TonyWatt:Bluegrass

Hello and welcome to my home on the web! I post my latest updates below (although not as often as I'd like), so come on back to find out what's new. Please take a look around, or you can jump to a few of the most popular offerings on my website:

          LESSONS

          CLASSES

          JAM SESSIONS

          SOUTHEAST EXPESSWAY

          THE BLUEGRASS UNIVERSITY


LATEST UPDATES:

 

July 24th, 2014

My band, Southeast Expressway, has a big show on the north shore next Wednesday, July 30th as part of the Swampscott By The Sea Summer Concert Series. We will be playing on the Swampscott Town Green in front of Town Hall, located at 22 Monument Ave., in Swampscott, MA 01907. We will be playing from 6 until 8 pm, and we hope you can join us! The rain location is the First Church, located at 40 Monument Ave. in Swampscott, and you can get more info by visiting www.swampscottconcerts.com

Because of this concert, there will be no teacher-directed jams in Cambridge next Wednesday, but I am going to be offering an additional jam next week only on Thursday starting at 8:30 pm. And of course there will still be the weekly slow jam on Monday provided enough folks are available. Also this week I am announcing four upcoming classes in Lexington and Harvard Sq. (see below for details).

And for those of you who are planning on joining us on Sunday, August 3rd at State Park in Kendall Sq. in Cambridge, we have added another band to the line-up: Men in the Kitchen will be starting at 8 pm, followed by High Strung Reunion at 8:30, followed by us (Southeast Expressway) from roughly 9 until 11:30 pm. Please see below for details about this show, and of course if you have any questions whatsoever, please don't hesitate to get in touch!

NEXT WEEK'S JAM SESSIONS


Here is a listing of next week's jams, and more details can be found at the bottom of this e-mail, and on-line at www.tonywattbluegrass.com/jam_sessions/:

NEW! Mondays at 7 pm - Level 2 - "First 4 Songs Slow" Jam Session
- every Monday from 7 - 8:30 pm (for ALL instruments)
- repertoire: Old Joe Clark, I am a Pilgrim, Red Haired Boy and Nine Pound Hammer
- average tempos: starting at 65 cpm (slow)

Please note: there will be no jams next Wednesday. Please come see us in Swampscott, and join us for the jams on Thursday.

Thursdays at 7 pm - Level 3 - "First 4 Songs Medium" Jam Session
- every Thursday from 7 - 8:30 pm (for ALL instruments)
- repertoire: Old Joe Clark, I am a Pilgrim, Red Haired Boy, Nine Pound Hammer
- average tempos: starting at 70 cpm (slow)

NEXT Thursday at 8:30 pm - Level 5 - "Songs 5-10 Fast" Jam Session
- next Thursday ONLY from 8:30 - 10 pm (for ALL instruments)
- repertoire: Billy in the Lowground, Fireball Mail, Whiskey Before Breakfast,
Wayfaring Stranger, Blackberry Blossom and Gold Rush
- average tempos starting at roughly 75 cpm (slow) and up to 100+ cpm

Space is limited in the jam sessions; see below for further details, and e-mail me at tonywatt@gmail.com if you're interested in joining us or have any questions whatsoever.

UPCOMING SHOWS

Southeast Expressway in Swampscott NEXT Wednesday, July 30th -- Southeast Expressway has a big show on the north shore next Wednesday, July 30th as part of the Swampscott By The Sea Summer Concert Series. We will be playing on the Swampscott Town Green in front of Town Hall, located at 22 Monument Ave., in Swampscott, MA 01907. We will be playing from 6 until 8 pm, and we hope you can join us! The rain location is the First Church, located at 40 Monument Ave. in Swampscott, and you can get more info by visiting www.swampscottconcerts.com

Southeast Expressway at State Park (near Kendall Sq.) on Sunday, August 3rd -- Southeast Expressway is excited to be returning to play the Sunday night bluegrass show at State Park near Kendall Sq. in Cambridge on Sunday, August 3rd. UPDATE: We will be joined by two bands formed during our recent band classes: Men in the Kitchen (starting at 8 pm) and High Strung Reunion (starting at 8:30 pm). We (Southeast Expressway) will go on around 9 pm, and play until 11:30 pm.

For those who haven't heard of State Park yet, it's a new "dive bar" and kitchen opened by the team at Hungry Mother (the only three-time winner of the Boston Globe's Munch Madness people's choice award for best restaurant in Boston). Hungry Mother has always offered a lower-priced version of their amazing "French-influenced Southern food" on their late-night bar menu, but now they've opened up a whole bar/restaurant expanding on this idea. We played the inaugural bluegrass night at State Park, and we're thrilled to be returning to one of the newest, hippest, and already best restaurants in Boston! We really hope you can join us for some fine food, adult beverages and bluegrass music. State Park is located below The Friendly Toast in Kendall Sq. in Cambridge, and you can find more details at http://statepark.is/

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

The Bluegrass University will be offering classes at both Pemi Valley in NH, and Podunk in CT. These are two of the best festivals in New England, and are coming up the first and second weekends of August respectively. I will send out further details of The Bluegrass University next week, but in the mean time if you're interested, please check us out on-line:

http://thebluegrassuniversity.com/pemi_valley/

http://thebluegrassuniversity.com/podunk/

UPCOMING CLASSES

(1) Beginning Bluegrass Mandolin: Rhythm & Lead at Passim School of Music -- Starting on Thursday, September 11th I will be teaching a six-session mandolin course at Club Passim's School of Music in Harvard Square. The Beginning Bluegrass Mandolin: Rhythm & Lead class will meet from 6:30 until 7:45 pm from September 11th through October 23rd with no class on Thursday, October 2nd. The cost is $120 for Passim members ($140 for non-members), and further details can be found athttp://www.passim.org/school/beginning-bluegrass-mandolin-rhythm-lead-tony-watt

The Beginning Bluegrass Mandolin: Rhythm & Lead class is intended for those who are new to playing bluegrass mandolin, or who have been frustrated trying to learn before. In this class we will learn the basics of bluegrass mandolin, both rhythm and lead. We'll begin with a discussion of right-hand technique, and then quickly get into playing lead and rhythm on the mandolin, as we learn to play both instrumental and vocal tunes common in the tradition. In this course we'll learn how to read tablature (tab), how to play fiddle tunes and take breaks on vocal tunes, and get an introduction to improvisation. The primary goal is to provide you with the skills needed to play solid bluegrass mandolin and participate in bluegrass jams. Students do not need to have previous experience playing (or even listening to) bluegrass, and you don't need to be able to read music. Students should bring a playable mandolin and a pick. Handouts and corresponding mp3's will be provided and while students are welcome to bring a recording device, it's not necessary as I will be recording each class and sharing the recordings between classes.

