Class Descriptions

At Guitar & Mandolin Camp North, we offer nearly 100 classes at all levels in various genres. The list and description of all classes offered at the 2018 Camp appears below (click here).

I. Beginner Tracks

Among the classes are several beginner “tracks”, which are a series of classes designed for Beginning players.

The Beginner Tracks give campers who are just starting on an instrument a “home at Camp” … a place they can go where they know they will be working with an instructor dedicated to teaching at their level and in the company of other campers of similar skill and experience.

We offer 2 levels of Beginner Tracks (Novice/Beginner and Beginner/Advancing Beginner) in mandolin; and we offer an Advancing Beginner track in guitar. We do not offer guitar classes for novices or beginners.

Beginner Tracks: Top Nine Q&A’s

1. What are the Beginner Tracks?

The Beginner Tracks are sets of connected classes and review sessions taught by a single instructor, which progress methodically through the most important topics for Novices, Beginners, and Advancing Beginners. Each Track consists of four class sessions and two review sessions (in which no new material is presented). Campers need not attend all the sessions, but the majority of people in the track will be attending all the classes. Furthermore, it is likely that the instructors will frequently refer to topics they’ve covered earlier in the classes.

2. What is the purpose of the Beginner Tracks?

The Novice/Beginner Track and the Beginner/Advancing Beginner Track for mandolin, and the Advancing Beginner Track for guitar, are designed to prepare campers for higher level classes. It is common for some campers to want some extra guidance on what to study while at camp, and it can be challenging for some campers to attend Intermediate- and Advanced-level classes.

3. What is the difference between the Novice/Beginner Track and the Beginner/Advancing Beginner Track?

Both the Novice/Beginner Track and the Beginner/Advancing Beginner Track for mandolin will begin with the fundamental skills and knowledge needed to begin learning an instrument. That means they will cover many of the same topics (see below for examples). The Novice/Beginner Track covers these topics as if the campers have never seen them before, while the Beginner/Advancing Beginner Track is more like a review of these same topics. Therefore, the main difference between the two levels is that the Beginner/Advancing Beginner track will move at a faster pace and cover more material than Novice/Beginner track.

4. What does a Beginner Track consist of?

Each of the Beginner Tracks consist of four class sessions interspersed with two review sessions. The four class sessions will be taught sequentially – each new class building on the previous classes. However, campers are welcome to drop in, even if they have missed some or all of the earlier classes. The two review sessions will typically be led by the same instructor who teaches the track classes, but no new material will be presented. These review sessions are not mandatory — indeed, none of the classes at either Camp are ever mandatory — and will be driven by the needs of those who attend them.

5. May I attend both the Novice/Beginner Track and the Beginner/Advancing Beginner Track in Mandolin?

Campers may choose to attend either track, or both tracks, or switch back and forth between the tracks. As with more advanced classes, campers are welcome to come and go between classes and are encouraged to find the classes that best meet their needs and interests. That being said, the majority of people in the track will be attending all the classes, and it is likely that the instructors will frequently refer to topics they’ve covered earlier in the track.

6. What topics will be covered in each Beginner Track?

The Novice/Beginner and Beginner/Advancing Beginner Tracks for mandolin will cover some of the following topics according to the individual campers’ needs and time permitting:

• how to hold the instrument and pick(s) if applicable
• left- and right-hand technique
• strings and tuning
• chords, rhythm, and using the capo if applicable
• hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides
• applying the ideas listed above to common songs

7. What topics will be covered in each specific class session?

Beginner Tracks are designed to move methodically through the most important topics for Novices, Beginners, and Advancing Beginners. Each Beginner Track is taught by a single instructor dedicated to meeting the needs of the campers in that track. Most campers will attend all the classes within their chosen track. Due to the nature of the Beginner Track system itself, it is not possible to predict specifically what will be covered in any particular class session.

