Teaching‎ > ‎

Workshops

Paul teaching the Euro Band Class
at Common Ground, 1999

caveat: page badly in need of being updated

All Instruments

Experience has shown that behind every dulcimer player at a festival there are guitarists, mandolinists, all kinds of players, lurking, and you just have to give them advance notice that there will be something for them to do to make them come out of hiding.

  • EuroTunes by Ear (mixed instruments or geared to dulcimers)
    The dulcimer is very well suited to play the diatonic tunes originally composed and performed on old continental folk instruments such as the bagpipes, the hurdy gurdy, the épinette (mountain dulcimer) and the (diatonic) accordion. Paul teaches some of this repertoire using the traditional listen to a phrase and repeat it on your instrument technique (as a reward they get the music at the end of class). Paul will share continental gems from bagpipe, hurdy gurdy , the épinette (lap dulcimer) and the (diatonic) accordion repertoire. Any instrument that can easily play in C, G and D are welcome!
  • Band-Aid (ensemble playing and arranging)
    Paul has played in a variety of bands (in chronological order: brass band, bluegrass band, swing jazz trio, chamber folk ensembles, in duo with several dulcimer players, in a mandolin orchestra, a Balkan band and contradance bands). This combined experience makes him very well placed to teach people about ensemble playing and arranging. This class is designed to give musicians who have reached at least an intermediate playing capability some quick and dirty tips and techniques in that field. Topics include: modal accompaniment, chord substitution, the unspoken rules of various genres (tradition vs. innovation), intros and outros, combining tunes into medleys, rhythmic variations, et. al.
  • Carillon Presentation
    Includes a brief history of carillon music in the Low Countries with tunes being taught from the repertoire of Johannes de Gruytters, Antwerp's town carilloneur in the mid-18th century. This music is especially appropriate for hammered dulcimers since it was played with two fists on a keyboard, but can be played on most folk instruments.


Guitar

  • Backup guitar (pick ONE level - beginning, intermediate or advanced)
    A workshop aimed at guitarists who want to get more tricks in their bag for accompanying a variety of pieces (can be easily tailored to the skill level of the players and to specific tunes they want to work with).
  • DADGAD Guitar (intermediate/ advanced)
    DADGAD is a contemporary way of tuning the guitar that is eminently suitable for playing Celtic style repertoire. In this class you will learn ways to tune and set up your instrument for this kind of playing; depending on the length of the workshop, topics may cover: the basic chord shapes; essential scales and arpeggios; right-hand rhythms applicable to common session tunes (mostly jigs and reels); some melodies with a flatpick and some fundamental accompaniment patterns in finger style; how to use the capo to play in impossible keys and make quick key changes; who are some of the greatest exponents of this style of playing; and finally, what learning tools are available on the market and the internet to continue exploring the world of DADGAD on your own. It is suggested that you bring a steel string guitar, a chromatic tuner (NOT one that only recognizes EADGBE) and an elastic capo (yes, elastic! although they may be hard to find!)
  • 10 ways to make your waltz backup more interesting (intermediate)
    Most guitarist know how to do the boom-chick-chick routine, but there are many more ways to enhance waltzes, especially in Latin America (where they often impose 6/8 time over 3/4 to get some wonderful rhythmic effects).
  • Latin American Rhythms for Guitar (intermediate/ advanced)
    Again a workshops aimed at helping guitarists dissatisfied with the same old formulaic ways of accompanying tunes. Similar to the previous idea, but focusing on even time (2/4 and 4/4) instead.

Bouzouki (for mandolinists or guitarists)

The (Irish) Bouzouki or Cittern or Octave Mandolin is becoming very popular : it sounds great, and since it has the same scale length as a guitar and the same tuning as a mandolin (and some cool alterations!), it is easily accessible to guitarists and mandolinists. This workshop demonstrates the possibilities and limitations of the instrument.

Mandolin

As a mandolinist. Paul focuses mostly on non-American styles (not bluegrass or old-time) but rather classical and "ethnic" styles such as Irish, Italian, klezmer, Brazilian etc. He owns a large collection of Italian-American mandolin music from the early part of this century and has transcribed many tunes from all places in the world where the instrument is being used (the Italian Diaspora: USA, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Venezuela, etc.) These tunes are a delightful addition to any mandolin player's repertoire. Topics for workshops can be created based on interest in the local community. Choose or combine from the list below:

    • Italian tunes for the mandolin
    • Irish tunes for the mandolin
    • French Musette tunes for the mandolin
    • Klezmer mandolin and the Freygish Scale
    • Latin American mandolin

Mountain Dulcimer

Paul can do a video presentation of the "hommel" or "vlier" (the Belgian lapdulcimer) and teach traditional Flemish and Walloon dance tunes in D A A tuning.  Here's an example.

YouTube Video