(2) Beginning Bluegrass Lead Flatpicking Guitar at Passim School of Music -- Starting on Thursday, September 11th I will be teaching a six-session guitar course at Club Passim's School of Music in Harvard Square. The Beginning Bluegrass Lead Flatpicking Guitar class will meet from 8 until 9:15 pm from September 11th through October 23rd with no class on Thursday, October 2nd. The cost is $120 for Passim members ($140 for non-members), and further details can be found athttp://www.passim.org/school/beginning-bluegrass-mandolin-rhythm-lead-tony-watt

This class is intended for those who are new to playing lead bluegrass guitar, or who have been frustrated trying to learn before. In this course we'll learn how to read tablature (tab), how to play fiddle tunes and take breaks on vocal tunes (including carter style, crosspicking, and single-string soloing), and get an introduction to improvisation. The primary goal is to provide you with the skills needed to play lead bluegrass guitar and participate in bluegrass jams. Students do not need to have previous experience playing (or even listening to) bluegrass, and you don't need to be able to read music. Students should bring a playable acoustic guitar (ideally with steel strings) and a pick. Handouts and corresponding mp3's will be provided and while students are welcome to bring a recording device, it's not necessary as I will be recording each class and sharing the recordings between classes.

(3) Beginning Lead Bluegrass Guitar and Mandolin at Lexington Community Education -- Starting on Tuesday, September 23rd, I will be teaching a one-hour, four-session course for both guitar and mandolin at Lexington Community Education held in the Lexington High School. The Beginning Lead Bluegrass Guitar and Mandolin class will meet from 6:30 until 7:30 pm on September 23rd, October 14th and 28th, and November 25th (with a make-up date of December 9th if necessary). I believe the cost is only $40 ($30 for seniors), and further details can be found at http://www.lexingtoncommunityed.org/

The Beginning Lead Bluegrass Guitar and Mandolin class is intended for those who are new to playing lead bluegrass guitar and/or mandolin, or those who have been frustrated trying to learn to play lead before. In this course we'll learn how to read tablature (tab), and we will focus on learning the classic fiddle tune Old Joe Clark as means to introduce a variety of lead soloing techniques. The primary goal is to provide you with the skills needed to play lead bluegrass guitar and mandolin and participate in bluegrass jams. Students do not need to have previous experience playing (or even listening to) bluegrass, and you don't need to be able to read music. Students should bring a playable mandolin or acoustic guitar (ideally with steel strings) and a pick. Handouts and corresponding mp3's will be provided and while students are welcome to bring a recording device, it's not necessary as I will be recording each class and sharing the recordings between classes.

(4) Beginning Bluegrass Jamming (for all Bluegrass instruments) at Lexington Community Education -- Starting on Tuesday, September 23rd, I will be teaching a two-hour, four-session bluegrass jamming course at Lexington Community Education held in the Lexington High School. The Beginning Bluegrass Jamming (for all Bluegrass instruments) class will meet from 7:30 until 9:30 pm on September 23rd, October 14th and 28th, and November 25th (with a make-up date of December 9th if necessary). The cost is $75 ($60 for seniors), and further details can be found at http://www.lexingtoncommunityed.org/

The Beginning Bluegrass Jamming (for all Bluegrass instruments) class is open to all bluegrass instruments: banjo, fiddle, guitar, mandolin, bass and Dobro a.k.a. resophonic guitar, and is geared towards beginner and intermediate musicians who are interested in learning how to play with other musicians. We will focus on the basics of bluegrass jamming such as keeping time, non-verbal communication and jam etiquette. The primary goal is to provide the students with the skills and experience needed to participate in bluegrass jams. There are no prerequisite songs, and you don't need to be able to play leads on your instrument, sing, or read music. Students should be able to play melodies and/or backup parts (i.e. guitarists should be able to switch between chords comfortably). Students are welcome to bring a recording device, however it's not necessary as I will be recording each class and sharing the recordings between classes. Limited to 10 students.

FALL CLASS VOTING

There has been a lot of interest in new classes lately, especially in a Harmony Singing class and another Bluegrass Band class. This fall I hope to offer a variety of classes and jams starting as early as early- to mid-September. Below is a list of potential classes I could offer (and some course descriptions can be found at http://tonywattbluegrass.com/classes/):

1. Bluegrass Band Ensemble Class
2. Beginning Bluegrass Harmony Singing
3. Bluegrass Mandolin: Beyond the Basics
4. Beginner/Intermediate Lead Guitar & Mandolin (joint class)
5. Bluegrass Rhythm Guitar: Basics and Beyond*

Classes usually (but not always) cost $135 for BBU members, $145 for non-members, and often include a corresponding book and companion CD. Also, please remember that I offer substantial discounts for students who are interested in retaking classes they have taken before, or classes covering similar material. *Enrollment in courses marked with an asterisk includes a year-long BBU membership (a $15 value for only $10), therefore you should not sign up for BBU membership prior to enrolling in classes.

Please let me know if you're interested in any of these classes, and if so, which day(s)/time(s) would potentially work best for you. Please note that your reply does not constitute a commitment on your part to attend a particular class, but instead is just a way to increase the chances that you might be able to attend a class that you're interested in. If you don't see a class listed that you'd be interested in taking, or if you have any other questions, please e-mail me at tonywatt@gmail.com.

 

July 3rd, 2014

Thanks to everybody who came by on Monday for my Open House Slow Jam. We had a great time, and ended up playing for two and a half hours! Based on the strong response on Monday, I am adding a third night of jamming - primarily for those who want to play the first four songs slower than we do on Thursdays.

This week I am also announcing two new classes: Beginning Bluegrass Lead Flatpicking Guitar weekly on Mondays at 8:30 pm (starting on July 14th), and a class I'm calling "Advanced Repertoire Building for All Instruments" every other week on Wednesdays at 8:30 pm (starting next Wednesday, July 9th). Although it's been a while, I have offered the same Beginning Bluegrass Lead Flatpicking Guitar course before, but the Advanced Repertoire Building class deserves a brief explanation:

The Advanced Repertoire Building class is designed for those who attend the 7 pm Wednesday "First 4 Songs Fast" jams, or are comfortable playing and creating solos to similar tunes. In this class we use a self-directed approach to work on a set of new songs, both instrumentals and vocals, and at the end of the class we will hopefully be able to add these songs to our weekly Wednesday repertoire (see below for further class details). But in an added twist, I'm going to poll the class beforehand and find out which songs they would like to work on as part of the class!

And of course, one last reminder that the Bluegrass Band class begins next Tuesday, July 8th. There's still room in the class for one or two more folks, especially a bass player or somebody who wants to take up the bass. In the past we've had multiple guitar and banjo players learn bass just for the class, and they've always had a great time!

