Spring 2024 Teachers/Class Descriptions

These are the morning classes, the ones you sign up for in advance, averaging 10-12 students per class (more for classes with two teachers). Class sizes are limited, and some fill up the first day we open for registration, so sign up early! You take this core class each morning (afternoon elective classes are drop-in style and don’t require sign-ups). Click on a class, and you will see the full description, along with instructor bios and websites.

CLASS LEVELS:

Level 1 is “advanced beginner”; you should know the basics of how to play your instrument and keep it in tune, and play a few songs or tunes, probably not up to tempo yet.

Level 2 is “intermediate”; you can do all the above, have some experience playing with others, you’re comfortable with your instrument, and can play some songs up to tempo.

Level 3 is “upper intermediate/advanced”: you are a confident musician and comfortable jamming and playing in groups, but still there is always more to learn.

Please Read the Recommended prerequisites. How long you’ve been playing does not determine which class you should be in; it’s what you can do and what you know, as specified in the prerequisites for each class, that matters. That said, a positive attitude towards learning in a group setting is the most important prerequisite for having a great time at camp. Almost all of our classes are for intermediate level and beyond.

Level 1 players! (advanced beginners)  Check out the group classes! You’ll still get some instrument-specific instruction, and you’ll also learn a ton by playing with others (playing with others is what it’s all about!).

Feel free to call for more information (707-579-1429). The director can help you choose a class, and we will allow for some adjustments the first day of camp.

Those who feel they’ve “outgrown” camp classes can be considered as teaching assistants (see the FAQs page for more info).          

Krishna Feeny

A class for our youngest campers: Music & More (M&Ms!)

This class, designed specifically for young campers, provides a rich, varied, and age-appropriate experience with plenty of hands-on music making. At Walker Creek we believe the best way to learn music is to get inspired, make connections, and become engaged through fun activities that teach...
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A Group Class, Bluegrass Jamming, all levels

How do we get comfortable in a jam, confident on our instruments, and support others to create truly magical musical moments together? Those ideas may sound abstract right now but the techniques to achieve them are not. I can show you. You can learn. And you’ll head home a more musical and mindful player than you arrived.
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Banjo, Bluegrass, Levels 2/3

Think like a banjo player. I’ll provide an arrangement of "Rollin’ in my Sweet Baby’s Arms” - the ‘Rosetta Stone' of Bluegrass banjo - and you will learn it in advance of camp and then, together, we will learn how to substitute licks that I will provide to achieve the modular improvisation style that banjo players use.
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Steve Baughman

Banjo, Clawhammer, levels 2/3

Clawhammer banjo is great fun as a solo instrument and also as a tool for vocal accompaniment. In this class we will do plenty of both. In addition to learning some fine instrumental tunes we will look at how to accompany ourselves as we sing. We will listen...
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Bass, levels 2/3

The Basics...This class is great for learning more about bass fundamentals such as how to get a good tone, simple hand positions to get you going and how to create good smooth bass lines.  Let's go beyond beats 1 and 3(!) by learning about different grooves in different styles - such as swing, blues, funk and some Latin tinges.
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Jack Tuttle

Fiddle, bluegrass, levels 2/3

Jack will teach a general approach to constructing bluegrass solos. He’ll show how to quickly locate the melody of a standard song on the fiddle and then reinterpret it in a classic bluegrass fiddle style. He will show when and how to inject standard licks into the solos as well as teach back-up methods for playing...
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Fiddle, Oldtime, Levels 2/3

Make It Sound Like Fiddling Through the medium of some beautiful old tunes, we will explore how to get that Old Time sound! Drones, double stops, and left-hand doo-dads will be paired up with their counterparts in the bowing hand: slurs, dips, pulses, bow direction, and simple patterns!
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Fiddle, Swing, Levels 2/3

Get ready to fiddle like it’s 1949! This class will explore the rich world of swing repertoire, swing rhythms, and chord changes. Whether you’re an experienced improviser seeking new techniques or just starting out, my accessible Block System Improvisation Method offers a structured yet flexible approach to mastering the art of authentic swing and Western Swing fiddling. 
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Guitar, Bluegrass Flatpicking, levels 2/3

This class will focus on how to improve and advance your flatpicking with fundamental techniques, focusing on strategies to build your flatpicking speed, while still maintaining volume and clarity. Also different approaches on how to pull maximum tone out of your guitar for added depth and dynamics when playing slower melodies. Timing and metronome work will also be discussed.
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Guitar, Bluegrass Rhythm, levels 2/3

This course is for bluegrass rhythm guitarists and singers who are ready to elevate their rhythm playing beyond “boom-chuck”. We’ll cover mechanics such as good right hand technique, when and how to use upstrokes, rest stroke bass runs and G-Runs.
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Guitar, Oldtime Backup, Levels 2/3

This class will focus on approaches to accompaniment mostly using the unique DADGAD tuning. We’ll start with an introduction to the tuning, so no previous experience is necessary, and then we’ll explore the different rhythmic and harmonic possibilities that it affords.
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Guitar, Swing Rhythm, Levels 2/3

Tackle the mechanics of playing swing guitar, get to know some of the moveable swing chords, and learn a selection of western swing, roadhouse songs, and easy jazz/blues in this introductory class. Expect lots of in-class playing and singing.
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Mandolin, Bluegrass, levels 2/3

This course is geared towards intermediate bluegrass mandolin players looking to build the clarity, expressiveness and musicality of their playing. We’ll use the Three T’s (Tone, Timing, and Taste) as our guiding star as we tackle many topics, based on the interests and levels of the group.
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Mandolin, Swing Jazz, levels 2/3

Explore early jazz tunes while learning how to solo through them. Melodic phrases through multiple chord changes can seem daunting, we will see how some of the early jazz icons would interpret these passages.
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Vocals Technique – Finding Your True Voice

The main focus of this class will be to help singers discover how to use the elements of breath, tone, and intentionality (or singing attention), as tools for plumbing the mystery of singing with your “true voice” from your “true center”.
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Vocals, Country Repertoire

Want to add some cool country music to your song list? We’ll be taking a deep dive into country songs that are great to bring to parties, jams, and gatherings. Songs that are fun, meaningful, and easy to sing and play.
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