Fiddle, swing & bluegrass improvisation
In this class, we’ll explore the rich and colorful world of swing improvisation, and also apply the techniques we learn to several bluegrass fiddle tunes. This class will approach improv like cooking, spending time on each key ingredient: melody, swing rhythm, harmony & theory, language & phrasing, and creativity. In addition, we’ll talk about bowings, fingerings and tips on navigating the fiddle. With a focus on the blues and 40’s swing, these tools can be captured and used in almost any genre. The objective of the course is to open doors for you whether you’re an improviser looking for a new, inspiring perspective or you’ve never improvised before and don’t know where to begin. This is Katie’s favorite course to teach, and it’s fun! And to add to the fun, there will be a swing guitar and swing fiddle class mash-up with both classes learning the same song and then playing it together.
Prerequisites: This is an intermediate class. Students should have a very good command of the
instrument and should have four or more years of playing experience. Students should know all of theirkey signatures as well as be fluid playing scales in C, G, D, A, F and Bb (Katie will send out materials in advance to help students feel prepared).
Bring: A recording device is strongly encouraged, either video or audio. Bring a ½” 3 ring binder for
handouts, as well as a notebook and pen or pencil.
Katie Glassman was born in Denver, CO. Her love affair with the fiddle began at the age of nine. Inspired by old-time Texas music, she began playing by ear, and was soon winning numerous honors throughout the West. In 1998, she captured the National Junior Fiddle Championship in Weiser, Idaho, and two years later the National Young Adult Fiddle Championship. She is a three-time top five finalist in the National Grand Champion Division and in 2011,’14 and ‘15, she won the National Western Stock Show Championship. In 2013, Katie took top honors in two of the country’s most prestigious contests: Walnut Valley, in Winfield, Kansas, and Rockygrass in Lyons, CO.
But Katie is no one trick pony when it comes to fiddling. She studied classical and jazz violin at the University of Colorado in Boulder, graduating with a BA in music performance and a certificate in jazz studies. In 2007 she became only the second American to attend the Centre Musique Didier Lockwood in France, the world’s foremost jazz violin school. Currently, Katie fronts her vintage swing band Katie Glassman and Snapshot as a singer, fiddler and songwriter. She also plays in the Texas based western swing band The Western Flyers.
Katie is also a passionate and committed teacher, dedicated to spreading the fiddle gospel far and wide. In 1994, she opened the Fiddle Parlor Teaching Studio in Denver, where she instructs some 40 students of all ages in the oral fiddling tradition. In addtition, she holds eight-week swing improvisation classes for advanced fiddlers throughout the year. She also spends many weeks every year teaching at fiddle camps across the country, including the Montana fiddle camp, Hartz fiddle camp, Texas Oldtime Fiddlers camp, Ludiker Fiddle camp, and Julian fiddle camp, among many others. In 2012, Katie established the Fiddle Parlor Publishing Company for her original compositions and upcoming educational publications. In 2013, Katie launched the Fiddle Parlor Record Label. We are excited to bring Katie to Walker Creek for the first time this fall.