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Acoustic Guitar Camp 2017
This camp took place July 2017
Instructors and Classes for 2017
Our instructors are among the top in their craft. Each has a wealth of performing and teaching experience and is eager to connect with students of all abilities by being open and accessible. Our staff has also been selected to be musically simpatico. We hope that you are as enticed by the prospect of exciting musical collaborations – planned and impromptu – as we are. We look forward to a week rich in stylistic cross-pollination, discovery and musical fun! Campers meet the instructors on the first day of camp, then decide what workshops to take. Several clinics are in the works in addition to the classes listed here.
Basic Songs for Guitar (Low Int. & Up)
Accompaniment Styles for Songwriters & Folksingers (Int. & Up)
Intro to Swing Guitar
Guitar Artistry For Folksingers
Swing Rhythm Guitar: Freddie Green (Low Int. & Up)
Swing/Jazz Guitar- soloing and accompanying (Int. & Up)
Not the Same Old Blues (Int. & Up)
Piano Blues For Guitar (Int. & Up)
Triads All Over the Neck (Int./Adv.)
How to Hear the Chords for Irish Traditional Music
Connecting Chords with Bass Runs – (Prereq: Basic lst position chords)
Problem Solving with Your Own Repertoire
Bluegrass Flatpicking (Lead) for Fiddle Tunes (Low Int. & Up)
Bluegrass Flatpicking (Lead) for Vocal Tunes (Low Int. & Up)
Guitar for Beginners and Near Beginners
How Chord Progressions Work (All Levels)
Jefferson Hamer (New York)
Murphy Beds, Anais Mitchell, Session Americana, Beppe Gambetta
Jefferson Hamer’s Classes
Basic Songs for Guitar (Low-Intermediate and Up)
In this class, we’ll examine two classic songs, one ballad, and one country waltz. We’ll talk about ways of preparing them for sharing or performance. We’ll learn new techniques and brush up on old ones as we go. We’ll substitute some chords. We’ll write some intros and outros. We’ll build a few bridges out of the existing verses. We’ll take some solos. We might even have some fun.
Accompaniment Styles for Songwriters & Folksingers (Intermediate and Up)
Learn new ways to accompany songs using a variety of techniques including flatpicking, hybrid picking, alternate tunings, capo placement, and melodic accompaniment. Get beyond the basic chords and strum patterns. Use the guitar to harmonize with your singing voice. Use the song as a template to improve both lead and rhythm guitar playing. Come to think of it, what’s really the difference between lead and rhythm guitar playing? Let’s find out!
About Jefferson Hamer…
“A gifted guitarist and singer, Hamer is able to hit close harmonies… and weave gorgeous instrumental lines.” -Acoustic Guitar
Based in Brooklyn, NY, Jefferson Hamer performs original and traditional songs with collaborators from both sides of the Atlantic. He is currently touring with Cambridge, MA roots rock ensemble Session Americana in support of their new album Great Shakes. His Child Ballads album with Anais Mitchell earned a BBC2 Folk Award in the Best Traditional Track category, and was named one of NPR’s top-ten Folk and Americana releases of 2013. His acoustic collaboration with Dublin-born Eamon O’Leary, The Murphy Beds, features ten folk songs sung in harmony duets, decorated with intricate guitar and bouzouki accompaniment.
The Huffington Post said it succinctly: “The resulting album bears repeated listening from start to finish, with ten beautiful, crystalline songs.”
Read more about Jefferson at his website: www.jeffersonhamer.com
Sylvia Herold (California)
Euphonia, Cats & Jammers, Hot Club of San Francisco
Sylvia Herold’s Classes
Intro to Swing Guitar (Prerequisite: Basic lst Position Chords)
Get started playing and singing Western swing and easy jazz standards. Build chord vocabulary and learn how to make it swing in this supportive and fun introductory class. You are ready for the class if you know first-position chords well (A, C, G, D, etc.)
Guitar Artistry For Folksingers
Learn contemporary and traditional folk songs while exploring lush alternate chord voicings. We’ll sing and play Irish and American folk songs as well as newer classics by Bob Dylan, James Taylor and Leonard Cohen. In the process learn to use color tones, power chords and propulsive strumming patterns. Break out of your rut as you play and sing a selection of achingly beautiful folk songs.
