2016 BCN Classes


Banjo Camp North
Class Descriptions

I. 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.

Plan Your Weekend – During Friday registration, we’ll also have individual Plan Your Weekend sessions available to campers. At Plan Your Weekend, faculty members who are assigned as Weekend Advisers will be available to help campers assess their  level of skill (see below) and/or their interests and goals for their Banjo Camp North experience, and advise on which classes might best help the camper reach his or her goals. (Designed for Advancing Beginner and Intermediate level campers; by appointment only.)

Tutoring – Adjunct faculty in the list below will be available as tutors for advice and some instruction on instruments other than banjo. If this interests you, you should attend Meet the Tutors on Friday at 5:30 pm in the Dining Hall Foyer.

II. Skill Levels

Campers are welcome to attend any class at any level; there are no restrictions to your choices. To help you select the classes that best meet your needs, the level of each class is indicated in the list of classes.

A description of each skill level is provided below. Keep in mind that there’s some overlap between levels. During registration on Friday, you may want to attend Plan Your Weekend where instructors help campers decide what level classes to attend.

Novices (N) are absolute beginners who are just starting out. They may have only recently acquired an instrument, don’t know how to tune and have yet to learn basic techniques.

Beginners (B)  are able to tune and have learned a few basic techniques. They may be able to play a little bit and know a few songs but still don’t pick out tunes on their own or have much experience playing with other people.

Advancing Beginners (AB) have some basic banjo experience. They have command of fundamental techniques and are comfortable tuning. They can play a number of tunes and may even have started jamming with other musicians.

Intermediates (I) are comfortable with tuning, can play songs and tunes, recognize changes, and are jamming and playing with others on a regular basis. They may feel that they are not yet playing up to speed and that they may still need to work on their rhythm. They may already read tab or notation, but could use help playing by ear and learning to arrange a tune or song on their own.

Advanced (A) players have command of more advanced techniques, play a variety of tunes up to speed and may play in a band or perform regularly.

(All) indicates a hands-on class for campers of any level of skill.

(Demo) indicates a mini-concert, lecture, or demonstration where participation is minimal at most.

III. Class Descriptions

(subject to change)

Tom  Adams

  1. Fiddle and Banjo Duets – in the style of Earl Scruggs with Paul Warren on fiddle and, earlier in the Foggy Mountain Boys’ history, with Benny Martin on fiddle – rolling down-the-neck backup and the Scruggs “fancy backup” that Earl plays including his signature “descending run” that is a staple of this type of banjo playing. This is a different type of backup than you would play in a full band setting. (A)
  2. Connecting Your Breaks and Backup – i.e., how to play the “whole” song. (I)
  3. Improvising 101 for Jamming – what to play when you don’t know the song. (I)
  4. Playing in 3/4 Time – a guide to playing breaks and backup in “waltz time”. (I)
  5. Learn the Melody – how to remember tunes and build repertoire. (AB-I)
  6. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level


Bob Altschuler

Bluegrass Beginner Track, Novice to Advancing Beginner, 5 sessions.

Bob presents his comprehensive introduction to BG banjo in five concentrated sessions, spaced throughout the weekend so you have time to also take other classes. You will receive extensive handouts at the sessions, including additional material to work on when you get home. (Novice-Beginner)

  1. Part 1- Getting Started: foundations of playing bluegrass banjo, including banjo anatomy, tuning, using picks, correct playing and hand positions, reading tablature, basic chords, playing rolls and a slide.
  2. Part 2- Getting Started:: review of Part 1, more basic rolls, essential left-hand techniques including slides, hammer-ons and pull-offs, a basic two chord song and practice exercises.
  3. Part 3- Putting It All Together- Review of Foundations of Bluegrass Picking: review of Parts 1 and 2 plus additional playing techniques, timing, practice exercises, a three chord song and an overview of bluegrass banjo styles.
  4. Part 4- Bluegrass Rolls and Left-Hand Techniques for Beginners: explore the most useful rolls and left-hand techniques that create licks. Bob will guide you in playing slides, hammer-ons, pull-offs and chokes added to basic rolls to begin to create the licks and patterns that form the basis of Scruggs-style playing.
  5. Part 5- Basic Backup and Chord Shapes: foundation and theory of backup, from simple techniques using barre chords and basic rolls to an overview of moveable “F” and “D” chord shapes, vamping, hand position and tone. This session will provide the tools to start playing effective backup right away.
  • Coaching Session  – limited to 4 students, any level


