ADVANCED CLAWHAMMER BANJO

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CHRIS COOLE – THE FOGGY HOGTOWN BOYS

Chris Coole is a Canadian folk musician who has toured and performed with the likes of The Foggy Hogtown Boys, Erynn Marshall, Ivan Rosenberg, David Francey, and currently, The Lonesome Ace Stringband. He is known for his interpretation of Southern old-time music, as well as his original songs and instrumentals, played on clawhammer banjo and guitar. Through many workshops, as well as an instructional DVD, he has taught a league of  people how to play clawhammer banjo. As a collaborator or sideman, he has played on over 150 recordings. In 2016 he released his 2nd solo album entitled “The Tumbling River” which Froots magazine called “Unassumingly excellent old-time country music”.

ADVANCED CLAWHAMMER BANJO

This class will focus on how to develop your own style or voice on the clawhammer banjo. We will look at some of the aesthetic choices that are out there out there waiting to be made. We will look at how to build your own arrangements of tunes by ear. In doing this, we’ll learn skills that are necessary for picking up tunes on the fly at a jam session, how to break away from a dependence on tablature. We will go over the mechanics of the right and left-hand techniques and how to look at them as tools. A clear understanding of what each of these tools can do is the key to being able to play more freely and with greater versatility. We will also look at things such as playing in waltz time, syncopation, “claw hammer rolls”. We’ll take all this stuff and learn how to apply it to backing up fiddle tunes and songs…and we will have fun doing it.

Players taking this should be at a “high intermediate” to “Advanced” level. You should be comfortable with the “basic strum”, “double thumbing”, and “drop thumbing”, and be able to play a few tunes in both GDGCD and GCGCD tuning (G and Double C). A written overview, and recordings of everything covered in this class will be provided to the student for further review after camp.

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