About Sylvia Herold…
“…a mesmerizing voice.” —San Francisco Examiner
Sylvia Herold is a singer’s singer. At home in folk, swing, pop and Celtic genres, her passion is discovering and sharing the tale a song can tell. Her gift is in presenting songs with a clarity that is both honest and uplifting and yet remains refreshingly unvarnished. Her hard work in researching, performing and recording compelling songs for more than 25 years has earned her accolades from fans and press alike.
In her considerable tenure on the San Francisco Bay Area music scene, she has played and toured with several bands, including Cats & Jammers, The Hot Club of San Francisco, Wake the Dead, Euphonia and the Pop Top Trio. She is also an accomplished recording artist, having released four solo CDs: The Old Jawbone (2009), Lovely Nancy (2005), A Mockingbird Sings in California (2001) and A Bowl of Crystal Tears (1997)—all on the Tuxedo Records label—and has appeared on more than 25 albums alongside artists such as Kathy Kallick, Tom Rozum and Laurie Lewis.
Traditional Irish/British music was Herold’s first love. In the hotbed of San Francisco’s music scene, she met and found work playing with many talented Irish musicians. Her most consistent companion on the Irish music scene has been mandolinist and singer Marla Fibish; the well-partnered duo performed at the landmark Plough and Stars pub for 13 years.
Currently, Herold plays with Wake the Dead, the self-described “Celtic All-Star Grateful Dead Jam Band.” The group has won acclaim for its high level of musicianship and its inventive and fun intermingling of the Celtic world with Grateful Dead favorites. Herold appears on all three of the group’s albums, Blue Light Cheap Hotel, Buckdancers Choice and Wake the Dead.
She also records and performs regularly with Euphonia, a café-style acoustic combo featuring harmony vocals and sophisticated musicianship. The group’s two albums—The Old Jawbone and Lovely Nancy—blend modern and traditional folk songs and dance tunes from the Americas, the British Isles and across Europe.
The Pop Top Trio is yet another active ensemble that Herold performs regularly with. The trio creates unique, lush three-part harmony arrangements of jazz and pop gems from Gershwin to the Bee Gees, from the Rascals to Marvin Gaye, and also Brazilian-tinged originals from musical collaborator Ed Johnson.
Herold has performed at numerous festivals, including the Strawberry Music Festival, the San Francisco Jazz Festival, Centrum Hot Jazz, the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival and the Sugar Bowl Music Festival. She is a frequent instructor at prestigious adult music camps such as Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, the California Coast Music Camp and Lark in the Morning Music Celebration.
Read more about Sylvia at her website www.sylviaherold.com
Larry Baione (Massachusetts)
Chair of Guitar Dept, Berklee School of Music
Larry Baione’s Classes
Swing Rhythm Guitar: Freddie Green (Low Intermediate & Up)
This class will focus on “Freddie Green” style of rhythm guitar. Starting with the feel of the rhythm and to specific three note chord voicings that lend itself to rhythm playing in most any setting….duo to big-band. We will play swing-jazz standards with a focus on moving smoothly from chord to chord. Those who also want to play the melodies or solo in this class are welcome.
Swing/Jazz Guitar- soloing and accompanying (Intermediate & Up)
This class is intended for those who have had some experience playing swing/jazz standards and want to add additional approaches to soloing and backing. We will play swing/jazz standards and look at ways to add to each individuals overall playing.
About Larry Baione…
Larry Baione has been a faculty member since 1974, and has been chair since 1990. He has studied with Lenzy Wallace, Mick Goodrick, Bill Harris, William Leavitt, Bucky Pizzarelli, and Jim Hall. He received his bachelor’s degree from Berklee and his master’s from New England Conservatory.
After graduating from Berklee, Baione was principal guitarist in the Army Band, stationed in Washington D.C. He performed in the White House and throughout the United States with the Army Blues. In 1996, Baione toured South America for the state department as one of the inaugural Jazz Amabassadors.
He is author of the Berklee Practice Method for Guitar. He performs in numerous jazz, concert, and recording ensembles, settings that range from solo guitar to big band. He continues to perform and give clinics throughout the world. His recent recording Playing Time consists of original compositions and standards in a trio setting.
