Classes & Teachers - 2006
ROD BACKMAN started playing bass at a tender age, eventually touring internationally, playing chamber music. He has devoted the last 25 years to playing and teaching traditional American music. He has performed and recorded with old-time, bluegrass and swing ensembles, and has been a frequent instructor at the British Columbia Bluegrass Workshop and many bluegrass and western arts festivals. He currently studies and performs flamenco forms with Istvan Rez, and is in the supporting trio that accompanies jazz/pop singer Danielle Leigh. And, yes, he is caught up in the Great Seattle Django Craze.
Intro to Bass (level 1–2) We’ll spend the week learning to hold and tune your bass, right-hand techniques, muting and damping, blues-based chord progressions, left-hand fingering patterns, timing and working properly with a metronome, waltz time, and singing and playing at the same time. We’ll pay careful attention to proper ergonomic technique with the goal of accompanying as many songs as we can fit in. All chordal instruments and voices are welcome.
Advanced Bass (level 3–4) You know those changes that seem to appear in all swing, blues, and show tunes? And what is that Django thing? We’ll make them second nature. Familiarity with jazz chords is not a must but some experience with Real Book charts would help. All instruments and voices welcome.
STEVE BAUGHMAN has recorded extensively and appears with Martin Simpson and Pierre Bensusan on the Rounder Records Celtic Fingerstyle Guitar CD/video series. He is the author of three Mel Bay guitar books.
Orkney Tuning (level 4) In this class we’ll explore Orkney tuning (much easier to pronounce than “CGDGCD”) and its extensive application to Celtic, folk, blues instrumentals, and vocal accompaniment. We’ll learn chord shapes and how to pick out melodies, so that you can make use of this tuning in your own music. Lots of playing in class. Flatpickers and singer/songwriters also welcome.
Cure for the Frustrated Right Hand (level 3) Get out of your right-hand rut by learning basic right-hand fingerpicking patterns, including the Carter Family strum, the Travis pick, and basic 3/4 and 4/4 patterns. The goal is to emerge with a solid right hand ready for any task it might encounter.
ALICE GERRARD is known for her work in old-time and bluegrass music over the past 40 years, both with Hazel Dickens during the ’60s and ’70s and currently with Tom Sauber and Brad Leftwich as Tom, Brad & Alice. She was founder of the Old-Time Herald magazine and has been a tireless advocate for traditional music.
Old-Time Guitar (level 2–3) This class will include the basics of old-time rhythm guitar, including the elements of rhythm, timing, runs, and chord choices. It will not include barre chords. All songs will be taught by ear, so a tape recorder would be a good idea.
Old-Time Repertoire (level 2–3) This class will focus on learning old-time and bluegrass songs primarily. We can also arrange them and we encourage singers who play mandolin, fiddle, and/or banjo to bring them to class. All songs will be taught by ear, so a tape recorder would be a good idea.
CHRIS GRAMPP has played jazz, blues, rock, and traditional music in bands and as a soloist for over 25 years. He has studied guitar with Tuck Andress, Warren Nunes, and Davis Ramey, and contributes lessons and articles to Acoustic Guitar magazine. He has taught for many years at CCMC, the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, and music festival workshops.
Your First Lead (level 3) We’ll develop simple solos for swing, blues, rock, and pop tunes. We’ll cover some theory, but the emphasis will be on easy-to-play scale patterns, dynamics and expression, playing by ear, and using song melodies to build solos. All instruments are welcome; participants should be able to play simple single-note melodies on their instrument.
Intros, Endings, Turnarounds, Riffs, and Vamps (level 4–5) In this class we’ll select tunes from jazz, Brazilian, and pop styles, and focus on ways to begin and end the songs, how to develop turnarounds (the 2-bar cycles at the end of a song’s form that lead back to the top), and construct riffs and vamps (repeated figures within a song). All instruments are welcome; players should be familiar with jazz chords.
