Workshops and Lessons

1 - Vintage Mississippi Fiddle Tune Workshop

During this workshop, in addition to basic fiddle techniques, I teach and discuss fiddle tunes from Mississippi. There is a touch of blues, a hint of ragtime, and an opinionated touch of melody from the legacy of the great fiddlers of the 1920’s and ‘30’s.

The workshop for beginning players is 1 1/2 to 2 hours in length and usually teaches 2 complete tunes. I play short versions of several tunes, discuss their history, and any quirks of musical interest. The participants vote on which tune they would like to learn. I then break the tune down into short passages that are taught to the group by ear. Bowings and variations are taught. I repeat this process for the next selection to be taught. If there is sufficient demand, a second or more workshops can be added covering other tunes.

2 - Mississippi Fiddle Tune Sampling jam

For more advanced players the workshop can consist of playing a variety of tunes at moderate tempo to give a playing overview, provide the attendees with an opportunity to record each tune and the opportunity to ask questions. Attention paid to chord structure and any distinctive bowing or techniques but many tunes will be surveyed.

The tunes I teach are drawn from WPA era manuscripts, commercial 78's from the 1920's and 1930's, Library of Congress field recordings of 1939 and later informal field and home recordings and from.

3 - Playing tunes you don't know in a jam - How do some players pick up tunes so quickly?

Fiddle tunes are designed to be passed around. Understanding how the basic scales and chord intervals sit on the fingerboard really speeds up sorting out a tune. We'll take a couple of tunes apart and look at how they are built. And look carefully at Rhythm, bowing patterns, arpeggios, easy double stops, scales and common Old Time stylistic conventions.

Contact for workshops.

4- Private lessons are available for fiddlers, beginner to advanced

Contact for in-person private lessions in Hopewell Junction, NY


Previous workshops:

Crooktop, Bradford, PA   - 2023
Clifftop, WVA  - 2023
Black Creek, Altamont NY  - 2023
Old time on the Onion, Montpilier, VT  - 2023
Festival of Texas Fiddling, Blanco, Tx  - 2019
Maiden Creek Folk Festival, PA  - 2019
Folksounds Transatlantic Workshopsin Elmstein Germany 2017 & 2018
German workshops 2017, Frankfurt, Bonn
Old time on the Onion, Montpilier, VT  - July, 2017
Pinewoods folk music fall weekend May,  -  2016
Albuquerque - Oct, 2016
Fayetteville Ark  - Oct, 2016
Jacksonville, FL - Sept, 2016
Lake Genero Festival, Hamlin PA   - Sept, 2016
Brandywine Festival, West Chester, PA  - June, 2015