Classes & Teachers - 2012
Cary Black is an acoustic and electric bassist, teacher, producer, and vocalist living in Olympia, Washington. Described by Alan Senauke in Sing Out! magazine as “a musician’s musician,” Cary is at home in a wide variety of musical settings; he has been fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work and play with a number of noteworthy musicians in the music camp community and beyond.
Bass Fun-damentals (level 1–2) Many discover that the string bass is the easiest instrument to learn. The logical layout of the strings and the intuitive nature of playing the strong notes of the chord on the strong beats of the bar makes it enjoyable even while you’re learning the basics. We’ll focus on solid note production with the right hand, and play in left-hand-friendly keys that use mostly open strings.
Bass Blues (level 3–4) A solid grounding in the blues helps the bass player develop some great skills, such as unwavering rhythm, a full sound, and bass lines that’ll make your momma cry. This comprehensive study of the blues will cover a variety of forms and styles. You will become familiar with 8-, 12-, and 16-bar chord progressions. Styles will include Delta, Chicago, jump, even a bit of R&B and RARE.
Born in Jimmie Rodgers’s hometown (Meridian, MS), Mike Compton 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. He has toured the U.S. and Europe as a member of Elvis Costello’s band, The Sugarcanes, over the last two years. He also continues to work duets with David Grier and old-time icon Joe Newberry as well as the Nashville Bluegrass Band.
Black Mandolin Grooves and Rhythm (level 3) Learn mandolin riffs and grooves for accompanying vocals (and the vocals themselves) by some of the greatest names in mandolin country blues such as Blind Bogus Ben Covingon, Charlie and Joe McCoy, Charles Johnson, Sam Hill from Louisville, The Two Poor Boys, Nap Hayes and Matthew Prater, Nashville Washboard Band, the Mississippi Mud Steppers, and Tommy Bradley/James Cole.
Bill Monroe Technique and Repertoire (level 4) Come learn a selected variety of Bill Monroe material from 1940–1970. The class serves as a repertoire class as well as an effort to demystify some of the musical language and technical challenges of Monroe’s artistry. Students should already have a good grasp of right- and left-hand mandolin technique. It is recommended that students be able to sight read either tablature or standard notation. Lots of playing.
Kenny Feinstein recently emerged from the School of Music at the University of Oregon. He received his degree in jazz performance on the guitar. Aside from having a deep understanding of music theory, he has a natural love of playing and teaching music. Kenny is a student and teacher of guitar, mandolin, banjo, harmonica, bass, uke, and fiddle. He is skilled at old-time, bluegrass, country, folk, Cajun, and blues.
Baby Steps for Budding Mandolin Players (level 1–2) We will put one foot in front of the other as we try to avoid putting one finger on top of the other. We’ll learn simple tunes and tasteful methods of expression through chords and melodies.
Picking Hot and Staying Cool (level 4–5) Learn to play engaging guitar solos over fast songs. We will talk about holding the pick, staying relaxed, and reaching your goals as a flatpicker.
Alice Gerrard is a talent of legendary status. In a career spanning 40 years, she has known, learned from, and performed and recorded with many old-time and bluegrass greats—including Tommy Jarrell and Mike Seeger—and has, in turn, earned worldwide respect for her own important contributions to the music, receiving critical acclaim for her recordings in Billboard, Bluegrass Unlimited, and New Country. Her albums with Hazel Dickens during the ’60s and ’70s influenced a generation of women musicians, from Laurie Lewis to the Judds. Founder of Old Time Herald magazine, her awards include the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Distinguished Achievement award.
Old-Time Song Backup (level 2) Backing up songs using a flatpick or thumb pick, using the philosophy of less is more. Songs will include old-time, bluegrass, country, and Carter Family. We’ll emphasize chord changes, rhythms, bass notes and runs, and a few simple fills. We’ll stick mainly with uncomplicated progressions and will not use barre chords.
The Guitar in the String Band (level 2–3) We’ll concentrate on old-time backup rhythm guitar, using a flatpick or thumbpick. We’ll emphasize the importance of rhythm, timing, chord choices, and the role of the guitar in the string-band context.
