2016 GMCN Classes

 

Guitar & Mandolin
Camp North
Class Descriptions

(subject to change)

— Opportunities for Individualized Attention —

Coaching Sessions are an opportunity for campers to have an individualized lesson with a faculty member of their choice. Campers will determine the topic and level for their time with that instructor. Each session is limited to four campers. All four students will be present for the whole period and the time will be divided equally among those attending. We’ll have sign-up sheets at Friday dinner for campers to pick the instructor of their choice, first come-first served. Each camper may sign up for one session only.

 Notice:  “Plan Your Weekend” has no more slots available. 

Plan Your Weekend – During Friday registration, we’ll also have individual Plan Your Weekend sessions available to each camper. At Plan Your Weekend, faculty members who are assigned as Weekend Advisers will be available to help campers assess their  level of skill* and/or their interests and goals for their Guitar & Mandolin Camp North experience. At each camper’s option, Plan Your Weekend will either end after this session, or campers may choose to meet with their Weekend Adviser during the weekend for follow-up advice and feedback about the Camp experience.

• Guidelines for determining level of skill are at the end of the list of classes.

Tutoring – Adjunct faculty in the list below will be available for advice and instruction on instruments other than guitar or mandolin. If this interests you, contact one of these tutors at camp to arrange a time and place to meet.

— Classes —
(subject to change)

Mike Compton (Mandolin)

  1. Old-time Rhythm for Mandolin My Way – Some ideas for doing something besides always playing chop chords. (AB-I)
  2. 1950’s Monroe: the High Lonesome Sound – A selection of “darlin” songs. (Demo)
  3. Tremolo Exercise for Danged Near Beginners – Suggestions for playing double stops fluently. “The Old Lonesome Waltz” and “You’ll Find Her Name Written There”.  (AB)
  4. Three Songs in C Major – “Journey’s End”, “It Makes No Difference Now”, and “Careless Love”- Common elements combined to a different end. (All)
  5. Sound Alikes – Speculation on sources for some of Monroe’s well-known tunes. “Panhandle Country”, “Pike County Breakdown”, “Old Grey Mare Came Tearing Out of the Wilderness” and more… (All)
  6. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level

 

Rich DelGrosso (Mandolin)

  1. The Blues and Bluegrass Connection – Where old time fiddle tunes joined forces with the beat and the minor pentatonic of the blues. (I-A)
  2. 100 Years of Mandolin in the Blues – The music of great African-American mandolinists; from Charlie McCoy and Vol Stevens to Yank Rachell, Howard Armstrong, and Johnny Young.  (Demo)
  3. Unlocking the Mystery of Modes – That jig you’re playing in D has a C natural! Why? Because it was created in a mode and not a scale. Learn how the different modes shape melody. (I-A)
  4. Chromatic Runs – Using the music of Texas mandolin player Coley Jones of the Dallas String Band, the master of chromatic flourishes at bluegrass speed. Don’t worry. We’ll take it slow!  (A)
  5. Blues Mandolin 101 – The elements of blues that changed the world of music.  (B)
  6. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level

 

Sharon Gilchrist (Mandolin)

  1. Right hand technique practice session – We’ll discuss the basics of right hand technique and take this into playing various string picking patterns together. This will also include a portion of time spent on tremolo. And if time allows, we’ll see how some of these patterns and feels fit into some musical examples. (AB-I)
  2. Closed Position Fingering – for melodies based on I-IV-V chord progressions: Learning a pattern on the fretboard that enables players to pick up melodies quickly by ear in any key. (I)
  3. Embellishing Melodies in Closed Position – Fingering for songs with I-IV-V chord progressions; how to harmonize melodies in the closed position finger for I-IV-V using double stops and learning common moves shifts that occur inside this closed position fingering. (I-A)
  4. Improvisation – We’ll use a standard bluegrass song to explore embellishing the melody with double stops, arpeggios, kick-offs, some classic licks, and whatever else we can find to build your soloing vocabulary! (I-A)
  5. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level
  • Weekend Adviser

 

Skip Gorman (Guitar, Mandolin)

