Classes & Teachers - 2013
WEEK 1: July 7–13
Susan Anders, MA, has coached singers for over 25 years in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Nashville. She is the creator of the No Scales, Just Songs Vocal Workout, Harmony Singing By Ear, the Sing Harmonies iPhone app, and many other methods used by singers worldwide. Susan has performed throughout the U.S. for over 30 years (“A soulful, commanding voice” — The New Yorker). Her most recent CD of songs is Swimmer (“Digs in and won’t let you go” — Midwest Record).
What Every Singer Needs to Know (level 1–2) Whether you’re a complete beginner or gig five nights a week, knowing the basics of good voice technique will improve your vocal quality, strength, and endurance. Using exercises and songs, we’ll go through all the elements of contemporary vocal technique: breathing, posture, resonance, how to increase your range and volume, how to get and stay in tune, as well as how to warm up, avoid straining, improve your tone, and build and maintain your vocal strength.
Singing: Beyond the Basics (level 3 and up) We’ll look at more advanced vocal concepts, including building your mix register and how to belt safely, phrasing and interpretation, picky pitch accuracy work, and more. The class will include group singing as well as some individual troubleshooting and coaching. If you have a song you want to work on in class, please bring a chart and lyric sheet, even if you accompany yourself.
Meredith Axelrod is a singer of early jazz and pre-1930s American pop music. As a guitarist, her playing explodes with energy and vintage rhythms. She has performed with Dan Hicks, Maria Muldaur and Craig Ventresco, and at venues around the U.S. and internationally, including the Great American Music Hall, the Freight & Salvage, Jazz at Pearl’s, the San Francisco Festival of the Mandolins, and the West Coast Ragtime and the Blind Boone Ragtime and Early Jazz Festivals. She plays guitar, cello, and kazoo.
1920s Blues and Jazz String Band (level 2 and up) Learn some songs from the 1920s, and play them with other instrumentalists nearby. Sing them too, in glorious harmony, if you like. Somebody will establish the melody, and everyone will find their place within each song. Listen to everything that’s happening around you, and see what you come up with.
Walking Bass Lines for Early Blues and Rag Guitar (level 3 and up) Learn how to connect guitar chords in inventive ways instead of strumming them one after the next, changing abruptly. Look at what Scott Joplin did; he didn’t play guitar, but he employed some beautiful ways to get from one chord to the next. It’s just playing a mini-melody, and landing on one of the notes in the chord you’re about to play. Try it out! It sounds beautiful.
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 make 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.
The Art and Craft of Bass Soloing (level 2–4) When it’s time for the bass solo, what do you do? We’ll work with concepts and techniques for composing pre-planned and improvised solos in various styles that are meaningful and coherent.
Richard Brandenburg is a Bay Area singer and songwriter known for his powerful voice, nuanced harmonies, and well-crafted songs that reflect his deep love of early country music. Three original tunes from his 2010 CD, Flickering Dreams, have been covered by other artists. Critics praise his work for the authenticity and authority of its narrative voice and for the unique, ageless melodies he writes. He performs throughout Northern California at festivals, clubs, and house concerts. Richard is also a gifted teacher who has taught group classes and workshops on songwriting and country song repertoire at California Coast Music Camp, California Bluegrass Association Camp, and Berkeley’s Freight & Salvage.
Country Repertoire (level 2) Drawn to the traditional forms of country music? Tired of 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 with this great music!
Rhythm and Backup Fluency (level 2–3) Do you want to go beyond boom-chuck and add simple, tasteful fills and rhythms to your guitar playing? In this class, we’ll explore bass runs, hammer-ons, and flatpick rhythm variations for backing up your solo singing. We’ll also discuss the role of the guitar in jams and backing up other singers. We’ll totally get our money’s worth from our capos and a half-dozen simple chord shapes!
Jere Canote and his twin brother, Greg, have toured the U.S. 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, CCMC, Pinewoods Camps, and every Portland Uke Fest.
Novelty Songs for Uke: ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s (level 2–3) 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, from “I Wish I Was Twins” and “That’s My Weakness Now” to “Meet Me by the Ice House, Lizzy.” Word sheets provided.