ED JOHNSON’s mastery of many styles (Brazilian, jazz, R & B, rock, classical), combined with a passion for harmony vocals and arrangements, have made him a much sought-after performer and teacher. As a vocalist, he is frequently compared to Ivan Lins, Milton Nascimento, and Kenny Rankin. Ed has recorded several CDs, including his most recent 2004 release of original Brazilian jazz, Movimento. He frequently tours with his seven-piece band Novo Tempo.
Skool of Rock! (level 3 and up) Not just for guitarists, this class encourages all instruments and singers to learn how to “play well with others,” while we take on a varied repertoire of songs ranging from vintage rock to Motown/R&B to British invasion and on up through modern rock. “Vigorous fun” is the class motto!
Brazilian Choir (all levels) Using the various folkloric and popular idioms of Brazilian music, we’ll learn luscious harmonies and intricate rhythms, and sing in Portugese! Standard music notation will be used; however, sight-reading skills are not required.
In 2000, BRIAN JOSEPH abandoned the glamour of life as an LA actor for the glory and prestige of being a full-time folk singer. Brian plays over 100 shows a year all over the world and is the winner of the Telluride Troubador competition, the New Folk competition, and the Holly Hills Elementary School 3rd grade spelling bee. His fourth CD, If I Never Sleep Again, has just been released to rave reviews.
Big, Bold, and Bad (as in “Really Good”) (all levels) This performance will look at stage presence—what it is and how to get it. We’ll examine the ideas of charisma and kinesphere, and work as a group and individually to develop those and other skills to make you a great performer. This class will help a beginner overcome stage fright as well as polish a pro's already outstanding performance.
Songwriting Is Better Than Sex (all levels) OK, maybe it isn’t, but it should be really enjoyable, so stop struggling. We’ll look at the elusive ideas of character, humor, wordcraft, form, and inspiration, as well as tools for evading writer’s block.
As as international performer, recording artist, contest winner, collector, and acclaimed teacher of old-time fiddle and banjo, BRAD LEFTWICH is one of the most highly regarded fiddlers of his generation. The grandson of an old-time banjo player, Brad learned to play directly from older musicians in the southern Appalachian and Ozark regions, and has devoted his life to fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of the subtle beauty of traditional old-time music.
Beginning Old-Time Fiddle (level 1–2) Get started on the right foot learning the tricks of the trade that give traditional southern fiddling its distinctive sound. We’ll work on any technical issues you have as well as the fundamentals of style, including alternate tunings, using drone strings, and basic bow rhythms, all in the context of learning simple but real tunes, played the way real fiddlers would play them.
Intermediate to Advanced Old-Time Fiddle (level 3–4) In this class you’ll learn one or two new tunes each day that illustrate some of the most important bowing rhythms used by older-generation fiddlers across the South. We’ll use alternate tunings in addition to standard tuning, and look at how to use drone strings, double stops, and various kinds of ornamentation.
Performing since the age of 12, teaching since he was 17, and proficient on several instruments, DAVID KEENAN has turned a love of music into a full-time career. He toured for five years with Ranch Romance and shared stages with Bill Monroe, Bela Fleck, and Garrison Keillor. He plays regularly with several bands and is a record producer and session player.
What Are Those Chords? (level 3) How to figure out the chords in a song, starting from scratch: basic music and harmony theory, probabilities, and—best of all—listening to, charting, and playing the songs we decipher. We’ll also cover “fancy” chords beyond G, C, and D. Bring CDs with tunes you want to decipher.
CELIA MALHEIROS is a vocalist, composer, arranger, producer, educator and multi-instrumentalist from Rio de Janeiro. For the past 24 years she has been actively working and living in the Bay Area and Rio. Her versatility and ability to compose and play all kinds of Brazilian instruments and styles is well represented in her greatly acclaimed CD Sempre Crescendo, which features Hermeto Pascoal. Cenário Brasileiro, her latest recording featuring João Bosco, will be released on May 1st at Yoshi’s.
Brazilian Repertoire Class for Singers (all levels) For singers who would LOVE to sing in Portuguese! We will explore different rhythms and styles of the old and new Brazilian songs, with emphasis on pronunciation and phrasing.
Brazilian Ensemble (level 3 and up) Play like a Brazilian! We will work on understanding and translating to your instrument the varied and exciting Brazilian styles while accompanying singers and playing instrumental music. All instruments and singers welcome!