Riley Baugus

  1. Round Peak Style Basics – “Round Peak” is the style that comes from the Round Peak community in Surry County, NC. It was played by such greats as Tommy Jarrell, Fred Cockerham and Kyle Creed, just to name a few. We will learn some of the basic techniques that go into creating this style.  (AB-I)
  2. Addie Graham’s Idee Redd – Addie Graham was a ballad singer and pianist from Wolfe County, KY. She played many tunes on the piano that she learned from a banjo player. This is one of those tunes. It is a very different version of Ida Red than most people are used to hearing. Super fun tune with strong hints of African sounds. (I-A)
  3. Southern Clawhammer Banjo Techniques – In this workshop we’ll look at many different techniques, for both the left and right hand, from several different banjo players, styles and areas in the Southern region of the Appalachian mountains, which you can use to enhance your own playing. (I-A)
  4. Playing Dock Boggs Tunes on Clawhammer Banjo – Dock Boggs was a well-known banjo player from Norton, VA, who is known for his haunting, lonesome sound and finger style banjo. We will study how to adapt these tunes to the clawhammer style. We’ll learn a tune and some of Dock’s tunings.  (I-A)
  5. Matokie Slaughter’s Big Eyed Rabbit – Matokie Slaughter was a wonderful banjo player from Pulaski, VA who used a beautiful method for playing the banjo. We’ll learn how to create her sound by learning this tune that she played called “Big Eyed Rabbit.” This is not the Big Eyed Rabbit fiddle tune that most folks are used to hearing.  (A)
  6. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level


Janet Beazley

  1. The Joys of Jamming – tips, tunes & techniques for playing music with others (B-AB)
  2. Intro to Bluegrass Harmony Singing (Sing On the Chorus!) – Learn and put into practice the basics of singing three-part harmony. (All)
  3. Lonesome Modal Licks – Cluck Old Hen & Blue Night (AB-I)
  4. Strictly Licks – how to spice up solos with “moveable” licks. Learn to start using lick substitution to vary solos. (I)
  5. Same Song, Different Style – We’ll compare and contrast Old Time and Bluegrass settings of a couple of classic songs. With Lorraine Hammond (Demo)
  6. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level
  • Weekend Adviser


Dick Bowden

  • Guitar – Tutor; Workshop and Jam Session Support
  • Concert Emcee 
  • Weekend Adviser


Howie Bursen 

  1. Banjos and Ballads – Before that pesky Appalachian dulcimer came on the scene, we have evidence that the banjo was a ballad accompaniment instrument of choice in the Southern Mountains. For many of us it is still the instrument of choice. with L. Hammond (Demo)
  • Weekend Adviser


Greg Cahill

  1. Creating Solos to Songs – Study intros and endings in different positions/keys; learn how to find a melody and then create a solo for vocal and instrumental selections; learn how to use different banjo styles when creating solos.  (I)
  2. Playing in All Keys – Discussion of basic chord theory; learn how to play scales in closed positions; learn principles of playing in C, D, E and F without a capo.  (I-A)
  3. Improvisation and Ensemble Playing – Learn how to interchange licks and passages from tunes and songs with similar chord progressions; learn how to transpose solos to different keys and positions. (A)
  4. Principles of Playing Backup – Study how to make transitions from solo to backup/backup to solo playing and how to play backup behind the common bluegrass instruments and vocal selections. (I)
  5. Basic Principles of Melodic and Single String Styles – Presentation of basic melodic and single string playing techniques; learn common melodic and “chromatic” licks; learn how to create melodic solos. (I-A)
  6. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level


Ron Cody 

  1. All About Keith Style D Tuners – Learn how to utilize and set up Keith style D tuning pegs on your banjo. Discuss the technique  and perform tunes Earl Scruggs utilized D tuners on, including Flint Hill Special and Earls Breakdown. We will talk about practical useful applications to D tuning  such as Reuben.  Discuss other ways to creatively utilize the tuners in arranging other tunes, and learn how Keith tuners can add tremendously to your sound and bag of tricks on the 5 string banjo. (All)
  2. MIDI Banjo Demonstration and Discussion – Ron and Tom Nechville will discuss MIDI banjo. Demonstration of the Roland GR-55 Sythesizer and how it can be utilized on a banjo with a MIDI pickup to produce palates of sound you never thought possible. Ron will demonstrate some chord voice-leading using different sounds including jazz and bluegrass concepts, and Tom will discuss how he has developed instruments to produce these potentials.  with Nechville (Demo)
  3. The Legacy of Bill Keith – an exploration of the extraordinary life of the extraordinary Bill Keith – the influences he brought together to synthesize his revolutionary banjo style, his favorite tunes, his delightful and elegant originals, his pioneering Earl Scruggs tablature work, his mechanical engineering genius, and his unpretentious humanity.  with W. Cody, R. Cody, Meyers, Trischka, Horowitz, Munde  (Demo)
  4. Irish-Style Banjo – Learn to play a classic Irish tune utilizing a combination of melodic and single string approach. Tablature of at least one tune provided with demonstration.  Complete melodic style will be explained and compared with complete single string style for various textures of available tonality. (I-A)
  5. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level
  • Weekend Adviser