More Melody for Ukes! (level 3–4) The uke isn’t just for strumming! Using old-time tunes and songs, we’ll explore right- and left-hand techniques (many based on guitar and banjo styles) to get more melody out of our ukes. Includes thumb picking, Carter family style, old-time two-finger picking, clawhammer, and chord melody. Bring a uke tuned GCEA.
William Coulter has been performing, recording, and producing traditional and world music for over 20 years. As a performer, musical collaborations have been a mainstay of his career. As a teacher, William maintains a classical guitar studio at UCSC, holds regular “DADGAD Days,” and is busy in the summer at camps such as the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, the National Guitar Workshop, Chris Norman’s Boxwood Flute Camp, and the Rocky Mountain Fiddle Camp.
How to Not Get Thrown Out of a Traditional Irish Session (level 2 and up) We’ll explore DADGAD guitar in the context of a traditional Irish session. We’ll learn basic chord progressions and strumming patterns to accompany standard jigs, reels, and waltzes, and maybe even a polka. Open to all players who want to not get thrown out of a session!
Advanced Fingerpicking—Celtic (level 4–5) We’ll explore fingerstyle guitar in DADGAD and standard tuning. Learn new tunes as well as technical development exercises for both right and left hand, and fingerstyle technique for song accompaniment. We’ll also spend some time working with pieces that you already play and want to develop. For the player who has some fingerpicking experience. Nylon or steel-string guitars are welcome.
Nova Devonie toured nationally for several years as accordionist and backup singer in the swingabilly cowgirl group Ranch Romance. Since then she’s divided her time between performing, composing, and teaching. Currently a member of five Seattle bands, including Miles and Karina (with multi-instrumentalist David Keenan), Nova enjoys spreading the joy and versatility of the accordion.
Ukulele Time! (level 1) Hold it, tune it, strum it! Learn simple chords to enjoy hours of pleasure playing this popular instrument. Repertoire will cover easy folk, country, and pop songs. Focus will be on learning basic strums and chords, with a little music theory thrown in. Expect to sing and play a lot in this class!
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.
Intermediate Mandolin (level 2–3) Learn to breathe new life into those melodies you have played a million times. Let’s find a few basic concepts that we can apply to any tune to make it more interesting. We’ll focus on breaking through to the next plateau.
Advanced Flatpick Lead (level 4–5) Bluegrass, old-time, and country tunes. We’ll learn some techniques for playing with more speed while staying relaxed so you can sound better than you actually are! We’ll approach improvisation and how to balance it from a melodic viewpoint, a harmonically specific viewpoint, and an “ignorance is bliss” approach.
Topher Gayle writes funny songs and pretty instrumentals, and he likes to lay down grooves to get dancers moving. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, he’s a popular teacher and accompanist, and also makes resonator instruments. He plays lots of stringed instruments and some percussion. He wants to jam with you! Pretty nearly any style, any time. Let’s do it!
Introductory Guitar (level 1) We’ll learn some basic chords, good technique, and lots of useful miscellaneous stuff that will get you playing the guitar quickly and with a maximum dose of fun. We’ll work on some very easy songs, and we’ll take things nice and S-L-O-W. We’ll also discuss care and feeding for your guitar. And of course, there’s the Trick of the Day. Bring whatever guitar-related stuff you have: picks, capos, books, tuners, etc. We’ll talk about them all.
Introductory Mandolin (level 1–2) If you’ve never played mandolin, or have played a little bit, this is the place for you. Come find out how this versatile little instrument can work for you as both a chordal and melody instrument. It’s remarkably logical. We will go just as S-L-O-W as we need to. What’s the rush? And do bring along all your accessories. We’ll make sure you know what they’re used for.
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. She has received 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.
Introduction to the Flatpick (level 2) Learn technique and repertoire for backing up singing, using alternating bass strings on very simple strums and runs. Students should know basic chords in most keys (we won’t use barre chords but will use capos). Songs provided, but bring your own as well.
Harmony Singing (level 2 and up) We’ll focus on finding traditional old-time and bluegrass harmonies and more. How do you work with another person to get a good harmony sound? How do you find a harmony? What goes into harmony singing besides the right notes? We’ll examine the challenges of singing in different combinations from duets to larger groups.
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. He currently performs solo and with bass player Chuck Ervin in the Spin Cats.
A Groove a Day (level 3 and up) We’ll practice rhythm backup for a variety of styles including blues, country, pop, Latin, swing, rock, and R&B. We’ll go over right-hand strumming methods, practice counting rhythms, and learn how to make use of syncopation, accents, and dynamics. All chordal instruments and bass players welcome.
