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    My classes and workshops include hands-on learning, based on careful listening to classic performances from the 78 rpm era.  By using recordings that have been pitch-adjusted and slowed down digitally, students learn to identify and to imitate the characteristic riffs used by the very best backup guitar players of the 1920s and 1930s.  Through learning these classic backup arrangements, students develop a “toolbox” of techniques that can be used for backing up all sorts of old- time tunes – related or not.  As master old-time musician Dan Gellert has said, “...the only way to develop your own style is by ... imitation of good models.”


     We'll also talk about things like style in old-time backup; chord selection; and you'll learn lots of interesting factoids about old-time musicians from long ago!

Some of the places where I've taught backup guitar:


•     Cowan Creek Mountain Music School (Whitesburg, KY)

•     East Tennessee State University (Johnson City, TN)

•     Austin String Band Festival (Driftwood, TX)

•     Festival of American Fiddle Tunes (Port Townsend, WA)

•     Old Time Week at Augusta (Elkins, WV)

•     Blue Ridge Old-Time Music Week (Mars Hill, NC)

•     Southern Week at Ashokan Music & Dance (Olivebridge, NY)

•     Chestnut Creek School of the Arts (Galax, VA)

•     Jalopy Theatre & School of Music (Brooklyn, NY)

•     Bluff Country Gathering (Lanesboro, MN)

•     Gainsborough Old Time Festival (UK)

•     Berkeley (CA) Old Time Music Convention

•     Santa Fe (NM) Bluegrass & Old-Time Music Festival

•     Harry Smith Frolic (Greenfield, MA)

•     MBOTMA Winter Bluegrass Weekend (Minneapolis, MN)

•     Denver, CO

•     Somerville, MA

•     Gainesville, FL

•     Pasadena, CA

•     Bloomington, IN

•     Kalamazoo, MI

•     Port Republic, VA


Upcoming guitar classes and workshops:


•     [stay tuned!]

Now, click here to see what folks are saying about my workshops and classes!

© 2017 John M. Schwab