Wendy Cody

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


Greg Deering

  1. Pete Seeger Style Up-Picking – Greg Deering will share the style of up-picking he learned from Pete Seeger’s book when Greg first started to play the banjo. He will weave this with stories of 40 years of making banjos and answer any questions from participants along the way. (N to B)
  2. Banjo Set Up and Maintenance – Greg Deering will demonstrate basics of banjo set up, how to make the simple adjustments that every banjoist should know. He will show how to tighten your banjo head and how the truss rod works. He will also answer any questions you’ve ever wondered about the mechanics of your banjo and banjos in general. Greg will disassemble and reassemble a banjo. (Demo)


Bennett Hammond

  1. RockaFolky Right Hand – a thumb-driven two-finger style that sounds a little like frailing and Scruggs picking at the same time, and it goes boom-chucka-boom chucka-boom. The essential rhythm of the banjo – and indeed of American music – is the boom-chucka-boom chucka-boom, which the sophisticates (who forgot what the fifth string is for) disparage as rum-chuck with schmaltz on the side. (AB-I)
  2. Double-Stops – Two-note chord fragments up and down the neck, melodic rhythm harmonies, riffs and stuff; a handful of simple fingerings, so to speak, that all do “double duty,” standing for more than one chord at a time, depending upon how and where they are placed. (AB-I)
  3. The Big Picture – the key to transposition and up-the-neck work. Banjo 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. (AB)
  4. Making ’Em Up – Western music is harmonic. Much of it resides in the strain and release of frequencies played against each other. Once we understand the harmonic structure of a tune, we can arrange it any way we want. Or we can start with a harmonic structure and make up a melody to fit it. This is about turning little moves into whole tunes. (AB-I)
  5. Not Fade Away – Uncle Dave, with whose banjo playing no exception can be taken, did not pick this one and frail that one: he used everything he knew, all the time. We can too. Because it’s all Rock’n’Roll. Or the good stuff is, anyway! So we’ll put a little Bo Diddly in our right hand, and see what happens. (I)


Lorraine Hammond

  1. Banjos and Ballads – Before that pesky Appalachian dulcimer came on the scene, we have evidence that the banjo was a ballad accompaniment instrument of choice in the Southern Mountains. For many of us it is still the instrument of choice. with Bursen (Demo)
  2. Same Song, Different Style – We’ve chosen a few fine songs that are at home in both old time and bluegrass banjo settings. Part performance, part hands-on learning so be sure to bring your banjo. with Beazley  (All)
  3. Red Rocking Chair – We’ll learn to find our way around g’DGAD tuning for the haunting version of this great little song from the Kentucky Coon Creek Girl’s banjo player, the late Lily May Ledford.  (AB)
  4. Drop Thumb Refresher – We’ll let “Bill Cheetum” guide us through this intro/refresher drop thumb session.  (AB)
  5. Who’s Your Mama? – Ralph Stanley’s mother, Lucy Smith Stanley, played old-time banjo. Doc Watson’s mother Annie sang ballads as she worked around the house. Dolly Parton’s mother, Avie Lee Owens, was a preacher’s daughter who sang the old mountain church songs and encouraged Dolly to create and sing songs of her own. Come hear examples of all this great music. We’ll include time to discuss the value of “real music from real people” in our lives.  (Demo)
  6. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level