Advanced Soloing (level 4–5) We’ll spend the week working out strategies for soloing over a variety of styles, including swing, pop, blues, country, Latin, and R&B. Topics include scales and modes, melodic motifs, arpeggios, dynamics, and rephrasing song melodies. All instruments welcome.
David Miles Keenan has been playing music since he was 8 years old and performing since the age of 12. He performs in his home town of Seattle with several bands in a variety of styles; co-music–directed Woody Guthrie—American Songs for the Arizona Theater Company; was featured instrumentalist in Mama Hated Diesels for the Denver Performing Arts Center; teaches banjo, guitar, and mandolin at many camps; composes for film; and is currently writing a musical with creative partner Nova Karina Devonie.
Western Swing Chord Roundup (level 3) With six chord shapes we’ll unlock the basics of western swing rhythm guitar. We’ll start with two-chord songs and move to three- and four-chord songs and strum patterns. When we have that working, we’ll explore moving bass lines with chords. Swing it!
Beginning to Solo (level 3) Blues, country, folk—all use the same notes to convey their message. We’ll start very simply and apply the same info to songs in each style. Take it!
John Miller has over 40 years’ experience as a performing/recording musician, music teacher, composer, and record producer. He started out playing country blues and has played jazz, Brazilian, and old-time. John has been in demand as a teacher at music camps, and has taught at Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Port Townsend Country Blues Workshop, BC Swing Camp, Guitar Intensives, CCMC, and others. In recent years, John has been making instructional DVDs for Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop (John currently has 18 instructional DVDs to his credit) and wrote the book John Miller’s Country Blues Guitar Collection.
Intro to Music Theory (level 1 and up) If you’ve ever been baffled in a jam session by someone saying something like, “It’s a I-IV-V progression in D,” this class is for you. We’ll learn the structure of the major scale, the structure and sound of different melodic intervals, and the structure of major, minor, diminished, and augmented chords. We’ll start with simple progressions and see why it is helpful to think of progressions in the numeric (I-IV-V) way. We’ll expand the chordal vocabulary as we go through the week, and learn quick ways to transpose a song from one key to another. For all instruments.
Fingerpicking Country Blues (level 3–4) Working in the oral tradition of listening, watching, imitating, and repeating (i.e., no tablature), we’ll build repertoire by learning songs in a variety of keys, tunings, and regional styles. We’ll also spend some time learning how to identify playing positions and tunings by their sound, and develop strategies to help you play what you hear and make up your own licks in the style. Participants should be comfortable fingerpicking with an alternating bass.
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.
Banjo Without Boundaries (level 2–4) We’ll begin with basic three-finger bluegrass rolls, and then move to more advanced bluegrass rolls and alternate tunings as well as using capos. We’ll learn to improvise at jams using simple, universal chord shapes, and also spend some time learning the basics of clawhammer (old-time) banjo. Please bring fingerpicks, a thumbpick, and a five-string banjo (four- or six-string banjos will not suffice!).
Hoedown in the Old Country (level 2–5) We’ll explore the differences between bluegrass, old-time, and country music, playing and jamming in all three styles. We’ll spend a few days on each style, using classic songs and instrumentals, starting from the ground up learning the elements that make each genre unique, from distinct guitar strums and picking patterns to bass runs, melodies, and even vocal harmonies. Guitars, mandolins, fiddles, basses, vocalists, banjos, dobros, and more are welcome!
Cosy Sheridan is “one of the era’s finest and most thoughtful singer-songwriters.” In 1992 she won both the Kerrville Folk Festival’s NewFolk Award and The Telluride Bluegrass Festival Troubadour Contest. She has released nine CDs. For the past 18 years, she has taught classes in songwriting, performance, and guitar at workshops and adult music camps across the country, including the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, CCMC and The Swannanoa Gathering. In 2008 she co-founded the Moab Folk Camp.
Songwriting Games (all levels) We often think of songwriting as a serious business. What if it were a game? What happens when we remove our ego from the equation? Each day we’ll have a new game: song mash-ups, melody poker, a three-legged race, and maybe even co-writing. This is all about loosening up and having fun with our creativity. No experience required!
