Classes & Teachers - 2000
Flatpicking Bluegrass Guitar (3) For proficient rhythm players who want to learn how to take bluegrass guitar solos, and intermediate lead players who want to learn more about improvisation. We'll look at elementary theory, song/tune structure, melody, how to find the melody within the chords, and pick technique. Bring a tape recorder and tapes.
Blue Brass Band (2–4) How does a bluegrass band work? How do people know when it's their turn to solo? What should the banjo player do when the mandolinist is soloing? What's the role of the bass? How are bluegrass harmonies put together? Whether you're already in a band or hoping to join one, this class will help you discover the fun of playing with others.
Beginning Guitar (1) We'll work on the fundamentals of rhythm guitar: how to form standard chords (G, D, A, E, C) and how to change from one to another, how to play songs in a few simple keys, and how to read simple chord-change notations. Bring a capo, several flat picks (including a heavy one), and extra strings.
Clawhammer Banjo (2–3) This old-time style, used by The New Lost City Ramblers, Any Old Time, and The Freight Hoppers, is the precursor to bluegrass banjo. It's done as a downstroke with the back of the fingernail instead of fingerpicks. We'll cover pull-offs, hammer-ons, drop-thumbing, and standard banjo tunings. We'll do one or two tunes per day, by ear and with tab.
KEVIN CARR (Camp Instrumentalist)
Begining Fingerstyle Guitar (2) This class will cover basic fingerstyle guitar techniques, including hand positions, tone production, standard and alternate tunings, and technical development exercises. Students will learn a few simple fingerstyle solos, and we will discuss general ideas about music, listening, performance, stage fright, and practicing.
Celtic Guitar (4–5) This class will focus on traditional Celtic music. We will explore musical expression, variation, dynamics, ornamentation, and, in particular, traditional song airs. We will cover hand positions, free and rest strokes, use of fingernails, tone production, and communicating the melody. We may also cover traditional dance accompaniment, and playing with a pick.
Stealin' From Chet (3) Arrangements, licks, and tricks from the repertoire of Nashville great Chet Atkins. Learn how to lift 'em off the master's records just like the pros do. Special attention to "thumb style" guitar, the type also used by Merle Travis and Jerry Reed. Don't get upset when you're stealin' from Chet!
Fingerpicking Improvisation (4) Learn how to come up with spontaneous chord sequences, position chord playing, turnarounds, walking bass, and other devices while playing fingerpicked tunes. We'll emphasize blues and blues-like songs in the styles of players from Big Bill Broonzy to Joe Pass.
Hands-on Bass for Beginners (1–2) Perhaps the easiest instrument on which to pick up the basics, we'll have you jamming to simple songs in no time. Approaching the bass as a rhythmic support instrument, we'll learn root-fifth and fingerboard patterns to follow chord changes, while emphasizing good timing, technique, and tasteful playing.
Flatpicking Cowboy and Bluegrass Songs (2) The flatpick is your friend! We'll learn the whys and hows of the little plastic triangle and use it to liven up your playing. Using cowboy and bluegrass songs, we'll progress from simple strumming to picking alternating bass notes and bass runs. Other possible topics include the use of a capo, transposing, chord numbering, and strumming styles.
Improvisation (3–5) How to take an improvised solo over swing, blues, rock and other popular styles. We will cover some scales and arpeggios, but the emphasis will be on playing by ear, and using the structure and melody of the song as the basis of the solo. All instruments are welcome.
The Grooveyard: Jazz-Blues Crossover (4–5) This class will venture into the area that lies between jazz and blues. We'll study the styles of blues-oriented jazz players such as Hank Crawford, Stanley Turrentine, Jimmy Smith, and George Benson, and explore ways to apply blues scales, phrasing, and grooves to jazz standards. All instruments are welcome.
Essential Rhythm Fundamentals (all levels) Good "time" (and good times!) is a must for all musicians. Learn basic counting skills and how to break down a rhythm. We'll start with simple beats, rests, and tempos, and progress to interactive percussion parts, using Afro-Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, Celtic, and other rhythms.
Multi-Part Vocal Harmony and Arranging (3–5) We'll cover 3-, 4-, 5-, and even 6(!)-part vocal arrangements in gospel, jazz, r&b, and ethnic fusion styles. We'll also discuss how to arrange multiple vocal parts. Class arrangements will be written in standard notation, but we'll also use our ears to learn parts.
Jug Band Music (all levels) Black jug bands in the '30s and revival white bands in the '60s agreed: "It sounds so sweet. Aaah, it's hard to beat." Why? It's easy to play and it's fun! Join the UCCRJS (Upper California Coastal Ragtime Jug Stompers) as a singer, guitarist, jug-player, kazooist, or…you name it. All are welcome.
American Juke Box (2 and up) "Drrrop the coin right into the slot; you've gotta hear something that's really hot!" - this is the original soundtrack for America. We'll learn the licks, riffs, and lyrics to songs from Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Bing Crosby, Aretha Franklin, Julie London, and more. Come to sing, or play, or both!
Flatpicking Fiddle Tunes on Guitar (4–5) We will work towards improvising in the "fiddle tune" style on the guitar. We will pick up tunes by ear, and explore the differences between bluegrass, old-time, and Irish approaches. We'll cover a variety of tempos and right hand techniques.