8. Which track level for mandolin (Novice/Beginner or Beginner/Advancing Beginner) is better for me?

Descriptions of each skill level are provided elsewhere, but please keep in mind that there is a lot of overlap between the levels. Loosely defined, a “novice” is someone just starting out on the instrument, while “beginners” and “advancing beginners” have already started to learn fundamental techniques and might be able to play a few songs. During registration on Friday afternoon, mandolin and guitar campers may attend a Find-Your-Level session where instructors help them decide what level classes to attend. Because mandolin class sessions in the Novice/Beginner Track and the Beginner/Advancing Beginner Track are not taught simultaneously, campers may attend both tracks (starting with the first class of each track on Friday afternoon) to decide which level is better for them. Some campers may decide to attend all class sessions of both tracks.

9. What if the Beginner/Advancing Beginner Track (the more advanced track) for mandolin, or the Advancing Beginner Track for guitar is too basic for me?

If you find the Beginner/Advancing Beginner Track (the more advanced track) for mandolin, or the Advancing Beginner Track for guitar, is too basic for you, there are a wide variety of classes held throughout Camp that you may attend. Look for classes on the schedule that are labeled Advancing Beginner (AB), Intermediate (I), (All), and (Demo). There are also classes for campers designated as Advanced, though these classes are likely not to be suitable for a player who is just reaching an Intermediate skill level. As with every class at Camp (including the Beginner Tracks), all campers are welcome to come and go between classes and are encouraged to find the classes that best meet your needs and interests. We ask only that you respect the designated skill level of each class and not try to make the class a lower or higher skill level than designated.

II. Class Descriptions

The following is a list of the 2018 Guitar & Mandolin Camp North classes with a description of each class. Please note that although we currently believe this list is final, there may be changes in these classes up until the day they’re actually held. This list is in alphabetical order by faculty members’ last names.

Russ Barenberg – Guitar

1. Flatpicking Fundamentals – Awareness of a few fundamental technical and musical principles can really help you focus your practicing in the right direction and help you improve faster. We’ll examine things like pick direction, producing good tone and how your left hand contributes to tone and fluidity. (I)

2. Playing More Beautifully – We’ll play a slow and relatively simple melody or two and explore what goes into playing them…well, as the title says—more beautifully!  This class is for Intermediate to Advanced, but Intermediates, don’t be scared! This class is geared to be valuable to both Intermediate and Advanced students. (I/A)

3. The Art of Melody – Learning melodies accurately is an essential first step toward composing solos or improvising. We’ll see why it’s important to learn a song’s melody from a good source and how you can learn about playing melodies more musically on your instrument by listening to good singers. This class is for Intermediate to Advanced, but Intermediates, don’t be scared! This class is geared to be valuable to both Intermediate and Advanced students. (I/A)

4. Bringing Fiddle Tunes to Life – Ornamentation, pulse and dynamics can make a fiddle tune sound like the music it’s meant to be. How to do this is not always obvious on a flatpicked instrument. We’ll work with specific examples to develop a feel for what’s involved. Open to both Guitar and Mandolin (A)

5. Practice as Problem Solving – Does it sound as good as you want it to? Exactly where and how is it not as good as you want it to be? Which note is the problem? Why don’t you like it? If you are specific enough, you can then use common sense to figure out a way to practice to make that spot better. First step is to listen to and observe your playing objectively and in more detail. We’ll work on this with examples. (AB/I/A)

6. Carter Family Style – If you’ve played basic “boom chink,” bass-note-and-strum country rhythm guitar, this approach offers a way to play a simple melodic solo based mostly on skills you already have. (AB/I)

7. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level

 

Julian Berman – Beginner/Advancing Beginner Mandolin Track

The Beginner/Advancing Beginner Track for mandolin will cover some of the following topics according to campers’ needs and time permitting:

• how to hold the instrument and pick
• left- and right-hand technique
• strings and tuning
• chords and rhythm
• hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides
• applying the ideas listed above to common songs

 

Dick Bowden – Guitar

1. Guitar Styles of Earl Scruggs and Mother Maybelle – Two visionaries whose playing laid the foundation for the following generations of guitar pickers. Bring thumbpick and fingerpicks if you want to try some of their licks. (I-A)

2. Thumb-Driven Guitar – rhythm and lead styles in old country and bluegrass music. Mother Maybelle, Riley Puckett, Charlie Monroe, Clyde Moody, Earl Scruggs, Lester Flatt, Carter Stanley, Edd Mayfield, etc. Bring a thumbpick and one or two finger picks, and a capo. Techniques are applicable to flat pickers too. (I-A)

3. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level

 

Richie Brown – Mandolin

1. Useful “Turnarounds” – I-V-I for beginnings and endings of songs/solos. (I)

2. Listening for Chord Changes in Songs and Tunes – 2 and 3 chords at easy tempo. Demonstration and participation (guitar/bass accompaniment ). (B/AB)

3. Introduction to Chords on the Mandolin – We will take a look at chord formation and start on making sense of the fingerboard. (B/AB)

4.  Any Song Any Key! (Not Quite!) – Explore, discuss, and try out some strategies for playing in keys that players might find “troublesome”. At some point, you’re going to have to play in one of these keys because it’s where your lead singer needs to sing. Bring some songs you’d like to try in one of the less used keys. Eb, F, Bb, B. (I/A)

5. The First Whippoorwill, Key of G – explore Bill Monroe’s use of the down strokes and faster tremolo moves in one of his iconic solos from the 1950’s. (A)

6. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level

 

Mike Compton – Mandolin

1. Mandolin Duets With Skip Gorman – Two masters of Monroe-style explore the principles of finding harmony notes to a tune. This approach is useful for vocals as well as instrumentals. (Demo, with some class participation) 

2. Old-time Tunes and Rhythms – Some common simple tunes from the old-time repertoire that utilize
specific right hand rhythms to shape the melody. (B)

3. On & On (and on and on…) – Variations on a theme using the same outline. We will examine one of Bill Monroe’s most famous songs and 4 variations he played over the course of the 50s and 60s. (A)

4. Playing Harmony on the Fly – A shorthand way of playing an acceptable (I didn’t say perfect) second to the lead on breaks and instrumentals. Students must be familiar with chord voicings beyond the first position. (I/A)

5. Putting the Triplet Feel in Waltz Time – Class will cover one of the unique approaches to playing waltzes that emphasizes triplet tremolo. “Alabama Waltz” and “Sitting Alone in the Moonlight” will be used as examples. (I)

6. A Close Look at “Rawhide” Up the Neck – What in tarnation is it that Monroe is playing in 4th position C?! I’ll show you and you’ll play it before you leave. (I)

7. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level

 

Michael Daves – Guitar

1. Monroe Licks for Guitar – Bill Monroe, the Father of Bluegrass Music, developed a unique vocabulary of blues-inflected melodic licks that are well known to mandolin players. Many of these classic lines translate well to guitar,
although it is unexpectedly rare to hear guitarists using them. In this class you’ll pick up some bits of utter bluegrass authenticity that you can use to spice up your instrumental breaks. (I)

2. Intro to Taking Song Breaks – If you’ve ever participated in a bluegrass jam, chances are someone has offered you a solo on a song that you don’t know, or at least haven’t worked up a break for. In this class we’ll learn some easy strategies for jumping in on the fly with a simple, appropriate, instrumental break even when you haven’t practiced one in advance. (I)

3. Jamming Skills: Leading Songs – If you’ve attended bluegrass jams before, you know that they can be a great way of learning the music, meeting people with similar interests, and developing your musical instincts in a friendly group setting. It’s always fine to hang out in the background and follow along, but at some point you’ll probably be offered the chance to lead a song. This class will cover
everything you need to get started as a song leader and learn to confidently direct traffic at a jam, regardless of your skill level on your instrument. (I)

4. Intro to Rhythm Guitar: Charlie Monroe – Charlie Monroe, as one half of The Monroe Brothers (with his brother Bill), helped invent and define rhythm guitar
style in bluegrass music in the 1930s, before it was even called that. In this class we’ll take “three chords and the truth” to the next level by learning some of Charlie’s signature moves for changing between G, C, D, and A chords. His style was fairly simple, yet very effective, and while the Monroes were often operating at breakneck tempos these simple moves can provide the magic glue for basic chord progressions at any speed. (AB)

5. Rhythm Guitar 2 – Honky Tonk and Rockabilly Strumming – If you’re familiar with basic boom-chuck strumming and can lead into chord changes with bass runs
you may be looking to expand your arsenal of rhythm techniques. In this class we’ll learn some rockabilly and honky-tonk style strums and bass patterns that can be appropriate in bluegrass music. Song examples include Jimmy Martin’s “Hold Whatcha Got” and Bill Monroe’s “Darling Corey.” (I)