  1. Sweet Bluegrass Waltzes – Some well-known, some you’ve never heard before. hands on (I-A)
  2. Get Up John – hands on exploration of Bill Monroe’s famous cross-tuned instrumental (A)
  3. Fills, Clichés and Riffs To Use Behind Vocals – musical vocabulary to support and enhance your vocalist’s delivery without stealing the show – hands on (I)
  4. Melodies from Mandolin In the Cow Camp – lonesome, wild & woolly old-time tunes and melodies from the Old West, Appalachia and the “Old Country”. hands on (AB-I)
  5. Old Time Mountain and Bluegrass Guitar Styles – We’ll start with simple Jimmie Rodgers runs used behind vocals and work our way up through Riley Puckett. then on to Jimmy Martin bluegrass licks, and finally to the wildness of Gene Mead who used to back up the fiddler Clark Kessinger. (I)
  6. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level

 

Bennett Hammond (Guitar)

  1. It’s Not Just for D – Drop-D, or “God’s Tuning”, which is good ol’ Standard Tuning with a divine extra. Easy power chords in all keys, no capo. Fabulous low notes no one else has, in all keys, no capo. Melodic octave bass runs in all keys, no capo. Harmonics, cheap tricks, it goes on and on… DADGAD? Faugh! In Drop-D we change keys with no capo. (I-A)
  2. Double-Stop Melodic Rhythm Harmonies, Riffs and Stuff – Two-note chord fragments up and down the neck. Here’s a handful of simple fingerings that do “double duty,” standing for more than one chord at a time, depending upon how and where they are placed. (AB-I)
  3. Thumb-Pickin’ 101: Unmistakable American Sound – Teach your right hand to do this, and school’s out. Flatpickers use it too, à la Steve Gillette et al. (I)
  4. The Big Picture – This is the key to transposition and up-the-neck work. Guitar chords weave around the fretboard like the spiral coils of DNA. Millions of chords, maybe, but only three chord-shapes, and they line up like ducks in a row. (All) 
  5. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level
  • Weekend Adviser

 

Lorraine Hammond (Mandolin)

  1. Mandolin: Novice/Beginners – Five Sessions
    • strings and tuning
    • left and right hand technique
    • chords and chopping
    • first fiddle tune
    • first vocal tune
    • jamming and improvising

 

Bill Henry (Guitar)

  1. Guitar: Beginner/Advancing Beginner – Three Sessions
    • correct posture & hand positions
    • anatomy of the guitar
    • tuning
    • chord fingerings
    • hearing chord changes
    • basic flat-pick rhythm patterns
    • runs (quarter note and eighth note)
    • simple leads (Wildwood Flower, Shady Grove, etc.)
    • use of capo
  2. Practice Makes Perfect (or At Least Better) – Here are some essential tools and techniques to take your playing to the next level, including creating a mental and physical practice space, using a metronome, and using the Amazing Slowdowner. (I-A)
  3. Mix It Up – Create a personal style By drawing from a handful of tunes in a variety of genres, from Bob Wills to James Taylor. (I-A)

 

Marc Horowitz

  • Old-Time and Bluegrass Banjo – Tutor; Workshop, Concert, and Jam Session support

 

Paul Howard (Guitar)

  1. Swing Tunes People Like, AND Making Sense out of a Fakebook – While we deepen our repertoire of standards, Django, and Bob (Wills) tunes, we’ll also (quickly) review musical roadmapping so you know what to do when you see Dm6-Bm7b5-Ehalf-dim-A7#11 or Eb fermented-Ab demolished or G-E7b9#5-A7-13-Dsus-1-800-BR549  with Stiernberg (I-A)
  2. Using Hybrid Scales and Modes. – Improve your solos by knowing and using scales, hybrid scales, and modes to navigate your way through chord changes.  (A)
  3. Guitar Chords – Common and uncommon chord progressions, voicings and substitutions to accompany a melody (A)
  4. Rhythm Guitar – The next step, bass notes, bass runs and finding the groove (AB-I)
  5. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level
  • Weekend Adviser

 

Shawn Lane (Mandolin)

