SUMMER CAMP 2015 – SEMINARS & SEMINAR LEADERS
B: Beginner I: Intermediate A: Advanced
Percussive Guitar (All Levels): The acoustic guitar is a highly expressive instrument which also includes a wonderful range of percussion sounds. In this course we will explore the various sounds and how to integrate rhythmic sounds while strumming or fingerpicking your guitar to create the illusion of a band and how to bring this sound to the stage. Handouts and exercises will be provided.
Tips and Techniques for Fingerstyle Guitar (I): The acoustic guitar is an amazing instrument with a huge range of colours. If you have your basic strumming and fingerpicking down then this course is for you. We’ll explore a number of techniques to add additional colour to the usual black and white notes. Tapping, harmonics, hammer-ons, pull-offs, right and left hand coordination, simultaneous percussion while you strum or fingerpick will all be covered.
Blues Meets Jazz (I/A): We’ll explore the blues from a jazz perspective and investigate jazz from a blues point of view. Discover the rich musical ideas that unfold when blues meets jazz. Learn comping and soloing ideas to help infuse your blues playing with jazz concepts and sounds. Alternate chord changes, creative use of the blues scale, the power of repetition and more will be revealed through study of jazz-blues greats such as Grant Green and Wes Montgomery.
The Guitar Orchestra (I/A): This class that will look at how to transform the guitar into a big band or a string section. By focusing on a few jazz standards, we’ll learn useful arranging ideas that will enable you to play chord melodies and beyond by exploring the amazing variety of textures the guitar is capable of. Through use of octaves, diads, triads, fourths, and full chords we’ll realize that the guitar orchestra is not a dream, it’s a reality!
Songwriting: Songs are a magical language, and songwriting is a quest for the sacred, the comical, or the singular within everyday life. In this session, we will explore the tools and craft of songwriting through a series of fun (and maybe a little risky) exercises. We’ll discuss techniques, strategies and blocks, the roles and interrelationships of melody, rhythm and lyric, and song forms and styles. Previous songwriting experience is not necessary, but participants should come with a willingness to take some risks.
Cool Songs and Groovy Chords (B/I): If you’re a beginning guitar player who would like to progress beyond the basic I, IV, V chord forms in first position, this class might be for you. In this repertoire class we will learn songs that are fun to play that also have fun chords and simple runs. We’ll have a blast singing and trying to make our hands work at the same time. Participants should be able to play basic chords.
Uke Level 2 – Play in Any Key: If you’re already comfortable playing basic chord shapes and changing at moderate speed, this is the class for you. We will focus on playing and singing while expanding both your chord arsenal and your ability to make smooth changes. Diminished and moveable shapes will become your friends! Transposition will be demystified! We’ll be in C tuning: GCEA.
Song Accompaniment and Arranging in Alternate Tunings (B/I): DADGAD and CGCGCD are two popular tunings for the guitar that can open up a range of sounds and textures and expand ideas for building arrangements for songs. In this class you will learn some of the benefits and challenges of these tunings, along with chord voicings and some useful general principles for accompanying songs.
Rhythm Guitar Techniques (B/I): Sometimes you want to drive the rhythm, sometimes you want to have a gentle lilt, and sometimes you want to groove! Coming from the perspective of accompaniment for traditional music and branching out from there, we’ll explore a range of rhythm guitar approaches that can give variety and rhythmic interest to many types of music.
Rhythm Basics (All Levels): This seminar will introduce the foundations of all great music — RHYTHM! We’ll cover the basics of good groovin’ music no matter what the style. Topics will include pulse, common subdivisions and the not-so-scary world of poly-rhythms. Ideas discussed will be put into practice on a variety of percussion instruments..
Latin Percussion (All Levels): This seminar will cover the fundamental elements that are essential when playing Latin or African based music — the clave, and how the music grooves and swings. We will get familiar with some of the rhythms that are integral to the music of Cuba, Brazil and New Orleans, and we will discuss how they are closely related by going over what has now become known as the “Mother Rhythm”!
Singing World Music (All Levels): In this class we will dive right into a cappella singing from various world vocal traditions – from South Africa to Eastern Europe to North America . We will play with different tone productions, rhythms, singing techniques, grooves and ways to feel the music in our bodies. This class will be a lot of fun and will push your ears and your singing to new places!
Gospel/Roots Singing (All Levels): We will explore the incredibly rich world of early Gospel music and its roots. Singing some blues, spirituals and gospel quartets, there will be chances to solo and sing in harmony. We will put lots of attention on how to sing as a group with the right style – scoops, slides, blending and finding the essential rhythmic groove.
Guitar Soloing for the Clueless (B/I): Do you freeze up when someone says “take it!”? Do you have no clue how to go from playing chords to playing single note leads? Do you worry that your guitar playing friends will start to talk behind your back? Come to this class and learn how to dazzle those same nay sayers with your new skills. We’ll start with building a solo out of just a few notes in a safe and un-terrifying way with just enough theory to have some comprehension but not too much to confuse.
Songwriting: Give your songwriting skills a boost! We’ll do fun creativity games, talk about what makes a song strong, and do exercises to improve your skills on the different aspects of writing, lyrics, melody and rhythm. Be prepared for lots of assignments.
Easy Vocal Harmony for Beginners (B/I): If you’re a singer who’d love to do some harmonizing, but you don’t know where to start, this course will get you going. We’ll use simple and familiar songs, and focus on the tried and true “tricks of the trade” that all experienced harmonizers use.
Vocal Jazz Harmony (I): If you feel confident with basic harmonizing, let’s take things to a whole new level, using vocal jazz voicings. In the context of jazz standards, we’ll put together spicy, “crunchy” harmonies that take advantage of the complex, endlessly inventive nature of these fabulous songs. (Can you say “sharp 11”?)
FolkHarmonic (B/I – All Instruments): Immerse yourself in the world of harmonies, melodies, laughter and ensemble playing regardless of skill level. We’ll set up a groove and add easy parts, taught by ear and layered, to make epic sounds out of simple pieces.
The Art of the Sideman (I): Being a good sideman (or woman) is a fine art. Knowing when to play, when to be silent, and how to fill in the gaps tastefully can be challenging. Learn how to enable the musical visions of others, what will serve the song best, and have fun while you’re at it.
Stir It Up – Caribbean Rhythms (B/I – All Instruments): An introduction to the calypso, ska, rock steady, reggae and soca music of Harry Belafonte, Jimmy Cliff, Bob Marley and others. Using well-known songs, we’ll learn the different rhythm patterns to accompany this irresistibly toe-tappin’ island music – off-beats, staccato, the “skank” stroke, the “one drop”. Run come see, mon!
Introduction To The Blues (B/I): An overview from the origins of the music to the present day. Learn the form in its 8, 12 and 16 bar lengths. Learn the function of a turnaround, and the real meaning of the mojo.
Fingerstyle Country Blues (I): Fingerstyle and slide blues guitar touches on the major pre-WW II styles from the East Coast (Piedmont) and Mississippi Delta, and Texas. We’ll journey from one-chord songs to ragtime a la Blind Blake, with time devoted to slide guitar in open D and G tunings as well.