6. Intro to Guitar Cross-picking: George Shuffler – Cross-picking is the technique of using a flatpick to translate banjo fingerpicking rolls to the guitar. In this class we’ll learn some basic roll patterns and explore a break from crosspicking
guitarist George Shuffler who made a number of classic recordings with the Stanley Brothers. (A)

7. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level

 

Sharon Gilchrist – Mandolin

1. Basic Double Stop Series – learning a commonly used double stop series up and down the neck (B/I)

2. Using Double Stops to Map the Fretboard – learning how to use double stops to outline various chord progressions in order to open up your knowledge of the fretboard and discussing how to use these when playing rhythm and backing up a singer (I)

3. Closed Position Fingering Pattern for Playing Solos – learning one closed-position pattern that can
be moved anywhere on the neck to help find melodies effortlessly and harmonize them with double
stops for any song played over I-IV-V chord progressions (AB/I)

4. Right Hand Technique Class – discussing right hand technique and posture and applying it to
rhythm patterns and string crossings commonly found in fiddle tunes  (All)

5. Backing Up a Singer – learning the art of playing fills and other tricks to help you interact with a
lead vocal while remaining supportive of the vocal (I)

6. Arpeggios – learning the basic arpeggios for 1-4-5 chords starting in the key of A Major and discussing how to practice these so they make their way into your improvisation and help you learn melodies more easily (AB/I)

7. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level

 

Skip Gorman – Mandolin

1. Mandolin Duets With Mike Compton – Two masters of Monroe-style explore the principles of finding harmony notes to a tune. This approach is useful for vocals as well as instrumentals. (Demo, with some class participation) 

2. Bill Monroe’s Mandolin Style With the Monroe Brothers – Chordal, sliding, and positioning techniques. (I)

3. Bill Monroe The Cowboy – We’ll work on singing and playing such numbers as “Let Me Rest At the End of My Journey”, “Goodbye Ol’ Pal”, “When the Cactus is in Bloom”. We’ll work on breaks for the mandolin and I’ll have a guitar to demonstrate chordal and run techniques. (AB/I)

4. “The Kansas City Railroad Blues” – Ridin’ the Blind Techniques. Good practice with chordal positioning and sliding both up and down the neck. (I)

5. “The Golden West” – is a great melody and lends itself to right hand fiddle bowing technique. So what? Here’s what: Bill Monroe’s early music education was accompanying the great Old-Time fiddler, Pendleton “Uncle Pen” Vandiver, so Bill’s right hand moves are closely related to fiddle bowing patterns. (I)

6. “Watson Blues” – This great tune has it all: tremolo work, down stroke practice and sliding up and down the fingerboard. Using the same melody as Bill’s true vocal number “You’ll Find Her Name Written There”, this tune is a true blues masterpiece that earned its title from Doc Watson’s signature guitar intro! (I)

7. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level

Bennett Hammond – Classroom and Jam Support

Lorraine Hammond – Novice/Beginner Mandolin Track

The Novice/Beginner Track for mandolin will cover some of the following topics according to campers’ needs and time permitting:

• how to hold the instrument and pick
• left- and right-hand technique
• strings and tuning
• chords and rhythm
• hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides
• applying the ideas listed above to common songs

 

Jim Hurst – Guitar

1. Flatpick 101 – Now what? You have a guitar and a pick, a capo and a tuner… so what’s next? This class will focus on forming chords and changing from one chord to another. How to play rhythm patterns to make the chord ring out. We’ll touch on the major scales and the number system. Audio recording encouraged for personal use only. (B)

2. Flatpick 102 – The basics and fundamentals of flatpicking are necessary formative ingredients that even some of the most experienced flatpickers neglect to spend enough time with or utilize. In this class, there will be minimal tablature, but we will work through many vital foundational aspects of what makes flatpickers better players and help to expedite a healthy growth rate. We will work on right hand techniques of single and multiple string picking, Bluegrass rhythm patterns along with left hand position and chord voicing. We’ll also work on the importance of scales, the importance of melodies, and practice organization. It’ll be a challenge, but good for you. Audio recording encouraged for personal use only. (B)