  1. Fiddle Tune Variations – First we’ll learn a simple but interesting tune note-for-note (with or without tablature), and then demonstrate how to create simple variations. Do you have a “go to” approach to your solos, or is it strictly in-the-moment improvisation, etc. (AB-I)
  2. Playing and Singing in a Band – Learn and experiment with 1) rhythm changes to define parts of a song or tune, 2) backing up vocals and other instruments, 3) fills at the end of a line, and more. Hands on (I-A)
  3. Set-up and Approach Clinic – The architecture and mechanics of playing guitar and mandolin: string gauges and action height; weight, shape, and composition of picks; how to hold the pick, angle of attack of the pick, etc. (All)
  4. Songwriters’ Showcase – How do they do it? Start with a word or a phrase? A new take on an old cliché? A news story or historical event? A chord progression? A melody? Or what? These songwriters share their experience and insight into this mysterious creative process. with Lane, Newberry, Rosenthal, Solivan, Stafford (Demo)
  5. Learning How to Learn – Here’s the strategy: analyze a tune, identify its component parts, break it into manageable sections, learn the sections, find the connecting points, and reassemble the tune. It helps to create the correct mental and physical space before you begin. You’ll get the hang of it after we walk through the process with a tune or two. (AB-I)
  6. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level

 

Chris Luquette (Guitar)

  1.  Flatpicking Lead 101 – the fundamentals of lead guitar as they pertain to Bluegrass and Roots music; some scales, right hand technique, and some soloing ideas. (I)
  2. Flatpicking Lead 102 – Building on 101, let’s talk Fiddle tunes! Add soloing ideas to a basic fiddle tune to “improve your improv”; further right hand technique and a look at ideas up the neck. (I-A)
  3. Ride the wave – Bluegrass Rhythm: an in depth look at what makes Bluegrass rhythm special; focus on dynamics, and rhythm figures  (Demo)
  4. Rhythm Techniques – Bass runs, chord choices and volume swells will be dissected. (I)
  5. Blue Notes of Kentucky – Adding Bluesy lines to your Flatpicking, Pentatonic scales and ideas. A big part of Bluegrass lead is the bluesy aspect. We’ll look at the scales involved and check out some phrases and sounds. (I)
  6. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level

 

Joe Newberry (Guitar)

  1. Carter Scratch Style Guitar – Mother Maybelle Carter had a distinctive way of playing guitar that combined thumb and finger to produce rhythm and melody.  This fun technique can really make your Carter Family Songs sound great. Hands On – (I)
  2. Putting Drive in Your Right Hand – The Right Hand is the right tool for the job of driving a band.  This class will focus on a powerful, even strum that will move the tune or song along. Hands On – (I)
  3. Fingerpicking Patterns – This class will demonstrate a number of fingerpicking patterns that make a song sound rich and full, & will also begin the exploration of alternating thumb on the bass notes. Hands On – (AB-I)
  4. Songwriters’ Showcase – How do they do it? Start with a word or a phrase? A new take on an old cliché? A news story or historical event? A chord progression? A melody? Or what? These songwriters share their experience and insight into this mysterious creative process. with Lane, Newberry, Rosenthal, Solivan, Stafford  (Demo)
  5. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level
  • Weekend Adviser

 

Laura Orshaw

  • Fiddle – Tutor; Workshop, Concert, and Jam Session support 

 

Ben Pearce (Mandolin)

  1. Learning the Numbers: I, IV, V – a look the most common bluegrass and folk progressions and the mandolin as a great medium for playing rhythm along with them, and we’ll unlock a fundamental secret to navigating the mandolin fingerboard (AB-I)
  2. Dissecting Doublestops – understanding doublestops in terms of scales as well as partial chords, how to effectively use doublestops in both lead and backup playing. This approach helps underscore the harmonic underpinnings of commonly used doublestops and their place in the chords over which they are played. (I)
  3. Get a Grip!  This class looks behind the most ubiquitous bluegrass “grip” shape to its roots … thirds and fifths and extends them as a source for endless variation of licks, fills, and improvisational direction.  (I)
  4. Know Thy Mandolin – the construction and constituent parts of the mandolin, how each contributes to the functionality of the mandolin as a whole, as well as setup tweaks that you can do yourself to improve playability. This class looks at how to take care of your instrument as well as how to identify when things are amiss. (Demo)
  5. Chord Crackin’ – Mandolin chords are often convoluted and difficult to decipher due to the large interval between strings. This workshop examines common chord shapes and explains the role of each note to the larger chord. This knowledge can then be used to understand chord inversions as well as modify the chords to include sevenths, ninths, and other less common intervals. (A)
  6. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level

