2018 Seminars

Pickin’ and Grinnin’ : The Art of Country Guitar (San Diego Session) with special guest Albert Lee

An intensive course designed to cover all aspects of country guitar. Students will be exposed to everything from traditional Western Swing and Bluegrass Flatpicking to barn-burning Telecaster in the style of Albert Lee, Brent Mason and Guthrie Trapp. Topics include hybrid chicken pickin’, double stops, pedal steel bends, Travis picking and much more. This course has everything for the guitarist interested in this incredible style. Attendees taking this course will enjoy a visit from legendary guitarist, Albert Lee!

Virtuoso Rock Guitar (Nashville Session) with special guest Paul Gilbert

Perfect for the rock player looking to take their playing to the next level, this course will analyze the styles of some of the leading players in this genre such as Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, Joe Satriani, Paul Gilbert, Steve Vai, and John Petrucci. This seminar will cover topics such as speed, tone, phrasing, arpeggios, and modes. Various technical aspects will be covered including sweep picking, hybrid picking, tremolo technique, harmonics, tapping, double tapping, developing speed while maintaining accuracy, legato development, string skipping, and odd groupings using alternate picking.. Theoretical concepts including pentatonic and diatonic scales, arpeggio/chord construction, harmony, the use of chords and chord progressions, and fretboard visualization are also covered. Students will be thrilled when guitar virtuoso Paul Gilbert works with this class.

Still Got The Blues (Toronto Session)
with special guest Duke Robillard

So you wanna play the blues! This seminar is designed for players who love the raw energy, feel, and power of Blues music in all of it’s forms from Swing, Delta and Chicago to Texas and electrifying blues/rock sounds. This course explores the styles of some of the greatest blues guitarists including Muddy Waters, T. Bone Walker, Albert, B.B., and Freddie King, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and others. The course will work on improving each participant’s playing and help with soloing from the ground up. Good rhythm playing is the most important part of any guitarist’s playing and this will be dealt with in depth. Topics include various blues progressions, chord voicings, various rhythm patterns, turnarounds, phrasing, scale and arpeggio usage, double stops, developing solo ideas, and how to achieve a good blues tone. Students will also learn how to improve their bending, vibrato, sliding, and legato techniques to put some more ‘feel’ into their playing. There will be plenty of jamming in this course, so if you’re looking for blues power, this one is for you!! Multi-award winning blues legend, Duke Robillard, will be a special guest to this seminar.

Groove Academy with Nathan EastGroove Academy (Seattle Session)
with special guest Nathan East

This course will give bass players the tools to tackle all musical styles including Funk, Rock, Pop, Blues, Jazz 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 are 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, Nathan East!

Everything Rock Guitar (San Diego Session) with special guests Eric Gales and Nita Strauss

This is the perfect course for anyone interested in playing all styles of rock from blues influenced rock through shred, and for every level of guitar player! In this course we will cover basic to advanced theory with topics such as intervals, scales and modes, how chords are formed, chord voicing and inversions, diatonic and non-diatonic chord progressions, altered scales and chords, improvisation over chords and progressions, and even basic notation on staff. You’re going to learn how to harmonize chords and play solos over the top in the context of Rock and Shred, ranging from the styles of Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, all the way through Eddie Van Halen, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and even modern artists such as Plini! By the end of this course, you should have the tools you need to become a proficient rhythm or lead guitarist in just about every style Rock has to offer! Attendees taking this course will enjoy time in class with the incomparable Eric Gales and one of the brightest young stars on the rock scene, Nita Strauss!

Acoustic Expressions (Nashville Session) with Christie Lenée and special guest Andy McKee

2017 International Fingerstyle Guitar Champion Christie Lenée will share creative insights about the guitar beginning at the art of listening and ear training, fundamentals of holding the instrument, how to play completely relaxed with minimal effort, and how to translate musical expressions through our hands. Other concepts include songwriting and composition approaches, right hand fingerpicking patterns with creative examples, chord progressions and harmonization, a modern approach to understanding music theory, improvisation, opening up the guitar neck and finding new chord voicings, open tunings, using harmonics and low drones, rhythmic guitar slapping, finger tapping and creating memorable guitar riffs. This is a special course designed for guitarists, songwriters and composers of all levels. While it will get into some fairly advanced techniques and allow advanced players to thrive, all musicians including beginners are welcome. This course will also enjoy a visit from one of the world’s finest acoustic players, Andy McKee!!

Modern Rock Guitar (Toronto)
with special guest Tosin Abasi

Rock guitar has evolved over the past several decades from the heavy blues influence of its origins. Since the beginning, rock guitarists have been expanding the vocabulary of the style and pushing the boundaries of what the instrument is capable of, culminating in the masterful levels of taste, technique and virtuosity seen in contemporary rock players. This class will examine the many aspects and influences of modern Rock guitar and provide students with tools and methods to advance their playing to the next level of musicality and chops including speed picking, sweep picking, tapping, contemporary harmony, rhythm and composition. This course will also be visited by one of the titans of contemporary rock guitar, Tosin Abasi of Animals as Leaders.

Rockin’ The Blues (Seattle 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.