Bill Henry

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


John Herrmann

  1. Zen Practice and the Banjo – Really? Yes, really! An introduction to Zen practice and how it relates to playing the banjo. Instruction on how to do zazen (zen practice). Question and answer session. (All)
  2. Round Peak Style in the Keys of A and D – We’ll go over as many tunes as we have time for. e.g. Breaking up Christmas, Old Bunch of Keys, John Brown’s Dream, Chilly Winds, Old John Henry Sugar Hill, Susananna Gal, Rockingham Cindy, Backstep Cindy. (I)
  3. Playing Tunes You Don’t Know With a Fiddler – Some hints on how to make the transition from playing only tunes you have learned to playing whatever comes at you in a session. (A)
  4. Old Time Banjo Songs from African American Sources – Songs from Leadbelly, Muddy Waters, Precious Bryant, Mississippi John Hurt turned into old time pieces in special tunings. (I)
  5. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level
  • Weekend Adviser


Gabe Hirshfeld

  1. Using Simple Chord Scales to Spice Up Your Solos – using diatonic chord scales to add color to your improvisation; chord scales in G, C and D as an effective and easy way to get around the banjo neck. (I)
  2. Intro to Single String and Melodic Style – The development of these styles and the basic concepts behind them. We will learn how to use basic melodic and single string patterns. (AB-I)
  3. Build a Solo Using Scruggs, Single String and Melodic Styles – mixing the three most well known styles of three finger banjo playing to create a solo. Take a simple Scruggs style solo and add passages of melodic and-or single string to spice up the solo. (I-A)
  4. Changing Up Classic Licks – Modify standard well-known Scruggs-style licks from the norm to make your own new licks. (I-A)
  5. Effectively Contributing to a “Band Sound” – skills and techniques for playing in a band; when to play, when NOT to play, and what to play. (Demo)
  6. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level


Marc Horowitz 

  1. Pulling Tone: The mechanics and physiology of three-finger picking, banjo ergonomics and the parameters of good banjo setup for the best sound – An explanation of the principle of “playing relaxed” to achieve speed and fluidity in the picking hand and ways to make fretting easier and more efficient. Positioning and adjusting the fingerpicks to facilitate technique and improve precision as well as any other topics having to do with the physical aspects of playing three-finger banjo. (I-A)
  2. The Big Three: a look at the three stylistic pillars of Bluegrass banjo – Most banjo fans would agree that Earl Scruggs, Don Reno and Bill Keith are the pillars of style upon which the thousand of players that came after them based their playing. We’ll look at the elements that make up each legend’s signature sound, how they achieved the tone they got from their instruments and how their disciples picked up the torch and carried the banjo into new and ever more intriguing territories. (Demo)
  3. The Legacy of Bill Keith – an exploration of the extraordinary life of the extraordinary Bill Keith – the influences he brought together to synthesize his revolutionary banjo style, his favorite tunes, his delightful and elegant originals, his pioneering Earl Scruggs tablature work, his mechanical engineering genius, and his unpretentious humanity.  with W. Cody, R. Cody, Meyers, Trischka, Horowitz, Munde  (Demo)
  4. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level
  • Weekend Adviser


Adam Hurt

  1. Mastering the Mechanics of Tone – Where and how to attack the strings to produce maximum variations in tone. hands-on/lecture  (All)
  2. Introduction to the Sandy River Belle Tuning – There are more than a hundred different tunings for 5-string banjo; some for just one particular version of one tune. Here’s the tuning (gEADE) and the tune – hands-on  (A)
  3. Focusing on the Fretting Hand – mapping note locations, achieving a comfortable grip, executing strong and efficient pull-offs, hammer-ons, and slides hands-on  (B/AB)
  4. Fiddle Tunes for Clawhammer Banjo – Tunes from Marcus Martin, historically important western North Carolina fiddler, adapted for banjo   hands-on  (A)
  5. The Round Peak Banjo Style of Kyle Creed – tunes and technique of an examplar of the influential and idiosyncratic musical style that evolved in the geographic region near Mt. Airy, NC   hands-on  (A)
  6. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level


Dave Kiphuth

  1. The Golden Ladder – A close examination of the 3 interlocked patterns of the banjo neck in G-tuning. Understanding these patterns opens the door to  all of Earl’s backup licks and a full range of up the neck breaks. You’ll leave with an “ah-ha” savvy of the neck! (I)
  2. The Theory of Breaks Up the Neck – we will explore how knowledge of upper neck chord theory directly relates to taking high breaks and defining melody. This will open the door to clearing up confusion and fear above the 5th fret! (I-A)
  3. Seeking The Melody, Scruggs Style – Finding the melody with notes and chords and building rolls around it. The first real key to playing breaks. (AB)
  4. Interpreting Fiddle Tunes in Pre-Melodic Style – Using straight-ahead 3-finger Scruggs rolls to play fiddle tunes (A)
  5. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level
  • Weekend Adviser