SUZE SPENCER MARSHALL was born into one of America's most renowned western music families. Her childhood was filled with their songs and stories. She has been teaching music for 25 yearsand performs in the duo the Archtops and her western swing big band, Way Out West. Suze just released her new CD Tall Boots: Rare Gems of America’s Western Music Pioneers.
Introduction to Swing: Chunk 101 (level 3) With a few simple four-note chords and focused rhythm chunks, we will swing with confidence. We’ll begin with what the right and left hands must do to create that magical swing pulse, and slowly put them together with easy, fun tunes.
Songs of the Singing Cowboys (level 2–3) Why were they singing to the cattle? How did they come up with those beautiful harmonies? Why all the yodeling? And what’s up with the fancy outfits? We’ll follow the singing cowboys from night watch on the high plains to the bright night stars of Hollywood.
Seattle guitarist RON PETERS has been playing professionally for more than 30 years. An in-demand sideman and teacher, he performs regularly in the U.S. and Canada. He has studied privately with Joe Pass and Ted Greene, and is an alumnus of Berklee College of Music in Boston. His teaching credits include CCMC, PSGW, Georgia Straight Guitar Workshop, and B.C. Swing Camp.
Jazz Vocal\Guitar Duos (level 4–5) One of the most intimate of all musical situations is the jazz guitar/vocal duo, where the guitarist has to function like a small orchestra. We’ll discuss such issues as chord placement and voicing, bass lines, following/leading the vocalist, intros, carrying the time, soloing, and many other topics. Lots of playing and everyone will have an opportunity to perform with a vocalist.
Swing and Jazz Improvisation (level 3–5) Improvisation is real-time composition. In this class, we’ll learn the fundamentals of the style. Build scales into arpeggios and then use these chord tones to create “lines” that outline the chord changes. We’ll learn how to extend these arpeggios to give more “color” to your lines. Some theory will be discussed but we’ll focus on getting these new ideas “under your fingers” and into those solos!!
Acclaimed as “the finest jazz scatting vocalist on the West Coast” (Good Times, Santa Cruz, CA), NATE PRUITT has developed his unique style over a long and varied career. The mastery of jazz, blues, and popular vocals that you hear in Nate today is the result of a long and multifaceted musical education. In 2004 he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the San Jose Jazz Society. Nate sings with Primary Colors and has recorded two CDs with them, We Know How It Feels and Every Mother’s Son.
The Inner Voice (beginning singers) Want to sing? You know you can! We will work on the basic fundamentals of singing, such as breath control, refining pitch, and tone production. We’ll also work with vocalese, the art of singing a wordless melody with syllables.
Jazz Singing (experienced singers) What makes a song sound like jazz? Using standards from the Great American Songbook, blues, and Latin idioms, we will work on vocalese, pitch, tone production, breath control, and stylizing (using different approaches to singing a song). We will also work on vocal improvisation (scat singing).
BOB REID’s family owned a record store in West Berkeley and he grew up surrounded by popular music. Many an oldies session has benefited from his knowledge of those songs. In the past 30 years, he has performed in schools conducting songwriting/recording workshops and assemblies. He has recently performed as a guitarist/singer with the Hot Rods, playing songs from 1954–64.
Beginning Guitar (level 1) An entry into the guitar. We’ll uncover some of the mysteries of chords and how to play them, laying down a foundation that can be built upon to take you to the next level. No knowledge is necessary and the more questions you have the better! We’ll pursue the answers together.
Oldies (level 2–4) We’ll revisit songs that enlivened the ’50s and early ’60s and learn how to capture the rhythmic feel of those songs using just a guitar. With any luck, we’ll also learn how to include background vocals.
DEL REY started playing classical guitar when she was four. As a teenager, she met bluesman Sam Chatmon, who inspired her to become a blues queen. Her guitar playing combines country blues, stride piano, classic jazz, and hillbilly boogie through the sensibility of an autodidactic trailor-park esthete.