Chris Grampp has played jazz, blues, rock, and traditional music in bands and as a soloist for over 25 years in the Bay Area. He has studied guitar with Tuck Andress, Warren Nunes, and Davis Ramey, and has contributed lessons and articles for 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 blues, rock, pop, and swing tunes. We’ll cover some harmonic theory, but the emphasis will be on easy-to-scale patterns, dynamics, and expression, playing by ear, and using song melodies to create ideas. All instruments are welcome, as long as you can play simple single-note melodies and know a few scales.
Crafting Your Solo to Fit the Song (level 4–5) In this advanced class we’ll develop improvised solos that fit the essence of particular songs and styles. We’ll work with modes and scales, dynamics, bends and slides, motifs and melodic variations, suspensions, arpeggios, and groove, applying these techniques to jazz, pop, traditional, and contemporary styles. All instruments are welcome, and we’ll do lots of playing in class.
Sylvia Herold has been singing and playing guitar nonstop for more than 30 years. She was a member of the swing trio Cats and Jammers, and played in the Django-inspired Hot Club of San Francisco. Sylvia currently performs with Wake the Dead (Celtic Grateful Dead music), the folk quartet Euphonia, and the jazz/pop vocal group The Pop Top Trio, with Ed Johnson and Chuck Ervin.
Introduction to Swing Guitar (level 3 and above) Give your guitar playing a new dimension using lush four-note jazz chords that you can move around the neck. With just a few chord shapes you’ll be able to play scads of easy standards and western swing songs. This is a gentle introduction to jazz chords and the mysterious regions above the third fret. Within 15 minutes, you’ll be playing your first song. You’ll gradually learn more chord shapes, more songs, and how to make them swing.
Swing Band Lab (level 3 and above) All instruments and voices welcome. Play standards from the Great American Songbook. Learn to create your own unique arrangements of songs. We’ll focus on rhythm: a strong rhythm section gives soloists and singers the chance to soar. Charts will be provided.
Kathy Kallick has been leading bluegrass bands since 1975. She continues to evolve as one of the music’s highly regarded composers, vocalists, and guitar players, releasing 14 albums (which include over 100 of her original songs) and receiving an Honorary Lifetime Membership from the California Bluegrass Association, as well as a Grammy for her part on True Life Blues: The Songs of Bill Monroe. From the Good Ol’ Persons to the Kathy Kallick Band, she delivers hot bluegrass and cool originals.
Bluegrass Jamming 101 (level 2 and up) This is an opportunity to learn some of the cues and clues musicians use to communicate during a jam session. How does a group of folks who’ve never played music together gather in a circle and create, well, music? Through listening, determining the ways one musician telegraphs what’s coming up, and watching what’s going on around you, you can learn to fit in and be part of the group sound. This class is for any instrument as well as singers.
Bluegrass Singer-Songwriters (level 2) Bluegrass is a fairly new form of music invented by Bill Monroe. Initially playing string-band music and country songs of his day, Monroe went on to create a body of work telling the story of his life. His self-confessional songs are a basis for the bluegrass repertoire and inspiration for deeply personal original songs by Carter Stanley, Lester Flatt, Hazel Dickens, Tim O’Brien, Peter Rowan, and yes, Kathy Kallick … and others. Let’s explore some of these songs together in this repertoire class.
Musician/composer/producer Patrick Kahakauwila Kamaholelani Landeza is a leading exponent of Hawaiian slack key. Patrick began playing while in high school and learned from the Hawaiian slack-key masters. Landeza has dedicated his life to sharing this art form with the world. The youngest recipient of the prestigious Kapalakiko Aloha Spirit award for his work with slack key, Landeza has performed at Carnegie Hall as a member of the Power of 8. Patrick has taught slack key at many of the nation’s top music camps, including 10 years with the prestigious Swannanoa Gathering Guitar Week.
Beginning Slack Key (level 2–3) Want to learn slack key? Are you just beginning? This class is for beginners, focusing on technique getting the slack-key sound. We will work on the open G tuning (taro patch tuning) and touch on slack-key scales, vamps, and licks, which will lead to a song, or two! If you have limited guitar skills, that’s fine, you will be in a comfortable environment that will make it easy for you to learn the basics!