Performance (all levels) Performance is a technical skill—and also a creative art. We’ll look at how to be present on stage in the moment and also how to prepare before we get up there. How do we adjust in real time to what’s happening on stage and off? When do we take a chance and try the unexpected? We’ll go over the nuts and bolts of microphones, monitors, and a good entrance, and also the more metaphysical question of finding out who we are on stage. We’ll try to get everyone on stage at least twice.
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.
Portland-based guitarist Jamie Stillway has been tangled up in guitar strings for the last 20+ years of her life. With a background in classical, ragtime, and gypsy jazz guitar, Jamie has released three solo albums of her own compositions, and performed as a session musician on several other albums. In order to support her habits of studying guitar and whatever other instruments she can get her hands on, she has been teaching folks ages 7–70 for the last 14 years.
Freedom From Flatpicks: Intro to Fingerpicking (level 2) If you know the majority of your first-position chords and find yourself tiring of the same old strum patterns, this class is for you! We’ll discuss the what, why, and how of fingerpicking. You’ll learn basic arpeggio patterns that can be applied to several styles of music, ways to weave simple melodies into your picking, and Travis picking. Tablature will be provided.
My Guitar of Many Frets Intermediate Fingerpicking (level 3) If you feel you’ve got the basics of Travis picking down, or some other fingerpicking patterns up your sleeve, you’re prepared for this class. You’ll learn fun tunes that’ll get you playing up the neck and understanding the fretboard in ways you never imagined possible! Seriously! In order to really get your brain spinning, we’ll even dabble in an open tuning. Tablature will be provided.
WEEK 2: July 14–20
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.
Clawhammer Banjo (all levels) Life is better with a banjo. In this hands-on class we’ll work on developing a relaxed groove hand, which we’ll then put to use playing tunes. We’ll also explore the contemplative side of banjo playing.
Clawhammer Guitar (level 2 and up) Clawhammer is an old-time banjo technique that grooves beautifully on the guitar. In this class we’ll internalize the basic bum-ditty and put it to use making music. The material is tricky but rewarding. If you would like to hit the ground running, spend a bit of time before camp with Steve’s YouTube claw guitar lesson, “Wasilla Weed.”
Robin Flower plays mandolin, fiddle, and guitar, and is a composer, songwriter, singer, recording artist, and producer. She has toured with Hazel and Alice (Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard) and Elizabeth Cotton. She has five albums on Flying Fish Records, and she currently performs with her soon-to-be-legal wife, Libby McLaren, playing original and Irish-influenced songs and tunes. She plays for contra dances and performs for children with Libby as the Fabulous Goldrush Sisters and the Liberty Sisters. She has appeared in the play Woody Guthrie’s American Song.
Beginning Mandolin (level 1–2) Learn simple melodies, chords, and rhythms with a focus on old-time and Celtic tunes. Bring a recording device. Tablature/music provided.
Intermediate Mandolin (level 3–4) Take your mandolin playing to the next step with soloing, moveable and extended chords, and detailed tunes while taking a ride through Celtic, swing, and old-time tunes.
The humble ukulele has sat on the back burner throughout most of jazz music’s rich history. Paul Hemmings is determined to change that. Paul pushes the boundaries of what has often been considered a mere novelty instrument. He combines the warm spirit of aloha with a distinct blend of hard-swinging jazz, Latin-infused polyrhythm, and reggae-tinged grooves, all peppered with fancy flights of improvisation.
Intro to Ukulele (level 1) Riding a wave of resurgent popularity, the ukulele is an ideal instrument for anybody looking to develop the skills and techniques needed to play any fretted instrument. This class focuses on the basics of playing the ukulele and is geared toward the absolute beginner. Topics covered will include basic open chords, simple strumming patterns, and easy melodies. Players may arrive as novices but are sure to leave with a solid repertoire of easy songs.
Intermediate Ukulele (level 2–3) This class picks up where the “Intro to Uke” class leaves off, and is geared toward intermediate players. Topics include chords up and down the entire neck (triads and seventh chords), improvising solos, and the basics of playing chord melodies, all of which will be explored through a repertoire of jazz and blues standards. Students should be comfortable with basic open chords (C, F, Am, G7, etc.) and be able to switch seamlessly between them at a steady tempo.
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’ll 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’ll go over the tunes until you get them.