Boogie Woogie Guitar (level 3–4) We'll use moving bass lines and pianistic chord melodies in open D and standard tuning for fingerstyle guitar. Prerequisites: You should be able to play first-position chords with ease and maintain an alternating bass while fingerpicking a melody. Bring your guitar and a capo.
Multiple Personality Blues: Duets for Solo Fingerpick Guitar (level 3) We'll listen to some of the classic duets of Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe, then work on an arrangement for solo guitar, incorporating the moving bass and interesting treble riffs that made their ’30s duets so influential. Prerequisites: Your left hand should be completely comfortable with first-position chords, and your right hand should be able to maintain an alternating bass while fingerpicking a melody. Bring a tape recorder, a capo, and your most comfortable guitar.
BRIAN RICE is an acclaimed performer, educator, and recording artist from the San Francisco Bay Area, where he performs with many groups including Wake the Dead, Mike Marshall & Choro Famoso, Potaje, and Mike Smolen’s Earplay Jazz Quintet. Brian has a B.M. in Percussion and Ethnomusicology from the Oberlin Conservatory and is well versed in musical styles from around the globe.
Brazilian Percussion (all levels) We will discover the rhythms and the instuments of Brazil, a country brimming with rhythm, movement, and melody. The samba, baiao, maracatu, and samba reggae are some of the rhythms we’ll explore. Emphasis on learning to play together and with feeling.Bring any Brazilian percussion instruments you have or want to learn. (Earplugs are also a good idea.)
Over the past 25 years, AVRAM SIEGEL has taught regularly and performed in a wide variety of bands, from the Grant Street String Band to the Vern Williams Band and Peter Rowan. He is currently performing, touring, and recording with two of California’s most exciting bands: True Blue and the Kathy Kallick Band. Avram has extensive training, both academic and practical, and has developed a detailed and comprehensive teaching method that has turned out some of California’s most popular and successful young musicians.
Basic Bluegrass Guitar Leads (level 3) Learn basic techniques for constructing an effective guitar solo—understand what makes melody happen, how it relates to chord shapes, and how to find those shapes on the fingerboard. We’ll also explore how to use rhythm and picking patterns to most effectively present melodies, and strategies to help build the confidence to create your own solos (improvised or worked out ahead of time).
Banjo Chops (level 2–4) Designed to help you become a more solid and effective banjo player, this class will cover technique, timing, and rhythm, addressing common problems that hold people back. We’ll also examine melody, harmony, and the fingerboard, and how they relate to working out and improvising solos. We’ll explore concepts in backup and rhythm playing, and elements of style—that is, the value of classic material as a basis for developing an individual style.
STEVE SMITH has been performing and teaching for more than 27 years, playing bluegrass, old-time, Celtic, jazz, and baroque on mandolin, mandola, and mandocello. He has been on the staff at Camp Bluegrass for eight years and has taught at the Puget Sound Guitar workshop as well and numerous individual workshops around the U.S. He has played across the country and Europe, and currently works with his group Steve Smith and Hard Road, the Bill Evans String Summit, and the Jim Hurst Band, along with his solo endeavors.
Intro to Mandolin (level 1–2) Each day we’ll work on right-hand development and developing a chord vocabulary using open- and closed-position chords. Using bluegrass and old-time tunes, we’ll work on hearing and making chord changes, learning melodies, and getting over the transition hump between the roles of playing lead and backup. (Handouts included.)
Advanced Mandolin (level 3–4) Each day we’ll look at scales and chords, and how they can be used to develop solos and improvisation for bluegrass and new acoustic styles. Enhanced chord voicings and ear training will be emphasized. Lots of group and individual playing.
MICHAEL STADLER (Instigator) writes songs; sings; and plays guitar, fiddle, mandolin, bouzouki, banjo, lap steel, dulcimer, and bass in a broad mix of styles including country, folk, bluegrass, swing, Celtic, and old-time. His guitar work includes both flatpicked and fingerstyle arrangements of considerable complexity. He’s taught music since 1980; 2006 will be his fourth time on staff at CCMC. Pick his brain or pick his instruments—he’s not fussy.
