Creating filtered version of banner image.

Updates

Winter 2014

Wow, what an awesome festival weekend! That was probably my favorite Joe Val ever, although all of them have been pretty amazing. Thanks to everybody who attended my Fast Track class, came to see The Gather Rounders, sat in on my guitar workshop, or just said hi. If you couldn't make it this year, please mark your calendars for next year's Joe Val: President's Day Weekend in Framingham, February 13 - 15, 2015. As I've said before, Joe Val is far, far and away the best thing going in bluegrass in the entire northeast for five months before and five months after. And despite multiple snow storms, the festival was still completely packed with non-stop jamming from Thursday night through Monday morning.

This week I am announcing a wide variety of new classes; take a look at the classes I have scheduled below and if you don't see something you're interested in, please let me know.

 

UPCOMING CLASSES

Wernick Method Bluegrass Jamming Class starting Saturday, March 1st -- This spring I am offering my Bluegrass Jamming Class using the Pete Wernick Method starting on Saturday, March 1st from 2 pm until 4:15. This class is open to all instruments, and all levels, and the only requirement is that you're able to switch between G, C, D and A smoothly. Pete's method is helpful for both beginners and more experienced jammers, and the class covers a variety of skills that I don't normally teach in my other jams and classes. Please let me know if you have any questions whatsoever, and you can get more details (and sign up on-line if you're interested) by visiting www.drbanjo.com/classes/2014-03-tony-watt-cambridge.php

Beginning Bluegrass Harmony Singing -- Mondays at 7 pm
- for those who want to learn how to determine and sing harmonies
- classes held in Cambridge, MA 02140
- 2.5 hour first class followed by four hour-long classes on Mondays (weekly)
- March 3rd (2.5-hour class) and March 10th, 17th, 24th & 31st (hour-long)
- from 7 until 8 pm (except for March 3rd which is from 7 until 9:30 pm)
- tuition includes a corresponding book and companion CD
- course description below

Bluegrass Band Ensemble Class -- Mondays at 8 pm
- classes held in Cambridge, MA 02140
- nine classes held every Monday from 8 until 10 pm
- March 10th, 17th, 24th & 31st, April 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th, May 5th
- you are expected to attend nearly all classes but can miss one or two
- you must be able to attend both performances:
- Tuesday, April 29th at 8 pm at The Cantab Lounge in Central Sq.
- Saturday, May 10th concert TBD (possibly Marlborough)
- tuition includes 18 hours of class time
- course description below

Beginning Bluegrass Mandolin: Rhythm & Lead -- Thursdays at 8:30 pm
- for those who are new to playing mandolin or want a review of the basics
- classes held in Cambridge, MA 02140
- five 90-minute classes, mostly every other Thursday from 8:30 until 10 pm
- March 6th and 20th, April 3rd, 17th and 24th (last two classes are back-to-back)
- held immediately after the weekly Thursday Beginner Jam which starts at 7 pm
- tution includes a corresponding book and companion CD
- course description available at www.tonywattbluegrass.com/classes/

Beginning Bluegrass Lead Flatpicking Guitar -- Tuesdays at 7 pm
- for those who are new to lead bluegrass guitar or want a review of the basics
- classes held in Cambridge, MA 02140
- four two-hour classes, held every other Tuesday from 7 until 9 pm
- class meets on March 11th and 25th, April 8th and 22nd
- tuition includes a corresponding book and companion CD
- course description available at www.tonywattbluegrass.com/classes/

 

Beginning Bluegrass Harmony Singing

Once again I will be co-teaching the Beginning Bluegrass Harmony Singing class with the fiddle player from my band, Laura Orshaw. Laura and I will be focusing the class on two core skills: learning how to determine harmonies, and learning to teach yourself to sing harmonies using your instrument as a guide. We will focus on a handful of common bluegrass vocal tunes, and there will be homework each week including both singing and determining harmonies.

There are no prerequisite songs, and you don't need to be able to read music or play lead. The Harmony Singing class is open to all instruments, all levels - both rhythm and lead players - but it is geared towards those who have trouble finding harmonies on their instrument and/or with their voice. You will need to bring an instrument with you to class each week, and although it's not required, I recommend you familiarize yourself with the G Major scale in the first position of your instrument.


Bluegrass Band Ensemble Class

Have you ever wondered why some bands sound so good when compared to some jams? Well of course it's partially due to the rehearsal time some bands spend working on music together, but it's usually a lot more than that. And what do bands work on when they get together to rehearse that makes them sound so good? In this class we'll explore some of the aspects that make bluegrass in a band setting different from bluegrass in a jam setting. We'll cover a wide variety of ways to arrange a song, from instrumental licks to vocal tricks, and then we'll be putting that knowledge to good use...

We will be limiting the class to between 8 and 12 people, and we will be trying to get a mixture of as many bluegrass instruments as possible. Starting in our first class we will be splitting up the class in to two separate bands that will remain together for the entire course. These two bands will then work each week to create and learn arrangements to a limited repertoire of songs that they will perform at the completion of the course.

In this class we will spend time listening to classic bluegrass recordings, studying arrangements of well-known bluegrass songs, and then applying the concepts we learn to our two in-class bands. The bands will have time to rehearse together as part of the class time with Laura and me there to help facilitate, and will perform for each other as the course progresses. At the end of the class we will culminate our work with two performances, which all students must be able to attend.

There are no prerequisite songs, and you don't need to be able to read music or play lead. The Bluegrass Band Class is open to all instruments, all levels - both rhythm and lead players - but it is geared towards those who are comfortable singing and/or taking solos. To help us better split up the class, please let us know if you play more than one instrument (and if so what your primary instrument is), and if you sing lead and/or any harmony lines (and which ones). If we are short on bass players, I will be available to quickly train a guitar or mandolin player to play acoustic-electric (or full-electric) bass.

 

UPCOMING SHOWS

Southeast Expressway at The Blue Moon Coffee House in Rockland, MA on Saturday, March 8th -- We are excited to play our first show at The Blue Moon Coffee House in Rockland, MA (www.thebluemooncoffeehouse.com) on Saturday, March 8th. The Blue Moon Coffee House is held within the Channing Unitarian Universalist Church, located at 45 Webster St. in Rockland, 02370. Although we've never played there, by all accounts it's a beautiful space with great acoustics. The show begins at 7:30 pm, and tickets are $7 at the door (children under 12 are free). There's even an Open Mic where you can perform a song or two between our two sets! For further details, call 781-760-5325, or 781-878-0650 on the night of the show.

 

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS & CAMPS

Mando Camp North in Charlton, MA from April 11th through 13th -- Once again this year I am very excited to be teaching at Mando Camp North (MCN), which is held concurrently with Fiddle Camp North (FCN). MCN & FCN are held in Charlton, MA (near Sturbridge, just an hour from Boston) over the weekend of April 11th through 13th. They have a large and talented line-up of teachers, and feature classes, concerts and jamming throughout the weekend. The camp includes a wide variety of styles of music (with a focus on bluegrass), and they also have guitar and banjo instructors on hand. They offer Master Classes with individual feedback, a Beginners' Track for those who are just getting started, and just about everything in between. Please visit their website (www.mugwumps.com/mcn.html), and let them know I sent you!

MAILING LIST SIGN-UP

Want to join my mailing list?

Please just send me an e-mail at tonywatt@gmail.com and let me know where you live and what you're interested in hearing about (such as performances, classes, jams, etc.)

Thanks so much!