 

Phil Rosenthal (Guitar)

  1. Introduction to Finger Style Guitar  Whether it’s to accompany yourself or another vocalist, take a solo, play an instrumental tune, it’s great to have finger style guitar in your bag of tricks. (AB-I)
  2. Songwriters’ Showcase – How do they do it? Start with a word or a phrase? A new take on an old cliché? A news story or historical event? A chord progression? A melody? Or what? These songwriters share their experience and insight into this mysterious creative process. with Lane, Newberry, Rosenthal, Solivan, Stafford (Demo)
  3. Folk and Bluegrass Songs for Children – At home or in the classroom, singing builds community, and songs can teach values, make chores fun, and illustrate historical subjects. (Demo)
  4. Constructing Simple Flatpicking Guitar Solos – Translate rhythm and melody into a guitar solo. If you can hum it, you can pick it. (AB-I)

 

Neil Rossi (Mandolin)

  1. Simple Fiddle Tunes for Jamming – We’ll learn some simple old-time fiddle tunes that are played all the time in jam sessions. Start with the barest of melodies and show you how to build on them, adding ornaments and rhythmic variations, and how to make the tunes more complex without making them harder. All tunes presented in tab and notation. We assume you can play major scales in D, A, and G. Hands-on. (I)
  2. Simple Chords – Simple 2- and 3-note movable chords. Guided practice in switching from one to another. Using these chord forms as the basis for building breaks to songs. Hands-on. (AB-I)
  3. The Pentatonic Scales, Major and Minor – We’ll explain what they are and how they can be used for improvisation on breaks, even on songs you’ve never played before. Guided application to some simple songs. Hands-on (I)
  4. Easy Irish Tunes For Mandolin – We’ll talk about some of the ornaments that make Irish tunes sound so “Irish”, and then tackle some easy tunes that would be known in most any Irish session. All tunes will be presented in notation and tab. Hands-on. (AB-I)
  5. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level
  • Weekend Adviser

 

Frank Solivan (Mandolin)

  1. Frankie and Donnie Look At the Whole Improv Thing – What to do when it’s your turn for a break at a jam. Strategies for improvisation, any style. Soloing over various chord types, finding the ideas you hear on the fretboard. In this seminar we will collectively put together breaks on favorite and challenging tunes, from the ground up. Be ready to go for it as we look for the Good Notes!  with Stiernberg (I)
  2. Mapping Your Fretboard – It’s the important stuff. Using lateral movements, shape and patterns to explore chord theory, scales and arpeggios. Hands on, (A)
  3. Crosspicking and plectrum patterns – A hands on study of picking patterns and exercises that will help you be more confident and creative when building solos. (I-A)
  4. Healthy Speed and Ways to Relax – We’ll explore the traps and pitfalls of tightening up vs relaxing when playing fast. We’ll also incorporate a few exercises and stretches to maintain healthy hands for playing well for the rest of your life. Hands on (All)
  5. Songwriters’ Showcase – How do they do it? Start with a word or a phrase? A new take on an old cliché? A news story or historical event? A chord progression? A melody? Or what? These songwriters share their experience and insight into this mysterious creative process. with Lane, Newberry, Rosenthal, Solivan, Stafford (Demo)
  6. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level

 

Tim Stafford (Guitar)

