Welcome to The Hoot! Oldtime Central’s first online festival with live 90-min Zoom workshops and livestream concerts in the evening. Check out the online workshops being offered below and sign up to learn from these great teachers.

July 24-26.

100% oldtime. 100% online.

(This event is not the same as the Summer Hoot at the Ashokan Center in August! If you’re looking for that event, head to http://hoot.love/)

The Hoot Workshops

Emily Schaad

Fiddle Tunes from Western North Carolina Saturday July 25, 12:00-1:30 EDT In this workshop Emily will share a couple of tunes from Marion Reece (Ashe County), Manco Sneed (Jackson/Graham), and Marcus Martin (Macon/Buncombe), and some brief history about them. We will focus on one tune and break it down for bowings and stylistic details.

Brad Kolodner 

Clawhammer Banjo: Beyond the Bum Ditty Saturday July 25, 2:00-3:30 EDT In this workshop Brad will explore the versatile nature of old-time banjo and go “beyond the bum-ditty.” Kolodner walks the line between the rhythmic and melodic styles of clawhammer banjo playing with an emphasis on pushing the boundaries of clawhammer. Tunes in a variety of tunings will be taught as vehicles for exploring an array of techniques and ideas including but not limited to drop-thumb, playing back up, bass lines, going up the neck, learning by ear, incorporating variations and achieving good tone. The workshop is geared towards intermediate and advanced players. Regardless of your skill level, you will walk out of the workshop with a handful of new tips and tricks to implement in your playing.

Rachel Eddy 

Oldtime Guitar: Beyond the Boom Chuck Saturday July 25, 4:00-5:30 EDT Once a solid boom chuck is established, the next level goals are about playing your guitar in a way that contributes shape to the tunes. We will look at bass note choices that guide a path through the tune. Then using those bass line notes, we will look at how to turn them into bass runs, and anticipate when to do them. Finally, using the bass runs we learn, we will look at how to make bluesy, chromatic bass runs to really impress the fiddler!

David Bragger & Susan Platz

Old-Time Fiddle & Double Fiddle with Bowing Saturday July 25, 6:00-7:30 EDT David and Susan are excited to present their favorite intensive fiddle workshop. Students will be learning an old-time fiddle tune in great depth, broken down phrase-by-phrase. And, yes, all of the bowing will be clearly demonstrated and taught in this workshop. It’s David and Susan’s specialty since old-time fiddling is almost entirely about the bowing!  They will also be teaching harmony parts that emphasize fundamental chords, bowing rhythms and seconding techniques. Additionally, these techniques will be clearly taught independently of a particular tune, so fiddlers can apply them to any tune, anywhere.

Craig Judelman

Fiddle Rags and How to Play Them Sunday July 26, 10:00-11:30 EDT This workshop on string band rags will focus on getting the most out of the tunes, beyond just the notes. We’ll work on bowing and left hand techniques to get that ragtime sound, and in the process hopefully learn a couple tunes. Depending on the level and desire of participants we’ll try and get through two tunes from some of my favorite bands, the Grinnell Giggers, East Texas Serenaders  and more. I’m thinking we’ll start with Tallapoosa Bound from 7 foot Dilly for something easier and in G (jam friendly!) and then perhaps Ruths Rag or the Arizona Stomp. This workshop is intended for intermediate players, and depending how adventurous we are may play in the key of C or even Bb! These tunes are a great way to add some spice to your sessions or shows and are not as hard as they seem, but a couple ideas about how to play them can really get that sound going, so let’s have fun and learn how to wiggle our fingers like the best of them.

Seth Shumate

Oldtime Harmonica Sunday July 26, 12:00-1:30 EDT The first harmonica concert was given in 1828. By 1928 the instrument reached its peak in popularity and permeated the oldtime music of regular folks across the country. The workshop will introduce some history, examples, and a brief how-to followed by a Q&A session relating to playing fiddle tunes on the harmonica.

Howard Rains

Oldtime Backup Guitar Sunday July 26, 2:00-3:30 EDT The focus of this workshop will be the big BOOM, listening for chord choices, playing bass runs, and keeping time.  We will talk about the important, yet often overlooked role of the guitar player in old time and discuss how to assess a session so that your backup is right for the jam at hand. We will learn how to back up fiddle tunes using the “old time accompaniment pattern” also known as the “Missouri Rules” and talk about backing up other regional styles of old time fiddling and how to listen for the difference.

Jake Blount

The Banjo Style of Odell Thompson Sunday July 26, 4:00-5:30 EDT Odell Thompson of Maben, NC grew up in a musical tradition where the banjo was the ensemble leader, and the fiddle followed. He developed a bold, exciting rhythmic style as a result. His playing is nonetheless very accessible, and any players who feel comfortable with the “bum ditty” will find a home here.

Tricia Spencer

Grandma’s Cheats for Oldtime Fiddle Sunday July 26, 6:00-7:30 EDT Tricia will teach her approach to old time fiddle built upon the shortcuts her grandma, Iona Spencer showed her when she was young. These are things every fiddler should know but maybe haven’t picked up along the way. This chord-based approach teaches seconding first and then how to find old time tunes in the shapes. Tricia will also present a few of her local and family tunes. All levels.

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.

The Hoot Concerts

Concerts will start at 8PM Eastern on Friday, July 24, and Saturday, July 25, and will be streamed on OTC’s YouTube channel.  They are pay-what-you-can, and donation links will be posted in the channel. Suggested donation: $20

Friday Night Concert Lineup:
Emily Schaad
Rachel Eddy
Seth Schumate
Brad Kolodner

Saturday Night Concert Lineup:
Craig Judelman
Spencer and Rains
Jake Blount
David Bragger and Susan Platz