3. Flatpick 201 – Melodies are what we love, and we should be able to play them in 1st position in at least one octave. The simpler the melody the better when working out 2nd and 3rd places to play them. It will take focus and a willingness to stay simple. Audio recording encouraged for personal use only. (AB)

4. Flatpick 202 – Melodies are vital to learning new positions and new chords for playing them. We’ll work on that very thing and utilize our singing voice to find our inner ‘voice’ to start on melodic options. We’ll work on scales and chord shapes and positions known as the CAGED system or theory, to open up pathways to better ability and expression. Audio recording encouraged for personal use only. (I)

5. Flatpick 301 – In this class we’ll touch on scales and chord shapes and voicing before moving into melody ideas and solo building. Minimal tab in this class, focus will be on utilizing ear training, your voice, and instinct to create your musical expression. Finding 2nd and 3rd (more?) positions to play melodies, harmonies, and improvisation, and tying them together for more options. CAGED theory and vocal perspective will be discussed. A challenging class, with emphasis on learning for growth in the future. Audio recording encouraged for personal use only. (A)

6. How to play well with others: jamming etiquette – We’ll work on the ‘magic’ that is being a good jammer, or band mate. Listening first, then playing, volume control, and deciding when to use dynamics. Audio recording encouraged for personal use only. (AB/I)

7. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level

 

Lincoln Meyers – Guitar

1. Fingerboard Logic – Understanding the fingerboard can appear to be a daunting task. Through chord shapes, scales, and patterns, you’ll gain a better understanding, with tips and tricks to help you get around. (A)

2. Let’s Swing – Spice up your rhythm with right-hand swing patterns, interesting chord voicings, turnarounds, and walking bass lines. Use chord substitutions, to make a three-chord progression more interesting, and play in any key. (I/A)

3. Take Your Rhythm Playing to a New Level – Step up your rhythm playing with a variety of strumming patterns. Learn how, when, and where to walk from chord to chord, plus practice techniques to develop better pick control. (I)

4. Flatpicking Fundamentals – What’s a rest stroke? What’s the importance of pick direction? Here’s an in depth look at the art of flatpicking and the techniques needed to get you well on your way. (AB)

5. Let’s Float (no water required) – It’s similar to melodic-style banjo, but played on a guitar with a flatpick! Floating is a technique that allows you to move around the fingerboard efficiently by utilizing ringing open strings and sustain. (A)

6. Kickoffs and Tags – A properly executed beginning (kickoff) of a song or tune pulls listeners and musicians together for take off. The last few moments before the ending (tag) prepare us for a three-point landing. This class will demonstrate familiar versions of these critical components and give you some suggestions on how to create your own kickoffs and tags. (I)

7. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level

 

Glenn Nelson – Luthier

Laura Orshaw – Fiddle; Classroom and jam support

 

Marshall Racowsky – Guitar; Classroom and jam support

1. Texas Style Guitar Backup. An exploration of altered chords, chord progressions and chord substitutions, commonly used to accompany Texas style fiddle tunes. (A)

 

Jim Richter – Mandolin

1. Inner Motivation and Acceptance as a Mandolinist – Addressing the dilemma of the perpetual beginner: the individual who has played for 5 to 10 years and still identifies as a beginner. This class helps each player explore the “why” behind their choice to play mandolin. Active participation by each student is a must to receive maximum benefit of the instruction. (AB/I)

2. Improvisation and Jamming for the Blues and Rock Mandolinist – Examination of blues box patterns, song structure, building solos, and understanding how to play over different common blues harmonic changes. (I)

3. Arranging Blues and Classic Rock Guitar for Mandolin – Rethinking mandolin as a rock instrument using a blues framework. Strategies and approaches for arranging great tunes by ZZ Top, Steve Miller, Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Jimi Hendrix, and more. This includes review of blues box patterns, sonic uniqueness of mandolin to mimic guitar “power chords,” how to use guitar tablature by the non-guitarist, and general arrangement. (A)

