Level: 2-4

This workshop will provide an opportunity to learn and practice the rudiments of playing bluegrass music and jamming in the bluegrass style. Depending on the interests and abilities of the class, topics can include an overview of the structure of bluegrass songs, the role of each instrument when playing in a group, how to set up a bluegrass jam, how to create a solo, and ‘how to get that bluegrass sound’.

One of the great appeals of bluegrass music is its accessibility to all ranges of musicianship. Beginners, intermediate and advanced players can all jam together and make a song as simple or as challenging as they choose. Participants should be familiar with basic chords and be able to change between them with ease.



Level: 1-4

Playing the Bodhran as a Musical InstrumentThis class is appropriate for all levels of players and is designed to keep the advanced players learning and growing while the beginners focus on the basics. In general, the course is designed to have more fun with the bodhran because of its primary focus on playing the drum musically, rather than just hitting a dead goat with a stick!

For the beginners it will start with the fundamentals of holding the stick and drum, positioning the back hand, and playing the drum in simple jig and reel patterns. As the class progresses, and for the more experienced players, it will cover identifying musical patterns and harmonic rhythms, and different methods for making the drum accompaniment more interesting and challenging.

Using techniques like syncopation, alternating emphasis, back hand pressure and positioning, and back beats, students will experiment with different ways to play the drum musically while keeping a strong rhythmic accompaniment. Everyone should leave the course with a solid basic understanding of the bodhran with lots of fun techniques to practice at home.



Level: 2-3

Class Description – Pending



Level: 2-4

This class will cover the basics of playing in an ensemble with a focus on rocking out folk-style (i.e. taking rock songs and folkin’ them up!). The style will ultimately depend on the class makeup. Any acoustic instrument is welcome (guitar, bass, dobro, mandolin, fiddle, banjo, ukulele, bodhran, accordion, etc etc), and don’t forget about the voice! Students should be comfortable playing at the post beginner + level or higher, know the basics of music theory, how to form chords in most keys and how to take a rudimentary solo (though not a pre-requisite). The class will look at dynamics, blending instruments, listening to each other, knowing when to play simply and when to step it up, and how to play in support of the vocalist or soloist. The class will also explore how to do tasteful fills, how to sing in harmony, and performance techniques.



Level: 2-4

Instruments: Guitar, upright bass, possibly light percussion.
Students: Calling all Carl Perkins’s and Wanda Jacksons, young and old.
Energy level: Insane.
Optional: Hair gel and blue suede shoes.New to FAMI this year is this acoustic rockabilly ensemble class. Emphasis will be on rhythm and lead guitar. We will collaborate with the slap bass class, also being offered for the first time by instructor Dylan Sadlier-Brown.

Although rockabilly is generally played on electric guitar, with lots of reverb and “slapback” effects, that doesn’t mean we can’t have an acoustic rockabilly class. We’ll just try to find a room with echo!

The classic rockabilly sound is comprised of guitar, upright bass, a simple drum kit and sometimes Jerry Lee Lewis-style piano. I’ll bring a set of brushes and somebody can beat on a guitar case for percussion if need be, but the earliest Sun Records recordings of Elvis Presley doing “That’s All Right” with “Blue Moon of Kentucky” on the flip side featured no drums at all. The percussion was done by “slapping the bass” to drive the rhythm, a technique that will be explored in the slap bass class. There will be considerable crossover and collaboration with the slap bass class.

The basic form of rockabilly is relatively easy, consisting mainly of three chords. But, like bluegrass, it takes skill to pull it off. It’s all about the groove! Some songs we’ll look at will be Cat Clothes, All Shook Up, Boppin’ the Blues, Be-Bop-A-Lula, Don’t Be Cruel.



Level: 1

Whether you’ve just got a shiny new guitar you’re itching to try or you’re fostering vague memories of a few chords and have a dusty guitar begging for attention, this beginner workshop will arm you with what you need to get moving along on your musical journey. You’ll learn how to tune your guitar, will become acquainted with the Nashville numbering system and a number of basic chords and you’ll move through some simple rhythm techniques. By the end you’ll be able to play a handful of songs and will have a good idea for how to tackle heaps more!



