2018 Pre-Festival Workshops - Wednesday, September 12, 2018

2018 Pre-Festival Workshops –

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

These wonderful artists have lots of music and insights to share. Please read complete descriptions of the workshops being offered. 




STEPHEN BENNETT – Finger Style Guitar

For the morning session, I’ll have several arrangements of tunes to choose from. The class will vote to decide which one we work on. I’ll play and explain each phrase for you and then you’ll repeat it back to me. We’ll slowly and methodically make our way through the tune, one phrase at a time. Everyone might not be able to play the tune all the way through by lunchtime — but everyone will have played each phrase correctly at least once for me. Or you will not have lunch! Do you understand me? Okay, I’m back: I like to teach the tune without the music/tab in front of you so that you use your ears more than your eyes. However, when we’re done, I will give you a pdf of the tune so that you can perfect the tune at home.


For the afternoon session, I’d like to teach you one of my tunes. I’m not sure which one but again, I’ll have more than one with me so the class can choose. We can spend the remaining time (if there is any) however you like. If there are particular musical questions or issues you’d like me to address, that’s what I’ll do. If you want to play something for me (and the rest of the class) to critique, we could do that. We’ll all likely be pretty fried by that point so whatever suits you is what we’ll do.

Intermediate Level class runs from 9:30am to 4:30pm with a 1-1/2 lunch. Cost is $90 with a Maximum of 16 students.



Bing Futch – Mountain Dulcimer

Technical - Here, the focus will be on exercises for the left and right hands. We’ll work on rhythmic techniques using cadences to help develop a consistent strum and we'll run scales using multiple fingers in order to move more efficiently up and down the fretboard. We'll also explore embellishments like hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, bends and vibrato that will help you breathe life and expressiveness into your playing. We'll practice moving chords around the fretboard. We’ll also be using a capo to switch keys, so be sure to bring one with you!

Repertoire - To put our new skills to work, we’ll learn some pieces of music ranging from traditional Old Time and fiddle tunes to Delta blues and pop.

Improvisation - We’ll also dig deep into the well of music theory, using it to tie all of the areas together, helping you to learn your fretboard, build chords and play “off the cuff.” Each area of study will feature themed resource materials to help you continue your practice after the Master Class. You'll be challenged, but we'll also have a lot of fun learning how to improve our skills on the mountain dulcimer! Beginner to Intermediate Levels class runs from 9:30am to 4:30pm with 1 ½ hour lunch. Cost is $75 per participant. Maximum of 40 participants.



Dan Crary – Flat Pick Guitar

Hey out there all you git-tar guys and gals, this year’s Winfield flatpicking GUITAR WORKSHOP is coming up. So this year let’s get you fired-up and on your way with a better approach that gets you off the dime, moves you ahead, and keeps you encouraged and motivated.

Of course, I know, time is short, practice is tedious, and it’s easy to get discouraged. The answer: let’s tune up your approach and get you on a method that works, avoids the pitfalls, and keeps you wanting more.

And that’s where I come in: I’m an experienced hand at this, and I know how to help you make a plan to become the player you want to be. If your desire includes solid rhythm, tasty accompaniment, confident soloing, and beautiful improvs, then, ladies and gents, you have come to the right place. We can help you get there. And when 4PM on Sept.12 arrives, we mean to send you out encouraged, eager to learn and unstoppable. Sound ambitious? You betcha’…

Now hear me on this: If you play a little or a lot, this workshop is designed for you, because it focuses on method, developing a fun-and-rigorous approach that works, solving your problems, overcoming obstacles, debunking a few myths, and making more and faster progress. The workshop will include some hands-on, but we won’t embarrass you… we’ll pal-you-up with a couple of like minded workshop pals. And when it’s over, your head will spin, your old assumptions will re-boot, and your hand will twitch to get at a guitar.

Lastly, one of you will go home with A NEW TAYLOR GS Mini GUITAR (retailing at $400). The Taylor GS Mini is a superb second (great for travel) instrument, with beautiful “parlor guitar” tone, pro-level Taylor playability, and comes with a shoulder case for safe travel to the Winfield campground. Your enrollment in the 2018 Winfield flatpicking workshop is your ticket for the guitar drawing at 4PM on Sept. 12.

It’ll be a blast….All Levels class runs from 10:00am to 4:00pm with 1 ½ hour lunch. Cost is $75 per student. Maximum of 40 participants.


Bill Evans – Banjo

Working Up Scruggs-Style Solos (all levels) One of the greatest challenges for banjo players at all levels is finding the melody on the fingerboard and choosing just the right rolls and licks to create legitimate sounding, driving bluegrass solos. In this “hands on, let’s pick” style of workshop designed for players with one or more years of experience, Bill shows you a practical, a step-by-step process that will unlock the secrets of great soloing and improvising. You’ll first learn how to find those pesky melody notes on the banjo fingerboard, and discover how melodies relate to chord progressions. Bill will then cover how roll choices can enhance the effectiveness of solos and he’ll teach some of the most essential licks that come up again and again in the greatest bluegrass banjo solos. The class will also analyze and play several classic Earl Scruggs solos note-for-note. Tab examples will be presented for everything covered in class and audio/video recording is welcome.