THIS WEEK'S JAM SESSIONS

Here is a listing of this week's jams, and more details can be found at the bottom of this e-mail, and on-line at www.tonywattbluegrass.com/jam_sessions/:

NEW! Mondays at 7 pm - Level 2 - "First 4 Songs Slow" Jam Session
- every Monday from 7 - 8:30 pm (for ALL instruments)
- repertoire: Old Joe Clark, I am a Pilgrim, Red Haired Boy and Nine Pound Hammer
- average tempos: starting at 65 cpm (slow)

Wednesdays at 7 pm - Level 4 - "First 4 Songs Fast" Jam Session
- every Wednesday from 7 - 8:30 pm (for ALL instruments)
- repertoire: Old Joe Clark, I am a Pilgrim, Red Haired Boy and Nine Pound Hammer
- average tempos starting at roughly 75 cpm (slow) and up to 100+ cpm

Wednesdays at 8:30 pm - Level 5 - "Songs 5-10 Fast" Jam Session
- most Wednesdays from 8:30 - 10 pm (for ALL instruments)
- repertoire: Billy in the Lowground, Fireball Mail, Whiskey Before Breakfast,
Wayfaring Stranger, Blackberry Blossom and Gold Rush
- average tempos starting at roughly 75 cpm (slow) and up to 100+ cpm

Thursdays at 7 pm - Level 3 - "First 4 Songs Medium" Jam Session
- every Thursday from 7 - 8:30 pm (for ALL instruments)
- repertoire: Old Joe Clark, I am a Pilgrim, Red Haired Boy, Nine Pound Hammer
- average tempos: starting at roughly 70 cpm (slow)

Space is limited in the jam sessions; see below for further details, and e-mail me at tonywatt@gmail.com if you're interested in joining us or have any questions whatsoever.

UPCOMING SHOWS

Southeast Expressway at Cathedral of the Pines on Sunday, July 13th -- Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge, NH is having it's first-ever single-day bluegrass festival called Bluegrass at the Pines. We are extremely excited about this show because our good friend, and Laura's former band-mate, Eric Troutman is driving up from central PA (where he lives and plays in Danny Paisley's band) to sit in with us. Eric is one of the best young singers and bass players in all of bluegrass, and we're really psyched to have him join us. The show starts at noon on Sunday, July 13th and I think we're playing at 3 and 7 pm. Here's the description of the event:

Please join us for a family day of fun with music, food, and activities. Jammers welcome! Bring your instruments, join your friends, make new friends jamming under the pines! Bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic whether you bring your own or purchase something from the grill. While you relax and enjoy the music we will have face painting, games, and kite flying for the kids. Admission is $25 per person in advance, $30 day of purchase. Please contact us at 603-899-3300 or laurie@cathedralofthepines.org to purchase tickets or for more information. Bands will be Hot Mustard, Tony Watt & Southeast Expressway, Bump Road Band, and The Moonlight Ramblers.

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

I am extremely excited to announce that The Bluegrass University will be offering a set of six FREE two-hour, hands-on classes on Thursday, July 17th at The Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in Oak Hill, NY (www.greyfoxbluegrass.com). These classes will be led by an all-star line-up of teachers including Lauren Rioux (fiddle), Ira Gitlin (banjo), Chris Moore (mandolin), Stash Wyslouch (guitar), and me teaching two separate classes: bluegrass jamming (at 11 am) and harmony singing (at 3 pm).

Grey Fox’s Bluegrass University classes are designed for beginners, or those looking for a review of the fundamentals. These hands-on classes are free of charge; just bring an instrument, a chair, and be ready to learn! All six classes will be held at either the Slow Jam Tent or the Grass Roots Tent between 11 am and 5 pm on Thursday, July 17th. Please visit www.greyfoxbluegrass.com/ws/pages/stages-greyfoxuniversity.php for the complete schedule.

UPCOMING CLASSES

(1) Advanced Repertoire Building for All Instruments

This class is intended for those who already know how to solo on at least a few fiddle tunes and know how to construct breaks to vocal tunes. Specifically, this class is designed for those who attend the 7 pm Wednesday "First 4 Songs Fast" jams, or are comfortable playing similar tunes at similar tempos. In this course we will cover new songs, soloing ideas, licks, etc. and learn from each other's solos as well. We will work on both instrumentals and vocals that we can hopefully add to our weekly Wednesday repertoire, but in an added twist, I'm going to poll the class beforehand and find out which songs they would like to work on as part of the class!

Advanced Repertoire Building for All Instruments
- Every other Wednesday from 8:30 until 9:45 pm
- for those who know how to construct their own solos
- classes held in Cambridge, MA 02140 near the Arlington border
- four 75-minute classes, held every other Wednesday from 8:30 until 9:45 pm
- class meets on July 9th and 23rd, and August 6th and 20th
- $85 for five hours of class time

(2) Beginning Bluegrass Lead Flatpicking Guitar

This class is intended for those who are new to playing bluegrass lead guitar, or who have been frustrated trying to learn to play lead before. In this course we'll learn how to read tablature (tab), how to play fiddle tunes and take breaks on vocal tunes (including carter style, crosspicking, and single-string soloing), and get an introduction to improvisation. The primary focus will be on developing fundamental lead guitar skills, as well as helping students improve their practice and self-directed learning. You don't need to have previous experience playing any style of guitar, or know how to read music.

Beginning Bluegrass Lead Flatpicking Guitar
- Mondays from 8:30 until 9:45 pm
- for those who are new to lead bluegrass guitar or want a review of the basics
- classes held in Cambridge, MA 02140 near the Arlington border
- six 75-minute classes, held every Monday from 8:30 until 9:45 pm
- class meets on July 14th, 21st and 28th, and August 4th, 11th and 18th
- includes a corresponding book and companion CD
- $135 for BBU members ($145 for non-members)

(3) Bluegrass Band Ensemble Class

Have you ever wondered why some bands sound so good when compared to some jams? Well of course it's partially due to the rehearsal time some bands spend working on music together, but it's usually a lot more than that. And what do bands work on when they get together to rehearse that makes them sound so good? In this class we'll explore some of the aspects that make bluegrass in a band setting different from bluegrass in a jam setting. We'll cover a wide variety of ways to arrange a song, from instrumental licks to vocal tricks, and then we'll be putting that knowledge to good use.

We will be limiting the class to between 8 and 12 people, and we will be trying to get a mixture of as many bluegrass instruments as possible. Starting in our first class we will be splitting up the class in to two separate bands that will remain together for the entire course. These two bands will then work each week to create and learn arrangements to a limited repertoire of songs that they will perform at the completion of the course.

In this class we will spend time listening to classic bluegrass recordings, studying arrangements of well-known bluegrass songs, and then applying the concepts we learn to our two in-class bands. The bands will have time to rehearse together as part of the class time, and will perform for each other as the course progresses. At the end of the class we will culminate our work with at least one performance, which all students must be able to attend.

