GUITAR CLASSES

Beginner/Intermediate guitar

Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Instructor: Jenny Lester
Instrument: Guitar
Two-session class

This class is a foundation class for learning guitar techniques, music theory, common song repertoire, communicating in a jam and ideas for improvising.  No experience necessary, or grow to the next level.

The Multi-Tasking Guitarist

Level: Intermediate
Instructor: Dave Scanlan
Instrument: Guitar
One-session class

An introduction to playing two complementary parts at once, this class will guide advanced beginner/intermediate players to more effectively support the singer and the song. We’ll look at traditional “Travis Picking” technique, and apply it to more contemporary songs such as John Prine’s “The Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness”, Ocie Elliot’s “I Got You”, and more!

Getting Down

Level: Intermediate
Instructor: Dave Scanlan
Instrument: Guitar
One-session class

Building on simple chords, we’ll pluck a “moving bass line” with the thumb, using one or two fingers to layer in a rhythm part. We’ll use songs by diverse artists such as Jackson Browne, Bob Marley, Jerry Jeff Walker, Guy Clark, and Taj Mahal to demonstrate the versatility of this approach. We will apply this descending line across at least two keys, in different positions on the fretboard.

Percussive Strings

Level: All levels
Instructor: Dave Scanlan
Instrument: Guitar
One-session class

Using parts of familiar chord “shapes”, we’ll move them up the neck to create different chords, and establish a groove. With the addition of some intermittent slaps and taps against the strings, we’ll play a couple of lively “ear worms” that are always familiar yet seldom approached on a single acoustic guitar.

So Many Roads

Level: All levels
Instructor: Dave Scanlan
Instrument: Guitar
One-session class

So many roads, and so many ways to write a song! Lots of courses work on lyrics first, yet many successful writers start with the music. Using various chords and rhythms in a series of exercises, we’ll extract some lyrics and melodies that the music might suggest. You will be encouraged to share whatever nuggets you find. Maybe we’ll collaborate and write a group song, or end up with a variety of ideas inspired by the same music – the possibilities are endless!

Slide on Up to Open G –
Intro to Open Tuning Blues Slide Guitar

Level: Intermediate Guitarist, Slide Beginners
Instructor: Judy Brown
Instrument: Guitar
Two-session class

Starting with the basics: tuning the guitar in open G, how to hold the slide, left and right-hand string dampening techniques, and sliding up/down. Discover your personal vibrato style while playing standard blues songs such as Talk To Me Baby and Empty Bed Blues.  Participants should bring their own slide, an electronic tuner and a guitar ideally strung with medium gauge strings or heavier.

A Change is Gonna Come –
Intro to Blues Rhythm Guitar

Level: Beginner to Intermediate Guitarist – Beginner Blues Players
Instructor: Judy Brown
Instrument: Guitar
Two-session class

Working in standard tuning you’ll learn about the common blues forms (8, 12 and 16 bar blues), different feels such as the shuffle, 6/8 slow blues and straight time, muted right hand-picking technique, turnarounds, endings and one chord grooves.  We’ll work on songs such as Ice Cream Man, Don’t Dog Your Woman, and Walkin’ Blues.

UKULELE CLASSES

Fingerpicking Fundamentals

Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Instructor: Tina Hebner
Instrument: Ukulele
One-session class

In this course designed for the confident beginner and beyond we’ll explore how to fingerpick on the ukulele to add a new dimension to your playing. We’ll look at how to use this style to accompany a song as well as try out a solo fingerstyle tune. Please make sure that you are comfortable with these chords: C, Am, G, D, F, Em. Comfort with reading tablature is helpful but not necessary. 

Fingerpicking Part Two

Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Instructor: Tina Hebner
Instrument: Ukulele
One-session class

Beyond the Basics: In this class we’ll apply our basic fingerpicking skills to some different songs, and refine our technique using different techniques to help our ukuleles sing for us! Expect a variety of songs and styles as well as tips and pointers to help you develop your own unique sound.

Climbing up the Fretboard or You paid for all those frets…you may as well use them 😊 

Level: Intermediate
Instructor: Tina Hebner
Instrument: Ukulele
One-session class

In this course we’ll explore how to get around the fretboard by using a variety of chord voicings to add a different sound to your playing. Will there be barre chords you ask? If we have time we’ll get into those as well! 

Arranging Music

Level: Intermediate
Instructor: Tina Hebner
Instrument: Ukulele
One-session class

Using simple melodies we’ll develop our arranging skills so that you leave this workshop with some basic skills. Please make sure you feel comfortable with reading tab, and know your C, G, F, Am chords. 

SINGING CLASSES

Three-Part Harmony Singing

Level: All levels
Instructor: Jenny Lester
Instrument: Voice
Two-session class

Bluegrass harmony is a language and process that enables three singers to create a full, lush, three-part sound. This workshop will give you solid fundamental tools for understanding and crafting your parts. Join in to sing, hear and feel resonance and theory come together in harmony. Everyone welcome, no experience necessary.

Balkan Choir 

Level: All levels
Instructor: Bessie Wapp
Instrument: Voice
Two-session class

Add your voice to the bold dissonance & clear sweetness of ancient multi-part a cappella singing from Eastern Europe. The songs are deceptively simple to learn – and quickly produce musical magic! A bit of confidence holding onto a part amidst one or two others will be of benefit but isn’t necessary. This is folk music!

Singing The Blues

Level: All levels
Instructor: Bessie Wapp
Instrument: Voice
Two-session class

Life is the only experience required to growl, groan, wail and moan! In this class we’ll explore the rich swamp of the human voice in a relaxed and supportive environment, and learn the “12 Bar Blues” form – a tradition with African-American, First Nations, and European musical roots.

PERCUSSION CLASSES

Intro to Percussion 

Level: Beginner
Instructor: Marvin Walker
Instrument: Percussion instruments
One-session class

This class will cover and hopefully de-mystify basic rhythm theory involving subdivision of 4/4, 3/4, 6/8 time signatures with hands on playing of various drums and hand percussion. Included is a terminology component designed to help you play and communicate various popular rhythms, half-time and cut-time, and straight vs. swing time-feels, etc. You will get hands-on opportunity to play a good assortment of hand drums and percussion instruments and you are encouraged to bring whatever personal gear you choose.

Introduction to Rhythm and Percussion 

Level: Beginner
Instructor: Marvin Walker
Instrument: Percussion instruments
One-session class

This class will focus more on specific percussion technique and playing patterns including the “dumbao” rhythm on conga drum, “go to” patterns for various hand-held percussion including cowbells, tambourine, cajon and “pizza box 101!” The boxes will be supplied and a couple pair of brushes but you are encouraged to please bring a pair to take full advantage.*
* Borrow? Or purchase for under $20 at most music stores.

SOUND CLASS

Sound Check

Level: All levels
Instructor: Marvin Walker
Instrument: Any, and voice
One-session class

Participants will get an opportunity to play through a PA system. While this will be a great opportunity for those who have never “plugged in” before, this class will also be of interest to those who have previous experience, and want to learn more about microphone technique, use of stage monitors, or communicating effectively with other musicians and the sound crew. Marvin will share tips learned through years of experience on stage. Though amplifiers are usually forbidden at RAMCamp, this class in the one place where we’ll make an exception.