Intermediate through Advanced Slack Key Guitar (level 3–4) In this class we will primarily work on slack-key songs and techniques. We will review the styles of the great slack-key masters and teach a song from each style. We will be using the G tuning, drop-G tuning, C tuning, and possibly others. We’ll be working at a fast pace and you should have knowledge of guitar and fingerpicking styles.
Margo LeDuc is a much-sought-after vocal coach in both San Francisco and Los Angeles. She coaches artists under contract with Sony Music, Capitol Records, and many other labels. Margo views the singer as a whole person, not just a set of vocal cords. Lessons with Margo are about hard work and heart—correcting technical problems and nurturing the creative artist within. Margo performs extensive session work, supports corporate clients, and is a voting member of the Recording Academy. Her powerful, expressive, and sumptuous voice lends itself to any style or setting.
Beginning Voice (all levels) Discover your inner artist and learn how to take creative risks in the world of vocal music. You’ll improve your singing in a supportive and empowering environment that will strengthen you and your voice. Breathing, stance, range, power, and control will be the central issues addressed.
Advanced Voice (level 3–5) Connect with the artist within and express your deepest emotions through your singing. We’ll balance technical discipline and letting go, to experience singing freely with skill in a safe and supportive environment. Students should bring songs to interpret and perfect.
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 also tours as one half of the duo Kathy and Carol, with her band, and occasionally with Linda Ronstadt. Carol is a founding member of CCMC and has taught at several other music camps around the country.
Country and Bluegrass Duet and Trio Harmony (level 2–4) We’ll learn lots of wonderful songs in the timeless harmony singing tradition of brother duets and bluegrass bands from artists like the Delmore Bros, the Stanley Bros, the Monroe Bros, the Louvin Bros, the Everly Bros, Emmylou Harris and Herb Pedersen, Ricky Skaggs and Tony Rice, and others. There will be lots of tear-jerkers; tissue provided!
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.
Kristina Olsen makes fun a four-letter word! Kristina plays guitar, slide guitar, concertina, piano, and sax, and writes award-winning songs covered by the likes of Fairport Convention, Eric Bibb, Maddy Prior, and Mollie O’Brien. She teaches guitar, songwriting, performing, and dancing at camps in Australia, Canada, the U.K, and the U.S. She’s been a session player for Michelle Shocked, Rickie Lee Jones, and Mary Coughlan, and is on the road some ten months a year.
Songwriting (all levels) Give your songwriting skills a boost! We’ll do fun creativity games, talk about what makes a song strong, and do exercises to improve your skills on the different aspects of writing, lyrics, melody, and rhythm. Be prepared for lots of assignments.
Blues Slide Guitar (level 3) Come learn the seductive sound of the slide guitar! We’ll focus mostly on blues and open tunings. This is a great class to take when your left hand fingers are sore; no calluses required! You don’t need any previous experience playing slide, but you do need fundamental knowledge of the guitar.
Pacific Northwest native Josh Rabie has a deep-rooted passion for music that began in early childhood and has evolved into a love for old-time, bluegrass, Cajun, and country music. His influences include everyone from Hank Williams Sr. and Bill Monroe to the Velvet Underground and the Balfa Brothers. In his hometown of Portland, Oregon, Josh keeps busy as a full-time musician involved in every aspect of the job from teaching private lessons out of his home to touring around the world in his folk/bluegrass band, Water Tower, to recording studio sessions for various bands, both local and international.
Intermediate Old-Time Fiddle (level 2–4) In this class we will be learning the basics of old-time fiddle music and explore some advanced bowing techniques and stylistic variations on the old tunes. We will start by working on a few classic tunes and throughout the week expand upon those tunes by adopting other variations on techniques that will prove most useful in the long term. You will learn to rely on your ear and build confidence in your improvisation. Basic knowledge of fiddle or violin required.
Gerald Ross has delighted audiences with his guitar, steel guitar, and ukulele performances nationally since the early ’70s. He has performed in concert with Bonnie Raitt, Arlo Guthrie, Doc Watson, Johnny Gimble, Vassar Clements, Riders in the Sky, Brownie McGhee, and many other nationally known artists. His four solo instrumental CDs (you really don’t want to hear him sing) feature jazz standards, popular favorites, delta and urban blues, Tin Pan Alley melodies, New Orleans rhythms, and boogie-woogie. A ukulele is not a toy.
