Here are some of the workshops that I teach. If you would like me to teach a workshop topic that isn’t listed here, contact me.
How to improvise as a fiddler. This workshop covers how to go from playing the melody to really making a tune your own. Core material is at an intermediate level, but there will be plenty for Beginners to learn as well.
Improvising in Fiddle Tunes
This workshop covers how to improvise as a fiddler in fiddle tunes. This workshop will show you how to go from playing the melody to really making a tune your own. Techniques covered include chord structure, arpeggiation, passing tones, accidentals, and more. Bring your fiddle and your questions. This workshop is interactive.
Quilt Your Own Breakdown
In this workshop, I use a popular fiddle tune, such as Sally Goodin’, to teach you how to take a simple melody and turn it into a great breakdown fiddle tune. (Workshop Presenter can choose the tune.) We will listen to a number of iconic versions of the tune, and identify elements that make them interesting. You will learn the structure and elements of a fiddle tune, and how to arrange them effectively into your own killer version!
Practical Music Theory
The Magic behind the Music. This workshop covers the basics of music theory, and how you can apply them to playing music. Topics covered include chord changes, the circle of 5ths, chord relationships, the Nashville Numbering System, and more. Core material is at an intermediate level, but this workshop is appropriate for all levels.
We all know that we need to practice, but few of us actually learn how to practice effectively. This workshop covers the difference between practice and playing, and how to create an effective practice regimen. This workshop is appropriate for all levels and instruments.
Caring for Your Body as a Musician
Overuse injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, bursitis and tendonitis are commonplace among musicians, because we really push our bodies to the limits. We only get one body. And, we should take good care of it. Playing stringed instruments is great for our minds and our dexterity, but anyone who has played an instrument for years knows that it can also play havoc on our bodies. This workshop covers warm-ups, cool-downs, stretches, and exercises that you can do daily to take care of your body. This workshop is appropriate for all levels and instruments.
Cross Tuning, also known as Cross-Key or Alternate tuning, is an essential part of the old time fiddling tradition. Cross tuning allows you to get different tonalities and feelings from your instrument. And, it’s a whole lot of fun. Participants in this workshop will learn about the history of cross tuning, common tunings, and practical considerations when you are playing cross tuned. They will also learn some fiddling history, and they will learn a cross tuned fiddle tune. This workshop is appropriate for intermediate to advanced fiddle students.
Making music is more fun when you are doing it with a friend. Twin fiddling is a fun and important tradition. This workshop will teach the participants the basics of twin fiddling – how to harmonize, and how to play lead when someone is harmonizing with you. Participants will also learn a twin fiddle tune. This workshop is appropriate for intermediate to advanced fiddle students.
Playing Fiddle in a Band
Playing fiddle is fun, but music really gets awesome when you are making music with others. In this workshop, you will learn to take on the mindset of a band member, and how to be a team player. Participants also learn how to listen for chord changes, play accompaniment, and how to play licks and fills (and when you should do what.) This workshop is appropriate for all levels.
Jam Session Survival Skills
Jamming is a great way to get comfortable playing music with others, but playing in a jam session can be a bit daunting, especially for beginners. In this workshop, you will learn about different types of Jam Sessions and how they operate, Jam Session etiquette, how to listen for Chord Changes, and what key the tune is in. We will also cover playing accompaniment, chords, fills and licks – what to play when you aren’t playing the lead. This workshop is appropriate for all levels.
Get Ready to Win a Fiddle Contest
Fiddle contests give you a chance to live life on the edge, and see how you play under pressure. If you come into a fiddle contest well prepared and with a healthy mental attitude about it, contests can be a fun and positive learning experience. However, if you don’t, fiddle contests can be scary. In this workshop, you will learn practical skills for preparing for fiddle contests, calming nerves, and operating at peak performance levels when you get on stage. This workshop is appropriate for all levels.
How to Make a Radio Charting Album
Learn how to create and market your very own album. We’ll discuss the process step by step from deciding on which tunes to play, to recording and producing your music, to making your album into an awesome physical product. We will look at some secrets of making an album that will get played on the radio and make it on the Grammy ballot, and help you create a timeline for your own new album’s creation.