Bluegrass Banjo Jam Survival Skills (all levels) This will be a practical, easy to understand "hands-on, bring your banjo and let’s pick" kind of workshop covering practical and easy to learn techniques that you can put to immediate use to hold in your next band rehearsal or jam session. Topics to be discussed include navigating the fretboard using movable chord shapes for vamping, up-the-neck backup using the F and D shapes and the “In The Mood” roll, down-the-neck backup using forward rolls and target tones, how to use Earl Scruggs’ great backup licks to enhance your sound, how to “hear” chord progressions, using the capo to play in different keys and back-up aesthetics (when to do what!). Tab examples will be presented for everything that will be covered in the session but it's not necessary to read tab well to get a lot out of this workshop. This workshop is open to all levels of students but is ideal for those with one or more years of playing experience who are ready to start playing bluegrass with others. Audio and/or video recording is encouraged.

Who’s Bill Evans? Banjo For Dummies and Bluegrass Banjo For Dummies author Bill Evans is one of the best and most experienced bluegrass banjo teachers & workshop leaders in the world. His instruction is practical, down-to-earth and designed for the adult learner. He has produced eight instructional DVDs for Homespun Tapes, the Murphy Method and AcuTab, is the co-author of Parking Lot Picker’s Songbook: Banjo Edition from Mel Bay Publications and has taught thousands of students from all over the world. Bill also hosts the Beginning Banjo and Bluegrass Banjo courses online at Peghead Nation (www.pegheadnation.com). His professional students include Chris Pandolfi (The Infamous Stringdusters), Wes Corbett (Molly Tuttle Band), Erik Yates (Hot Buttered Rum) and Jayme Stone. Learn more at www.billevansbanjo.com.

Morning Session is 9:30am to Noon. Afternoon Session is 1:30pm to 4:00pm Cost is $50 for one class or $80 for both classes. MAximum of 40 participants.


Linda Tilton – Ukulele

Super-Duper Beginning Ukulele. 9:00 am to Noon. This course will cover tuning, basic chords and beginning strums. Commonly known songs often played at "Winfield" jams will be taught. While this class focuses on ukuleles that are in standard GCEA tuning, baritone ukuleles are also welcome. Music stands are not provided. Please bring one, if desired. Cost is $35.00. Maximum of 15 participants.

Intermediate workshop. 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm. This course is for ukulele players who already know basic chords and chord progressions. It does not piggy-back from the beginning class. Focus is on fingerpicking, reading tablature, chord inversions and advanced chord shapes such as bar and diminished chord shapes. While this class focuses on ukuleles that are in standard tuning, baritone ukuleles are also welcome. Music stands are not provided. Please bring one, if desired. Cost is $35.00. Maximum of 15 participants.


Jo Ann Smith – Autoharp AC/DC

Whether playing a solo instrumental, taking a melody break in a group, accompanying your own vocals or those of another, the autoharp is well-equipped to perform beautifully. But revealing the autoharp’s awesome versatility in these settings typically requires the player to make a few changes to their playing techniques. The first step in finding the autoharp’s hidden talents is improving Accuracy and Clarity (AC). We will learn playing techniques that bring the melody line up and out of the shadows where it can be clearly heard above the underlying chords and rhythm. We’ll also look at common playing techniques that can interfere with the ability to play cleanly (get ready to ditch some old habits!). The second step is using Dynamics and Color (DC). We will explore how changes in volume and tempo can make (or break) a song. We’ll also look at typical chord progressions for common tunes and explore alternatives that add color and grab attention. Diatonic players will find suggestions for non-standard chords, while chromatic players will find chord progressions they had not considered before. Finally, we’ll put everything we’ve learned together and come up with a new arrangement for an old tune! Both Diatonic and Chromatic Autoharps Welcome. Minimum skill level is Intermediate (Ability to do simple melody picking and play basic three-chord tunes by ear). Class is 9:30am to 4:00pm with a 1 to 1 ½ hour lunch. Cost is $75 per student with a Maximum of 25 participants.



Joshua Messick – Hammer Dulcimer

Beginner-Intermediate Hammered Dulcimer (morning) The hammered dulcimer is an easy instrument to learn and you can begin playing songs within minutes. There are a few techniques to learn that will enable you to express the music inside of you. Topics covered include: how to properly hold your hammers, how to produce good tone, how to adjust the height and play with proper methods to please your chiropractor, and the fundamentals of the layout of the hammer dulcimer! You'll also learn a tune along the way and the workshop will have an open discussion to answer your questions.

Advanced Hammered Dulcimer (afternoon) Are you ready for your playing to come alive and breathe with controlled, intentional technique and enchanting dynamics? In these workshops, we will learn about timbre/color control to produce good tone, alternate techniques to add variety to your performances, methods to control overtones/sustain, and voicing concepts. We'll learn some great tunes along the way. Let's have fun making spirited, hammered dulcimer music.

These workshops run from 9:30 am to 12:00 noon and the afternoon workshop will run from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm. Cost is $50 for each workshop session or $75 for both sessions with a maximum of 20 students.


First is a map of campground pick-up locations.

We also have a map of Downtown Winfield lunch options.