Intro to Swing Ukulele (level 1–2) Do you know your basic uke chords but wonder why they don’t sound jazzy or bluesy? We will learn easy-to-finger chord shapes that will have you swinging in no time. Best of all, these chord shapes are easier to remember than the basic chords and are transferable to all keys. If you can play your basic uke chords, then this class is for you. No music theory, no music reading. Easy and fun.
Intermediate Swing Uke (level 2–3) We will explore chord substitutions, finger picking and single-note lead work using familiar swing/jazz songs. We will also explore how to create a solo ukulele arrangement using chords and melody, one-man-band style. No music theory, no music reading. Easy and fun.
Cyd Smith is a versatile guitarist/vocalist/bassist/songwriter who has performed a wide variety of roots and popular American music. Starting as a classical guitarist, her musical path has wound through the landscapes of old-time, bluegrass, country blues, rock’n’roll, swing, and singer-songwriter. Since the 1980s Cyd has taught at many music camps, including Puget Sound Guitar Workshop and California Coast Music Camp. She performs with a variety of bands in southern Oregon and has just finished her second album of original material.
Beginning Guitar (level 1) This is a class for tender-fingered absolute beginners. We’ll learn guitar basics, emphasizing healthy and efficient practice habits to learn simple chords, strums, and songs. We’ll also explore the basics of music—chords, rhythms, and melodies.
Acoustic guitarist Doug Smith is a Grammy award winner and 2006 winner of the prestigious Winfield International Fingerstyle Guitar Competition. His playing can be heard everywhere from the movies August Rush and Twister, to Good Morning America and National Public Radio. Doug teaches at music camps and workshops all over the country.
Fingerstyle Fundamentals (level 2) Interested in fingerpicking? We’ll start from scratch, and learn basic fingerpicking techniques and patterns that will be helpful in both vocal accompaniment and solo instrumental guitar playing. Doug will work with you on making your strings ring clearly, clean articulation, and good rhythm. Ability to read tablature and chord/lyric sheets will be helpful.
Advanced Fingerstyle (level 5) We’ll try our hand at advanced picking patterns, bass runs, counterpoint, syncopation, and getting a smooth, flowing sound. We’ll also look at creating our own arrangements knowing just the melody and chords. Ability to read tablature will be helpful.
Guitarist Mike Wollenberg has performed solo and in Bay Area bands for the past 30 years. He has released two solo guitar CDs: The Hand That Feeds Me and Just Another Fool on the Hill. His most recent recording, A Common Language, is with Seattle-based violin great Julian Smedley.
Rock Band (level 2 and up) We’ll form a band(s) and put some classic rock songs through their paces by figuring out what makes them tick, breaking them down into their component parts (bass lines, guitar and horn parts, groove etc.), then putting it all back together to come up with our own rocking version. We’ll emphasize getting to the essence of a tune, allowing room to put our own creative stamp on it, and explore ways to make any instrumentation viable. All instruments welcome.
Solo Guitar Arrangements (level 4–5) This class explores solo guitar from various points of view. We’ll start with the classic chord melody approach: playing a melody supported by chords underneath. Then we’ll break things down further, using only a bass part to underpin the melody, or using bass and chordal fragments to accompany the melodic line. We’ll work on specific tunes that lend themselves to each of these approaches. We’ll also explore some “listener deception” tactics that can be applied to any of these approaches to give the impression of there being more going on than there actually is.
Steve Baughman is a teaching, touring Rounder Records recording artist who appears on the Digital Dream Door list of the World’s 100 Best Guitarists. He is the author of five Mel Bay guitar books and has released numerous CDs and DVDs. When Steve is not teaching banjo and guitar he is at home playing banjo and guitar.
Frustrated Right Hand (level 3) Playing the guitar is most fun when you’re grooving. And it can be frustrating when you’re not. In this workshop we will dive into several right-hand patterns designed to bring your playing to life and inject it with bounce and rhythm. This will be primarily a fingerpicking class (waltz picks, Travis picking, calypso, percussive slapping) but we will also spend some time strumming irregular rhythms to push our limits and get out of any rhythmic ruts we might be stuck in.