“I learn from the students, just as the students learn from me. I enjoy their individual talents, and I also enjoy the passion that the students have to learn the instrument and perform. Having a lot of experience as a performer, I’m able to relate my experiences to the students, and know what they’re going through. The more I perform, the more I learn—it gives me more material to work on with the students. Every time I perform, I learn something. And I’m able to talk about it firsthand.”
Read more about Larry at https://www.berklee.edu/people/larry-baione
Del Rey (Washington)
Women in American Music
Del Rey’s Classes
Not the Same Old Blues (Intermediate & Up)
There are lots of traditional blues tunes that don’t follow the 12bar format that has become a cliche in the 21st century. We’ll learn a “backwards” blues, No Junk, from Memphis Minnie, a “blues with a bridge” Someday, from Bo Carter, and a blues with “the spanish tinge”: WC Handy’s St. Louis Blues. For fingerpickers who can maintain a quarternote bass while picking a melody. Mostly first position chords. By ear, no tab.
Piano Blues For Guitar (Intermediate & Up)
Guitar players steal from piano players and vice versa. We’ll play some of the most rustled motifs: moving in 10ths and octave bass runs from Fats Waller, boogie woogie internal motion from Albert Ammons and Cow Cow Davenport’s descending piano riff. You’ll need good finger mobility for this class, as you’ll be maintaining bass notes and partial chords while picking a melody. For fingerpickers who can maintain a quarter note bass while picking a melody. By ear no tab.
About Del Rey…
“Rey is one of the greatest modern players of the metal-bodied resonator guitar.” Acoustic Guitar Magazine
“Whilst known for her amazing instrumental skills … it should not be overlooked that she always provides a very entertaining show, full of variety, drama and humour.”
“Del Rey is one of the most sublime modern guitarists. “ La Hora del Blues Barcelona
I started playing guitar when I was four. At the age of thirteen I was introduced to the world of traditional acoustic music, when a friend and I stumbled into a concert at Folk Arts Rare Records in San Diego. About 20 people were sitting on the floor under the record bins listening to a kid named Tom Waits play his original songs.
Lou Curtiss, proprietor of Folk Arts and artistic director of the San Diego Folk Festival suggested I quit wasting my time playing “Stairway to Heaven” and listen to some Memphis Minnie. He put me on stage with Sam Chatmon when I was fourteen, and introduced me to Lydia Mendoza and Howard Armstrong. Lou gave me recordings that still influence everything I do on solo acoustic guitar. I soaked up country blues, stride piano, classic jazz and hillbilly boogie. It was a musical education hanging around the record shop. Thirty years later, I became fascinated with the ukulele. I try to play the same kind of complicated rhythmic blues and ragtime on four strings as on six. I expect a lot out of the little instrument.
“Virtuosic in just the right way, which is to say, in order to realize a musical idea. A very nice unlikely blend of things, accessible, slightly nostalgic, but fresh and thoughtful. ” (CD Baby review, “At The Ukeshack #1)
I play solo concerts world wide and also present a concert/lecture on women musicians called Women In American Music. I also collaborate and tour frequently with guitarist Steve James, Suzy Thompson and Adam Franklin. I’ve contributed to projects in honor of The Mississippi Sheiks, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Johnny Cash. I occasionally write about music for various publications, including Acoustic Guitar. All of my albums are available from Hobemian Records.
Learn more about Del on her website delreyplays.com
Flynn Cohen (New Hampshire)
Low Lily, Keene St. College Instructor
Flynn Cohen’s Classes
Triads All Over the Neck (Intermediate/Advanced)
Major and Minor Triads are the building blocks of Tonal music and are used in literally every guitar style. Learning to practice them in different patterns and forms across the fingerboard can not only provide excellent warm-up/pratice routine material, but can also offer indispensable tools for both lead and rhythm players. We will work with simple fingering and picking patterns to memorize triads on adjacent strings in Standard Tuning–using extrapolations of open chord shapes–and organize them in common chord sequences. This class is for intermediate & advanced students.
