This class is for bass players who have already had some experience on the instrument who want to improve their ability to play in an ensemble. Although Sam will focus mostly on the bluegrass style, approaches to other styles such as country, swing, jazz, and old-time may also be covered. He will discuss right and left hand technique, note choice, dynamics, slap techniques, basic chord construction, and more. The role of the bass player in different musical situations will be explained and there will also be an emphasis on music appreciation and distinguishing between the styles of different bass greats. Everything covered in the class will emphasize the “Four T’s” of bass playing: Tone, Time, Taste, and inTonation. The goal is for all participants to notice improvement in all four categories by the end of the class.
Prerequisites: You should own a bass. You should be comfortable playing in a jam for at least an hour without fatiguing too much. You should be comfortable playing in different keys and be able to follow someone who is calling chords. You should have some knowledge of the fingerboard past the first two positions and should not be afraid to explore up the neck. You should be familiar with the following names: Roy Husky Jr., Bob Moore, Mike Bub, Todd Philips, Mark Schatz, and Dennis Crouch or be willing to search for them on youtube. You should be serious about wanting to improve as a musician.
Bring: Your bass, a tuner, a pad of paper and a pencil/ recorder of sorts if you’d like, some good questions, and your ears!
Samson Grisman is an upright bass player and teacher from Mill Valley, CA. Son of mandolin legend, David Grisman, he began playing a cello tuned as a bass at age four. Growing up with a recording studio in the house, Sam was immediately exposed to his father’s eclectic musical tastes and was surrounded with musicians including masters such as Edgar Meyer, Martin Taylor, Ralph Stanley, John Hartford, Tony Rice, Tim O'Brien, and Del McCoury. Sam began playing professionally at the age of twelve with the David Grisman Bluegrass Experience. In addition to performing with the DGBX, he has toured with The Milk Carton Kids, Sarah Jarosz, Lee Ann Womack, Bryan Sutton, Noam Pikelny, Luke Bulla, The David Grisman Folkjazz Trio, Darol Anger , Scott Law, and Keller Williams among others.
Sam has played hundreds of concerts and festivals in the United States, Canada, Asia, and Europe. Currently living in Nashville TN, Sam plays in a band with Dominick Leslie, Alex Hargreaves, and Nat Smith called the Brotet, finds himself recording and performing with many of his musical heroes, and has played on the Grand Ole Opry with Jesse McReynolds and Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder.
Sam has taught at camps in Nehalem OR, Pagosa Springs CO, and Grass Valley CA and workshops at the Grey Fox, Wintergrass, and Rockygrass festivals. He's a young but great teacher and we're pleased to have him join us for the first time at Walker Creek.