Clawhammer Banjo (level 2 and up) If you don’t play clawhammer banjo, you may not be living life to its fullest. The simple bum-ditty groove, done right, enables you to sit back and listen to music flowing effortlessly from your instrument. In this class we will work on internalizing the basic pattern and exploring some advanced variations. This is a hands-on class where we will spend lots of time playing.
Richard Brandenburg is a singer and songwriter with a strong interest in early country music. His thoughtful, well crafted songs are rooted in folk, early country, honky-tonk and bluegrass. He has assisted at the CBA Father’s Day and Winter Camp festivals in both guitar instruction and songwriting circles and has co-taught a songwriting series at Berkeley’s Freight & Salvage with Kathy Kallick. Three of the original songs from his 2010 CD, Flickering Dreams, have been recorded by other artists.
Country Repertoire (level 2) Drawn to the traditional forms of country music? Tired of looking over your usual song list at jams? Want to broaden and deepen your options? Here’s an opportunity to examine some of the roots and branches of the great tree that grows from the Carter Family and the Hollywood Cowboys through Hank, early bluegrass, Nashville, and Bakersfield. Have fun exploring the possibilities of expressing yourself in this great music!
Opening Up Your Songwriting (all levels) Where do great songs come from? How can you jump-start the process of words and melodies and keep them rolling through the rewrites? Songwriters, like painters, often work alone; discover the advantages of discussion and hearing about some of the methods that others use. Bring your process, whatever it is: scraps of ideas, notebooks, half-done songs. We’ll look at the craft from many angles.
Brian Butler plays fingerstyle blues and names J.B. Lenoir, Mance Lipscomb, and Reverend Gary Davis as a few of his musical inspirations. He plays electric blues in the Northwest with the Brian Butler Band and also enjoys folk, rock, and country music. Brian is a returning teacher at CCMC and has taught at Puget Sound Guitar Workshop for many years.
Blues Lab (level 2–5) Bring your instrument and we’ll learn a few songs, arrange them and practice them as if we had a gig—a fun, relaxed gig! Good opportunity to try out different roles in a band, like playing a lead, rhythm guitar, working out a riff for the whole band, singing the lead vocal, or doing vocal harmony backup.
Blues Guitar (level 3) Learn some classic blues songs, from uptown to lowdown. We’ll get the basic progressions and rhythms, then embellish with runs, licks, and chord inversions. We’ll learn turnarounds and cover some intervals we can use in the blues.
Jere Canote and his twin brother, Greg, have toured the United States playing dances and concerts. They live in Seattle and enjoyed a 13-year stint on NPR’s live radio show Sandy Bradley’s Potluck. Jere has taught a thriving Seattle string band workshop for over 25 years and has been a regular teacher at the Fiddle Tunes Festival in Port Townsend, Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Pinewoods Camps, and every Portland Uke Fest.
Novelty Songs for Uke: ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s (level 3 and up) Come sample the lighter side of swing, old-time, and country, from the simple to the more complex. We’ll explore chord forms up and down the neck and various strum patterns. Songs from Fats Waller and Ukulele Ike to the Hoosier Hot Shots, e.g., “I Wish I Was Twins” and “It Ain’t the Age on This Old Boy’s Frame (It’s the Mileage That’s Slowing Me Down”). Word sheets provided.
Uke Fun! Getting Started! (level 1–2) The ukulele continues to enjoy worldwide popularity; come join the fun! We’ll start with the basics: playing position, chord forms, and simple strums. We’ll follow up with more advanced chords and right-hand techniques, including strummer’s building blocks—the triplet, the roll, and some melody picking—all while learning and singing a bunch of great songs. Word sheets provided.
A San Francisco native, Marla Fibish is a long-time feature of the Bay Area Irish music scene, and an unapologetic proponent of the mandolin in Irish music, bringing a musicality and excitement to the tradition that is seldom heard on the mandolin. In addition to the mandolin, Marla plays mandola, tenor guitar, and button accordion. She sings and writes music, and is known for her musical settings of works from a variety of poets.