Advanced Mountain Flatpick (level 4–5) We’ll play some fiddle tunes from Doc Watson and other pickers from Western Virginia. We’ll work on endings and three-finger chord shapes that can be played up the neck. Bring an audio recorder.
Sylvia Herold has taught guitar and song repertoire for more than 20 years. Her performance credits include Cats & Jammers, Wake the Dead, Euphonia, the Hot Club of San Francisco, and Sylvia Herold and the Rhythm Bugs.
Intro to Swing Guitar (level 3) Get started playing Western swing and jazz standards! In this gentle introduction to jazz chords, you’ll learn a few of the most useful movable chord shapes and apply them to jam-friendly jazz songs that are a blast to sing and play. We’ll drill the bass notes up the neck, practice right-hand techniques to make it swing and sing, and play a selection of Texas swing and easy standards beloved by jazz singers.
Adventurous Folk Guitar (level 3) Ever wonder how to make your guitar playing sound more compelling? Learn a range of songs from lovely Irish ballads to songs by Bob Dylan, Stephen Foster, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, and Tom Waits. In the process, you’ll be introduced to lush chords, color tones, and power chords. We’ll practice various strumming patterns and experiment with drop D tuning. Break out of your rut as you play and sing a selection of achingly beautiful folk songs.
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, producer’s credits, and is a founding member of CCMC as well as a perennial fixture on the teaching staff at the Puget Sound Guitar Workshop.
Rockin’ Acoustic: Grooves and Riffs for the Modern Campfire (level 2–3) Put some swag into your playing! You’ll learn a fun, wide-ranging repertoire of songs and the techniques necessary to really make them rock. For most songs, two guitar parts will be presented—standard chords with specific rhythmic grooves and simple signature riffs that enhance each arrangement. You can learn both parts or concentrate on one. Participants should have a solid foundation in first-position chords. Some songs require a capo. Emphasis is on having FUN!
The Art of Soloing (level 4–5) So, you’ve tried learning all kinds of scales and patterns, but you need something to make your lead playing sound more inspired. This class will emphasize fusing knowledge of the fretboard and chord theory with learning how to make interesting musical phrases. We’ll work with a variety of stylistic approaches—blues, jazz, Brazilian, and more—with the goal of playing with intention and imagination.
Award-winning singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Steve Kritzer is a studio musician, band member, teacher, church bandleader, 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 mainstage 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.
Intro to Flatpicking (level 2) Take your rhythm playing up a notch or ten. Be the most sought-after rhythm player in any jam or band! Starting with how to hold and control a pick, learn simple strums in a variety of popular styles. Move to basic “boom chuck” (bass note/strum), then into more complex rhythm patterns using combinations of bass runs and strums. Bring a capo, picks, and recording device.
Beginning Fingerpicking (level 2) Want to take your right-hand playing out of simple strumming to a whole other musical level? Get those fingers rolling! Start with some easy thumb/brush strokes and basic Travis-style alternating bass picking (thumb and three fingers), then on to some simple techniques to incorporate melodies and rhythm as you play. We may work in some other styles (ballad picking, 3/4 time, “James Taylor” style, easy classical, who knows!). Bring a capo and recording device.
Peter Langston has been playing acoustic music for 50 years and seems to play every instrument in every style. He has performed with such diverse artists as Doc Watson, Pat Donohue, Johnny Gimble, Mike Seeger, Chill Wills, and Reverend Gary Davis. He’s active in recording (as artist, composer, producer), and is a popular teacher at music and dance camps (Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Sierra Swing, CCMC, American Banjo Camp, Georgia Strait Guitar Workshop, and California Bluegrass Association Music Camp).
Tony Marcus has been playing music on many things with strings for what is laughingly called “a living” for 35 years, and has performed with Geoff Muldaur, R. Crumb and the Cheap Suit Serenaders, Cats & Jammers, and many others. Currently, he sings with Patrice Haan in the duo Leftover Dreams and does frequent theatre work.
Advanced Swing Rhythm (level 3–4) When the big bands come back, you want to be ready! For folks who’ve already learned some movable four-note chord shapes, we’ll expand that vocabulary and work on linking nearby chord forms for good voice leading. We’ll also get a running start on playing chord melody solos by learning a very limited number of triad shapes on the top strings and superimposing the melody on top of these. Lots of great songs and playing in class!