CARY BLACK is a bassist, vocalist, producer, and teacher from the Pacific Northwest. In addition to his work with such diverse artists as Ernestine Anderson, The Kingston Trio, Nokie Edwards (The Ventures), Ernie Watts, Mollie O'Brien, Kay Starr, and Laurie Lewis, he has taught at an array of music camps and performed across North America, Europe, and in Asia.
Bass Fundamentals (level 1–2) We’ll explore how to listen for the best notes and where to find them on the bass; then we’ll work on how to play comfortably and in tune, with good tone and precise timing.
Walking Bass (level 3–4) Starting with some basic scale and chord patterns, we will study techniques for developing creative and compelling improvised walking bass lines in various styles.
JOHN BLASQUEZ plays bluegrass, old-time, and Celtic music on fiddle, mandolin, and guitar, and fingerpicks in a wide range of styles. His ongoing performance and rehearsal workshops in Walnut Creek have earned him lots of experience in fostering and improving musical collaborations. An articulate teacher (and winner of the 1995 CCMC “Most Photocopied Instructor” award), John always brings a small library of notation, charts, and articles.
Partial Guitar (level 3–4) Learn the partial-capo approach to popular tunings, like DADGAD, without retuning your guitar! We’ll cover flatpicking and Carter-style arrangements, fingerpicking, and accompaniment. See the overwhelming similarity to standard tuning and learn the “altered tuning” viewpoint! Bring a Shubb and Third Hand partial capos (some may be available in the store at camp).
Bluegrass and Old-Time Fiddle (level 3–4) We’ll explore repertoire, ornamentation, and improvisation, focusing all the while on essential aspects of musicianship: timing, blending better in jams, methods of memorization, technique, relaxation, and practice habits. We’ll also cover reworking your bow hold, learning vibrato, and “unlearning” vibrato.
Often called the Earl Scruggs of the autoharp, BRYAN BOWERS’s innovative playing style has caught the attention of every other autoharp player and has launched a new generation of players. If masterful playing weren’t enough, Bryan is also a fine showman and a dynamic solo artist who pulls his audiences into his performances.
Beginning Autoharp (level 1–2) We’ll learn rhythm skills and easy melodies in both major and minor keys, how to get in tune, and developing good posture for ease of playing. Please tune your autoharp to A440 before class.
Lots of Fun Playing Melodies (level 3–4) You’ll learn the fine points of drawing the melody out of the autoharp clearly. We’ll include patting, thumb lead with back stroke, and three-finger picking. Please bring a harp that can be played in the keys of F, C, G and D, and tune it to A440.
DANNY CARNAHAN (Camp Instrumentalist) is a multi-instrumentalist and singer with 25 years’ experience on the Celtic and singer-songwriter circuits. He has performed in 5 countries and 30 states, sold 140,000 records, and currently plays octave mandolin, fiddle, and guitar with Wake the Dead, the world’s only Celtic All-Star Grateful Dead jam band.
Pub Session (level 2–4) Good pub sessions are more than bat-outta-hell unison free-for-alls. Learn how to make jigs and reels sparkle and how to enhance a band without drowning others out. Learn tricks to play along with tunes you don’t know, work out chord changes and harmony lines. And learn listening skills and restraint that can make the inevitable bat-outta-hell moments more satisfying.
MIKE COMPTON, born in Jimmie Rodger’s hometown (Meridian, MS), has lived in Nashville since 1977. An acclaimed mandolinist, Mike played with the Nashville Bluegrass Band from 1985–1988 and again from 2000 to the present. His work includes the Grammy-winning recordings O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Cold Mountain, and numerous recordings with David Grier, John Hartford, and Dr. Ralph Stanley. Mike is also working on a successful duet arrangement with David Long.
Beginning Mandolin (level 1–2) I will make efforts to clarify the nature and workings of the mandolin as it applies to the first generation bluegrass style. Topics include: equipment (picks, strings, mandolin types), how to tune, setup, playing in tune, tremolo, downstrokes, chord forms, how to get good tone, and more. We will also learn an introductory level repertoire of Bill Monroe's music and possibly some music dating to the black string band era.