It’s Not a Guitar! Beginning Mandolin (level 1–2) Get started on the mandolin! Learn to play the music you love with beautiful tone, rhythm and articulation. Embrace melody as your master, add some simple (and I mean simple!) chords as their support crew. It’s not a little guitar! We’ll focus on technique and musicality, while learning to play some nice tunes that sit well on the instrument.
Mando Is What You Make It (level 3–4) So you’ve got a few tunes on the mandolin…cool! Now what? This class is for those of you who want to get more juice out of this incredibly versatile instrument. We’ll talk about musicality, styling, chording, playing solo, and playing with others. We’ll learn tunes from different musical traditions in different modes, moods, and time signatures, taking a mando-magical mystery tour!
Wayne Henderson is a musical legend known worldwide for both his lightning-fast “pinch picking” guitar style and the beautiful guitars, mandolins, and banjos he crafts in his shop in Rugby, Virginia. Wayne was honored at the White House in l995 for both his craftsmanship and playing as a recipient of the prestigious National Heritage Award. He has toured widely in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institute and the Office of Arts America.
Mountain Flatpick (level 3) We will work on some standard fiddle tunes played in the Blue Ridge Mountain area. “Pinch picking” (fingerpicks on the thumb and forefinger) is an unusual technique but fingerpicks or flatpicks are fine for this class. We will be playing by ear, so bring an audio recorder, and we will go over the tunes until you get them.
Advanced Mountain Flatpick (level 4–5) 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.
As a vocalist, Ed Johnson is frequently compared to Ivan Lins, Milton Nascimento, Kenny Rankin, and Michael Franks. As a guitarist and bandleader, critics often cite the lushly exotic, accessible sounds of Airto and Flora Purim. Ed has seven recording projects to his credit, in addition to producer’s credits for other artists. He is a founding member of CCMC and has also been a perennial fixture on the teaching staff at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop.
Get Your Groove On! (level 3–4) Feel like your playing just doesn’t have that get-up-and-go feel you are striving for? In this class we’ll use a multitude of right-hand techniques to help you achieve ultimate grooviness! Playing with a pick as well as with fingers, we’ll break down specific rhythm patterns and apply them to a fun repertoire of pop, rock, reggae, and Latin styles.
Solo Flight! (level 4–5) If you’ve been in a jazz or swing jam session, maybe you’ve experienced the feeling of relying on rote fingering patterns rather than playing the changes. This class is designed to get you beyond just playing linear patterns and head for the skies! You’ll learn how to incorporate chord shapes you may already know, the many uses for melodic arpeggios, and how to vary rhythmic phrasing. Using all of these and other tools together serve to help you be more expressive and spontaneous in your soloing!
Award-winning singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Steve Kritzer is a studio musician, band member, teacher, church band leader, human jukebox, crooner to seniors, member of Blah Blah Woof Woof, and first-time dad. A man of many musics, Kritzer is as comfortable with Celtic, bluegrass, and country, as he is with rock, big band swing, and traditional folk. Steve is a main stage regular at the Fiddlers Green Festival in Ireland, the Bluebird Café in Nashville, the Kerrville Folk Festival, and most points in between. His four popular CDs continue to get regular airplay on the folk waves, and he is currently working on his fifth release.
Your First Band (level 2 and up) What’s the most fun you can have playing music? Being able to play and sing with other players and singers. Whatever you play and/or sing, we will learn some basic group rhythm playing in a variety of styles, syncopation, and explore how to arrange and build a song with different instruments playing different parts. Those who are comfortable will take fills and leads.
Beyond Boom Chuck (level 2–3) Flashy lead licks are fun, but being able to play solid, versatile rhythm/backup guitar will make you the most welcome person in any jam or band. We’ll take basic boom chuck (bass/strum, bass/strum), add bass runs between chords, cool licks based on simple major scales that can substitute for a chord, more complex rhythms and syncopations, and learn to apply it all to bluegrass, country, alt and classic rock, pop, Irish, reggae, swing, folk, maybe even some Bulgarian!