How to Hear the Chords for Irish Traditional Music (Intermediate/Advanced)
This class presents a complete system for Irish Traditional Music accompaniment that involves ear-training in identifying common keys/modes in trad music and being able to jump in on-the-fly and play along with the music in an informal session environment. We will learn how to identify tunes based on a drone, a mode-type, and possible modal modulation (changing keys between parts of a given tune). This can be done in pretty much any tuning, though I recommend that you work with what you are familiar with: common tunings for trad accompaniment are DADGAD, Dropped-D, Double Dropped-D, and Standard. Depending on progress, this class might also include drills for right hand strumming/cross picking patterns for the common dance tune forms (jigs, reels, etc.). Students can prep for this class by listening to the following recording and trying to hum along with the tunes once they become familiar: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/foinn-seisiun-1-traditional/id178603465
About Flynn Cohen…
Flynn presently teaches select classes in Music theory, history, and performance at Keene State College. He can also be found teaching guitar and mandolin lessons at The Music Emporium in Lexington, MA. His teaching resume also includes Visiting Lecturer at Bridgewater State College (now “University”) and Northern Essex Community College; guitar instructor at Augusta Heritage Center (WV), Swannanoa Gathering (NC), Brian Wicklunds Fiddle Pal Camp (MN, WI, MA) and major bluegrass and folk music festivals in the Northeastern US.
Flynn is a former student of John Renbourn, Davey Graham, Scott Nygaard, and Bill Titley (steel-string guitar); Stephen Gordon and Paul Binkley (classical guitar); and Agustín Fernandez, Frank Denyer, Alvin Curran, Pauline Oliveros, and Allaudin Mathieu (composition).
Private lessons also available in western MA and southern VT: general acoustic guitar and mandolin, folk, bluegrass, Irish traditional music, beginning classical guitar, composition and theory.
Read more about Flynn on his website flynncohen.net
Molly Mason (New York)
Jay Ungar and Molly Mason
Molly Mason’s Classes
Connecting Chords with Bass Runs – (Prerequisite: Basic lst position chords)
The guitar is a bass instrument too! Upgrade your accompaniment style by using diatonic and chromatic bass runs, which are bridges that connect two chords together.
Problem Solving with Your Own Repertoire
Bring in songs you already know and fix or improve your accompaniment style on a variety of levels Work on vocals, chord choice, key choice, performance technique, phrasing and more.
About Molly Mason…
Molly grew up in Washington State with a fondness for traditional fiddle music and ’30s and ’40s popular tunes. She played clubs and colleges on the West Coast and took a liking to the jazzy sound of the Swing Era.
Molly met Jay Ungar in the late 1970s when each was performing at the Towne Crier, a rural New York club. They hit it off musically and played together from time to time until Molly headed off to Minnesota to work in the house band of a new radio show: Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion. Meanwhile, back in New York, Jay put together a band with fellow fiddlers Evan Stover and Matt Glaser and guitarist Russ Barenberg. When Fiddle Fever, as the collaboration was called, needed a bassist, Molly signed on.
The early ’80s also saw the beginning of the Ashokan Fiddle & Dance Camps, a world-renowned destination for enthusiasts of American music and dance traditions. Several years later, Molly became a full partner in designing, running, and teaching these programs. Jay and Molly married in 1991.
The duo of Jay & Molly has won international acclaim for their performance of Jay’s haunting composition Ashokan Farewell — the musical hallmark of Ken Burns’ landmark PBS documentary The Civil War. The soundtrack won a Grammy and Ashokan Farewell was nominated for an Emmy.
Jay & Molly perform timeless renditions of hard-driving Appalachian melodies, Cajun and Celtic fiddle tunes, stirring Civil War classics, sassy songs from the golden age of swing and country, stunning waltzes, and moving original works. Wit, warmth and consummate musicianship that cheer the heart and feed the soul.
What the media says…
“Jay and Molly make music that is simple and overwhelming . . . joyful and full of feeling . . . an apotheosis of American traditional music.”
Garrison Keillor, host and creator of
“A Prairie Home Companion”
“As composers, virtuosi and folklorists, [they] light up the concert stage and are a sure-fire hit for all music loving audiences.”