The Mandolin Language of Bill Monroe (level 3–4) We’ll cover a brief history of Monroe’s life and influences. Topics include an explanation of the preferred right/left hand usage, techniques/ devices for reproducing the appropriate sounds in the music, tone, tremolo, triplets, downstrokes, double stops, slides, chord position solos, rhythmic responsibility in melody, melody insinuation. I will also bring material relating to the black string band heritage that doubtless had influence in early bluegrass.
MIKE DOWLING has worked with some of the finest acoustic musicians in the country, including Joe Venuti, Jethro Burns, and Vassar Clements. Mike teaches traditional blues and swing guitar at music camps throughout the country. A frequent guest on Prairie Home Companion, his most recent CD, Two of a Kind, comprises guitar duets with fingerstylist Pat Donohue.
Riffs, Rags, and Boogies (level 2–3) This is a non-bluegrass flatpicking class that will improve your plectrum dexterity for both rhythm and melody. We’ll focus on flatpicking fundamentals in different styles and syncopations that will open new musical doors and take your playing up a notch or two. Lots of playing in class.
Bottleneck Blues and Beyond (level 3) Through chords, progressions, and turnarounds in open D and G tunings, you’ll learn to use the bottleneck slide as a way to add color and texture to your fingerpicking. The emphasis will be on tone, phrasing, vibrato, and rhythm. Learn how to take a traditional tune and make it your own by arranging it for bottleneck guitar.
WAYNE HENDERSON is known for his unique "pinch picking" guitar style and the beautiful instruments he crafts in his shop in Rugby, VA. Wayne was honored with the prestigious National Heritage Award in 1995. He won every guitar competition in the region so many times he quit competing. He has taught at the Augusta Heritage Arts Festival, the Blue Ridge Music Program, and Puget Sound Guitar Workshop
Bluegrass Flatpick (level 3) We will work on some standard fiddle tunes played in the Blue Ridge Mountain area. "Pinch picking" is an unusual technique (fingerpicks on the thumb and forefinger), but fingerpicks or flatpicks are fine. We will be playing by ear, so bring an audio recorder, and we will go over the tunes until you get them.
Advanced Bluegrass Flatpick (level 4) We will play some fiddle tunes from Doc Watson and other pickers from western Virginia. We will work on endings and three-finger chord shapes that can be played up the neck. Bring an audio recorder. Each student will receive a practice tape of the tunes we work on.
SYLVIA HEROLD is a singer’s singer, at home in folk, swing, and Celtic genres. She is known for her work with the swing trio Cats & Jammers and the Celtic/Grateful Dead band Wake the Dead. She has three solo albums: A Bowl of Crystal Tears, A Mockingbird Sings in California, and Lovely Nancy.
Intro to Swing Guitar (level 3) With just a few useful chord shapes, we’ll be able to play many entertaining songs. We’ll keep the pace easy and get through several songs in each session. The focus will be on developing muscle memory and ease with jazz shapes. As the left hand gets familiar with the chords, we’ll turn our attention to the right hand and work on getting in the groove and making it swing. The fun doesn’t stop there: You’ll be encouraged to sing along.
Popular Songs Through the Ages (level 2–3) In this easy guitar class, we’ll play an eclectic mix of popular songs: Victorian parlor ballads, teen torch songs from the ’50s and ’60s, country classics, and folk songs from Ireland to Appalachia. We may even try some easy-to-play jazz standards. Learn fun songs in a relaxed and supportive environment.
RICK HULETT was born in Lubbock, Texas, where one of his first memories is of Roy Orbison pulling up next door in his Cadillac convertible to pick up his fiancé for a date. Rick has held the guitar chair for the Joe Ely Band and was featured prominently on Joe’s debut album. Rick also played with many other Texas bands such as Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Tommy Hancock and the Supernatural Family Band, The Lone Star Fogmen, and Butch Hancock. Rick currently plays guitar with Django's Cadillac and The Wasco Brothers, and bass with The Hapa Hillbillies and the Bohemian Social Club. He is a sought-after guitar teacher and producer.
