Prior to the festival
21, 22, 23 October 2020
Old-Time Music School
2019 Dorrigo Old-Time Music School Workshop Descriptions
(as they appear on the timetable)
A recording device is highly recommended, as well as a tuning device and notebook.
Clawhammer Banjo with Ivy Sheppard
“Put the hammer down” and learn how to frail a banjo. This isn’t your typical drop-thumb melodic playing, but rather hard-driving rhythm that’ll keep your feet moving and the music going as heard in the mountains of East Tennessee.
Old-Time Rhythm Guitar with David Sheppard
Guitar is the backbone of a stringband and David Sheppard is a master rhythm player. Learn fills, bass runs, and the basics and stylistic techniques of backing up a band and playing behind singing.
Traditional Bluegrass Mandolin with Jackson Cunningham
This intermediate mandolin class will focus on early traditional Bluegrass mandolin playing, inspired by Bill Monroe and brother duets. We’ll cover form and technique, such as holding the pick, right hand attack, left hand positions, and dynamics. We will also spend time on different aspects of mandolin in bluegrass styles such as chop chords up the neck, tremolo, downstrokes, and fiddle tunes.
Singing in the Old Time Way with Rod & Judy Jones
Old-time duet singing from the mid-30s to the early 50s. Learn about the origins and stylistic elements of the old style ‘brother duets’, practice some helpful vocal techniques and get ready to sing some harmony together.
From Ballads to Bands with Rod & Judy Jones
Listen to the impact that instrumentation can have on a traditional ballad as fiddle, banjo and guitar are added to accompany it, whilst retaining the stylistic features of old-time music. Get ideas about how you can use this information in your own performance.
Mandolin with Andrew Small
This intermediate level workshop will explore the simultaneously melodic and rhythmic role of the mandolin in an old-time string band. We will explore the differences in Bluegrass and old-time mandolin playing and use tunes from the heart of the old-time repertoire as vehicles for demonstration. Topics to be covered will include the importance of rhythmic accents, the shuffle rhythm, tone production, and chord inversions.
Fingerstyle Guitar with David Sheppard
Learn basic country blues fingerstyle guitar playing ala Mississippi John Hurt. We’ll cover alternating bass lines and learn to finger pick an old-time melody.
Hilltoppers Style Fiddle with Ivy Sheppard
Having learned at the feet of legendary old-time musician Bill Birchfield and traveled for six years on the road with the Roan Mountain Hilltoppers, Ivy is steeped in the east Tennessee old-time fiddling tradition. She offers insight on the longbow, hard driving sound.
Clawhammer Banjo as a Band Instrument with Judy Jones
So now you can play some clawhammer banjo and it’s time to join an old-time band. How do you work your playing into the band sound?
Old-time Fingerpicking Banjo with Andrew Small
This intermediate level workshop will demonstrate and outline the foundations of 2- and 3-finger old-time banjo fingerpicking styles. Focusing on traditional thumb and index-lead 2-finger styles from North Carolina, the workshop will also address the pre-Bluegrass 3-finger style of Charlie Poole. We will cover common tunings as well as stylistic techniques such as slides, rolls, and pull-offs that will help players achieve an authentic and nuanced old-time sound.
How To Personalize Your Tunes with the Andrew Collins Trio
Isn’t it great when you hear a new version of a standard tune that really works? In this workshop we will explore a variety of ways to make your tunes truly your own, through chordal changes, rhythmic approaches, melodic variations and more.
Harmony Singing with the South Carolina Broadcasters
Explore the singing styles that define traditional American music, the sounds that comes from the little country church house. Learn songs in the Carter Family tradition, two and three part harmony. We’ll break down songs and show how to find parts in the old-time way.
Folk Songs of the Virginia-Carolina Blue Ridge (Andrew Small)
This workshop will explore a few favorites from the traditional song repertoire of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We will break down some of the most popular songs of the region as we examine a variety of recorded examples and consider the way these songs have evolved over time. We will also discuss nuances of ornamentation, melodic variation, accent, and harmony.
Old Time Rhythm Mandolin with Andrew Collins
Ever wonder how the mandolin can fit into an old time setting? Wonder no more! In this class, we will focus on ways to seamlessly fit into an old time string band. We will look at some melodic playing, but will focus much more on a variety of ways to add rhythmic spice and excitement to the ensemble. Starting with the chop we will progressively build on options for creating a deep vocabulary of rhythmic devises including open chords, shuffles, double stops and more.