There are no prerequisite songs, and you don't need to be able to read music or play lead. The Bluegrass Band Ensemble Class is open to all instruments, all levels - both rhythm and lead players - but it is geared towards those who are comfortable singing and/or taking solos. To help us better split up the class, please let me know if you play more than one instrument (and if so what your primary instrument is), and if you sing lead and/or any harmony lines (and which ones). If we are short on bass players, I will be available to quickly train a non-bass player to play acoustic-electric (or full-electric) bass.

Bluegrass Band Ensemble Class
- Tuesdays from 7 until 9:30 pm
- classes held in Cambridge, MA 02140 near the Arlington border
- six classes held every Tuesday from 7 until 9:30 pm
- July 8th, 15th, 22nd and 29th, and August 5th and 12th
- you are expected to attend nearly all classes but can miss one or two
- but you must be able to attend the performance:
- Tuesday, August 19th at 8 pm at The Cantab Lounge in Central Sq.
- $145 tuition which includes 15 hours of class time

 

April 15th, 2014

First of all, thanks to everybody who attended Mando Camp North/Fiddle Camp North this past weekend; it was such a blast, and an honor to be a part of such an intense learning experience. For those of you that couldn't make it this time, I highly recommend it for next year, and in the mean time check out Banjo Camp North in May, and Banjo Camp North - Fall Edition in September (all of which can be found on-line at www.mugwumps.com).

Secondly, for those of you that have been kind enough to come out and watch my Third Tuesday Jams at The Cantab, please note that there will be not a jam tonight as originally scheduled. Instead, the opener will be my former roommate and band-mate, Sam Stambler with his band The Damn Ramblers. Later this month please join us at The Cantab on Tuesday, April 29th: the two bands that Laura and I have been working with this spring in the Bluegrass Band Ensemble Class will be playing at 8:30 pm, opening for my Dad's band True Life Bluegrass (in which I play mandolin and guitar). And all three bands (the two new bands and True Life Bluegrass) will be playing our biggest show of the spring in Marlborough on Saturday, May 10th (details below).

Additionally, the Boston Bluegrass Union (BBU) will be hosting it's Spring Jam'n Weekend is coming up in less than two weeks. This event is incredibly reasonably priced for all of the instruction and jamming you can do in a weekend. A summary of the event is included below and you can get complete details, including the recently published schedule, at www.bbu.org/events/jamn-weekend/. Furthermore, I'm on the committee that organizes the Jam'n Weekends, so if you have any questions/comments/etc. please feel free to let me know.

Finally as a reminder, although I haven't been able to offer some of my basic classes lately (such as beginning mandolin or guitar), I am hoping to offer another round of Harmony Singing, Ear Training or possibly even the Band Ensemble Class later this spring (in May and June). At this point it looks like Thursday evenings starting at 8:30 or every other Tuesday will be the only possible time slots. If anybody is interested in attending such a class, please let me know which you'd prefer. And of course, if you don't see a class listed that you'd be interested in taking, please e-mail me at tonywatt@gmail.com

THIS WEEK'S JAM SESSIONS


Here is a listing of this week's jams, and more details can be found at the bottom of this e-mail, and on-line at www.tonywattbluegrass.com/jam_sessions/:

Wednesday - Level 4 - Intermediate Jam Session
- every Wednesday from 7 - 8:30 pm (for ALL instruments)
- repertoire: Old Joe Clark, I am a Pilgrim, Red Haired Boy, Nine Pound Hammer
- average tempos starting at 70 to 75 cpm (slow) and up to 100+ cpm

Wednesday - Level 5 - Int/Adv Jam Session
- every Wednesday from 8:30 - 10 pm (for ALL instruments)
- repertoire: Billy in the Lowground, Fireball Mail, Whiskey Before Breakfast, Wayfaring Stranger, Blackberry Blossom, Gold Rush
- average tempos starting at 70 to 75 cpm (slow) and up to 100+ cpm

Thursday - Level 2 - Beginner Jam Session
- every Thursday from 7 - 8:30 pm (for ALL instruments)
- repertoire: Old Joe Clark, I am a Pilgrim, Red Haired Boy, Nine Pound Hammer
- average tempos: starting at 60 to 65 cpm (slow)

Space is limited in the jam sessions, so please e-mail me at tonywatt@gmail.com if you're interested or have any questions.

 

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS & CAMPS

Spring Jam'n Weekend in Concord, MA from April 25th through 27th -- After two highly-successful BBU Jam'n Weekends at the historic Colonial Inn in Concord, MA, the BBU is hosting the first-ever Spring Jam'n Weekend. Just like the first two events, Spring Jam'n Weekend is an indoor "non-festival" where you can jam all weekend long or attend instructor-led jams and free workshops (with your paid registration). Spring Jam'n Weekend will be held April 25th - 27th, but the early-bird room discount at The Colonial ends on March 25th. I will be teaching multiple workshops and probably hosting jams, but I don't know the exact schedule yet. For updates please visit www.bbu.org/events/jamn-weekend/, and if you have any questions please e-mail me directly.

 

UPCOMING SHOWS

Southeast Expressway at John Harvard's on Thursday, April 24th -- My band, Southeast Expressway, will be returning to John Harvard's Brewery & Ale House in Harvard Sq. in Cambridge on Thursday, April 24th. We'll be playing from 9:30 until 11:30 pm, and it looks like opening for us will be Men in the Kitchen, one of the bands from our first round of band classes. There's no ticket cost for this show, so come on down and show your support. John Harvard's is located at 33 Dunster St. in the heart of Harvard Sq., and you can find them on-line at www.johnharvards.com/locations/cambridge-ma

True Life Bluegrass at The Cantab on Tuesday, April 29th -- My Dad's band, True Life Bluegrass, in which I play mandolin and guitar, will be playing the feature slot at The Cantab on Tuesday, April 29th. Opening for us will be the two new student bands that Laura and I have been working with this spring as part of our Bluegrass Band Ensemble class. Those folks will start at 8:30 pm and True Life Bluegrass goes on at 10. The Cantab Lounge is located in Central Sq. in Cambridge, and you can find more details at http://cantab-lounge.com/public_html/cantab_calendar.html

True Life Bluegrass in Marlborough, MA on Saturday, May 10th -- My Dad's band, True Life Bluegrass, in which I play mandolin and guitar, will be playing our biggest show of the spring as part of the Second Saturday Night Marlborough Music Series at the First Congregational Church (37 High St.) in Marlborough. We're really excited to hear the two bands who will be opening for us: the two new student bands that Laura and I have been working with this spring as part of our Bluegrass Band Ensemble class. Doors open at 7 pm, and the show starts at 8. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 Students with ID. The show is sponsored by The Coffee Loft, and they will have snacks and drinks for sale at the concert. Please check them out at 406 Lincoln Street in Marlborough, and for more information on the show call 617-548-0433.

