I wanted to let you know that I'll be teaching two bluegrass banjo workshops on Saturday, May 2nd at Gryphon Stringed Instruments designed to help players of all experience levels to get ready for those festival season jams that are just around the corner. Both workshops are “hands on, let's play” sessions where you'll learn lots of valuable info right then and there that you'll be able to use in your next jam or band rehearsal. The early workshop is designed for beginners or those with little experience playing with others while the afternoon workshop is for intermediate players wishing to broaden their backup and jamming skills.
Here's the lowdown:
“Getting Ready for Your First Jam” 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Open to beginners and those with little to no experience playing music with others. It's a big step for every banjo player to play with others without tablature. In this workshop, you'll learn skills that you can put to use at your first jam session, as well as build self-confidence and have fun sharing music with others. I'll cover the role of the banjo in a jam session, jam etiquette, hearing chord progressions, using the capo, successful jam communication, and the fundamentals of banjo jam accompaniment. We'll play several tunes in this session together.
“Backup Essentials and Sounding Great At Your Next Jam” 2 to 4 p.m. Are you ready to take your jam skills to the next step? We'll cover practical and easy to use techniques that you can put to immediate use. Topics include the F and D chord shapes, vamping, the “In The Mood” roll for up-the-neck backup, using forward rolls and target tones to make your backup sound bonafide, using the capo and backup aesthetics and using some of Earl Scruggs' great backup licks.
Each session is $40, or $75 for both. Audio and/or videotaping is allowed. Advance reservations are recommended as these sessions typically sell out. Phone Gryphon at 650-493-2131 to register or email Bill at bevans@nativeandfin e.com if you have any questions regarding workshop content.
I hope to you there!