Mandolin, levels 1/2

Instructor(s): Eric Thompson

Eric will reveal vital secrets of bluegrass and old time mandolin playing. Exactly which secrets will depend on the interests of the participants in the class. Some options are: repertoire (learn tunes); technique (tremolo, for example); constructing a solo (playing a break); improvising within the style.  Both bluegrass and old time genres can be explored.

Eric Thompson
Eric Thompson


Eric is a knowledgeable, inspiring and patient teacher, who gives lessons privately and has also been on faculty at the Santa Cruz Mandolin Symposium, Augusta Heritage Festival, Puget Sound Guitar Workshop, Port Townsend Festival of American Fiddle Tunes, Ashokan Fiddle & Dance Camp, Kamp Kaufman, and Lark In the Morning.

About Eric Thompson

Eric Thompson took up the guitar as a teenager in Palo Alto, California in the early 1960’s. Among his earliest bands were the Black Mountain Boys (with Jerry Garcia and David Nelson) and Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions. He quickly became nationally known as an exceptional lead flatpicker, winning the World Championship Cup at Union Grove, North Carolina with the New York Ramblers (which also included David Grisman and Winnie Winston) and flying to Nashville, Tennessee to record Beatle Country with the Charles River Valley Boys). By the 1970’s Eric had added the mandolin to his arsenal, taking that chair in the Bluegrass Intentions, the Todalo Shakers, and the Blue Flame Stringband, as well as Old Friends (w/ Laurie Lewis) back in the Dark Ages at Paul’s Saloon. He was a foundational member of the California Cajun Orchestra and plays guitar in the Aux Cajunals. Eric performs often with his wife Suzy, exploring a wide range of roots music, including old-time, bluegrass, jug band and cajun. His most recent band is Kleptograss, current incarnation is with Paul Kotapish, Alan Senauke and Mark Schatz.

His three guitar instructional videos are distributed by Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop. Eric also has several book/lesson CD publications with Mel Bay, and writes columns for Flatpicking Guitar and Acoustic Guitar magazines.  He co-authored “Bluegrass Guitar – Know The Players, Play The Music” published by Backbeat Books.  Eric’s students are consistently pleased with his classes, and we’re happy to have him at camp, offering this intermediate level mandolin class for the first time.