Larry Marschall

  • Weekend Adviser


Lincoln Meyers

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


Michael Miles

  1. James Taylor For Clawhammer – JT’s classics come to life on the clawhammer banjo. Carolina In My Mind and Fire and Rain (I)
  2. Allman Brothers – Dicky Betts and Duane Allman must have had subliminal banjos in their heads when they created their parts for these tunes. Little Martha and Midnight Rider (A)
  3. Clawhammer in 3/4 Time – There are these beautiful melodic options that come to life when you play 3-4 time in rolling melodic lines of six 8th notes. Banjo is never more beautiful. Tennesee Waltz and Norwegian Wood (I)
  4. Take Five – Dave Brubeck brought 5/4 time to the American public on a silver platter with his version of Paul Desmond’s Take Five. When Brubeck heard Miles’ version of this tune on the col•lage CD, he sent a letter saying, “Thanks for including Take Five” Another tune waiting for the banjo! (A)
  5. Bob Dylan for Clawhammer Banjo – Dylan’s tunes fit quite well on the banjo.  The arrangements in these classes will provide students the ability to play song accompaniment, deliver melodic arrangements or both. Tunes like All Along The Watchtower, Tangled Up In Blue, Mr. Tambourine Man, Don’t Think Twice etc  (I) 
  6. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level


Alan Munde

  1. Roll Logic or What Do I Do After I Learn The Rolls? *- The basic rolls and how melodies are placed in the context of the roll. (B-I)
  2. The Phonetics of Bluegrass Banjo *- The rolls and how they are used, the maneuvers and gestures (licks) that make the basic language of bluegrass banjo. (B-I)
  3. Creating Solos to Songs *- Combining the rolls and melodies in a stylized fashion that produces bluegrass banjo solos. (I)
  4. Fretboard Strategies , or How Do I Know Where to Put My Fingers? – Learn the names of the notes and where they are, diatonic chord systems, intervals, and much more.  This class provides a road map for organizing a workable view of the finger board and will add to your toolbox of ideas for playing solos and back up especially on slower songs. (A)
  5. The Legacy of Bill Keith – an exploration of the extraordinary life of the extraordinary Bill Keith – the influences he brought together to synthesize his revolutionary banjo style, his favorite tunes, his delightful and elegant originals, his pioneering Earl Scruggs tablature work, his mechanical engineering genius, and his unpretentious humanity.  with W. Cody, R. Cody, Meyers, Trischka, Horowitz, Munde  (Demo)
  6. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level


Glenn Nelson

  1. Banjo Care and Maintenance – advice on setting up your banjo, diagnosing problems, evaluating an instrument before buying (Demo)
  2.  Beginning Jazz & Blues Improvisation

     In this class we will take a look at a couple common chord progressions used in Jazz and Blues and some ways of playing over them.  Target notes, Neighbor notes, Arpeggios and connecting scales will be explained in an easy to understand way.  Techniques using rolls, single string and melodic styles will be explored and these concepts can all be applied to your playing in Bluegrass as well!  Step out of the box, do something different! (I-A)


Laura Orshaw

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


Ben Pearce

  • Mandolin and Guitar – Tutor; Workshop, Concert, and Jam Session support 


Ken Perlman

  1. Playing Up the Neck in Clawhammer Style: Concepts & Techniques – “Position playing”, “closed” (movable) chord shapes & melodic fingering forms. (A)
  2. Syncopation, Clawhammer Style – Based on very simple elements, this systematic approach that allows for foolproof renditions of even the most complex ragtime and swing rhythms (I-A)
  3. The Art of Clawhammer Backup: Concepts & Technique – There’s been lots published about bluegrass backup, but clawhammer not so much. This class explores the approach I use on the recording Southern Summits, which feature over 20 duets with renowned Appalachian style fiddler Alan Jabbour (I-A)
  4. Playing Celtic Reels in Authentic Style, Clawhammer Style – All it takes to bring these tunes to life is a slight adaptation in your rhythmic approach and close attention to “phrasing.” (I-A)
  5. Clawhammer Ergonomics – Increase the efficiency of both hands while you also learn to greatly decrease stress on the muscles and tendons; a must for adult learners! (AB-I)
  6. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level


