Guitar - Flatpicking

Instructor:   Craig Young

Course Description:

Level: 2 – 4  (see Playing Experience Level descriptions at the bottom of the page)

In this Advanced Flatpicking Guitar class we’ll be looking at the finer points of flatpicking, concentrating on lead lines and improvisation, learning how to insert “bluesy” licks and riffs in traditional bluegrass and country using the stylings of Tony Rice and David Grier. We will work on building solos, learning how to take a melodic idea and use and reuse in a solo of a song or a fiddle tune. Looking at the right hand techniques of crosspicking and alternating picking, and finding the right balance between technique and feel. Lots of discussion and examples of scales and chords, and how to incorporate in a solo.

As an electric player for many years, I have learned how to incorporate double stops into flatpicking and will also be discussing and demonstrating this in length. We will also learn some great exercises that have come to me over the years, and use them to help improve timing, speed, and tone.

Students should have some knowledge of basic flatpicking and should be able to play a standard fiddle tune or two, and have a basic understanding of the neck of the guitar and chords. Students should have some experience in playing in a group setting. Be ready to jam!

Make sure to have a capo, tuner, along with your trusty Dreadnought. A good idea to have some sort of recorder as well, either audio or video is fine with me for future reference. I will be using tablature for teaching, so it would be a good idea to be familiar with that system. I look forward to questions, because I love to talk about guitar, so feel free to bring up anything concerning the guitar.

Craig Young

Craig Young hails from the southwest coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. Craig has worked with many country artists, including Jason McCoy, Eli Barsi, Gord Bamford, George Canyon, Carolyn Dawn Johnson and Terri Clark as well as living and recording as a session player in Nashville for eight years. While there he also embraced bluegrass music and has taken a deep dive into that genre.

He has won four Canadian Country Music Association awards in the AllStar Band- Guitarist category.

Craig’s album "Black Diamond Strings" was released July 2013 to much acclaim, winning the MusicNL award for Country, followed with the album “Charlie's Boogie”, a collaboration with guitar slinging, gypsy jazzer Duane Andrews, which won an East Coast Music Award in 2014 for the "mostly" instrumental album.

Known for his guitar prowess and powerful vocals, Craig now lives and performs in the St. John's, Newfoundland area. Craig owns and teaches out of the New Wave Music studio where he also records and produces for other musicians.

Playing Experience Levels

These guidelines aim to ensure that all camp participants have an enjoyable experience. They represent what your playing capability should be before you take the class (prerequisites).

Classes are generally designed to pace themselves to match the participants' abilities. Level 1 classes aim to proceed at the pace of the slower students in the class. Level 2 and 3 classes aim to move at the pace of the majority of students in the class. Level 4 classes are designed to push the capabilities of all students and will target the pace of the more capable students  Class descriptions that show a range (Levels 2-3) means the material presented is broadly applicable across that range.

LEVEL 1: You are new or relatively new to your instrument. You may be able to play basic chords or scales slowly. You want to learn the basics of the instrument. You have very little experience playing with others.

LEVEL 2: You are competent with basic chords and/or basic scales. You can keep rhythm and/or play basic melodies and/or sing and play at the same time if the song is familiar. You generally need the chords or melody to be written out in order to play along. You have some experience playing with others.

LEVEL 3: You are reasonably comfortable with most chords, basic major and minor scales, and can play at an appropriate tempo for songs. You are aware of time signatures, song keys, and know that there are chords called 6th, 7th, 11th, etc even if you can’t play them all. You are comfortable maintaining good rhythm and are willing to taking breaks while jamming with others, even if the breaks don't always turn out the way you planned. You may be hoping to take your playing up to the next level of performing with a group or band (beyond jamming) and you want to further improve your technique and speed.

LEVEL 4: You are skilled on your instrument and have a good understanding of musical concepts including scales, arrangements, harmonies and some improvisation. You play lead and back-up with a steady rhythm and can play skillfully with others. You know there is life further up the neck on your instrument and have some capability in that world. You have performing experience, can hold a tune, and can harmonize.