Small Band Lab (level 3 and up) No, you don’t have to be short to participate. In groups of six musicians or fewer, you’ll work on achieving a cohesive ensemble sound. Improve your awareness of what it means to be in a band, and get better at working in a rhythm section, soloing, and communicating what you want the other folks to do. We’ll focus on a song or two and fine-tune the group sound to achieve the most musicality.
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.
Harmony Singing Like the Pros (all levels) After covering the building blocks of harmony theory, we’ll discover what makes those stellar harmonies you love so memorable by learning exact transcriptions of duets and trios from a wide variety of sources including folk, blues, bluegrass, and rock and roll. Sightsinging is not a pre-requisite for this class (we’ll work on this together). Appropriate for both beginning and experienced singers.
Tips for Arranging Songs (level 2–3 and up) How do you make a single guitar accompaniment sound like the original band version of the song, even if you're an intermediate player? How do you build a song from a basic strum to an interesting arrangement that supports the song and sounds good, even without the vocal? We'll learn the basics of song arranging, how to vary the rhythm within a song, where and when to add runs and fills, and many other tips.
Libby McLaren sings, plays piano, accordion, tin whistle, and banjo. She has sung, recorded, and been the accompanist with Holly Near, Ronnie Gilbert, the Roches, and many others. With her partner, Robin Flower, she released a fifth CD in 2009, Twenty Years/Twenty Rivers, commemorating 20 years of creating beautiful and cutting-edge music together. They also have four additional CDs, Angel of Change, 30 Second Kiss, A Kiss From The Angel of Change, and Steelhead In the Riffles. Libby also directs the Linwood Project Community Chorus, a weekly women’s community chorus currently in its 17th year. Libby teaches piano, singing, and accordion privately in Oakland, where she lives with Robin and their three cats. With Robin she also plays for contra dances, and performs two children’s shows all over California.
Songwriting: Thinking Outside the Box! (all levels) In this spirited class, we’ll tackle a new songwriting concept each day. We'll focus on how to frame a song, beginning to end, and loosen up those strings that bind our minds and keep us from expressing what we want to say. Bring in your unfinished songs and ideas.
Missy Raines has been named IBMA’s Bass Player of the Year a record seven times. A former member of the Claire Lynch Band and the duo Jim Hurst and Missy Raines, she has also toured and recorded with the early legends including Mac Wiseman, Kenny Baker, Josh Graves, and Eddie Adcock. Currently, Missy is fronting her own band, Missy Raines & The New Hip, a fusion of Americana, indie-rock, bluegrass, and jazz. Missy's latest CD, New Frontier on Compass Records, will be released in 2013.
Bluegrass Band—Ensemble Playing (level 2–3) Always wanted to be in a band but didn't feel you were ready? Come learn the basics of ensemble playing in a bluegrass setting. We'll cover the roles of each instrument, the finesse of playing backup, singing in a band, choosing songs, not running with scissors, and playing well with others. You should be able to play a basic I-IV-V chord change on your instrument and few leads, know some standards by heart, and, if you're a singer, be prepared to sing and bring a songbook.
Bass: The Ultimate Support System (level 3–4) We’ll dig a little deeper into the intangibles of timing and groove, and how every note we play as bassists can either build up or tear down the soloist. We’ll talk about the importance of note choice, what to play, when to play it, and how to build that mighty foundation we know as the bass line.
Considered the finest jazz vocal improviser in Canada by her peers, her fans, and the musicians who work with her, Jennifer Scott is an important jazz voice. She has sung with such jazz greats as Gene Bertoncini, Clark Terry, Tommy Banks, Paul Horn, and Kenny Wheeler, to name a few. She has been nominated for Juno and Jessie Awards with Mythos and the theatre production War of the Worlds, and frequently teaches at music camps on the west coast.
Voice Lab (level 1–2) Learn about the quality and care of your voice. We’ll touch upon unique and useful breathing techniques that will strengthen and augment your sound. We’ll also focus on working through the “breaks and seams” of the voice to create an even and well-focused tone. Using repertoire, we’ll also learn to apply these techniques. Students are encouraged to tape these sessions—lots of this information will be useful to work on after camp.
Performance for Singers and Musicians (level 3–4) We’ll put the experience of performance polishing and self-expression under the microscope! What makes a song your own? How can you deliver a song with more commitment to emotion? What are all the little technical things that make a performance run smoothly? We’ll work with all these components and more! Bring 2–3 songs to work on over the week.