UPCOMING CLASSES

Beginning Bluegrass Lead Flatpicking Guitar at Lexington Community Education -- Starting on Friday, May 2nd I will be teaching a five-session guitar course at Lexington Community Education held in the Lexington High School. The Beginning Bluegrass Lead Flatpicking Guitar class will meet from 6:30 until 8 pm on May 2nd, 9th, 23rd and 30th, and June 6th (with a make-up date of June 20th if necessary). This class is intended for those who have never played bluegrass lead guitar before, or who have been frustrated trying to learn before. In this course we'll learn how to read tablature (tab), how to play fiddle tunes and take breaks on vocal tunes (including carter style, crosspicking, and single-string soloing), and get an introduction to improvisation. Students do not need to have previous experience playing any style of lead guitar, or know how to read music. The cost is $75 ($60 for seniors), and further details can be found at http://www.lexingtoncommunityed.org/detail.php?q=MGUI

Beginning Bluegrass Jamming (for all Bluegrass instruments) at Lexington Community Education -- Starting on Friday, May 2nd I will be teaching a five-session bluegrass jamming course at Lexington Community Education held in the Lexington High School. The Beginning Bluegrass Jamming (for all Bluegrass instruments) will meet from 8 until 9:30 pm on May 2nd, 9th, 23rd and 30th, and June 6th (with a make-up date of June 20th if necessary). This class is geared towards beginner and intermediate musicians who are interested in learning how to play with other people. We will focus on the basics of bluegrass jamming such as keeping time, non-verbal communication and jam etiquette. There are no prerequisite songs, and you don't need to be able to play leads on your instrument, sing, or read music, but you should be able to play melodies and/or backup parts (i.e. guitarists should be able to switch between chords comfortably). The cost is $75 ($60 for seniors), and further details can be found at http://www.lexingtoncommunityed.org/detail.php?q=MBLU

Beginning Bluegrass Mandolin: Rhythm & Lead at Passim School of Music -- Starting on Monday, May 12th I will be teaching a six-session mandolin course at Club Passim's School of Music in Harvard Square. The Beginning Bluegrass Mandolin: Rhythm & Lead class will meet from 6:30 until 7:45 pm from May 12th through June 23rd with no class on Memorial Day (Monday, May 26th). This class is intended for those who have never played bluegrass mandolin before, or who have been frustrated trying to learn before. In this class we will learn the basics of bluegrass mandolin, both rhythm and lead, and students do not need to have previous experience playing (or even listening to) bluegrass, or be able to read music. The cost is $120 for Passim members ($140 for non-members), and further details can be found athttp://www.passim.org/school/beginning-bluegrass-mandolin-rhythm-lead-tony-watt

Intermediate Bluegrass Mandolin: Beyond the Basics at Passim School of Music -- Starting on Monday, May 12th I will be teaching a six-session mandolin course at Club Passim's School of Music in Harvard Square. The Intermediate Bluegrass Mandolin: Beyond the Basics class will meet from 8 until 9:15 pm from May 12th through June 23rd with no class on Memorial Day (Monday, May 26th). This class is intended for those who already know how to solo on at least one fiddle tune and know how to construct breaks to vocal tunes. In this course we will learn both instrumental and vocal tunes, soloing ideas, licks, etc, however unlike the beginner class this class will be driven by what the students want to learn. There are no prerequisite songs, and you don't need to be able to read music. The cost is $120 for Passim members ($140 for non-members), and further details can be found at http://www.passim.org/school/intermediate-bluegrass-mandolin-beyond-basics-tony-watt

 

February 19th, 2014

Wow, what an awesome festival weekend! That was probably my favorite Joe Val ever, although all of them have been pretty amazing. Thanks to everybody who attended my Fast Track class, came to see The Gather Rounders, sat in on my guitar workshop, or just said hi. If you couldn't make it this year, please mark your calendars for next year's Joe Val: President's Day Weekend in Framingham, February 13 - 15, 2015. As I've said before, Joe Val is far, far and away the best thing going in bluegrass in the entire northeast for five months before and five months after. And despite multiple snow storms, the festival was still completely packed with non-stop jamming from Thursday night through Monday morning.

This week I am announcing a wide variety of new classes; take a look at the classes I have scheduled below and if you don't see something you're interested in, please let me know.

 

UPCOMING CLASSES

Wernick Method Bluegrass Jamming Class starting Saturday, March 1st -- This spring I am offering my Bluegrass Jamming Class using the Pete Wernick Method starting on Saturday, March 1st from 2 pm until 4:15. This class is open to all instruments, and all levels, and the only requirement is that you're able to switch between G, C, D and A smoothly. Pete's method is helpful for both beginners and more experienced jammers, and the class covers a variety of skills that I don't normally teach in my other jams and classes. Please let me know if you have any questions whatsoever, and you can get more details (and sign up on-line if you're interested) by visiting www.drbanjo.com/classes/2014-03-tony-watt-cambridge.php

Beginning Bluegrass Harmony Singing -- Mondays at 7 pm
- for those who want to learn how to determine and sing harmonies
- classes held in Cambridge, MA 02140
- 2.5 hour first class followed by four hour-long classes on Mondays (weekly)
- March 3rd (2.5-hour class) and March 10th, 17th, 24th & 31st (hour-long)
- from 7 until 8 pm (except for March 3rd which is from 7 until 9:30 pm)
- tuition includes a corresponding book and companion CD
- course description below

Bluegrass Band Ensemble Class -- Mondays at 8 pm
- classes held in Cambridge, MA 02140
- nine classes held every Monday from 8 until 10 pm
- March 10th, 17th, 24th & 31st, April 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th, May 5th
- you are expected to attend nearly all classes but can miss one or two
- you must be able to attend both performances:
- Tuesday, April 29th at 8 pm at The Cantab Lounge in Central Sq.
- Saturday, May 10th concert TBD (possibly Marlborough)
- tuition includes 18 hours of class time
- course description below

Beginning Bluegrass Mandolin: Rhythm & Lead -- Thursdays at 8:30 pm
- for those who are new to playing mandolin or want a review of the basics
- classes held in Cambridge, MA 02140
- five 90-minute classes, mostly every other Thursday from 8:30 until 10 pm
- March 6th and 20th, April 3rd, 17th and 24th (last two classes are back-to-back)
- held immediately after the weekly Thursday Beginner Jam which starts at 7 pm
- tution includes a corresponding book and companion CD
- course description available at www.tonywattbluegrass.com/classes/

Beginning Bluegrass Lead Flatpicking Guitar -- Tuesdays at 7 pm
- for those who are new to lead bluegrass guitar or want a review of the basics
- classes held in Cambridge, MA 02140
- four two-hour classes, held every other Tuesday from 7 until 9 pm
- class meets on March 11th and 25th, April 8th and 22nd
- tuition includes a corresponding book and companion CD
- course description available at www.tonywattbluegrass.com/classes/

 

Beginning Bluegrass Harmony Singing

Once again I will be co-teaching the Beginning Bluegrass Harmony Singing class with the fiddle player from my band, Laura Orshaw. Laura and I will be focusing the class on two core skills: learning how to determine harmonies, and learning to teach yourself to sing harmonies using your instrument as a guide. We will focus on a handful of common bluegrass vocal tunes, and there will be homework each week including both singing and determining harmonies.

