Bluegrass Band Lab w/ Avram Siegel

Tuesdays, 8:30-10:00 pm, beginning March 6
Class runs 8 weeks, each session 90 minutes, and includes a live sound workshop and a performance on the Freight stage
$240.00 advance / $250.00 after February 27

Ever dreamed of being in a bluegrass band? Here¹s your chance! This class gives aspiring musicians the opportunity to work up material for a performance for friends, peers, and the curious public, covering all the aspects of how to put together a song in the bluegrass style and perform it in a group. There's a lot to learn, and you'll have a blast while doing it!

In this class, students will form bands that will rrange, rehearse, and perform a set of bluegrass material (chosen by the instructor with input from the students) in their own show on the Freight & Salvage stage. All the skills needed to pull off the perfect performance of a song in the bluegrass style will be covered, from achieving the right rhythmic groove to polishing the vocals (including lead & harmony singing) and instrumental parts (including solo and backup), to making the song come alive on stage through the Freight¹s fantastic sound system. In preparing for the show, students will spend some time collectively learning and improving the skills necessary to put on a strong bluegrass performance. However, the bulk of class time will be spent playing music in separate bands and rehearsing for the concert.

You can't learn how to play music well without practicing on your own, but there are things you won't discover until you play with other people, and even more that can't be learned until you perform for others. This class is the perfect place to put everything you know into action while learning new skills relevant to playing in a bluegrass band.

Participants are encouraged to sign up either individually, or along with musical cohorts.

*This is generally an intermediate to advanced class open to all the bluegrass instruments: guitars, mandolins, banjos, fiddles, Dobros, and acoustic bass. Participants should have the ability to play rhythm through an entire song, making chord changes smoothly and in time. Singers should be comfortable singing all the way through a song and lead instrumentalists need to be able to play all the way through melodies evenly and in time. These are very important skills that we will work on in class and in which there will always be room for improvement. Keep in mind that the goal of this class is to encourage participation and help students make a jump to a new skill level. Perfection is not a requirement‹a handle on some of the basics is.

Avram Siegel has been teaching bluegrass ensemble/jam classes for many years, and a very large percentage of the successful bluegrass and related bands formed in the SF Bay Area over the past decade came wholly or in part out of his program; this class will be a continuation of that program and will be chance to work up material in a more complete way. Over his years of teaching, Avram has developed a detailed and comprehensive instruction method that has turned out some of California's most popular young musicians. A respected mainstay on the California bluegrass scene, Avram has performed with everyone from the Grant Street String Band to the Vern Williams Band, from Peter Rowan to True Blue.


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