advanced Fiddle:
Matt Rolland

Novice/Intermediate Fiddle:
Chris Brashear

Singing/Songwriting

All Levels Singing:
Rebekah Rolland

All Levels Songwriting:
Rebekah Rolland

Afternoon Electives:

Various Instructors (1 hour)

Subject to change based on student needs and desires

  • All Levels Bluegrass Singing
  • Harmony Singing
  • Bluegrass Banjo
  • Songwriting Basics
  • The Carter Family Songbook
  • Swing Chord Progressions
  • Focus on Fiddle Tunes (all instruments)
  • Jam Class
  • Bluegrass Bass
  • Fiddle & Banjo Duets

Class Descriptions

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 K. C. Groves

Description coming soon

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 with Avram Seigel

So you want to play some Bluegrass – it looks so simple but seems so hard.  Bluegrass uses a very specific guitar style that is simple in many ways and yet elusive to even experienced players of other musical styles.  This class will be an introduction to the techniques and skills used to get that sound.  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 and get into some basic bluegrass lead playing. If time allows, I would also gladly get into how the notes and chords are structured on the fretboard.

Fiddle

• Intermediate/Advanced fiddle with Matt Rolland

Workshop topics/immersion classes include:

  • Cross Tuned Fiddling,
  • Back-Up Fiddling,
  • Southwestern and Arizona Fiddle Tunes,
  • Songwriting (with Bekah Rolland)

Matt will focus on style and bowing techniques that give fiddle tunes their groove. This workshop is meant for students (young and adult) with some 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 news tune while charting a road-map for improving your playing.

• Novice/Intermediate Fiddle with Chris Brashear

Our novice to intermediate fiddle classic will focus on developing your current technique and expanding, to one degree or another, your repertoire of tunes. I would like to make you more comfortable playing in a group setting. Bringing a recording device will probably be helpful for most students, but more importantly a willingness to dig in and start playing. If you have questions before the camp, feel free to contact me through my website www.chrisbrashear.info.

Singing/Songwriting

• Vocal class for all levels with Rebekah Rolland

This vocal class 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. Students can expect to learn a variety of songs and exercises meant to build confidence, strength, control, and expression in their vocal development. They 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.

• Songwriting class for all levels with Rebekah Rolland

Description coming soon

Elective Descriptions

(More descriptions coming soon)

• All levels bluegrass singing with Chris Brashear

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.

Materials recommended:
You are welcome to bring an instrument, tape recorder or additional song lyric sheets. I will provide some lyric sheets for the class. Mostly what you will need is a healthy voice. Bring some water.

• Harmony Singing with Avram Seigel

Besides being one of the defining elements of this music, singing harmony really is one of the most rewarding aspects of playing bluegrass, and it’s really fun. We’ll cover the harmonies to some standard bluegrass numbers and we’ll be working through some exercises to make you accustomed to hearing harmonies and getting a strong vocal blend – plus we’ll work through some conceptual devices and concepts (shall we say tricks?) that will help you find and stay on your part.

• Bluegrass Banjo with Avram Seigel

Being able to play with solid timing, to create your own breaks, and to improvise fluently, are some ultimate goals in to learning to play the banjo.  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 and learn, technically, about 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 setting
  • 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 is 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.

Of course 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.