Level: 1

Pucker and play – harmonica basicsNo experience is necessary. If you can pucker you can play. Bring a 10 hole diatonic harmonica in the key of C, and any others you might have. I suggest a Hohner Special 20 harmonica with a plastic comb for best success. This course will introduce the basics of 10 hole diatonic harmonicas in all keys. We will explore how to play chords, single notes with puckering and tongue blocking, melody, and rhythm backup. We will approach this little instrument from the basics of reading and playing harmonica tab to playing by ear. As time permits we will introduce cross-harp for those interested in proceeding to play blues.



Level: 3-4

This course offers an introduction to slack key guitar. Participants should have a comfort level with finger style methods and alternate tunings prior to attending. Those skills will be expanded upon to develop an undertanding of the slack key style. We will use the music of a number of key musicians incuding Keola Beamer and Cyril Pahanui to develop an understanding and appreciation for this unique musical style. This course will challenge you to open your mind, take the things you thought you knew, and apply them in a whole new way.



Level: 2-4

The mandolin is oft referred to as the “King of Instruments” by the great mandolinist, Marilyn Mair. Consider the mesmerizing effect when the mandolin is paired with the guitar and the amazingly versatile music styles that can be covered. Think of the famous mandolin/guitar duos such as Homer and Jethro, Ricky Skaggs and Tony Rice, The Blue Sky Boys, David Grisman and Jerry Garcia, The Louvin Brothers, and many others. We?ll play songs in Old Timey, Celtic, Gospel, Dawg, and Swing styles with maybe just one classical duet. Soloing and rhythm accompaniment will be explored along with harmonized mandolin/guitar duets. All mandolins and guitars are welcome. Be prepared to wear a perpetual grin all weekend.



Level: 2

For those students who have just learned G, C and D, what now? Here’s where we start working with those chords, plus some handy minors and actually playing some music. The goal is to get a half dozen songs under our belts and the confidence to keep on playing and learning more. We’ll add a few other keys in there. We’ll learn about chord patterns. We’ll learn that there’s more than one way to strum a guitar. We might even learn how to accompany ourselves while singing. All this will be accomplished in a fun atmosphere with opportunities to show off our new skills.



Level: 2-3

Slap me silly! In this class we’ll explore the basics of acoustic bass with emphasis on the right-hand slap technique for backbeat rhythm.

“Slap bass” is common in rockabilly but is also used to some extent in bluegrass. One of the earliest proponents of the style was Fred Maddox, a contemporary of Hank Williams. The Maddox Brothers and Rose were at the leading edge of rockabilly in the 1940s with their cutting-edge, honky-tonk hillbilly sound.

Our class will have considerable crossover with the acoustic rockabilly ensemble class, “Go Silly with Rockabilly,” taught by Bob Remington.

Our goal will be to keep the energy level as high as possible and “have fun,” because showmanship is part of the slap bass rockabilly style.



Level: 1-3

BEYOND THE BLANK PAGEThe Blank Page. It can strike fear in the heart of the creative person. Or…it can be a source of infinite inspiration. It is both the ‘blessing’ and ‘curse’ of song writing. This workshop will involve sharing stories, songs and tips that help move ‘beyond the blank page’. It is a very transforming experience. Let’s take a weekend journey together as we rise to the challenge, and privilege of writng a song. See you there.



Level: 1-3

“Ukulele IS a real instrument; AND it’s fun.”

We will concentrate on getting everyone to play together. For level 1 we will introduce very simple chords, level 2 we will introduce a few alternate shapes and introduce various rhythm patterns (all levels will practice these simple rhythms with muted strings), for level 3 we will introduce fingerpicking patterns. All of this will be in the context of between 2 and 5 songs. The class project will be to integrate the simple and more advanced chord shapes with some folk playing basic rhythm, some more complex rhythm, and perhaps a few fingerpicking Players will be provided with copies of the songs; chord charts; rhythm patterns and fingerpicking patterns that they can take home.



Level: 1-4

This class is for everyone interested in singing. If you’re inexperienced, even afraid to sing, or think that you can’t sing, you’ll discover that if you can speak, you can sing. If you’re an accomplished singer looking for new information or skills or just the simple joy of singing, this is the class. Almost all of our time will be focussed on singing a great variety of songs, but also covered will be basic information about the voice, as well as how to develop, maintain and care for this most wonderful of instruments.