There are no prerequisite songs, and you don't need to be able to read music or play lead. The Harmony Singing class is open to all instruments, all levels - both rhythm and lead players - but it is geared towards those who have trouble finding harmonies on their instrument and/or with their voice. You will need to bring an instrument with you to class each week, and although it's not required, I recommend you familiarize yourself with the G Major scale in the first position of your instrument.


Bluegrass Band Ensemble Class

Have you ever wondered why some bands sound so good when compared to some jams? Well of course it's partially due to the rehearsal time some bands spend working on music together, but it's usually a lot more than that. And what do bands work on when they get together to rehearse that makes them sound so good? In this class we'll explore some of the aspects that make bluegrass in a band setting different from bluegrass in a jam setting. We'll cover a wide variety of ways to arrange a song, from instrumental licks to vocal tricks, and then we'll be putting that knowledge to good use...

We will be limiting the class to between 8 and 12 people, and we will be trying to get a mixture of as many bluegrass instruments as possible. Starting in our first class we will be splitting up the class in to two separate bands that will remain together for the entire course. These two bands will then work each week to create and learn arrangements to a limited repertoire of songs that they will perform at the completion of the course.

In this class we will spend time listening to classic bluegrass recordings, studying arrangements of well-known bluegrass songs, and then applying the concepts we learn to our two in-class bands. The bands will have time to rehearse together as part of the class time with Laura and me there to help facilitate, and will perform for each other as the course progresses. At the end of the class we will culminate our work with two performances, which all students must be able to attend.

There are no prerequisite songs, and you don't need to be able to read music or play lead. The Bluegrass Band Class is open to all instruments, all levels - both rhythm and lead players - but it is geared towards those who are comfortable singing and/or taking solos. To help us better split up the class, please let us know if you play more than one instrument (and if so what your primary instrument is), and if you sing lead and/or any harmony lines (and which ones). If we are short on bass players, I will be available to quickly train a guitar or mandolin player to play acoustic-electric (or full-electric) bass.

 

UPCOMING SHOWS

Southeast Expressway at The Blue Moon Coffee House in Rockland, MA on Saturday, March 8th -- We are excited to play our first show at The Blue Moon Coffee House in Rockland, MA (www.thebluemooncoffeehouse.com) on Saturday, March 8th. The Blue Moon Coffee House is held within the Channing Unitarian Universalist Church, located at 45 Webster St. in Rockland, 02370. Although we've never played there, by all accounts it's a beautiful space with great acoustics. The show begins at 7:30 pm, and tickets are $7 at the door (children under 12 are free). There's even an Open Mic where you can perform a song or two between our two sets! For further details, call 781-760-5325, or 781-878-0650 on the night of the show.

 

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS & CAMPS

Mando Camp North in Charlton, MA from April 11th through 13th -- Once again this year I am very excited to be teaching at Mando Camp North (MCN), which is held concurrently with Fiddle Camp North (FCN). MCN & FCN are held in Charlton, MA (near Sturbridge, just an hour from Boston) over the weekend of April 11th through 13th. They have a large and talented line-up of teachers, and feature classes, concerts and jamming throughout the weekend. The camp includes a wide variety of styles of music (with a focus on bluegrass), and they also have guitar and banjo instructors on hand. They offer Master Classes with individual feedback, a Beginners' Track for those who are just getting started, and just about everything in between. Please visit their website (www.mugwumps.com/mcn.html), and let them know I sent you!

 

January 28th, 2014

I will be out of town on Thursday, so I'm trying something a little different for this week only: the Beginner Jam is going to be on Wednesday at 7 pm, and the Intermediate Jam will follow at 8:30 (meaning we'll play songs beyond the first handful). Also I'm now planning for classes starting shortly after Joe Val (in mid- to late-February). Please read the section below about class voting and let me know what looks good to you.


THIS WEEK'S JAM SESSIONS

Here is a listing of this week's jams, and more details can be found at the bottom of this e-mail, and on-line at www.tonywattbluegrass.com/jam_sessions/:

Wednesday - Level 2 - Beginner Jam Session
- this Wednesday (ONLY) from 7 - 8:30 pm (for ALL instruments)
- repertoire: Old Joe Clark, I am a Pilgrim, Red Haired Boy, Nine Pound Hammer
- average tempos: starting at 60 to 65 cpm (slow)

Wednesday - Level 4 - Intermediate Jam Session
- this Wednesday (ONLY) from 8:30 - 10 pm (for ALL instruments)
- repertoire (ROTATING): Billy in the Lowground, Fireball Mail, Whiskey Before Breakfast, Wayfaring Stranger, Blackberry Blossom, Gold Rush
- average tempos starting at 70 to 75 cpm (slow) and up to 100+ cpm

Space is limited in the jam sessions, so please e-mail me at tonywatt@gmail.com if you're interested or have any questions.


UPCOMING SHOWS

Southeast Expressway in Marlborough, MA on Saturday, February 8th -- We will be playing our biggest show of the winter as part of the Second Saturday Night Marlborough Music Series at the First Congregational Church (37 High St.) in Marlborough. We're really excited to hear the two bands who will be opening for us: Men in the Kitchen and Keep Your Day Job. These are two new student bands that we have been working with for the past three months as part of our on-going Bluegrass Band Class. Doors open at 7 pm, and the show starts at 8. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 Students with ID. The show is sponsored by The Coffee Loft, and they will have snacks and drinks for sale at the concert. Please check them out at 406 Lincoln Street in Marlborough, and for more information on the show call 617-548-0433.

The Gather Rounders at the Joe Val Showcase Stage on Saturday, February 15th at 6:45 pm -- Lately I've been playing with a new band named The Gather Rounders, which is spread out between Boston and Portland, ME. The band consists of some of the most talented musicians in New England: Lincoln Meyers (one of my musical heroes and my former guitar teacher), Laura Orshaw (fiddle), Ron Cody (banjo), Wendy Cody (bass), and me on mandolin. This will be our debut performance for most of the New England bluegrass scene, and if you're at Joe Val I hope you'll join us.

