Category: workshops


Blues Workshops At Buchanan Center!

Once again, blues fans and guitar geeks have a chance to get up close and personal with some of the acts performing at the Deep Blue Innovators Blues Festival on October 29th. This year we’re hosting not one but two music workshops!

Starting at 10am at the Buchanan Center for the Arts (less than a block from the Rivoli), the festival will host two guitar masters for workshops on style, history and how to play the blues.

First, Blue Mother Tupelo will introduce you to their music and playing techniques. Next, Paul Rishell and Annie Raines will showcase their unique approach to deep authentic blues.

The workshops are free and open to the public, but seating is limited, so please RSVP to paul@monmouthblues.com to reserve your seat.

All levels of players and blues fans are welcome.

This is an amazing opportunity and a great way to get you in the mood for a day of great live music. We’ll see you there!

Blues Harmonica Workshop October 21st

Long-time harp-man David Bernston will be in town with Little Joe McLerran and will deliver a free harmonica workshop at the Wells Theatre on the Monmoputh College campus. The workshop will be at 7pm on Thursday, October 21st at 7pm. Free harmonicas to the first 100 attendees!

For a great read, check out David Bernston’s blog – he covers the trek with Little Joe to the Middle East.

Blues Guitar Workshops Before the Festival!

Once again, blues fans and guitar geeks have a chance to get up close and personal with some of the acts performing at the Deep Blue Innovators Blues Festival on October 23rd. This year we’re hosting not one but two guitar workshops!

Starting at 10am at the Buchanan Center for the Arts (less than a block from the Rivoli), the festival will host two guitar masters for workshops on style, history and how to play the blues.

First, Little Joe McLerran will introduce workshop participants to the unique characteristics of Piedmont style blues. Little Joe has given numerous workshops (including several in the Middle East) and is the 2009 winner of the International Blues Challenge.

Next, master blues teacher and historian Scott Ainslie will be taking us deep into the Delta with his extensive knowledge of the guitar stylings of the first modern bluesman: Robert Johnson. Ainslie has been studying roots and Delta blues for 40+ years and has delivered successful teaching videos and DVDs for MelBay.

The workshops are free and open to the public, but seating is limited, so please RSVP to paul@monmouthblues.com to reserve your seat.

All levels of players are welcome, but players should have a basic knowledge of chord fingering. For participation, please bring a acoustic guitar (or unplugged electric), pick, thumb pick and slide.

This is an amazing opportunity and a great way to get you in the mood for a day of great live music. We’ll see you there!

Can You Learn Music Online?

I just finished up my second 12 week online course from the Berklee College of Music (the last one was their Blues Guitar Workshop). This go-round, I tried out Basic Improvisation, a multi-disciplinary course on the basics of improvisational soloing.

While it kept me away from open mics over the last three months (every free moment I could dedicate to music was consumed by this course!), it really was a wonderful experience. I’m really amazed that online music education can be so effective. Each week, students are presented with videos (from the instructors), lesson text, written music and web-based jukeboxes filled with tunes to illustrate key concepts. Online class meetings each week provide a chance to share with students and get direct, non-email teacher feedback. Each week, we worked through one or two major assignments that we had to record and post as MP3s.

As a computer geek who makes web applications during his day-job, their course site is top-notch and I’m a little jealous of all the bells and whistles it has.

In the improvisation course, we spent time working on transcriptions skills, listening skills, playing with accompaniment, note-based and rhythm-based motifs, chord tones, chord scales and chromatic approach shapes. While most of the class didn’t really deal with the type of old-school mono-bass blues I like to play, I was able to see how I can sally-forth and apply that knowledge to the way I play the blues.

If you can spare 5-6 hours a week of musical study time, it’s a great investment in learning. Check it out here.

Bernie Pearl Workshop Article

The Monmouth Daily Review Atlas just published an article on Saturday’s wonderful workshop with Bernie Pearl and Mike Barry. You can read it here.

Bernie Pearl Workshop

Bernie Pearl

This year, we’ll be launching our Deep Blue Innovators Blues Festival day with a wonderful opportunity. Blues guitar legend Bernie Pearl will host a 90 minute blues guitar workshop at the Buchanan Center for the Arts (just a half block from the historic Rivoli Theatre) on the morning of Saturday, October 24th (start time: 10:30am).

Bernie has been playing the blues for over fifty years, and took his first lessons from blues legend Brownie McGee (with Sonny Terry in attendance). He’s played with the giants of country blues, including Mance Lipscomb, Lightnin’ Hopkins and Mississippi Fred MacDowell.

This workshop is free an open to the public, but seating is limited, so be sure to RSVP via email if you’d like to be sure to have a spot at this once-in-a-lifetime workshop.

Bernie suggests attendees bring an acoustic guitar (or unplugged electric), thumb pick and slide. It’s open to all levels, but attendees should know basic guitar chords.

Some words from Bernie about the workshop:


I think what I have to say would benefit anyone interested in acoustic/country blues guitar. I emphasize right hand position and picking techniques, rather than scales or specific song arrangements – although I do have specific ideas on how to make soloing easier and more idiomatic. My real offering is how to make your playing sound like the blues.

Masterclass with KRB!

KRB Class

Just announced! Kelly Richey, Jimmy V and Shayne Frye of the amazing Kelly Richey Band will each be offering a masterclass workshop (guitar, bass and drums) at the Cherry Street Guitar Company on the afternoon of Friday, March 13th (time TBA). Classes are partially grant supported and we expect the fee to be approximately $45 for Kelly (guitar, which includes book and CD) and $30 for Jimmy (bass) and Shayne (drums).

This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn from these phenomenal professional musicians is open only to a few students for each instrument. To get more details and to get your name on the student waiting list, send an email today to paul@monmouthblues.com.

Sign up for the workshops and then be sure to check out the amazing show at the Rivoli on Friday night. We’ll see you there!

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