Bring back a class that's not offered this term!

Here are the classes Not Offered this Term

Use the form at the bottom to tell us which ones you want to come back.

Core: BANJO 1
In this introduction to 5-string banjo, you’ll learn to play in both the C and G tunings. We’ll introduce you to a variety of styles, including clawhammer, Pete Seeger-style strumming, and 3-finger Scruggs style, depending on the interests of the class. You’ll also learn to use a capo to change keys.
Core: GUITAR 1, Repertoire

If you’ve taken Guitar 1, or you used to play or have dabbled a bit and you need to get those callouses back, this is the class for you. You’ll firm up the skills you learned in Guitar 1, get more comfortable with rhythmic chord changes, simple strum patterns and transposition. This course can be repeated until you’re ready for the next level.

Core: GUITAR 4

Guitar 4 is a continuation of Guitar 3 working on arpeggios, finger picking, flat picking, bass runs and some theory with an emphasis on making arrangements of guitar accompaniments using these techniques. Reading tablature and an introduction to fill-ins and endings will also be included.

Core: SWING GUITAR

An introduction to jazz guitar starts with basic left hand jazz chords, familiarizing you with well-known standard swing tunes from the Thirties, Forties and early Fifties. You’ll learn tunes by great songwriting composers of the past such as Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Richard Rodgers, and possibly some early Southwestern swing, made famous by Bob Wills. We’ll also cover basic jazz blues progressions with insights into improvisation.

Jazz guitar requires a chord vocabulary that is different from the basic chords applied to most folk songs. To take this class, you should be familiar with the numerical names of the chords such as I, IV and V7 in basic keys. Bass students can be integrated into the class as well.

Core: HARMONICA

Guitar 4 is a continuation of Guitar 3 working on arpeggios, finger picking, flat picking, bass runs and some theory with an emphasis on making arrangements of guitar accompaniments using these techniques. Reading tablature and an introduction to fill-ins and endings will also be included.

Core: MANDOLIN 1

This course is for the beginning musician. You may have played an instrument or not. We will learn to tune, strum, and play basic chords while you sing. You’ll learn how to hear chords changes so you can learn songs on your owns, and play along with your favorite tunes.

Core: VOCAL HARMONY
In our vocal harmony class you’ll learn the elements of harmony and vocal ornamentation. We’ll use tunes from the Old Town Folk School book as well as ballads and folk songs from recordings. You’ll develop an ear for creating layers of harmony and variations on familiar melodies that will help you sing harmony on new songs as well.
Specialty: BLUES BAND
Join the jam session on any instrument! Starting with some old school classics you will learn to accompany and solo with confidence. We will sample various forms of Blues from Mississippi Delta to Chicago R & B. Vocalists are also welcome and participants may offer some favorite pieces to work on.
Specialty: BLUES & JAZZ ENSEMBLE
On day one you will be swinging the blues! We will be playing our way through the history of jazz starting with New Orleans style, to Kansas City R&B, and even a few modern pieces.

Open to all instruments and abilities, rhythm players will increase chord vocabulary and everyone will have a chance to lead the melody or improvise. Experienced instrumentalists are welcome to share their own repertoire, while entry level students will gain understanding of basic jazz theory as they play along.

Specialty: BUSKING IN A GROUP

Want to take your group playing to the next level? In this class we’ll learn and arrange songs to be performed while busking around Decatur.

You’ll need Intermediate or advanced playing skills to participate (see Intro to Playing in a Group if you’ve recently completed Level 1 or 2 in an instrument class). All instruments are welcome, as well as singers without instrument. Be prepared to learn songs deeply so you can play from the heart!

The City of Decatur requires buskers to carry a permit (you can get it free at the Decatur Arts Alliance on Clairemont). Weather permitting, we’ll use one or two class nights to play/busk on the street.

Limited to 8 participants.

Specialty: FROM LIGHTFOOT TO FOGELBERG

Music evolves; just as the Big Band era evolved into Rock & Roll, the Folk Revival spawned numerous writers and performers who produced the folk music of the ‘70’s, ‘80’s and ‘90’s. This genre is musically simple to more sophisticated, and lyrically diverse and poetic. We’ll explore what some call “folk-pop” or “folk-rock,” learning songs from Lightfoot, Croce, Paxton, Prine, Denver, Chapin, Cat Stevens, Fogelberg and more. We’ll use fingerstyle picking, strums, and capos to bring out guitar voicing in the key(s) that’s singable AND playable. We’ll also stress memorizing the songs you like best as this is kind-of-a repertoire class. There’s no better way to learn a song than to memorize it.

You’ll feel more at ease in this class if you can handle some finger styles and Guitar Level 3 proficiency but all are welcome; you can catch up. It always helps to jam with those who are a bit farther along than you are.

