• Classes

  • Blues Music Camp 2022

From Elizabeth Cotton to Mississippi John Hurt to Dave Van Ronk, fingerpicking the guitar is a useful way of exploiting the melodies and harmonies of songs. It can also open up new ways of singing and presenting a song. In this 1-session class we’ll explore the country roots of fingerpicking and find ways to apply…

Phil’s music continues the Piedmont blues tradition, a gentle and melodic blues style of the mid-Atlantic region of the US. For 32 years, he was part of an award-winning and celebrated duo with guitarist/singer John Cephas, and the two toured the world performing traditional Piedmont blues. Phil is actively engaged in reuniting the style with…

In the post-war years, country blues guitar styles made the journey into early Chicago Blues styles… becoming amplified along the way. This class will touch on Robert Johnson, Eddie Taylor, Robert Lockwood Jr., among others. Some basic rhythm guitar stylings will be covered.

This class will explore irregular rhythms and vocal tones, call and response patterns (with a leader improvising calls and the group responding), and the incorporation of sounds and body movements.

As a rhythm instrument, bones are one of the oldest instruments we know of. Its roots in African American music pre-date the banjo. This class will provide an assortment of different types of bones for you to sample in class, ranging from wood to real bones (for class practice only.) It is important to hear…

Although Blues is primarily an aural tradition, understanding some basic music theory can be very useful in gaining a deeper understanding of blues idioms, and can be a great help in learning new tunes and developing technical ability and agility on the guitar. Rather than starting with abstract concepts, this class will dive right into…

An introductory look to a couple of simple blues mandolin pieces with an emphasis on the unique sound of Johnny Young.

This 1-session class invites participants to enjoy finding and sharing the spirit of their voices.  

In this 1-session class, participants will create drawings while listening to different blues songs. It is a form of visual journaling that is totally stress free. One does not have to be an artist to participant. There is no pressure to make an aesthetically correct drawing. It is all emotionally based interpretations of what you…

The music of Mississippi John Hurt is a great place to start with blues fingerpicking. His simple, clean style is based on an alternating thumb keeping a steady rhythm on the low strings while the fingers pick out catchy and inventive melodies on the top three strings. This class will be aimed at beginners getting…

This course will cover using the harmonica as percussion, bass, and/or in the role of a horn section when playing along with other instruments. Students will also learn the practice and tradition of “call and response” between instruments, and its role in blues music and spirituals. Please bring harmonicas in the keys of A and…

In this class students will work on overcoming stage fright, and getting down to the heart and soul of connecting with your audience and performing your best blues.

This 1-session class will explore tips, tricks, and techniques for learning a tune by ear from an old recording. It is possible to learn without the availability of tablature!

It’s your song now… from the inside out. Bring a song (preferably blues) you already know or are familiar with. This class is for folks who want to develop their Blues vocal technique, style, and improvisation. It will be led in a format with students participating/collaborating in offering suggestions and insight. As needed, bring/provide your…

Students in this course will learn about the “Magic 3 Hole” and other “cheap tricks” on the harmonica! Please bring harmonicas in the keys of A and C. Some experience and familiarity with the instrument will help the student get the most from this class.

Yoga, the word, means not just the practice of yoga, but yoga itself: union, the psychospiritual state of complete integration. Start your day with a deep dive into listening to and for the root of your creativity! These classes will balance effort with surrender, balance with ease, and discipline with rest… all tools for approaching…

This 1-session class will explore Blues standards such as “Key to the Highway”, “Hoochie Coochie Man”, “Sitting on Top of the World”, and “That’s Alright, Mama”, all which utilize structure outside the 12-bar format.

“I started out with a pocket knife. That’s why I’m doing this now with this here bottleneck.” -Mississippi Fred McDowell. There’s no “right” way to play slide guitar but we all know that unmistakable sound – the moan and cry of a guitar when played by folks from Mississippi Fred and Robert Johnson to Bonnie…

Storytelling can take many forms. We all benefit by using words that allow our minds to visualize people, events, and objects. Our stories come from our lives. Come to sing, and to tell, and hear, stories that have to do with any kind of music, or perhaps no music at all. We are all storytellers,…

Students will use the camp concert stage and sound system to practice your songs, while going over best practices for sound checks, mic technique, instrument amplification and performance tips. Learn about audio connections, how to avoid rings and “bad sound”, how the gear works, and how to bring your best game when getting on stage.

The harmonica is a unique instrument, but like all instruments, a solid foundation of technique will set you up for success! This class will focus on the beginning basics of learning how to play in the classic Blues style of I-IV-V. Students will learn how to hold the harp, how to make note bends, how…

Songwriting from your own unique style of blues. This class will focus on fingerpicking and singing tips that will take you to your next level of playing from the heart.