Peter Langston appears to play every instrument in every style and is equally adept at hot improvisation and supportive backup. He has performed with such diverse artists as Doc Watson, Johnny Gimble, and Reverend Gary Davis. He’s active in recording (as artist, composer, producer), and is a popular teacher at music camps like the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, American Banjo Camp, and Northeast Heritage Music Camp.
It Sounds So Sweet! Jug Band Music (level 2 and up) Learn why jug bands from the early black jug bands to the ’60s revival white bands bragged “It’s hard to beat!” It’s so easy to play, and fun, too! You can join the Crazy Council of the Melodious Commission Jug Bandits as a singer, guitarist, jug-player, kazooist, or…you name it; all are welcome!
Libby McLaren sings, plays piano, accordion, tin whistle, and banjo. She composes original songs as well as instrumental tunes in a Celtic/Americana style. She has both sung and been the accompanist with Holly Near, Ronnie Gilbert, the Roches, and many others. Libby directs the Linwood Project Community Chorus, a weekly women’s community chorus. Libby lives and teaches privately in Oakland, plays for contra dances, and performs two children’s shows all over California. She also loves to fly fish.
Group Harmony (level 2 and up) Join me in learning or reminding yourself how to comfortably and confidently sing harmonies with a variety of melodies and styles. We will start off singing rounds that make instant harmonies, and then move up to different 2-, 3- and 4-part songs, with parts written out as well as some we’ll learn by ear. It will be helpful if you can read music, but okay if you can’t.
Stagecraft (all levels) In this supportive and problem-solving class, we will study a different element of performing and stagecraft each day. Please bring at least one song that you will sing or play as your vehicle for trying out what you learn. Our goal will be to understand and resolve any questions you’ve always had about standing and performing on stage.
Seattle guitarist Ron Peters has played for more than 35 years. An in-demand sideman and teacher, he performs regularly in the U.S. and Canada. Ron studied with Joe Pass and Ted Greene and is an alumnus of Berklee College of Music. He has appeared with the Manhattan Transfer, Chevy Chase, Jennifer Scott, and Pearl Django, and he performs with Trio Incognito with Cary Black and Paul Elliott and the Seattle group Panache. Ron is a frequent instructor at numerous music camps and workshops in the U.S. and Canada.
Intro to Swing Guitar (level 3) If you have been curious about those swing chords but thought they were difficult then this class is for you! Using common chord progressions and standard tunes we’ll look closely at basic 4-note swing chords and 3-note “shell” voicings. Most are simple shapes and they move up the neck allowing you to play easily in any key with an authentic swing sound. Leave your capos at home!
Swing Band (level 3 and up) Open to all instruments and vocalists. We’ll divide into groups and explore the elements that make solid, musical arrangements. Exploring standards, Latin and blues tunes, we’ll focus on rhythm, groove and collective playing. We will work through charts and there will be lots of playing in class. Reading skills are helpful but not essential.
Jennifer Scott is a vocalist/pianist who is in demand as a performer, session musician, and clinician. She is considered one of the most important jazz artists in Canada. Recent projects include an eclectic duo recording with composer/pianist Miles Black, and a collaboration with saxophonist Kristen Strom called Crossing Borders. Andrew Gilbert of JazzTimes says: “Scott is the kind of singer who you want to tackle your favorite songs, just to hear what she might do with them.”
Sing Shop (level 1–2) This class will cover simple, fun, but comprehensive vocal techniques to ease you into a more comfortable singing style. We will cover breathing techniques, vocalises that suit the non-classical singer, strength and tone-building exercises. We will focus on some common issues vocalists worry about: vocal strain, singing through your “break” and much more! We’ll also use repertoire to help illustrate how to sing with more ease. All levels welcome.
Performance Techniques for Singers, Songwriters, and Others (level 3–4) We’ll explore expanded breathing techniques, vocalises to expand the range and timbre of the voice, and some stagecraft exercises. We’ll also explore polishing up your performances, working with your natural positives to create an onstage persona that is natural, polished, and vocally healthy. All styles of music welcome. Singers should be prepared to bring 2–3 solo pieces to class. Challenge yourself to take it to a new level!
Longtime picker Mike Simpson started out torn between classical music and the porch picking and show tunes he heard from family. He happily plays most anything he can now. Mike has been a frequent attendee at CCMC, and is a firm believer in the notion that we often come to camp for the music, and stay for the folks! And the music.
