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The Green Mountain OldTime Workshop Weekend


Oldtime Fiddle with Brian Slattery

Seconding and Playing Chords

More and more, when fiddlers jam together they don’t play in unison; they take turns backing one another up. We’ll go over the basics of seconding, of suggesting chords while also following the shape of the tune. We'll also explore how the skills of seconding can be used to learn tunes faster and have more fun playing tunes you don't know in jams.

Oldtime Banjo with Maggie Shar
Flexible & Fancy 
Learn to insert hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, drop-thumbs and more into any clawhammer tune or song. We will use Tommy Jerrell's Ida Red as a playground for using all of the tools in the clawhammer toolkit.  Learning to switch between any of these tools on the fly will improve your playing and widen your potential for fiddle tunes, folk songs, or anything else you find yourself frailing on the banjo. 

Oldtime Bass with Charlie Shaw
Charlie will touch on left and right hand technique options, but will focus on some alternatives to the go-to (for a reason) "1-5-1-5" bass pattern, and the three "feels" he employs playing Old Time bass.

Oldtime Fiddle with Laura Murawski

Exploring Rhythmic Ideas in Old Time Fiddle

In this workshop we will be exploring different bowing patterns that will help you get that groove and incorporate them into some common jam tunes. We all find ourselves drawn to particular fiddle tunes and particular players.  We love hearing that rhythmic thing that makes us want to dance or, alternatively, stand and stare at what the players are doing to get that sound.  

Oldtime Guitar with Molly Merrett

In this beginning/intermediate level workshop we’ll cover the basics of old time guitar, including navigating the chords and keys most frequently encountered in old time fiddle tunes. We’ll go over the boom/chuck strumming pattern and look at bass notes and simple bass runs. We will practice accompanying a fiddle tune and try listening for chord changes. Depending on participant interest we may explore alternate chord shapes and strumming patterns, which are not typical in old time guitar playing, but in my opinion make it more fun and interesting.

Oldtime String Band 101 
Dana Robinson will lead this workshop about how each instrument in a string band
fits together and creates a whole unified-sounding ensemble. Participants will have the opportunity to pair up and practice the techniques.

Cajun Fiddle with Katie Trautz

Infuse your fiddle playing with a Cajun flare - learn basic Cajun fiddle tunes, and styles that evoke the swamp rock vibe of Louisiana. After learning the melody, the workshop will explore harmonies and back-up rhythmic fiddle parts that are classic to the Cajun style. All learning is done by ear, but with a methodical approach that will help learners apply techniques to any tune.

Oldtime Banjo with Brian Slattery

Beyond the Bum Ditty

We'll dive into other rhythmic patterns, derived from West African and Afro-Caribbean music, that are already built into fiddle music and can be brought out more explicitly using the techniques you already know on banjo. We'll explore how to use these patterns to open up more possibilities for what can be done on the banjo, to give jamming heavier rhythms and make it more fun for everyone involved.

Beginning Mandolin with Matt Flinner

This workshop will focus on getting students more familiar with Appalachian old-time songs and help them improve their mandolin fundamentals along the way.  We’ll look at a fiddle tune and a Carter Family song, and talk about ways of approaching soloing and rhythm playing.  Students will get pointers on how to improve their tone through picking exercises, making use of open strings and double stops to get a fuller sound, and combining elements of lead and rhythm playing.  
Harmony Singing with Katie Trautz

Rooted in the Sacred Harp and Gospel traditions of the Appalachian south, Katie will teach classic (and not-so-classic) songs with accessible harmonies. From ballads, to classic country, the songs will be easily learned by ear, and open all voices.
Intro to OldTime Fiddle with Dana Robinson

Using a couple of well-known tunes, Dana Robinson will lead the group through the fundamental
left hand voicings and right hand bowing patterns to produce that old
time groove.  

Advanced Mandolin with Matt Flinner
This workshop will be heavy on fundamentals: getting students to improve their picking skills, learning double stops in various keys, and improving tone and speed along the way.  We’ll look at a couple of fiddle tunes in different keys, along with some exercises to help with difficult picking passages and double stop exercises to add some variety to both lead and rhythm playing.  We’ll also talk about the mandolin’s unique role as a lead and/or rhythm player; we’ll even blur the lines between lead and backup and find ways of playing in an old-time jam where we can maximize the mandolin’s unique sound.  
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