3rd Tuesday Jam at The Cantab on Tuesday, February 18th at 8 pm -- Next month I'm hosting my 3rd (formerly 4th) Tuesday Jam at The Cantab in Central Sq. in Cambridge. These monthly jams are meant to bring some of the most talented young pickers and singers to the stage at The Cantab for an informal jam at a reasonable hour. We'll be jamming tomorrow night from 8 until 9:30 pm, and I've got some awesome folks lined up to play... but you'll have to come down to find out who! The Cantab Lounge is located in Central Sq. in Cambridge, and you can find more details at http://cantab-lounge.com/public_html/cantab_calendar.html


UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

Bluegrass Jamming: Basics and Beyond Fast Track Class at Joe Val -- On Friday, February 14th I will be offering an all day workshop all about bluegrass jamming as part of the BBU's Joe Val Bluegrass Festival (detailed description below). The festival is held each year over Presidents' Day weekend in Framingham, and you can find out more about it at www.bbu.org/events/joe-val-festival/. The class runs from 11 am until 1 pm, and 2 until 4 pm, and while it's geared towards beginners, I'll also be answering some of the most mystifying questions of bluegrass jammers. If you've been curious about the Wernick Method class or jamming in general, this workshop will cover a wider variety of strategies to improve your jamming. Until February 1st tuition is $60 for BBU members ($65 for non-members), and further details are listed below and on-line at www.bbu.org/events/joe-val-festival/fast-track-classes/. The class size is limited, so please e-mail me at tonywatt@gmail.com if you are interested or have any questions.

Bluegrass Jamming: Basics and Beyond Fast Track Class at Joe Val

Have you ever wanted to join one of the many jams at Joe Val but feel you don’t have the skills or experience necessary? Get on the Fast Track to Bluegrass Jamming with instructor Tony Watt, who will teach you everything you need to know to get started, and answer some of the most mystifying questions of bluegrass jammers. Perhaps most importantly, you’ll get the experience and confidence needed to jam with others by joining a group of people all focused on the same goal.

The Bluegrass Jamming: Basics and Beyond Fast Track Class is open to all bluegrass instruments, both rhythm players (backup) and lead players (soloing). The workshop is open to all levels, but is geared towards beginner and intermediate musicians who are new to playing with others, or who have been frustrated trying to jam before. There are no prerequisite songs, and you don’t need to be able to play leads on your instrument, read music, or sing. Students should be able to either play melodies and/or backup parts (for example mandolin, guitar and banjo players should be able to switch between G, C, D and A smoothly).

We will focus on the basics of bluegrass jamming and then explore the intricacies such as keeping time, non-verbal communication and jam etiquette. The primary goal is to provide the students with the skills and experience needed to participate in bluegrass jams at all levels. Students should bring a playable instrument as well as picks, capo (where applicable), strap and electronic tuner. Advanced beginner and intermediate students should try to prepare a song to play and/or sing with the group, although this is not a requirement.


UPCOMING CLASSES

Wernick Method Bluegrass Jamming Class starting in March -- This spring I am offering my Bluegrass Jamming Class using the Pete Wernick Method starting on Saturday, March 1st from 2 pm until 4:15. This class is open to all instruments, and all levels, and the only requirement is that you're able to switch between G, C, D and A smoothly. Pete's method is helpful for both beginners and more experienced jammers, and the class covers a variety of skills that I don't normally teach in my other jams and classes. Please let me know if you have any questions whatsoever, and you can get more details (and sign up on-line if you're interested) by visiting www.drbanjo.com/classes/2014-03-tony-watt-cambridge.php


CLASS VOTING

This winter I hope to offer a variety of classes and jams starting as early as mid- to late-February. Below is a list of potential classes I could offer (and some course descriptions can be found at http://tonywattbluegrass.com/classes/):

1. Beginning Bluegrass Harmony Singing
2. Bluegrass Band Ensemble Class
3. Beginning Bluegrass Mandolin: Rhythm & Lead
4. Bluegrass Mandolin: Beyond the Basics
5. Beginning Bluegrass Lead Flatpicking Guitar
6. Bluegrass Rhythm Guitar: Basics and Beyond

and here are some available time slots:

A. Mondays from 7 until 8 or 8:30 pm (either weekly or bi-weekly)
B. Mondays from 8 or 8:30 until 9:30 or 10 pm (either weekly or bi-weekly)
C. roughly every other Tuesday from 7 until 8 or 8:30 pm
D. roughly every other Tuesday from 8 until 9:30 pm
E. Wednesdays from 8:30 until 10 pm (either weekly or bi-weekly)
F. Thursdays from 8:30 until 10 pm (either weekly or bi-weekly)
G. Friday or Sunday evenings, Saturdays anytime

Classes often include a corresponding book and companion CD. Also, please remember that I offer substantial discounts for students who are interested in retaking classes they have taken before, or classes covering similar material. Enrollment in any course includes a year-long BBU membership (a $15 value for only $10), therefore you should not sign up for BBU membership prior to enrolling in classes.

Please let me know if you're interested in any of these classes, and if so, which day(s)/time(s) would potentially work best for you. Please note that your reply does not constitute a commitment on your part to attend a particular class, but instead is just a way to increase the chances that you might be able to attend a class that you're interested in. If you don't see a class listed that you'd be interested in taking, or if you have any other questions, please e-mail me at tonywatt@gmail.com.

 

October 7th, 2013

There is still room for more singers in the Beginning Bluegrass Harmony Singing Class that I am co-teaching with the fiddle player from my band, Laura Orshaw. The class is scheduled to start this Thursday, October 10th at 7 pm in Cambridge (near where Rt. 2 hits Cambridge at the Alewife T station). Furthermore, my Wernick Method Jamming Class has been postponed until Saturday, October 19th, and there is still room in that class as well. Complete class details are included below, and of course if you have any questions please let me know.

Beginning Bluegrass Harmony Singing Class
- for those who want to learn how to determine and sing harmonies
- co-taught with the fiddle player from my band, Laura Orshaw
- classes held near the Alewife T Station in Cambridge, MA 02140
- two-hour first class followed by 4 classes each one hour long
- various Thursdays from 7-8 pm (except Oct. 10th from 7-9 pm)
- October 10th (7-9 pm) and 17th, and November 7th, 14th and 21st
- corresponding book and companion CD included with $145 tuition

Wernick Method Bluegrass Jamming Class
- all instruments, all levels, for those who want to improve their jamming
- classes held near the Alewife T Station in Cambridge, MA 02140
- various Saturdays from 2 until 4:15 pm, starting Saturday, October 19th
- October 19th, November 9th, 16th and 23rd, and December 7th and 14th
- 6 two hour and fifteen minute classes (13.5 hours total) for $145 tuition
- visit http://www.drbanjo.com/classes/2013-10-tony-watt-cambridge.php

Below are details of both classes, and if you have any questions whatsoever, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Thanks so much!

BEGINNING BLUEGRASS HARMONY SINGING CLASS

Once again I will be co-teaching a Beginning Bluegrass Harmony Singing class with the fiddle player from my band, Laura Orshaw. Our Beginning Bluegrass Harmony Singing class is open to all instruments, all levels - both rhythm and lead players - and it is geared towards those who have trouble finding harmonies with their voice and/or on their instrument. Laura and I will teaching two core skills: learning how to determine harmonies, and learning to sing harmonies using your instrument as a guide. We will focus on a handful of common bluegrass vocal songs, and there will be homework each week including both singing and determining harmonies.