You’ll need a 6-string and/or 12-string guitar, tenor guitar, mandolin, uke, or a fiddle; a capo, a tuner, and a music stand, if you have one. Note reading is not required.

Specialty: IRISH & SCOTTISH DANCE MUSIC
This class will focus on instrumental dance tunes on fiddle, flute, and other instruments. Rhythm and accompaniment will be discussed in passing, but primary focus will be on melody, with phrasing and ornamentation in a traditional Irish style. If you’ve never picked up a fiddle, or any musical instrument, we’d recommend an “intro to fiddle setup and tuning” workshop that we will customize for new students.
Speciality: KEYBOARD
This folk style method for entry level or continuing students will cover both chords and melody. We will concentrate on popular styles such as Rock & Roll, Blues, traditional ballads and contemporary songs. No music reading is required and you’re encouraged to bring a portable keyboard.
Specialty: ROCK & BLUES for GUITAR Level 2 & Up
If you have taken Guitar 1, and would like to explore 12 bar blues, early 60’s styles, and basic rock and roll – Elvis, Chuck Berry and the Beatles, this class is for you. Students should be comfortable playing, singing, and making chord changes in the keys of E, A, D, and G. Come and have fun playing guitar and remembering your “Rock and Roll” days.
Specialty: SONGWRITING
Maybe you’ve written maybe you haven’t. If you want to explore the songwriting process this is the class for you. We’ll cover chord progressions and how melody works – it’s vital to know the “tricks” of the trade and even more vital to get rid of them.

And we’ll get the words flowing. Have you ever been stopped by your inner critic? Let’s explore that. Do you have a knack for words? Should we write the words first, or the music first? The answer is yes. Nothing’s off the table when you understand the architecture behind the art.

Specialty: STRING BAND ENSEMBLE

In this course students will work together as an ensemble to put together a performance of old-time songs. While past old-time classes have been focused on building repertoire, the emphasis this session will be on developing a solid sense of rhythm, group dynamics, vocal harmony, and showmanship by intensively workshopping a set of old-time songs selected by the students. The term “Old-time” is used loosely here as a wide-ranging genre that encompasses many forms of traditional American music from ballads, spirituals, blues, rags, dance tunes, and early bluegrass.

This course is open to all instruments that can play in the keys of G and D.

Course requirements:

Students of rhythm instruments (guitar, ukulele, mandolin, bass etc.) should be familiar with the following chords: C, G, D, A, and Em. Although we will play pieces at a moderate tempo, students should be able to change between these chords comfortably while maintaining a steady rhythm. Advanced mandolin students may also choose to join the fiddles on the melody.

Students of melody instruments (fiddle, concertina etc.), should be comfortable playing both D and G major scales.

Students of the banjo should be comfortable with three major chords of both the “Open G” tuning and the “Double D” tuning, and should be comfortable with the basic “bum-ditty” clawhammer stroke.

Specialty: THE BEATLES

In this class, you’ll learn some of the many songs from the Beatles catalog, including early “cover songs,” rock songs, and some of their other classics.

Open to all instruments and vocalists. Fretted instrument players should have the ability to change chords easily and add a few chords to your chord vocabulary.

Specialty: TRUCKSTOP CLASSICS
Where do Country folk songs, hot Western Swing, and Rockabilly meet? Right here at the Honky Tonk Truckstop. We will be covering jukebox favorites like Bob Wills’ San Antonio Rose, Patsy Cline’s Walking After Midnight, and Willie Nelson’s Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain. Singers and pickers are welcome to bring in material for the group. Instruction is provided for vocal harmonies, solos, and song arrangement. Open to all instruments.
Mini-Class: INSTRUMENT CARE & STRING CHANGING
For acoustic guitars, mandolins, ukuleles and bouzoukis

Do you wonder what you could be doing to keep your instrument sounding great and in good shape over time? In this 2-hour (1 hour on 2 Mondays) hands-on class you’ll find out when and how to inspect and maintain your instrument; then you’ll change your own strings, with the help of our in-house luthier, Fritz Rauschenberg.

Some of the topics covered will be:

– Storage
– Cleaning & polishing
– Neck-action & frets
– Body-cracks & finish
– Bridge
– Tuners
– String changing.

During the first meeting, Fritz will discuss what you’ll need to bring for the string changing session the following week: new string set, towel or mat to rest the instrument on, string winder, wire nippers, soft cloth and polish. And small Phillips and straight screwdrivers (optional).

Mini-Class: PRACTICAL MUSIC THEORY - The Basics
Not sure why I, IV and V are the most common chords? Or how they relate to scales? Join us for a 3-night exploration of the basic structure behind songs. You’ll learn about key signatures, chord spelling, sharps and flats, meter, intervals, the relationships between major and minor keys, and how melody and chords work together.

We’ll use a keyboard to hear what we’re talking about, but you’re welcome to bring your own instrument to try what you learn during class.

Note reading is not required.

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