All Beatles All the Time (level 2–4) This repertoire class will focus on just what the title says. We’ll learn some of the songs that make for great sing-alongs, sure to give every party a boost, as well as some tunes that don’t get played as much. We’ll also learn some of the signature licks that make these songs come alive. So, after a Hard Day’s Night when you Should’ve Known Better, get on your Beatle boots and join us and I guarantee you that I’ll Feel Fine.
Garage Band 101 (level 2–4) “Hey man, I’ve got a cello and I know a guy with a didgeridoo. Let’s start a band.” This class will be a chance for you to practice starting a rock and roll band in a safe, controlled environment where (hopefully) no one gets hurt. Bring your voices, basses, guitars, drums, horns, fiddles, nose whistles, and pocket-change percussion and we’ll fashion some classic rock ’n’ roll tunes into arrangements sure to get your neighbors to call the cops.
Note: Originally these classes were to be taught by Clive Gregson, who can’t make it this year due to unavoidable circumstances.
MICHELLE KIBA is a well-known Bay Area ukulele player, teacher, and hula dancer. She has performed and taught nationally at many ukulele festivals and music workshops. Michelle teaches privately, at the Santa Cruz Art League, at the Yu-Ai Kai Japanese Community Center in San Jose, and is on staff at the Community Music School in the Santa Cruz area.
Ukulele 101 (level 1–2) This class is for those new to the ukulele, as well as those with some uke experience who want a more authentic sound, a broader repertoire, or just wish to play better. We’ll cover the basics and develop fundamental techniques through repertoire. The songs used to teach ukulele technique will be from varied genres. Just be ready to get down with your bad ukulele self. Students are encouraged to bring a recording device to class.
Hawaiian Repertoire: Beautiful Hawaii (all levels) Learn the repertoire of Hawaiian song! You’ll learn Hawaiian standards and some contemporary island songs. Anyone who can use chord charts (including guitar players) or is willing to play along by ear is welcome to join in. Singers are also encouraged to come make island music. Students are encouraged to bring a recording device to class.
PETER LANGSTON (Instigator) seems to play anything with strings on it. Equally adept at backup and hot improvisation, he has played in bands on both coasts and performed with Doc Watson, Reverend Gary Davis, Tony Trischka, Peter Rowan, Alison Brown, and Mike Seeger, among others. Peter is one of the organizers of the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop and the new American Banjo Camp.
FRANNIE LEOPOLD, from Mendocino, California, is a guitarist and vocalist in several diverse cultures, including old-time American, Mexican, Cajun, and jug band. Her CDs include the Delta Sisters with Jeanie McLerie and Todalo Shakers with Eric and Suzy Thompson. She has performed at festivals with Hank Bradley and Cathie Whitesides as the Balkan Cafe Orchestra.
Pulse, Rhythm, and Runs (level 2) In this flatpick class, you’ll learn a creative approach to backup guitar, including old-time, Mexican and Cajun styles.
Vocal Techniques to Bring out the Real You (all levels) Expand your singing skills with a repertoire of old-time, Mexican, and Cajun tunes. Lyric sheets provided. Harmony parts taught if there is interest.
KEITH LITTLE (Camp Instrumentalist) Keith is a multi-instrumental performing and recording artist, vocalist, and composer. He’s been a member of many national touring bands (Country Gentlemen, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder, and Lonesome Standard Time), and has performed on Grammy-award-winning recordings by the Chieftains and Dolly Parton. His songs have been recorded by Crystal Gayle, Claire Lynch, and Tim O’Brien, and he is an honorary lifetime member of the California Bluegrass Association.
Leading From the Melody (level 4–5) This class will teach Keith’s method of building lead lines using the melody as the starting point. This technique enables lead players to be more musical and integrated while supporting and enhancing the tune. You’ll gain confidence and, well, play better leads!
JOEL MABUS, semi-urbane son of professional hillbilly entertainers, is a well-respected singer, songwriter, and picker of stringed instruments. He’s traveled nationwide over a 30-year career and has 17 solo albums. His latest is Parlor Guitar, a fingerstyle survey of early popular Americana. Joel has taught at PSGW, Augusta Heritage, SAMW, and Midwest Banjo Camp, as well as CCMC.