  1. Guitar Rhythm Patterns You Can Use Right Now – From the earliest Bluegrass rhythm stars to current styles, come one come all. A hands-on class. (I-A)
  2. Using Open Strings in Guitar Solos – Great, you figured out a great break up the neck. Now, how do you get back to first position? We’ll explore how and when to use open strings, skipping strings and “melodic style” soloing. (A)
  3. Constructing a melody-based guitar solo – We’ll scope out and construct a solo to a standard tune and then explore different techniques such as double stops, crosspicking, banjo-type rolls and up-the-neck ideas that can result in a tasteful restatement of the melody rather than a collection of licks. (A)
  4. Improving Songwriting Craft – Can you learn how to write a song? Probably not. But you can learn to improve your craft by learning alliteration, inner rhymes, rhyme strategy, and all the rules of prosody that also apply to songwriting, as well as melodic dos and don’ts, chord structures that work and other considerations. (All)
  5. Songwriters’ Showcase – How do they do it? Start with a word or a phrase? A new take on an old cliché? A news story or historical event? A chord progression? A melody? Or what? These songwriters share their experience and insight into this mysterious creative process. with Lane, Newberry, Rosenthal, Solivan, Stafford (Demo)
  6. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level

 

Don Stiernberg (Mandolin)

  1. Hello Mandolin! Getting to Know your instrument and how to operate it a little better. Finding things on the fretboard. How to get a good melody sound, tremolo, and chord sound. Tunes, exercises, and techniques designed to help the advancing beginner get to things faster and easier. (B-AB)
  2. Crafting More Interesting Solos: Licks and Tricks! A useable process for improvising, combining understanding of how chord progressions work and fretboard geography. Applicable to your favorite style. Analyzing (stealing?) great solos. Embellishing and ornamenting melodies. Getting beyond the “same three licks” and on to flowing, spontaneous “good notes for days”. (A)
  3. Give the Rhythm Player Some! – Things to add to both chord voicings and chord progressions to make accompanying rhythm parts more detailed and fun. Focus on the instructor’s two favorite styles, swing and bluegrass. Adding movement, color,and tension while keeping the chord voicings easy. Adding connecting or substitute chords to the progression. Hearing and reacting to forms that keep coming around at the jam. Amazing your friends who will ask “how did you learn all those chords?” (I-A)
  4. Swing Tunes People Like, AND Making Sense out of a Fakebook – While we deepen our repertoire of standards, Django and Bob (Wills) tunes, we’ll also (quickly) review musical roadmapping so you know what to do when you see Dm6-Bm7b5-Ehalf-dim-A7#11 or Eb fermented-Ab demolished or G-E7b9#5-A7-13-Dsus-1-800-BR549  with Howard (I-A)
  5. Frankie and Donnie Look At the Whole Improv Thing – What to do when it’s your turn for a break at a jam. Strategies for improvisation, any style. Soloing over various chord types, finding the ideas you hear on the fretboard. In this seminar we will collectively put together breaks on favorite and challenging tunes, from the ground up. Be ready to go for it as we look for the Good Notes! With Solivan (I)
  6. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level

 

Bruce Stockwell

  • Bluegrass Banjo – Tutor; Workshop, Concert, and Jam Session support

 

Kelly Stockwell

  • Upright Bass – Tutor; Workshop, Concert, and Jam Session support

 

David Surette (Guitar, Mandolin)

  1. Double Stops – a hands-on look at the beauty and versatility of two notes. Topics include droning, 6th intervals, and two-note chords.  Mandolin (I-A)
  2. Celtic Tunes and Techniques – This class will focus on developing some of the aspects that feature prominently in Celtic-style mandolin, including ornamentation, droning, and jig picking. We will address these topics while we work on a reel and a jig.  Mandolin (A)
  3. Open Chord Strumming – Learn some simple “open” chord shapes that sound great, as well as a variety of strumming patterns in several styles.  Mandolin (AB)
  4. Intro to Piedmont Blues Fingerpicking – get a jump start on this versatile style of fingerpicking, and learn a couple of great blues tunes. (some basic fingerpicking experience would be helpful).  Guitar (I)
  5. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level
  • Weekend Adviser

 

Tony Watt (Mandolin)

  1. Mandolin: Beginners/Advancing Beginners – Five Sessions
    • strings and tuning
    • left and right hand technique
    • chords and chopping
    • first fiddle tune
    • first vocal tune
    • jamming and improvising