Singer/songwriter/guitarist Cyd Smith calls her brand of music “progressive folk.” With breathtaking lyrics, gorgeous melodies,and inventive harmonies, her songs shine with musical intelligence and a spry sense of humor. She has mined her background in classical guitar, swing jazz, and American folk and pop music to produce songs sparkling with wit, beauty, and surprises.
Music Theory in the Woods (level 2 and up) We’ll start with the absolute basics and stroll through scale creation, chord theory, and what it all has to do with playing the music you love.
Your First Lead (level 3 and up) You’ve never tried to play a lead on your instrument before? No problem! We’ll look at different approaches to playing leads—from how to start hearing melodies, lines, or riffs, as well as using chords or simple scales as a basis for improvisation.
San Francisco Bay Area multi-style vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, teacher (individual, schools and workshops), and songwriter Michael Stadler has performed since age six, both solo and in bands ranging in style from old-time to country to afrobilly. He plays guitar (fingerstyle, flatpicked, clawhammer, electric), mandolin, fiddle, clawhammer banjo, and bass. He also offers Gym Class for the Hands and Clawhammer Guitar workshops.
Beginning Guitar (level 1) A class for complete beginners. Learn to tune, play basic chords, and do simple strums. We’ll also discuss guitar ergonomics, practice habits and dexterity exercises, and play some simple one- to two-chord songs.
Classic Country (level 2) We’ll go over songs from early to more recent—diverging paths from home-hearth to roadhouses and technique (how to play these songs to best replicate style and era). You’ll learn guitar tips for Carter, western swing, honky-tonk, and bluegrass, and some vocal tips too. All stringed instruments are welcome. Please bring a tuner, a capo, and a recording device if you have one.
Hailing from “the home of the blues” (Santa Barbara, CA), Kenny Sultan has taught guitar for over 25 years. Whether from his studio, workshops, university residency, or international guitar camps, he shows true passion in his teaching vocation. With his partner, Tom Ball, he released eight CDs, plus two solo CDs of his own work. The Martin Guitar Company honored him with his own signature model based on his trusty 1936 sunburst Martin 000-18. Hear Kenny in film and TV, the Levi’s Blues commercials, touring, books, DVDs, and CDs.
Country Blues Fingerstyle (level 2–3) We’ll focus on fingerstyle blues, from the monotone bass of Lightnin’ Hopkins and other Texas and Mississippi Bluesmen, to the alternating thumb of Blind Blake, Blind Boy Fuller, John Hurt, and Merle Travis. Basic first-position chord knowledge is all that you need to take this class. If you know three chords, you can play the blues! Basic theory (the kind you can really use), ear training, rhythm tricks, and comping will also be covered. This class will surely get your toes tapping and fingers moving.
Advanced Country Blues (level 4–5) This class is for guitarists that already have some knowledge of acoustic blues and fingerstyle playing. Students should know the basic Travis pick and the monotone bass styles of some of the acoustic masters. If you are tired of learning from tablature, or just tired of playing the same songs the same way, this class is for you! Learn how to make the songs that you already know into more emotional musical pieces. We’ll reach beneath the surface of the blues, learn how to improvise, move up the neck, and learn new special right- and left-hand techniques. Add the tricks, the treats, and everything else that you need, to become your own musician and acoustic blues player.
Rene Worst has recorded and performed with numerous jazz greats, including Jack Sheldon, Tommy Banks, Herb Ellis, Freddie Hubbard, Ernestine Anderson, John Faddis, and Don Thompson, to name a few, and has recorded and produced seven CDs with his musical partner, Jennifer Scott. He frequently teaches at music camps on the west coast.
Introductory Bass (level 1–2) We’ll start with holding, plucking, playing two-chord songs, and gently getting a good groove. As the week progresses we’ll add a chord or two and learn to play a few different feels. We’ll use charts and a play-along CD (or digital files). Big fun for the new player or other musicians who want to try the bass.
Bass Soloing (level 3–4) This class will concentrate on soloing. Using audio examples of a few different bass styles, we’ll learn how to construct and intuit our own solos. This class is designed to get us out of our “bass shells” and play some cool intros, some tasty lines, and even duet with another instrument or vocalist.