Classes

SPRING CAMP CORE CLASSES LISTED BELOW

 

These are the morning classes, the ones you sign up for in advance, averaging 10-12 students to a class. We do limit the class sizes on these, so the earlier you sign up, the more choices you will have about which class to take. You take just one class in the morning, same class each day.
In the afternoons, there are many shorter elective classes you can take, and you don't need to sign up for those.
Click on a class, and you will see a description, along with instructor bios and websites.

CLASS LEVELS:

  • Level 1 is "advanced beginner"; in other words,  you should know the basics of how to play your instrument, how to keep it in tune, and be able to play a few songs or tunes.
  • Level 2 is "intermediate"; you can do all the above, you have some experience playing with others, you're comfortable with your instrument and can play songs up to tempo.
  • Level 3 is "upper intermediate/advanced": you are a confident musician and comfortable jamming and playing in groups, but still there is always more to learn.

Recommended prerequisites are also given. When choosing a class, keep in mind that how long you have been playing does not determine which class you should be in; it's what you can do and what you know, as specified in the prerequisites for each class--please read those prerequisites before choosing your class. That said, an open and positive attitude towards learning in a group setting is really the most important prerequisite for having a great time at this camp. 
Based on camper interest, most of our classes are for intermediate level and beyond.

BEGINNERS! Check out the group classes! where you'll get both instruction for your particular instrument, and also practice at playing with others (playing with others is really what it's all about!).

If you’re uncertain which class is best for you, feel free to call for more information (415-663-6030). The director can help you choose a class, and we will allow for some adjustments as needed the first day.

Those who feel they've "outgrown" camp classes can be considered as teaching assistants (see the FAQs page for more info).

                                                                                                     

After the group classes, the rest of the classes are listed alphabetically by instrument or topic.

Elective Classes: At the bottom of the page, you can see sample topics of the afternoon elective classes. There will be many to choose from, and for the electives you need not sign up in advance, you can go to any of them. When you register for camp, you'll be invited to request any specific elective classes you'd like to see offered.

Instructor(s): Morgan Cochneuer & Carol Spiker

This is a special class for children who are not ready for a three-hour instrumental class. The class meets in the mornings from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the same time as the main vocal and...

Instructor(s): Jack Tuttle

This class is open to all the major bluegrass instruments and will boost your knowledge, confidence, and abilities in a jam session. Jack has been teaching bluegrass jam classes for about 35 years, helping jammers at...

Instructor(s): David Bragger

This class is designed for musicians who are interested in having a foot-stomping, great old time while learning to play tunes/songs from the great canon of old-time music. We'll focus on some classic square...

Instructor(s): David Bragger, Jack Tuttle

See the Bluegrass Jam Class and Oldtime String Band classes at the top of the page.

Instructor(s): Bill Evans

Designed to take your playing to the next level, for intermediate to advanced students with two or more years of playing experience. Bill will work with each student before camp to create a set of individual goals...

Instructor(s): Jere Canote

We'll be working in the standard banjo tunings of G, double C, and mountain modal, and we'll focus on the clawhammer fundamentals: bum-diddy rhythm, drop-thumb, double-thumbing, hammer-ons, pull-offs,...

Instructor(s): Paul Knight

We'll start by getting comfortable on our instrument with proper posture and technique to get a nice full and satisfying tone. From there it will be relatively easy to start playing the traditional forms of music...

Instructor(s): Max Schwartz

In this class, we’ll work on right and left hand techniques, explore note choices that deviate from our standard “root and fifth” pattern, and will discuss other genres of bass playing. We’ll...

Instructor(s): Rebecca Stout

This is NOT a morning core class, but we want to let all you dancers know that Rebecca, a great singer AND dancer, will be teaching dance elective classes in the afternoons, both on flatfooting and also her very fun...

Instructor(s): Jack Tuttle

See the Bluegrass Jam Class at the top of the page.

Instructor(s): Billy Cardine

We will begin by digging right into rhythm styles on the Dobro.  There are many different ways to play rhythm on this versatile instrument—some well known, and some less intuitive but very useful. After...

Instructor(s): Nate Lee

This class is for students who would like to become successful jammers or join a band someday. We will study a few songs in depth, including melody, chords, soloing, and improvisation. You will leave camp with...

Instructor(s): David Bragger

See the Old-Time String Band class near the top of the page.

Instructor(s): Greg Canote

We’ll spend some quality time with a pile of beautiful old tunes, while we explore some of the easy left and right-hand techniques that really make it sound old time, including ornaments, open-string drones and...

Instructor(s): Katie Glassman

This class will begin by outlining foundational techniques of playing the fiddle and help you gain the facility you have always desired.  From there, it will explore the rich and colorful world of 30s-40s swing...

Instructor(s): David Bragger, Jack Tuttle

See the Bluegrass Jam Class and Old-Time String Band class at the top of the page.

Instructor(s): Yoseff Tucker

In this class, we'll cover the subtle but simple details that distinguish bluegrass rhythm guitar playing from its folk counterparts. We'll examine the styles of old masters like Jimmy Martin, as well as the...

Instructor(s): Dix Bruce

After we’ve played a while most of us approach that wall of “Now what do I do next?” This class will explore some of the possibilities for expanding your playing beyond simple melodies and bass note...

Instructor(s): Greg Schochet

If you've ever wondered what makes the unmistakably joyful sound of a swinging rhythm or lead guitar, this is the class for you! We'll look at fundamental content and techniques such as moveable 6th and 7th...

Instructor(s): David Bragger, Jack Tuttle

See the Bluegrass Jam Class and Old-Time String Band at the top of the page.

Instructor(s): Sharon Gilchrist

This intermediate level class will have two main focuses: improvisation and back-up/rhythm accompaniment. 
   You may have been playing mandolin a while now; you may be able to play fiddle tunes...

Instructor(s): John Reischman

In this class we will learn advanced mandolin techniques by studying some of John’s original tunes and other instrumentals from his repertoire. For example, to work on double stops and tremolo we will learn...

Instructor(s): Rebecca Stout

Want to be able to sing along at Bluegrass or Oldtime jam sessions with friends and family, but don’t know where to begin? Let’s begin at the beginning! We will work with songs from the camp songbook and...

Instructor(s): Val Mindel & Joe Newberry

This class, with a focus on singing in the old-time, early country and bluegrass traditions, has a two-pronged approach. It’s a harmony intensive, where we whisk through the basics of parallel, chord-based...

Instructor(s): Josh Tharp

Josh Tharp started playing banjo in 1997 after first hearing Earl Scruggs. In 2006 he began his bluegrass travels with the Southern California based band Lost Highway which took him all over the US,...

Instructor(s): many

Elective class sample topics are listed below. These one-hour classes are scheduled in the afternoons. The actual selection varies from camp to camp, but will include some of these for sure, and you...

Instructor(s): Music Caravan

Music Caravan brings a wide array of musical needs to camp including picks, strings, capos, tuners, stands, books and CDs. There will also be some instruments available. If known in advance, special orders can be...

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