SERIOUS COMMENT FOR GUITAR PLAYERS: John's workshops are not to be missed. While the book is great, what John can share in a workshop really brings it to life – lots more insights that you can't just put into a book; what's behind the chord and run choices of various players; etc. Ideas that you can put to use right away.
— Howard Weinberg
I have to say, the workshop [at Chestnut Creek School of the Arts, Galax, VA] was a wonderful experience and I have been thoroughly enjoying your book. Your methodology of keeping it simple and showing us how to actively listen to the music has been wonderful for learning new tunes. I have been making nice progress in the book and learning more of the tunes from the source musicians.
— Eric Moore
John Schwab has not only thoroughly analyzed old-time backup guitar as played by the great masters, but he has developed a straightforward and easy way to teach people the essence and nuance of what he has learned. Though I’ve played and listened to old-time music for decades, John has opened my ears in new ways to what those great guitarists were actually doing and how they did it. How exciting!
— Jay Ungar
(Acclaimed fiddler; tune writer; founder and director, Ashokan Fiddle & Dance Camps)
Just another thank you and wow! for such a great workshop. Your presentation was fantastic, and the combination of talking, listening, and guitaring was just perfect. I'll be noodling with that material, for sure!
— Laura Osborn
What I liked about your workshop (well, I guess everything!) was that we actually PLAYED what you were teaching. Some teachers talk about the music and there is very little actual playing. You talked about the music but there was lots of playing. I learn by doing, so the more playing there is, the better. And, because there was also the book, there were visuals for people like me who aren't such good auditory learners. I'm sure people tell you this all the time, but you're a great teacher! :-)
— Laurie Woods
I got a chance to attend John's old-time guitar workshop which he gave while he was visiting in the Southern [California] territories. It was excellent! If any of you get a chance to attend one, don't hesitate. Not to be missed!!
— David Bunn
The teaching method you have devised fills a much-needed gap. It gives the information needed to play authentically. The history and technique offered in your classes is information-rich, precise, and accessible. Add to that your skill at this form and enthusiasm for it are magnetic. Can't thank you enough for sharing your scholarship in old time backup guitar...it is going to make a world of difference to a lot of musicians who would love to better replicate this charming and deceptively mystical old form.
— Sue West
Finally getting around to digesting [the] wonderful backup guitar book by John Schwab. It might be that taking [his] class first [at Blue Ridge Old Time Music Week at Mars Hill University] was a great way to do it. I’m understanding it very easily now!
— Sheila Stone
John Schwab is a real motivator to get cracking on old time guitar back up. I'm really enjoying his class and getting a lot out of it. Feel like I have some essential tools to continue studying post Cowan Creek. Yay!!
— Barbara Rosner