David Amram, noted American composer,
folk singer and jazz musician
Read more about Molly at her website: jayandmolly.com
Tony Watt (Massachusetts)
Bluegrass University, Southeast Expressway, Greyfox Festival Instructor
Tony Watt’s Classes
Bluegrass Flatpicking (Lead) for Fiddle Tunes (Low Intermediate & Up)
This class is intended for those who are relatively new to playing fiddle tunes (instrumentals) in a lead bluegrass guitar style, or who have been frustrated trying to learn before. In this class, we’ll learn to solo to the classic fiddle tune Old Joe Clark. In the process, we will focus on using tablature (tab), and learn how to turn the notation on the page into music by learning the implicitinformation that is often not included. The primary goal is to provide the skills needed to play lead bluegrass guitar and participate in bluegrass jams, as well as improve practice time and self-directed learning. Students do not need to have previous experience playing (or even listening to) bluegrass, and you don’t need to be able to read music.
Bluegrass Flatpicking (Lead) for Vocal Tunes (Low Intermediate & Up)
This class is intended for those who are relatively new to playing vocal tunes (non-instrumentals) in a lead bluegrass guitar style, or who have been frustrated trying to learn before. In this class, we’ll use a variety of well-known songs to work on lead bluegrass guitar techniques for soloing on vocal tunes. Specifically, we will focus on the Carter style, crosspicking, single-string soloing and double stops, and get an introduction to improvisation. The primary goal is to provide the skills needed to play lead bluegrass guitar and participate in bluegrass jams, as well as improve practice time and self-directed learning. Students do not need to have previous experience playing (or even listening to) bluegrass, and you don’t need to be able to read music.
About Tony Watt…
Award-winning flatpicking guitarist and mandolinist Tony Watt has performed throughout the United States and Europe, on the Grand Ole Opry, and beyond. He has been featured in Bluegrass Unlimited, Bluegrass Now and Flatpicking Guitar Magazine multiple times, including the recent Waltz Issue. Tony toured and recorded with Nashville-based Cages Bend, east Tennessee-based Meridian, with Rounder Recording artist Alecia Nugent, and most recently with Leigh Gibson, guitarist for The Gibson Brothers. Tony currently performs with his band, Southeast Expressway, and with Laura Orshaw & The New Velvet Band. He is a graduate of Leadership Bluegrass 2012 and currently serves on the International Bluegrass Music Association(IBMA) Education Committee, the IBMA Board Selection Committee, and is a Board Member of the Boston Bluegrass Union (BBU).
Tony has taught privately for over 15 years, and now teaches courses in bluegrass guitar, mandolin, harmony singing and more for the BBU’s Bluegrass Academy, as well as jamming classes as a certified Wernick Method jam class instructor. Tony is the director of The Bluegrass University, which offers classes for adult beginners at the Jenny Brook Bluegrass Festival (VT), at the Pemi Valley Bluegrass Festival (NH), and at Thomas Point Beach (ME). He has also taught workshops and Kids’ Academies at bluegrass festivals including Grey Fox, Joe Val, Thomas Point Beach, and many more. Tony currently teaches lessons, classes, workshops and jam sessions in Albany, NY, Hartford, CT, Cambridge, MA, points in-between, and anywhere in the world via on-line Skype videoconferencing.
Read more about Tony at his website www.theoriginaltonywatt.com
Peter Davis (New York), Camp Organizer
Annie & the Hedonists, Reggie’s Red Hot Feetwarmers, Whippersnappers
Peter Davis’ Classes
Guitar for Beginners and Near Beginners
Acquire the necessary skills to begin or improve your journey with guitar. Get strategies for learning and find the pathway best for you.
- Exercises and scales to strengthen your fingers.
- Learn how the guitar fretboard works
- The benefits of learning tablature and/or standard notation
- Chords: how to group and practice them.
- Transposing: find the right key for your voice
- How to survive in a jam session.
- Intro to Improvising
How Chord Progressions Work (All Levels)
Learn some simple, practical secrets of how chords go together to make chord progressions,and how musicians think and communicate about chords using the number system. Common progressions in folk, ragtime, jazz, country & pop are explained and practiced in class.
About Peter Davis…
Peter’s multi instrumentalism includes clarinet, alto sax, 5-string & tenor banjo, piano, guitar, mandolin and whistle as well as an intuitive approach to a variety of musical genres including traditional folk, blues, vintage pop and jazz forms.