Mike Rivers
  1. Getting The Best From Your Portable Recorder – Tips on placement for best sound pickup, setting the record level correctly, recording formats (WAV, MP3, etc.), recording from a PA system, recording with your smart phone, managing your recordings, and things you were always afraid to ask. (All)
  2. Sound Systems For Musicians – Once you learn these basics, you’ll know how to set up and operate not only your own sound system, but any sound system. Basic components of a sound system, how to connect all the wires, what all those knobs and buttons do. Also, things to know when purchasing or upgrading a sound system, accessories you shouldn’t be without, some working tips that will keep you from getting into trouble, and a bit about these newfangled digital mixers, some which even don’t have any knobs! (All)


Tim Rowell

  • Clawhammer Banjo  Beginner Track – Five sessions
    1. Parts of a Banjo, Holding the Banjo, Tuning, the Clawhammer Motion
    2. Melody and Rhythm, Right and Left Hand Fundamentals, Do Re Mi and the Major Scale, Your First Song
    3. How to Read Tablature, Drop Thumb, Timing Exercises, Chords and Keys
    4. Hammer-ons and Pull-offs, Timing and the Metronome, Playing in Different Keys, Alternate Tunings
    5. Singing with the Banjo, the Fiddle Tune Form, Question and Answer Phrasing, Song and Tune Resources.


Rich Stillman

These four classes can be taken individually or as a group. Together, they’re designed for players who have learned basic rolls and a few songs from tablature and who want to learn the skills needed to start playing with other people. Individually, each class will focus on a specific skill or set of skills. Much of the time in these classes will be spent playing, so you’ll have some jamming experience before you get to the jams.
  1. Basic Backup – roll and vamp. Neutral roll, power chords, fill and tag licks, passing tones, full chord shapes, vamp technique . (AB)
  2. Hearing Chords and Melodies – Basic chord theory, ear training, using passing tones as hints, reading the guitar player’s left hand. Recognizing chord progressions in familiar songs; scales as building blocks for melody. Playing scales using open chords, proper hand shapes for intermediate notes, exercises finding melodies. (AB)
  3. Rhythm and Syncopation – counting time, how bluegrass banjo rolls work, using syncopation to make melody more interesting, using rolls to fill time, “humming” with the banjo. (AB)
  4. Learning the Fingerboard and Practice Techniques. (AB)
  • Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level


Bruce Stockwell

  1. Backup Basics– Beginners often have no idea what backup is. We’ll discuss the underlying concept and cover some classic moves that will serve you well in hundreds of songs. (AB)
  2. Music Fundamentals – Theory basics can help you decipher and organize what you hear and communicate more clearly with other musicians. (All)
  3. Creating a Scruggs Style Solo – We’ll examine the central challenge in learning bluegrass banjo, capturing a melody with rolls, by constructing a basic solo together. (I)
  4. Soloing on Slow Tunes – Ideas for framing the melody in songs too slow for roll based playing. (I)
  5. The Major Scale and the Big Three Shapes – These all-important constructs hold the key to managing melodies and chords. (AB)
  6. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level


Kelly Stockwell

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


Tony Trischka

  1. Playing the Blues – Scruggsy, Stanleyey, melodicy (I-A)
  2. Picking on Pete – Seeger tunes and techniques (I)
  3. Getting That Pro Sound – tips and techniques for beginners (B)
  4. Eleven Ways to Leave Your Level – tips for moving forward and getting off your plateau. (I-A)
  5. The Glory of the Backward Roll – Baffled by Groundspeed? Mystified by Home Sweet Home? You can’t play Earl’s classic banjo instrumentals like Earl without a backward roll. And that’s just the beginning. Discover the glory of this wonderful right-hand pattern! (I-A)
  6. The Legacy of Bill Keith – an exploration of the extraordinary life of the extraordinary Bill Keith – the influences he brought together to synthesize his revolutionary banjo style, his favorite tunes, his delightful and elegant originals, his pioneering Earl Scruggs tablature work, his mechanical engineering genius, and his unpretentious humanity.  with W. Cody, R. Cody, Meyers, Trischka, Horowitz, Munde  (Demo)
  7. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level


Tony Watt 

  • Jam Coordinator
  • Guitar – Tutor; Workshop, Concert, and Jam Session support
  1. Beginning Ear Training – Ear training includes a set of skills that you can learn and practice just like learning chords or leads. This class will focus on the basics of ear training including hearing chord changes and finding simple melodies. (All Instruments, All Levels)