Oldtimer Guitar Retreat

Welcome to

The Oldtime Guitar Retreat

A weekend of workshops, concerts, jams, and plenty of opportunities to just get together and chat … all for guitar! Check out the awesome teachers we have lined up and sign up now.

April 9-11

100% oldtime. 100% online.

Jams

Meet & Greets

(Open to all registrants. Scroll down for full schedule.)

Workshops

SATURDAY, APRIL 10

Ali Kafka

Melody in the Bass Line: Learning from Maybelle Carter

Advanced

In this class we will look to the distinctive and influential playing of Maybelle Carter as an example of how melody lines and motifs can be expressed in bass lines. This should help inspire more creative expression in your old time guitar bass lines as well as show you an example of how to add beautifully simple decoration to your playing while singing songs.

Howard Rains

Howard Rains’ Approach to Oldtime Back-up Guitar

Intermediate

Howard will teach his personal approach to back-up guitar. Although his style is rooted in the midwestern back-up style, his approach is applicable to backing up all styles of American fiddling. He will discuss how he accompanies different regional styles, the importance of the boom-chuck and bass runs, as well as how to listen for the fiddler’s style and how make your playing fit within that style.

Wilhelmina Frankzerda

Innovative Song Accompaniment

Advanced


In this workshop you’ll learn how to take simple old songs and make them sound intricate and exciting using cross-picking techniques and thoughtful harmonies. First you’ll learn a song or two, and then work on different ways to accompany yourself while singing. The class will start out with basic rhythmic patterns and then dive deeper into cross-picking, moving baselines, and chord melodies.

Ben Smith

Chord Theory for Backup Guitar: Just the Basics Beginner

Ones and fives, tonics and roots??? Help! Knowing the absolute basics of chord theory can be really useful in playing oldtime backup guitar. It can help you understand the range of choices when picking chords to a new tune, following a fiddler’s wishes, and finding new bass-note choices.

In this workshop we will cover those basics focused solely on the chords and keys most commonly used in oldtime backup guitar.

SUNDAY, APRIL 11

Howard Rains

Midwestern Back-up Guitar and the Missouri Rules

Intermediate


Howard will teach the Missouri Rules (also known as the Old Time Accompaniment Pattern) in the common keys for fiddle tunes. He will teach how to apply the pattern and its subtle variations that can be determined by different tunes. Also, Howard will teach bass runs in each key and how to utilize the boom-chuck to give the fiddler a solid grounding for the tune or session.

Ali Kafka

Couples Counseling for Fiddler/Guitar: How to keep your Fiddler happy without boredom


All levels

Fiddler Henry Barnes and I will talk to you about what your fiddler REALLY wants out of your relationship. We will be discussing safe ways to spice up your duets so that you two can make sweet beautiful music together. Questions will be welcomed and all levels are sure to learn something.

Ben Smith

The Magic of Riley Puckett

Intermediate


Riley Puckett is one of the most interesting, early guitar players in the oldtime tradition, and one every backup guitar player should know. In this workshop we will take a deep dive into Riley Puckett’s playing on the song Sweet Sunny South. We will learn a chorus from Riley’s playing, break down exactly what he’s doing and why, and extract ideas and bass runs that can be applied to other tunes as well. We will listen to the track, look at the TAB of his playing, and pick it all apart to reveal the magic of Puckett’s guitar backup. If time allows we will then see how we can apply what we’ve learned to other tunes as well.

Wilhelmina Frankzerda

Flat-picking Chord Melodies


Intermediate

In this workshop, you’ll be working on flat-picking oldtime tunes with groove and ease. Flat-picking chord melodies is a great way to improve your skills and get to play tunes on your own. You’ll learn a tune or two using traditional flat-picking technique, and then explore how to play rhythm and melody at the same time.

All workshops will be recorded so you can access the videos from any workshop you’ve signed up for. Go back later to dig deeper into the material at your own speed and convenience.