Peter Davis’s parents told him that when he was one year old, he was scat singing arias from Rigoletto. When he was five, Peter took piano lessons with an acclaimed teacher, but after six months he was fired as a student because he was playing by ear instead of reading notes. At eight, Peter finally connected with his private clarinet teacher, and continued five years of lessons, culminating in playing the Mozart clarinet concerto. It was then that he was handed a saxophone in 8th grade band class and was introduced to the 12 bar blues progression and Elvis Presley. In 9th grade, Peter was playing rock and roll music with older kids in bars around Babylon, Long Island. His dad bought him a Selmer saxophone and a Gibson guitar and sent him to a local teacher who taught him chord/melody stylings of standards. For 10th-12th grade, Peter was sent to Quaker boarding school where he was exposed to political activism and folk music and listened a lot to Bach, Thelonius Monk, Mississippi John Hurt and Earl Scruggs. At SUNY Binghamton Peter minored in music – played in a jug and bluegrass band, had one of his music theory classes taught by John Cage – acted in plays, sang in a doo wop and madrigal groups and played reeds in pit bands for musicals. Peter spent three years in Malawi, Central Africa where he directed his school’s a capella group and jammed South African zulu jive with some of his students.
Peter’s current projects include Annie and the Hedonists, Whippersnappers, an eclectic string band; Reggie’s Red Hot Feetwarmers, a dixieland jazz band, which is the house band at Saratoga Racecourse each summer as well as Peter, Paul, and George, a group that does elementary school residencies in traditional music and dancing; Lindy Hop Heaven, Peter’s own swing dance band; and The Clayfoot Strutters, a rocked-out contradance band from Vermont. He loves playing music with Jay and Molly and Swingology….
- Practicing Scales
Practicing scales helps the guitarist physically play the instrument better, helps in seeing the notes and key areas all over the neck, helps with getting a good sound and awareness of time. Presented will be 5 common major scale fingerings and practicing strategies.
- Tools for improvisation
Presented will be an overview of tools for soloing on tunes. Included will be melody, scales , chord tones, arpeggios and guide-tones.
- Strumming Patterns For Guitar Get your right hand grooving in this hands-on workshop. We’ll tackle several essential strumming patterns and apply them to songs we’ll sing and play.
- Beyond I, IV, V
Focus on developing strumming patterns (with a flatpick) while learning some of the beautiful things you can do using open strings.
- Fiddle Tune Backup
- Singalong: American Pop Music from Stephen Foster to Patsy Cline
- The 3 Most Important Practice Techniques Ever (Intermediate/Advanced)
With these “Three Most Important Practice Techniques Ever” you will be able to become the fully-realized musician you’ve always dreamed of being… motivation to practice also required. This class is for all levels and includes a set of three techniques for beginners and three techniques for intermediate/advanced musicians, but everybody will benefit from hearing about all six techniques.
- Ear Training for Beginners (All Levels)
Ear training includes a set of skillsthat you can learn and practice just like learning chords or leads.This class will focus on the basics of ear training including hearing chord changes and finding simple melodies. Time permitting, we will also discuss some of the finer points of ear training including hearing intervals and learning solos note for note (a.k.a. transcribing) by slowing down recordings.
- Playing Guitar in an Irish Session (All Levels)
Common keys, basic strumming patterns, ear training, session ethics (use Common Keys in Trad Music diagram)
- Intro open-G Tuning (Intermediate and Up)
Paul Brady: Mary & the Soldier, Arthur Macbride
A set of horrible-sounding finger exercises that will annoy you and improve your strength and flexibility if you add them to your practice routine.
- Moving Seventh Chords
Get these four seventh shapes under your fingers and your fingers will start making connections your brain doesn’t even have to worry about.
A note about class levels: Ashokan classes are both practical and conceptual. Most contain some combination of technique, theory and repertoire. Although classes do have ability guidelines, one can attend any class to glean some chestnuts, even if a bit above or below one’s skill level. Audio recording and note taking are welcomed, so that if an instructor’s pace is beyond someone’s ability level, one can always return to the material. Most classes will include handouts. Video recording is not permitted.