2022 Seminars

Our 2022 Seminars include:

Jazz and Beyond (Toronto Session)With special guest Mark Whitfield


This seminar will dive into everything you wanted to know about jazz but were afraid to ask.  Designed for intermediate to advanced players, students will explore an overview of jazz techniques relating to scales, phrasing, comping, forms, chord embellishment, chord substitution, walking bass, guitar specific jazz voicings, small ensemble methods, and basic chord melody.  Many of these techniques will be studied in the context of standard and modern repertoire.  Students will explore how jazz has evolved over time, important jazz guitarists who have shaped the style, and what is happening in the jazz world today.  This seminar will emphasize improvisational approaches which take into account chord/scale relationships, melodic phrasing, and arpeggios.  Whether you are new to jazz, or an experienced improviser, students will discover how to take the lessons of jazz and incorporate them into other styles to make them stronger musicians overall. 



Country Twang (Nashville Session) With special guest Guthrie Trapp

 This course will give you the tools to take on any Country tune with confidence. Topics include hybrid pick-and-finger techniques, chicken pickin’, pedal-steel and open string licks, building single note lines from chord forms, creating double stops, and mapping the fretboard to effectively play through chord changes. Gain practical knowledge on how to generate a great country tone, including effects & settings, signal chain, amps, pickups, and guitars, as well as in-depth discussion of the styles of country guitar masters, such as Albert Lee, Brent Mason, Johnny Hiland, Ray Flacke, Danny Gatton, and more. Plenty of in-class playing is utilized to reinforce the many new ideas and techniques this style demands. Rather than ending up with just a collection of licks, several country ‘standards’ are used as templates, allowing students to implement their ideas right away into songs. Not just for country players, this seminar teaches improvisational concepts that apply to any style. One of Nashville’s top pickers, Guthrie Trapp, will spend time with students in this course!



Deep Blues (San Diego Session)With special guest Josh Smith

 Take all aspects of your blues guitar playing up a few notches in an encouraging classroom setting with other fellow blues guitar enthusiasts. It will be an interactive classroom experience where you’ll be implementing specific blues technique and concepts via class handouts and then incorporating them into standard blues tune classics you should know to prepare yourself for repertoire when attending jam sessions, joining a band or improving your chops in your existing band. The class will be all encompassing, covering the many tributaries of the blues, including Delta, Chicago, Texas and Jump Blues styles, learning signature licks, common chordal phrases, stock turnarounds, phrasing strategies, strengthening bending and vibrato skills and more. All this while working on your overall musicianship with interactive discussion and hands on playing in a comfortable setting. One of the hottest players on the blues scene today, Josh Smith will pay a visit to this seminar.


Lone Star Guitar (Seattle Session)

With special guest David Grissom

Get in touch with your  “Lone Star” guitar style. This class is designed to help you get your Texas Blues and Rock playing on track by studying the styles of Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmy Vaughan, Doyle Bramhall II, Red Volkaert, and Billy Gibbons. This course will include working on chord/scale relationships, 3 and 4 note arpeggios, major and minor blues scales, rhythm and lead playing styles, and soloing over popular blues and rock material.  String bending, double stops, open string scales, and pedal steel licks will also be covered in this class. Other topics include how to set up your gear for maximum tone and how to prepare for “playing the gig.” There will be lots of opportunity to play in this class. Austin’s very own David Grissom will be a special guest to this class to demonstrate and answer any questions you may have about his unique style and extensive experience.


Rockin’ The Blues (Nashville Session) with special guest Gary Hoey

This seminar is designed to focus on rock that wears it’s blues influence on it’s sleeve. We’ll be looking at some guitar players and bands that took what they learned from the original blues artists, and forged a new style of rock. Using different tones and rhythms, but always with a nod to the past, some of the most memorable songs were created in this style. From the Allmans to Zep, you can hear how the sounds of the Delta were transformed into a powerful “new” sound that can still be heard influencing bands and players today. An in depth look at how to use major and minor pentatonic scales, the “blues” and “mixolydian” scales, string bending, hammer-on and pull-off techniques, double stops, fresh chord ideas, slide licks, wah-wah tricks and much more will be covered. This course is a must-take for any serious player who’s looking for fresh ideas to impress musicians and audiences alike by blending rock and blues styles together in their playing. Students taking this course will also enjoy working with great rock/blues player, Gary Hoey.





Bass Essentials (Seattle Session) with special guest Stuart Hamm

This course will give bass players the tools to tackle all musical styles including Funk, Rock, Pop, Blues, Jazz, Latin, and much more using a broad range of technical skills on the bass including soloing, slap, walking, writing wicked bass lines, fretless technique, two hand tapping, and playing killer grooves. Topics will include maximizing your groove, interacting with the soloist (making them sound good), writing your own bass lines, total fretboard knowledge, learning all modes of the major and minor scales, soloing on any scale, riff development, pentatonics, symmetrical scales (diminished and whole tone), and much more. All topics will be applied to multiple musical styles, and is not limited to any one style, taste, or interest. This course will be designed for beginner to advanced students alike and will take your bass playing to the next level. Students in this course will enjoy a very special visit from incredible bassist, Stuart Hamm!



Acoustic Elements (Toronto Session) With special week-long guest Antoine Dufour

Acoustic players will enjoy this seminar which will look at some of the more modern elements and approaches to playing acoustic steel string guitar. In addition to traditional concepts and techniques used as accompaniment, modern practices used to bring the acoustic guitar to the forefront as a solo instrument will be covered. Topics will include standard and altered tunings, flat pick and fingerstyle accompaniment, right and left-hand harmonics, and much more. Practical theoretical concepts will be covered including chord construction, diatonic harmony, and scale usage. Some songwriting and composition elements as applied to the modern acoustic player will also be discussed. This seminar class will be taught by one of the leading contemporary acoustic players, Antoine Dufour.