There are no prerequisite songs, and you don't need to be able to read music or play lead. You should plan to bring an instrument with you to class each week, and although it's not required, I recommend you familiarize yourself with the G Major scale in the first position of your instrument (which we can help you with beforehand if needed).

The class will meet in Cambridge, MA on Thursdays for five weeks (on October 10th and 17th, and November 7th, 14th and 21st) from 7 until 8 pm except for the first class which will meet from 7 until 9 pm (for a total of six hours of class time). The cost of the class is $145, which includes a corresponding book and companion CD. The class is limited to 11 students, and when we offered it this spring it filled up in less than a day, so please let me know as soon as possible if you'd like to join us.

The Beginning Bluegrass Harmony Singing Class will be held a half mile from where Rt. 2 hits Cambridge at the Alewife T station. This location is one block from the intersection of Rt. 16 and Mass. Ave., near the Cambridge/Arlington border. There is plenty of meter-free, permit-free parking, and it is also only a 10 minute walk from Alewife and 15 minutes from Davis Sq. See above for a summary of the class details.

WERNICK METHOD BLUEGRASS JAMMING CLASS

I am also offering a Wernick Method Bluegrass Jamming Class in Cambridge for six Saturday afternoons this fall from 2 until 4:15 pm. This class is open to all instruments and all levels, and the only requirements are that (1) you are able to tune your instrument, and (2) you can change smoothly between G, C, D, and A chords (fiddle and bass players need to know which notes work with which chords). Fast playing and soloing are not expected; we will guide you on how to participate in slow and easy jams, including how to fake basic solos, follow new songs, etc. Pete's method is helpful for both beginners and more experienced jammers, and the class will cover a variety of skills that I don't normally teach in my other jams and classes.

The Wernick Method Jamming Class will meet in Cambridge on various Saturdays from 2 pm until 4:15. The class will meet on October 19th, November 9th, 16th and 23rd, and December 7th and 14th. The cost is $145 for 6 two hour and fifteen minute sessions (13.5 hours total). Please let me know if you have any questions whatsoever, and you can get more details (and sign up on-line if you're interested) by visiting http://www.drbanjo.com/classes/2013-10-tony-watt-cambridge.php

The Wernick Method Jamming Class will be held a half mile from where Rt. 2 hits Cambridge at the Alewife T station. This location is one block from the intersection of Rt. 16 and Mass. Ave., near the Cambridge/Arlington border. There is plenty of meter-free, permit-free parking, and it is also only a 10 minute walk from Alewife and 15 minutes from Davis Sq. See above for a summary of the class details.

 

September 19th, 2013

I'm excited to be offering two special classes this fall in Cambridge, MA:


Beginning Bluegrass Harmony Singing Class
  -  for those who want to learn how to determine and sing harmonies
  -  co-taught with the fiddle player from my band, Laura Orshaw
  -  classes held near the Alewife T Station in Cambridge, MA 02140
  -  two-hour first class followed by 4 classes each one hour long
  -  various Thursdays from 7-8 pm (except Oct. 10th from 7-9 pm)
  -  October 10th (7-9 pm) and 17th, and November 7th, 14th and 21st
  -  corresponding book and companion CD included with $145 tuition

Wernick Method Bluegrass Jamming Class
  -  for players of all instruments, all levels who want to improve their jamming
  -  classes held near the Alewife T Station in Cambridge, MA 02140
  -  various Saturdays from 2 until 4:15 pm, starting Saturday, October 5th
  -  October 5th and 19th, November 9th, 16th and 23rd, and December 7th
  -  6 two hour and fifteen minute classes (13.5 hours total) for $145 tuition
  -  visit http://www.drbanjo.com/classes/2013-10-tony-watt-cambridge.php for details

Below are details of both classes, and if you have any questions
whatsoever, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Thanks so much!


BEGINNING BLUEGRASS HARMONY SINGING CLASS

Once again I will be co-teaching a Beginning Bluegrass Harmony Singing class with the fiddle player from my band, Laura Orshaw. Our Beginning Bluegrass Harmony Singing class is open to all instruments, all levels - both rhythm and lead players - and it is geared towards those who have trouble finding harmonies with their voice and/or on their instrument. Laura and I will teaching two core skills: learning how to determine harmonies, and learning to sing harmonies using your instrument as a guide. We will focus on a handful of common bluegrass vocal songs, and there will be homework each week including both singing and determining harmonies.

There are no prerequisite songs, and you don't need to be able to read music or play lead. You should plan to bring an instrument with you to class each week, and although it's not required, I recommend you familiarize yourself with the G Major scale in the first position of your instrument (which we can help you with beforehand if needed).

The class will meet in Cambridge, MA on Thursdays for five weeks (on October 10th and 17th, and November 7th, 14th and 21st) from 7 until 8 pm except for the first class which will meet from 7 until 9 pm (for a total of six hours of class time). The cost of the class is $145, which includes a corresponding book and companion CD. The class is limited to 11 students, and when we offered it this spring it filled up in less than a day, so please let me know as soon as possible if you'd like to join us.

The Beginning Bluegrass Harmony Singing Class will be held a half mile from where Rt. 2 hits Cambridge at the Alewife T station. This location is one block from the intersection of Rt. 16 and Mass. Ave., near the Cambridge/Arlington border. There is plenty of meter-free, permit-free parking, and it is also only a 10 minute walk from Alewife and 15 minutes from Davis Sq. See above for a summary of the class details.


WERNICK METHOD BLUEGRASS JAMMING CLASS

I am also offering a Wernick Method Bluegrass Jamming Class in Cambridge for six Saturday afternoons this fall from 2 until 4:15 pm. This class is open to all instruments and all levels, and the only requirements are that (1) you are able to tune your instrument, and (2) you can change smoothly between G, C, D, and A chords (fiddle and bass players need to know which notes work with which chords). Fast playing and soloing are not expected; we will guide you on how to participate in slow and easy jams, including how to fake basic solos, follow new songs, etc. Pete's method is helpful for both beginners and more experienced jammers, and the class will cover a variety of skills that I don't normally teach in my other jams and classes.

The Wernick Method Jamming Class will meet in Cambridge on various Saturdays from 2 pm until 4:15. The class will meet on October 5th and 19th, November 9th, 16th and 23rd, and December 7th. The cost is $145 for 6 two hour and fifteen minute sessions (13.5 hours total). Please let me know if you have any questions whatsoever, and you can get more details (and sign up on-line if you're interested) by visiting http://www.drbanjo.com/classes/2013-10-tony-watt-cambridge.php

The Wernick Method Jamming Class will be held a half mile from where Rt. 2 hits Cambridge at the Alewife T station. This location is one block from the intersection of Rt. 16 and Mass. Ave., near the Cambridge/Arlington border. There is plenty of meter-free, permit-free parking, and it is also only a 10 minute walk from Alewife and 15 minutes from Davis Sq. See above for a summary of the class details.