4. The Blues/Rock Shuffle: What It is, and How to Do It On the Mandolin – The shuffle is a rhythmic pattern that is the cornerstone of blues music and highly influential on swing, rock and roll, and country music. This rhythm workshop focuses on various approaches to playing mandolin shuffles from the most basic and accessible to more complicated harmonic approaches to add color and interest to one’s playing. (B/AB)

5. Playing With Commitment: the Techniques Representative of Blues Mandolin Playing – This class looks at techniques common to blues mandolin and blues in general. Unlike fiddle tune or modern bluegrass playing that is often linear with long series of eighth or sixteenth notes, blues playing relies heavily on left hand techniques that give life to phrasing. Right hand techniques focus more on power and character than the facileness honed through pick-theory adherence needed for contemporary mandolin compositions. At the end of this class, each student will have better ideas to give life, breath, and character to their blues playing. (I/A)

6. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level

 

Mike Rivers – Guitar; Sound Reinforcement & Audio Engineer

1. Getting the Most Out of Your Hand-Held Recorder – These things are in the 3rd of 4th generation so it’s already time to buy a new one. Some are smaller than ever. Some bolt onto your I-pod. Some record video. Some are really more music stations than just recorders. And some are really excellent recorders. This class will cover some fundamentals of recording as well as some of the useful and wacky features available today that you might not expect. (All; non-participating campers are welcome to attend)

 

Betsy Rome – Guitar

Advancing Beginner Guitar Track – four class sessions plus two review sessions. The Advancing Beginner track will cover some of the following topics according to the individual campers’ needs and time permitting:

     Fundamentals

o Get a grip: hold the guitar, strap position, pick grip & angle
o Equipment: strings, picks, capo, strap
o Tone: the rest stroke
o Strum: the Boom-Chuck

Bluegrass Rhythm

o Open chord shapes
o Read a rhythm chart
o Counting off
o The “church lick”
o Playing with dynamics
o Jam etiquette

Bass Runs

o Where to place bass runs
o Lester Flatt G-run
o Jimmy Martin D-run
o “Sally Goodin” turnaround bass run
o “Sally Goodin” turnaround swing chords

Lead Solos

o Right-hand picking: all downstrokes, DUDU, crosspicking
o Left hand: Mapping the fretboard
o Melody cornerstones
o Double-stops in harmony

___________________________
Songs / tunes for Classes 2, 3 & 4:
• “Blue Ridge Mtn. Home” in G
• “Baby You Don’t Know My Mind” in D – note: 7 measures in solos
www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIHyWAH8Z5M
• “Mr. Engineer” www.youtube.com/watch?v=LjxzrLdkJ-Y
• “There’s More Pretty Girls Than One”
www.youtube.com/watch?v=laXyrYmrYKQ&t=9s
• Instrumental: Gold Rush in A:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVoLAvrexoA
• Instrumental, for learning bass run turnaround: Sally Goodin in A

 

Matt Shipman – Guitar (Youth)

 

Avril Smith – Guitar

1. An Introduction to Melodic Soloing and Improvisation – We will talk about concepts for developing tasteful solos that build on the melody. We’ll listen to how some great guitar players put these ideas into practice and learn a Tony Rice solo that is a great example of this approach. (I)

2. Connecting Chords With Bass Lines – We learn how to connect chords through melodic bass lines. We will discuss and practice concepts for developing these ideas in ways that best support different types of songs and grooves. (AB/I)

3. Concepts to Embellish Your Rhythm Guitar Playing – We will discuss approaches to add texture, groove and interest to our strumming patterns and practice these ideas in the context of familiar bluegrass songs. (I)

4. Expanded Chord Forms and Passing Chords – We will practice some more advanced ideas for chord voicings you can use in bluegrass that add some new colors to our rhythm playing. (I/A)

5. Getting Into the G-Run – The G-run is probably the most defining bluegrass guitar line there is. It’s used in rhythm playing to put an exclamation point on a section of the song and it’s also used commonly within solos. There are many variations of it and we can play the idea over any chord, not just G. We will learn some variations on the G run and how to apply it in our playing. (I)

6. How Do You Improvise on a Fiddle Tune? – We will discuss concepts for developing musical and tasteful solos over familiar fiddle tunes that stay true to the song while creating space for individual expression and ideas. We will put these concepts into practice to improve our ability to take tasteful breaks. (I)

7. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level

 

Frank Solivan – Mandolin

1. The Mandolin Brain – Mentally map your fingerboard with common shapes, easy scales and lateral moves. Some easy music theory will be thrown in at the same time. Get to the next level of Mando awareness. (I)

2. Clean Speed – The all elusive speed issue. Learn some insider techniques, tips and ideas on how practice to get your speed up without sacrificing tone and clarity. (I/A)

3. Banjo on Mando – Get a grasp on handy ways to play a few banjo melodies like “Pike County Breakdown” and “Clinch Mountain Backstep”  (I)

4. Fingle Fumbers – Learn and apply a few left and right hand finger buster exercises and techniques including slides, pull-offs, hammer-ons, scales and arpeggios to fight against the dreaded fumble fingers. Build up your bag of licks and your bucket of tricks. (I)

5. Cross Picking – Give some thought to basic cross-picking patterns. It can be a useful tool to enhance the complexity of your solos. Learn how to incorporate them into a couple of tunes and/or licks. (A)

6. The Chop and Strum – Learn some new chord shapes to aid in your quest to be a solid rhythm player. How to chop and when to chop… How to strum and when to
strum. (All)

7. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level

 

Don Stiernberg – Mandolin

1. Operating Your Mando Machine – Starting at the beginning–setting both hands for easy playing–getting a nice sound–tremolo–chord formation–what to listen for—how the mandolin helps you–exercises for chops development (N/B)

2. Rhythm and Repertoire – Creating rhythm parts for swing tunes–3 levels: “basic”, “more interesting”and “anything goes”; analyzing progressions to promote memorization and understanding of lots of tunes, notes to add on–notes to leave out–amaze your friends by dancing chordally across the entire fretboard (AB/I)

3. A New Look at Chord Playing – Are there easier ways to form colorful or nasty chords? Are there easier ways to connect one chord to another? What impact does the style of music have on which voicing you use? Exercises for making chord changes smooth, easy, and automatic. When to jump all over the place, when to hang in a close area (AB/I)

4. Melodic Materials – Responding to chord symbols by knowing what notes you can choose from–extending scales into fretboard territories–phrases–licks–solos by other players–tunes that clearly illustrate melodic language or have awesome phrases–the “good notes” (I/A)

5. Learn to Improvise – Step by step system for getting your own solos going- “paraphrase” vs. “free invention”: exploring two distinct approaches to creating a linear solo–what to listen for–finding things on the fretboard–getting your chops ready to keep things flowing (I)

6. Great Moments in Improvised Mandolin Solo History – Listening to and looking at solos created by great improvising mandolinists such as Burns, Gimble, Moore, Monroe, Grisman, Bush, et al; working ideas from the greats into your own solos – theoretical analysis of hip licks – what were they thinking? were they thinking?? (I/A, Demo)

7. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level

 

Bruce Stockwell – Classroom and Jam Support

Kelly Stockwell – Classroom and Jam Support

 

David Surette – Mandolin/Guitar

1. Double-stops – We’ll take a look at two-note combos, both from the scale perspective and the chordal perspective. We’ll also look at some ways to use them, in songs and fiddle tunes. Mandolin (I)

2. Open Chord Strumming – Explore a number of different strums and lots of nice open string chord voicings. Mandolin (B/AB)

3. Modal Tunes – We will learn and look at a couple of great modal tunes in the Dorian and Mixolydian modes. Mandolin (A)

4. Pick Direction – Get your technique in order with this workshop on developing consistent pick direction. Mandolin/Guitar (B/AB)

5. Grateful Dead Session – Let’s play a bunch of tunes, familiar, unusual, and covers, too. Mandolin (I)

6. Piedmont Blues Fingerpicking – using an alternating thumb. Guitar (I)

7. Coaching Session – limited to 4 students, any level

 

Tony Watt – Beginner/Advancing Beginner Mandolin Track

The Beginner/Advancing Beginner Track for mandolin will cover some of the following topics according to campers’ needs and time permitting:

• how to hold the instrument and pick
• left- and right-hand technique
• strings and tuning
• chords and rhythm
• hammer-ons, pull-offs, and slides
• applying the ideas listed above to common songs