Speaking Truth & Telling Lies: The Art & Craft of Songwriting (all levels) Juggling the facts to make a point-making up a story of whole cloth to illustrate the obvious truth-bald-faced lies that sound so real-verisimilitude to the point of reality-tweaking a real story with "poetic license" to make a better tale. Be ready to write a song in the course of the week!
Your First Band (levels 2 and up) Open to all singers and all instruments. Learn how band dynamics work, how to create tasteful arrangements in any style with the instruments and voices you have handy, and how to express yourself musically while allowing others to shine as well. Tons of fun with lots of practical information and experience.
Harmony Singing By Ear (All) Learn how to sing harmony parts by ear, whether it be in duets or trios. We'll explore the basics of harmony theory, practice some songs with pre-arranged harmonies, and then do a bunch of harmonizing by ear in a variety of styles.
BARBARA MENDELSOHN (Camp Instigator)
French-Canadian Songs (All) Get down-REALLY down-singing gorgeous old French songs of death and betrayal! Don't speak French? No problem. Written lyrics, pronunciation, harmonies, chords, and translations are included. All voices and instruments are welcome.
Country Blues Survey (3–4) We'll work through songs originally performed by people like John Hurt, Furry Lewis, and Elizabeth Cotton, in a variety of keys and tunings. We will also focus on developing the listening skills needed to figure out songs on your own, working from recorded sources.
Fingerpicking Jazz Standards (4–5) We will focus on arranging fingerpicked versions of jazz standards on the guitar at the rate of one song per class period. Emphasis will be placed on exploring different chord voicing options, grooving, and deciding what key will suit a song well and make it easier to play.
Beginning Brazilian Guitar (2–3) In this class we will focus on learning simple Brazilian songs with different rhythms and simple chord forms. Some simple singing will also be taught. This class is for students who want an introduction to this beautiful style.
Advanced Brazilian Guitar (3+–5) An ensemble class for intermediate to advanced guitarists. Nylon string guitars are preferable but steel string guitars are welcome. The class will emphasize Brazilian rhythmic styles such as bossa, baiao, frevo, and related styles, and advanced right-hand techniques.
Swing Dance (all levels) P. E. class for music camp! Come to this class and we'll prove that musicians actually CAN dance. We'll start from the beginning and show 'em that we have the stuff to pick up a foot and set it down on the beat. Anyone is welcome to lead or follow.
Songwriting Feedback (2 and up) This class will run like my songwriting group at home. Bring in your works in progress and already finished songs to get constructive and respectful feedback. We'll play creativity games, talk about what makes a song strong or weak, and discuss building a songwriting community.
Old Time and Early Bluegrass Mandolin (2–3) In this class you will learn a variety of old-time tunes and the techniques required to play them. We will study the kick-offs and solos of early bluegrass mandolinists Bill Monroe, Everett Lilly, Peewee Lambert, and others. We'll explore double stops, tremolo, cross tunings, tone production, and rhythm playing.
Latin Mandolin (3–4) In this class you will learn choros and sambas from Brazil, waltzes and joropos from Venezuela, and a variety of tunes from the Caribbean. We will also explore the type of chording and rhythm techniques used in these various styles, and address the basics of good mandolin technique.
Jazz Vocal Styles (3–4) We'll present an overview of standard and not- so-standard jazz vocal repertoire with an emphasis on stylization, improvisation and jazz vocal technique.
Swing Band (2–5) Students will form ensembles (duos, trios, quartets, depending on the class size) and play swing tunes under the teachers' supervision. Topics will include keys, tempos, arrangements, intros, solos, and endings. Co-taught with René Worst.
Developing a Vocal Style: Pop, Folk, Rock, Country, and Blues (2–4) Why do some good singers sound merely okay while others are memorable? Style has a lot to do with it. Dynamics, phrasing, fills, ornamentation, and melody alterations help bring the best out in a song. We'll start with simple ways to ornament a line and move to more extravagant stylizing tricks during the week.
Elements of Singing (2–4) Think you can't sing? Think you can sing, but want to know if you're doing it right? Getting hoarse? Can't hit that high note? Terrified of singing? Using exercises and songs, we'll go through the elements of singing: breathing, posture, resonance, increasing your range and volume, staying in tune, how to warm up, and coping with nervousness.
ALICE STUART (Camp Instigator)
Cajun Band Lab (2 and up) In ensembles (duos on up), we'll explore the French dance music of southwest Louisiana, using fiddles, guitars, accordion (one-row diatonic), maybe bass or triangle too, and our voices. We'll concentrate on getting a real Cajun groove going, and on the nuances of style that give Cajun music its distinctive flavor. Bring a tape recorder and blank tapes, and be ready to sing in French!
Old-Time Fiddle (2–4) We'll explore old-time tunes from mountain fiddlers like Art Stamper, Emmet Lundy, John Salyer, Marcus Martin, Benton Flippen, and other players from Kentucky, West Virginia, and North Carolina. Some are rocking dance tunes, others are mournful and moody, many are in open tunings. Other instruments are welcome too. Bring a tape recorder and blank tapes.
Bass Styles While You Wait (3–5) Bass lines custom catered to your needs: jazz, latin and swing styles, walking lines, and soloing, with attention paid to functional harmony (the tools you need to improvise). Some cool tricks, and lots of sage advice!
Swing Band (2–5) Students will form ensembles (duos, trios, quartets, depending on the class size) and play swing tunes under the teachers' supervision. Topics will include keys, tempos, arrangements, intros, solos, and endings. Co-taught with Jennifer Scott.