We offer a variety of workshops which focus on styles and techniques to help you improve your skills.
An Approach to Improvisation on Guitar and Mandolin
Tim May and Dan Miller (co-authors of the popular eight volume Flatpicking Essentials Guitar Course and the instructional DVD "An Approach to Improvisation"), will conduct a hands-on, all-level Guitar and Mandolin Improvisation Workshop. The idea of learning how to improvise can be confusing and overwhelming. Tim May and Dan Miller's workshop will prove to you that it is much easier to improvise than you think, and now is the time to start learning, even if you are a beginner to guitar or mandolin! In the workshop Tim and Dan teach an approach to improvisation that will put you on the road to improvising a solo on a song in a very short amount of time. The method that they teach and the skills that you will learn in this workshop will help really demystify improvisation. In fact, no matter what your current ability level, you will be improvising by the end of this workshop, even on a song that you have never heard before! If you are already an accomplished improvisational player this workshop can help take your abilities to the next level. If you are new to improvisation, this workshop will give you confidence in taking that big step to becoming an improvisational player. Each student will be given several opportunities to play for, and get direct feedback from, the instructors.
Speed, Accuracy, and Tone Workshop
Dan Miller and Tim May will conduct a two-hour all-level flatpicking guitar workshop that will focus on how to use efficient left and right hand technique and mechanics to increase speed, improve note clarity and fluidity, and develop good tone and volume. Dan, editor of Flatpicking Guitar Magazin, co-author of the popular eight volume Flatpicking Essentials Guitar Course, and co-author of the book "The Guitar Player's Guide to Developing Speed, Accuracy, and Tone, said, "After interviewing over 200 professional guitar players for Flatpicking Guitar Magazine I took all of the information that I had gathered about developing speed, accuracy, and tone and worked with my good friends Brad Davis and Tim May to develop a book, DVD, and workshop presentation that would help players of all levels break through playing barriers and improve their tone, volume, speed, fluidity, and note accuracy."
Building Interesting Melody-Based Solos
In this workshop students will first learn how to find chords and melody to any tune by ear. We then teach how you can use all of a variety other flatpicking techniques that are available to you in order to build an interesting solo around the melody. This would be ideal for those who are working to get away from learning from tab, but would like to know who to incorporate the melody in their solo. We start with Carter style and then move beyond that by adding in many other techniques, such as hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, bends, drones, double stops, tremolo, neighboring notes, toggled notes, scale runs (major scale, major pentatonic scale, major blues scale, minor pentatonic scale, and minor blues scale), folding scales, crosspicking, and others. Students will be taught how to come up with numerous melody-based solo variations to any tune.
Basic Rhythm Workshop
This workshop provides the techniques of solid bluegrass, Irish, and Old-Time rhythm (and explores the difference between the three) to include bass runs, fill licks, alternate strum patterns, developing and maintaining a good (and stylistically appropriate) groove, ideas about appropriately supporting the other musicians and the singer with your rhythm, ideas about moving from rhythm to lead and back. Plus concepts involving keeping good time, leading the listener's ear to the next chord change and providing interesting texture to your rhythm.
Advanced Rhythm Workshop
This workshops is the follow-on to the Basic Rhythm Workshop. Here we start to get into extended chords, sus chords, diminished chords and their use in adding flavor to bluegrass, Irish, Old-Time and moving into Western Swing, swing, Gypsy jazz, and jazz. Since most of the crowd will consist of fiddle tune and bluegrass flatpickers, we will focus on how to use these chords to add flavor to your bluegrass and fiddle tune back up and how to learn interesting rhythm to play behind Western Swing and swing tunes that typically pop up at a bluegrass jam.
Advanced Improvisation Workshop
This workshop is a follow-on to the "Approach to Improvisation Workshop." In the first workshop we focus on diatonic chord progressions (chords that are "of the key"). Here we start to explore improvisation of chords that are outside of the key and move on to work with circle of fifth progressions and how to start improvisation over swing and jazz changes. If you'd like to read a review of the improvisation workshop, written by Scott Tichenor of mandolincafe.com, click here: http://www.mandolincafe.com/news/publish/mandolins_001390.shtml
Improving Your Rhythm & Timing, and Developing a Groove on Guitar and Mandolin
Rhythm and Timing are two of the most important aspects of playing the guitar or mandolin, however, they are often overlooked. Brad Davis and Dan Miller have developed a two-hour workshop that will change the way you approach, practice, and execute every aspect of playing both lead and rhythm because it will be infused with a new appreciation and skill level of rhythm, time, and groove. This workshop will help players of all levels solidify their sense of timing, add variety and interest to their rhythm, and learn to develop and maintain a great groove when playing both rhythm and lead. Although Brad Davis is one of the most highly respected lead guitar players in acoustic music today, but the reason people like Sam Bush, Marty Stuart, Earl Scruggs, John Jorgenson, and many more, have appreciated having Brad in the band is because of his impeccable sense of time, his awesome rhythm chops, and his ability to lay down a great groove. In this workshop he will show you why he is one of the best rhythm men in the business and pass along that skill and knowledge to you.
For those interested in improving their vocal skills, professional vocal coach, Kacey Cubero, is offering a workshop to all levels of singers and public speakers. Designed to help you discover, explore and expand your own voice, no matter what your musical level or style, this workshop will challenge you, improve your skills, and help you develop your craft. We will work on the key elements of a healthy vocal performance, including: the anatomy of the voice, achieving optimal breath control, methods of performance enhancement, improvisation and much more. The community workshop atmosphere is a great way to harness your unique vocal identity by sharing and exploring the vast array of vocal possibilities.