Vocals, Bluegrass, All Levels

Luke Abbott

Learn how to sing your heart out bluegrass style! In this highly participatory class, we’ll be exploring how we can "give more and get more" with our voices, with a particular focus on the (loosely-defined) "bluegrass" style of singing. It means fine-tuning the basics: feeling at ease while singing, releasing tension, finding your vocal range, picking the right key to sing in, etc. It means experimenting with fun stylistic tools that bluegrass singers use to "dress up" their singing: learning how to add variety and interest to your singing through phrasing, dynamics, bending notes, singing harmony, and more. And all the while, you’ll be discovering what upgrading our singing means for YOUR voice, learning to play with your singing while keeping your you-ness in there too. We’ll have fun, we’ll learn new songs, and we’ll sing a lot.

Prerequisites: You should be able to sing "Happy Birthday" in tune. No need to "have a good voice." Just be willing to explore and play around with your singing in the presence of your classmates, receiving and incorporating feedback in our supportive environment.

Bring: Before camp, please pick out a few (2+) songs that you like to sing and/or want to play with and get better at singing. You needn’t bring an instrument besides your voice, but if you do play one, bring it along and you can play with accompanying your singing in class.

About Luke Abbott

Luke Abbott is a multi-instrumentalist and music teacher whose bluegrass journey began in 1998 at age 11, when his family stumbled into a bluegrass festival. Within a year, Luke had begun learning all the bluegrass instruments simultaneously, and started performing regularly with his brother (and later his parents) on the streets of Santa Cruz. 

Besides many years as the banjo picker in his family's band, Luke has been invited to play with many fine bluegrass artists, including Kathy Kallick, Keith Little, Laurie Lewis, Molly Tuttle, and Frank Wakefield. His album, Take Me Home (released in 2010) was recorded solo with one microphone; Victory Music's review: "Luke’s music completely blindsided me. He’s got a great, crackly voice and is a monster picker."

Luke has been helping others learn to play music since 2003, when he began leading workshops and classes using a playing-by-ear method that he and his family developed (https://toneway.com). He has taught at festivals and music camps in California, Georgia, Alaska, and Hawaii (including seven Walker Creek Music Camps), as well as many beginner jam classes in his hometown of Santa Cruz, CA, and has spent years as busy private music teacher with over 30 regular students. His latest project is Strum Machine (https://strummachine.com), a highly-acclaimed music practice tool for bluegrass/old-time music.

Luke currently lives in San Luis Obispo, CA. Students at our camp have consistently loved his classes, and we’re glad to have him back!