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Gryphon Stringed Instruments Banjo Workshops in Palo Alto, CA coming up Saturday, January 21st!

Posted by bevans on Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hi folks,

It's time for my every-other-year visit to Gryphon Stringed Instruments for bluegrass banjo workshops! I'll be teaching two different sessions coming up this Saturday, January 21st. They are designed for all level of students and are practical and hands on. Each session is $40 or $75 for both. Here's all you need to know:

Gryphon Stringed Instruments, 211 Lambert Avenue, visit or phone 650-493-2131 for info and registration. Class sizes are limited.

Working Up Scruggs-Style Solos, 11am-1pm, $40

One of the greatest challenges for banjo players at all levels is finding the melody on the fingerboard and choosing just the right rolls and licks to create legitimate sounding, driving Scruggs-style solos. In this “hands on, let’s pick” style of workshop designed for players of all ability levels, Bill will show you how to choose a key for your solo, how to find those pesky melody notes, and how melodies are related to chord progressions. He’ll then move on to show how roll choices can enhance the effectiveness of solos as well as teach many basic licks that come up again and again in Scruggs’ playing, taking you through a step-by-step process unlocking the secrets of great soloing. Bill will analyze several Scruggs solos to show you how Earl did it! Tab examples will be provided for all examples and audio/video recording is encouraged.

Backup Essentials and Sounding Great At Your Next Jam: Sat, January 21st, 2pm -4pm, $40*

This will be a practical, easy to understand "hands-on, bring your banjo and let’s pick" kind of workshop that's open to all players but ideally designed for musicians with one or more years of experience and for those who want to pick up more advanced backup skills. We’ll cover practical and easy to learn techniques that you can put to immediate use to hold in your next band rehearsal or jam session. Topics to be discussed include movable chord shapes for vamping, up-the-neck backup using the F and D shapes and the “In The Mood” roll, down-the-neck backup using forward rolls and target tones, how to use Earl Scruggs’ great backup licks to enhance your sound, how to “hear” chord progressions, using the capo and back-up aesthetics (when to do what!), fiddle tune and slow-song backup and much more. Tab examples will be presented for everything that will be covered in the session but it's not necessary to read tab well to get a lot out of this workshop. Audio and/or video recording is encouraged. Ideal for intermediate to advanced players but all are welcome.

I hope to see some of you there!


Bill Evans

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