Steve's Workshops


 



Guitar & Banjo Workshops

Workshop topics include the following, and may be configured for different length sessions, week-long workshops, and customized for various skill and knowledge levels.

  • How to Accompany Others on Guitar:
    The art of backing up a lead instrument, such as a hammered dulcimer, is a very special skill that must be learned and developed over time. In this workshop, the student will learn the key factors needed to make your guitar and the other instrument involved sound as though they are one instrument. How to follow and support the lead instrument with complimentary chord progressions and leading runs will be taught, along with how to play with dynamics and expression. ALL SKILL LEVELS [All levels of guitar skills will benefit from this workshop, with intermediate skills the desired norm]

  • Fingerstyle Guitar:
    Basic three finger-roll, right-hand pattern and variations. How to play flat-pick melodies using fingers and/or finger picks. How to back up other acoustic instruments with passing chords and supporting ornamentation. INTERMEDIATE SKILL LEVEL [Student needs to be able to play basic left-hand chords smoothly including both open and bar chords.]


  • Advanced Beginner Guitar:
    Picking up from beginning guitar, this level introduces various right-hand patterns of rhythm, chord progression structure, and bar chord formation. We will learn how to figure out chord progressions by ear, learning to hear what keys and chord patterns are being used, then play them ourselves without using music or tablature. We'll also learn to use the simple "Nashville Number System" for song chord charting used for decades in Nashville recording sessions. ADVANCED BEGINNING LEVEL [Student needs to be able to play basic left-hand open chords smoothly and have a basic steady rhythm ability with the right-hand]

  • Beginning Guitar:
    Starting with the basic terminology of the guitar, how to place your left and right hands properly on the guitar, moving on to begin forming basic open chords in several keys and how to play them cleanly so that they ring true. We will go as fast or as slowly as the class needs to build a solid foundation for playing the guitar well. You will learn to play the chords and chord progressions for many familiar songs. BEGINNER SKILL LEVEL [No experience necessary]
  • Clawhammer Banjo for Guitar Players:
    This is a workshop for guitar players who have maybe tried to learn the right hand clawhammer technique on the banjo but found it to be counter-intuitive to the thumb downbeat of fingerstyle and strumming guitar techniques. You'll learn from a guitar player who struggled on the banjo for a long time with the right-hand clawhammer technique but finally got it . . . AND SO CAN YOU!
    INTERMEDIATE GUITAR SKILL LEVEL OR HIGHER [really familiar and comfortable on the guitar with good left-hand dexterity] NO EXPERIENCE OR SKILL ON THE BANJO REQUIRED AT ALL

  • Clawhammer Banjo from the Ground Up:
    Basic right-hand clawhammer stroke, simple left-hand chords, pulloffs, and hammer-ons, along with simple melody lines to begin to play the old-timey way. BEGINNER SKILL LEVEL [No experience necessary]

  • Clawhammer Banjo ~ Advanced Beginner:
    This is is for those who have accomplished the basic right-hand clawhammer stroke, simple left-hand chords, pulloffs, and hammer-ons, along with simple melody lines and know at least a few tunes. Developing a solid clawhammer rhythm will be stressed. The three basic clawhammer tunings will be taught and used. Drop-thumb, right-hand rolls will be introduced. ADVANCED BEGINNER SKILL LEVEL [Have a decent grasp of the right-hand clawhammer stroke and comfortable left-hand dexterity]]

  • Sawmill Clawhammer Banjo:
    Learn the old Appalachian mountain modal tuning called “Sawmill” with the “Galax Lick,” pulloffs, hammer-ons, and a couple of basic drop thumb rolls in a simple arrangement of the mountain favorite “Shady Grove.” ADVANCED BEGINNER SKILL LEVEL [Have a decent grasp of the right-hand clawhammer stroke and comfortable left-hand dexterity]

  • Clawhammer Banjo Repertoire:
    Tunes in Double C/D, Standard G/A, & Old Mountain Modal "Sawmill" tuning. We can work on instrumental and/or vocal versions of tunes depending on students’ preferences and skill levels. INTERMEDIATE SKILL LEVEL [Student needs to have basic clawhammer stroke down, the ability to play a few chords smoothly, and the ability to pick out a simple melody line by ear]

Recording, Publishing & Performance Workshops

Workshop topics include the following, and may be configured for different length sessions, week-long workshops, and customized for various skill and knowledge levels.

  • Producing your own CD Start to Finish:
    Includes all aspects of producing, recording, manufacturing, promoting, and selling a professional quality, independent CD. Either a one or two session overview, or up to a week-long step-by-step course. [FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS]

  • How to set up a Project RecordingStudio:
    Learn how to set up a simple but high quality recording studio in your home and/or out at gigs. Walks you through what is needed in various equipment, mics, and DAW [digital audio workstation] recording/editing computer software that will enable you to record digitally to produce your own CD or record your music to post on the internet (MySpace, FaceBook, ReverbNation, YouTube, iTunes, CDBaby, etc.) [FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS]
  • Using Recording and Editing Music Software (Digital Audio Workstation - DAW)
    Learn the basics of how to record, edit, mix, and master on a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) such as Adobe Audition, ProTools, Cakewalk, Garage band, Logic, Nuendo, etc. A DAW is the computer software that enables you to record and produce your own audio files for use in a CD or upload to the internet or just to play on your computer. The affordable and intuitive Adobe Audition will be the DAW used in the class but explanations of other DAWs will be included. [FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS]

  • Onstage Miking and Sound Reinforcement for Acoustic Instruments:
    Microphone techniques, audio gear choices, and stage setup for hammered & mountain dulcimers, guitar, banjo, fiddle, whistle/flute, bodhran and other percussion, and vocals. [FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS]

  • Studio Recording Techniques for various Acoustic Instruments:
    Learn how to mic and record all acoustic instruments including the unique challenges of the hammered dulcimer; includes mic and gear choices. Learn how to professionally record your instrument including how to mic, what ambient room types are best for your instrument, what effects and signal processing enhance your instrument's voice and which ones diminish its transparency and tone. [FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS]

  • Music Publishing, Copyrights, and Licensing:
    Learn how to copyright your music. Learn the legal requirements concerning the public use of others' music in your performances and/or in your recordings. This session will clear up the vast amount of misinformation that exists about the legal use of music and how to get permission to use or license it. Public performance and mechanical royalty structure will also be discussed. New developing digital download and streaming copyright issues will be explained. BRING YOUR QUESTIONS. [FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS]

  • How to Create an Effective Concert:
    Choosing songs for your set list, creating good, short, interesting song introductions, and making a good order for pacing. Understanding your audience and creating the right content and length for your concert. Onstage performance techniques. How to read your crowd and adjust in mid-concert. How to handle sound, lighting and audience difficulties. [FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS]
     
Workshops
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