Intro to Flatpicking Guitar (level 2) Let’s pick! Using simple first-position chords, we will play accompaniment with a flatpick, with chords, and alternating bass strings. We’ll learn simple bass runs. We’ll grow in dexterity and strength, and learn quick tricks for rhythm and chord leading. Handouts will help you practice at camp and at home. Bring a playable guitar, flatpick(s), and a capo. A recording device helps. A tuner and metronome will aid practice. The genres of the songs will be varied.
Portland-based guitarist Jamie Stillway grew up on an apple orchard in rural Minnesota, and didn’t begin her quest to play the guitar until she was 13 years old. With a background in classical, ragtime, and gypsy jazz, Stillway has released two solo albums of her own compositions. In order to support her habits of studying endless styles of guitar playing, she has been teaching folks from ages 7–70 for the last 12 years.
The Fundamentals of Fingerpicking (level 2) Tired of strumming? Put down that flatpick and get to know those six strings with your fingertips. You’ll learn common fingerpicking patterns and techniques endemic to genres such as blues, folk, and ragtime, and how to give them your own personal stamp. In addition, you’ll learn how to pick out simple melodies, and add the melody line to your fancy new way of picking.
Everything You Wanted to Know About Fingerpicking (But Were Afraid to Ask) (level 4–5) This advanced class will load you up with a wealth of musical ideas to play with long after your week of camp has passed. We’ll discuss aspects of tone (fingerpicks versus nails), right-hand techniques based on classical guitar, harmonizing string pairs, inspiring practice methods, and more. You’ll learn some challenging new tunes—and don’t forget to bring those questions!
Helen White is the founder and Executive Director of the Junior Appalachian Musicians Program (JAM, Inc.), which introduces mountain children in three states to their musical heritage. Helen has taught fiddle or guitar at the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes; the Blue Ridge Traditional Music Program at Mars Hill, NC; Palestine (TX) Old-Time Music Festival; Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, and Fiddlekids in California. As a player/songwriter/tunesmith, Helen has won numerous regional fiddle and folksong competitions and national awards for her music compositions. She tours regularly with Wayne Henderson.
Beginning Guitar (level 1) This class will offer an introduction to the wonderful world of guitar. We’ll learn basic chords for backing up songs and tunes, and touch on some user-friendly music theory to understand what the hotshots are doing when they call out numbers to each other. There will be a few drills and exercises to help develop finger dexterity and strength. Class will be taught primarily by ear. Beyond a good, playable guitar, flatpick, and capo, students are encouraged to bring tuning and recording devices, and a metronome.
Old-Time and Mountain Fiddle (level 2–3) This class refreshes fiddlers on the basic foundations: playing in tune, rhythmically, with good tone production. You’ll be introduced to a learning style based on identifying the “bones” (simplest melody) of a tune and fleshing it out by recognizing and applying various bowing patterns common to Southern Appalachian fiddling. We’ll look at chords for fiddle and how to get into a jam without initially knowing a tune. We’ll work primarily in standard tuning, but we can migrate to a simple crossed tuning for at least one class period. Tunes will be taught by ear. Students need a good functional fiddle that is easily tunable. Tuning and recording devices are strongly recommended.
René Worst has been a professional bassist since 1971. His virtuostic and supportive bass playing has been a Canadian treasure for many years on both acoustic and electric basses. He is as gifted on fretless as he is on acoustic—a rarity in the industry. Rene is one of the founding members of the noted fusion band Skywalk and has anchored and produced six recordings with them. He is also a highly regarded bass teacher. He has recorded with scores of jazz, blues, rock, folk artists, and songwriters.
Bass (level 1–2) This is a fun class—no experience required! Learn the bass-ics from the bottom up: How to hold, finger, pluck, and carry the bass. We will use easy tunes by favorite artists with a play-along CD. Just add people for instant fun.
Bass (level 3–4) A rewarding class for both fairly new and more seasoned bassists who want to expand their horizons. We will cover some different styles from country swing, modern swing, singer-songwriter, and beyond. Included will be comprehensive tunes we can play with a CD that I have prepared. Better feel = more fun!