Parlor Guitar (When Size Doesn’t Matter) (level 4–5) In this fingerpicking class, we’ll learn some great tunes from “the parlor era”—the days before radio and microphones. Detailed arrangements of tunes from the likes of Al Jolson, Eubie Blake, early Gershwin, Jerome Kern, and beautiful older melodies Fingerstyle instrumentals written in treble clef standard notation with tab staff underneath.
Right-Hand Finger-Style Technique (level 3) The hand that picks the G-string rules the world! We’ll survey various approaches to fingerpicking: Patterns that are good behind songs; a bit of Travis-style, with a steady thumb-beat; a visit to the land of the blues—both delta and Piedmont; and a taste of ragtime and swing rhythms. We’ll also focus on ergonomics and pick-and-nail details that will keep you uncramped and sounding good.
CAROL McCOMB is a vocalist, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist with 40 years of performing, recording, and teaching experience. She has authored a best-selling guitar instruction book, taught thousands of people to play guitar, and is a frequent contributor to Acoustic Guitar magazine. Carol is a founding member of CCMC and has taught at several other music camps around the country.
Fingerstyle Fun (level 2) We’ll cover lots of fingerstyle patterns and their variations to use as accompaniment to songs. Toward the end of the week, we’ll learn a Travis picking pattern or two. We’ll also include tips on how to get good tone out of your guitar and how to maintain good playing posture.
Mother Maybelle’s Guitar Style (level 3) Maybelle Carter’s distinctive guitar lead style is surprisingly easy and very satisfying to play. We’ll learn at least a dozen Carter Family songs with lead breaks, starting out with easy leads and then making them more complex by varying the rhythm and adding more melodic movement.
COSY SHERIDAN and her wryly insightful songs have been featured from Carnegie Hall to the “Dr. Demento Show” and NPR’s “Car Talk.” Her concerts move seamlessly from satirical cultural observations to emotional explorations of family relationships, showcasing her smooth, shining guitar work and fiery poetry. Cosy has taught songwriting at CCMC, Swannanoa, and Summersongs Songwriters Camp.
Songwriting (all levels) We’ll explore songwriting from inspirational and technical angles, as we need a bit of both. We’ll look at rhyme schemes, verse and chorus writing, and building and deconstructing melodies. We will be doing lots of in-class writing, with some overnight writing. If you don’t play an instrument, don’t worry—this course is still for you.
Stagecraft (all levels) Have you always wanted to play your music for an audience but never quite stepped out under the lights? Do you play at open mics? In this class, we’ll look at the tools of stagecraft as well as the playful, creative inspiration that brings energy and life to a performance.
SHIRLEY MAE SPRINGER STATEN is an international performer who lives in Anchorage, Alaska. A child of Harlem and rural Georgia, she has sung all her life. Founder of the International Peace Choir, Ms. Staten has performed nationally and in China, France, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Cuba.
Make a Joyful Noise! (all levels) Are you afraid to sing? Be willing to trust yourself and your voice while exploring the tradition of African and African-American gospel music. This enriching journey will tap into your confidence and courage to express the joy of singing. Minimum requirement: A love of singing.
You Have the Voice—Let's Sing! (all levels) Absolutely no sheet music! Shift your perspectives on singing. Learn to relax and blend harmonies, and develop an ear for listening. This class will help you delve into the power of your voice, having fun while using your entire body to sing.
An award-winning multi-instrumentalist, HELEN WHITE has taught at camps across the United States and performs widely with noted Appalachian guitarist Wayne Henderson. Helen also founded the JAM (Junior Appalachian Musicians) program, introducing mountain children to their musical heritage.
Beginning Guitar (level 1) Transcend tender fingers with chords, simple exercises, singing, and backing up tunes. Bring a tuner and capo as well as an easy-action guitar.
Old-Time Fiddle (level 2–3) We’ll review fiddling basics and work towards that old-time sound with bowing and drones. We’ll play in standard and crossed tunings, so an easily re-tunable fiddle is required. Recording device helpful.