SUMMER CAMP 2016 – SEMINARS & SEMINAR LEADERS
B: Beginner I: Intermediate A: Advanced
Bending the Blues (B/I): Blues is the foundation of many forms of popular music today. It is one of the most universal styles to jam on because of its well known structure and groove, but what happens when you modify that, or blend it with different genres? Join us for a twist on the traditional. Improvisation (I): Improvising on guitar is like learning to speak. We improve by taking chances, making mistakes, and simply trying to “talk” to others. This seminar is a practical exploration of learning how to speak and share your voice on the guitar.
Song Arranging: Arranging your tune for performance. In this seminar participants will bring finished songs that they wish to perform and we will discuss creative ideas to arrange the song to try and make it more interesting. We will look at intros, endings, song form and possible solos. Each participant should bring 2 performance ready songs to class.
Beginner Harmonica: Participants will learn the basic accompaniment for blues as well as blues scales for soloing. Topics covered will include: holding the harp, comping, finding the blues scale on the harp, bending notes, how to solo, tricks and harp maintenance. Participants must bring a 10 hole diatonic harmonica in the key of C (Hohner “Special 20” recommended).
Celtic Fingerstyle Guitar (I): In this class we’ll look at some of the main forms of Celtic dance music – jigs and reels – and explore how to approach arranging them for fingerstyle accompaniment. We’ll also delve into song accompaniment. Tunings will be in DADGAD as well as regular tuning. No worries if you haven’t tried DADGAD; all fingerings will be taught.
Rhythm Guitar Techniques (I/A): 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.
Guitar Soloing for the Clueless (B): 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.
Makin’ The Changes (A): You know some scales, so let’s make them work for you. In this class we’ll learn how to spot key centers and common swing chord progressions. Then we’ll build arpeggios and develop lines to really “make the changes”. Add some sophistication to your solos!
Walking After Midnight (A): Using mostly 3 and 4 note chord shapes and inversions, learn the basics of walking a bass line while you simultaneously play the chord changes to any song. This technique gives you a great option to Freddie Green style “4 to the bar” rhythm playing. Dazzle your audience!
Freedom and Fun in Your Singing: Singing is fun and easy! Using songs and exercises, we’ll explore vocal technique, and concepts such as breath control, vocal range, colour and style.
Vocal Master Class: Perform a song and receive feedback with new ideas related to performance practices and style in music. Have a song prepared to sing to the rest of the class. Any genre is welcome! This is a wonderful opportunity to hone and develop the potential available within a song.
Folksong Repertoire (All Levels): Bring back the hootenanny! We’ll sing lots of great songs with catchy refrains and/or easy-to-learn patterns. The emphasis will be on songs that work well in song circles and large groups. All instruments and voices welcome.
Clawhammer Ukulele (I): Due to its “re-entrant” tuning (having a fourth string pitched higher than the second and third strings), the ukulele lends itself nicely to a right-hand technique used in old-time banjo playing called “clawhammer”. In this seminar we’ll learn how to apply the clawhammer motion to the ukulele to play both melodies and accompaniment.
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 Harmony for Cool Cats (I): Take your harmony singing to a whole new level, with voicings used in classic soul, pop and jazz numbers. This intermediate level seminar will give you a taste of singing more complex vocal parts with confidence, and developing that all-important “blend”. In no time, you’ll be singing soulful harmonies like the pros.
FolkHarmonic (All Instruments – All Levels): 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.
Singing and Playing by Yourself (B): Learn simple techniques to get playing guitar and singing simultaneously with confidence and flair. In this seminar we’ll work on the coordination of vocals and rhythm guitar, performance tips and tricks, as well as how to practice and implement the ideas in a fun and efficient way.
Acoustic Guitar: A Partnership (B/I): We’ll focus on rhythm techniques, and have fun with chord progressions and variations to see how guitar playing can punctuate song stores. We’ll learn strumming styles for various genres of musc, and practice simple lead lines in various keys. Why bar chords? And what about open tuning? We’ll listen to some experts and jam along in different tempos. Express yourself!
Songwriting: Anatomy of A Song – Creative Strategies: We’ll examine the elements of a song – words, music, and rhythm, and tease out what makes the song work. Lyrics tell a story or express emotion – what is the role of rhyme? Music moves through time – how do chord choices support expression? Rhythm and tempo help the mood. We’ll look at favourite and successful songs to determine how structure does, or does not, play a part. Let’s create! (Participants are invited to bring fave songs to discuss.)
West African Drumming: We’ll explore traditional West African drumming using djembes (hand drums) and dumuns (African bass drums played with sticks). Participants will learn that traditional rhythms are like melodies, with different pitches being shared between the different types of drums. Drums supplied, but bring your own if you have one.
Afro-Cuban Percussion: This seminar teaches Afro-Cuban drumming using conga drums, claves and bells. Participants’ listening skills and rhythmic sensibilities will be both delighted and challenged. All instruments supplied.