Berkeley Old Time Music Convention 2017 Workshops

For detailed workshop descriptions, visit the BOTMC website.



Workshop size is limited, so register early to make sure you get a spot! Tuition is $25 per workshop; all proceeds go to instructor. Material will be taught by ear; bringing a recording device is recommended. 


Thursday Sept. 21


3:30 to 5:00 pm 

FIDDLE - Bruce Molsky (SOLD OUT)

BANJO - Allison de Groot (SOLD OUT)


Bass runs are a quintessential part of old-time guitar vocabulary. Improve your old-time backup playing with inventive new ways of getting to and from your favorite chords. This workshop will focus on dissecting a couple of tunes with a step-by-step approach to help break down the bass-runs you know and love and find new bass runs that baffle intuition. 


Friday Sept. 22


6:00 pm to 7:30 pm 

Note: Fri. workshop participants get reserved concert seating with advance concert ticket purchase

FIDDLE - Sammy Lind (SOLD OUT)

Do you ever wonder what to do on the fiddle when people start singing? Do you have some tunes under your belt that you've worked out thoroughly and you are pretty good at picking up new tunes on the fly, but feel lost when your tunes session turns into a song session? In this workshop I'll show you a way to approach playing fiddle with songs that will help you out. 

BANJO - Bruce Molsky (SOLD OUT)

Ukulele Blues Party with Del Rey (SOLD OUT)

Jugband and blues songs orchestrated for the ukulele, with playing and singing parts for several levels of player. We’ll work on getting that old-timey sound on your uke, with the right rhythm, chord positions and where to find the melody. Plus we’ll try and listen to each other and play together.  We’ll add parts for basic chords, strumming, picking and singing. Basic level: be comfortable and confident with first position chords and able to keep time while changing between them. By ear, no TAB.



Saturday Sept. 23


3:00 – 4:30 PM

Beginning Old-Time Fiddle - David Bragger (SOLD OUT)

David will help fiddlers get started with the most important concept of old-time fiddling: Rhythm & Bowing. He will teach some of the fundamental bow patterns found in the playing of the greatest old-time fiddlers such as Tommy Jarrell, Edden Hammons, Joe Thompson, Melvin Wine, Doc Roberts, Jim Bowles, etc. David will also break down a tune, phrase-by-phrase, with all the notes and bowing clearly explained. He'll also get you started on "rocking" the bow! Definitely bring a recording device. 


Sunday Sept. 24 

11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

JAM SESSION hosted by Chris Miller - free admission


11:00 AM to 12:30 PM

Lecture-demonstration - Phil Jamison - free admission

Roots and Branches of Southern Appalachian Dance

Phil will explore the origins of the Southern dances, revealing the unacknowledged contributions of African Americans and challenging some of the common misconceptions and myths that have long been associated with these Appalachian traditions. 


11:00 AM to 12:30 PM

FIDDLE - Bobby Taylor

Fiddle tunes from West Virginia. This will be a hands on workshop. We will learn a couple of tunes, focusing on techniques for pulling good tone within a solid rhythmic groove. Recording is encouraged for future references.  

BANJO - Kim Johnson

SINGING - Caleb Klauder and Reeb Willms

If you can't resist that high lonesome sound, then this is the workshop for you. Caleb and Reeb will pick a couple of their favorite duets and teach the melody and harmony parts, talk about the sweet nature of duet singing, give some ear training tips for finding harmony parts, and maybe even a few technique tips about getting better tone and projection out of your voice. All levels welcome, just come and sing! Caleb and Reeb are experienced singing teachers, having taught for many years at Voiceworks and other music camps. 


1:00 to 2:30 PM


This workshop will focus on regional fiddle tunes that we have collected from Alabama Fiddlers. Fiddlers whose repertoire we will likely draw from include Ralph Whited from north central Alabama, Henry Lee Hudson from southwest Alabama, Everis Campbell from southeast Alabama, Sam McCracken from north Alabama plus others as time permits.

BANJO - Phil Jamison

Old-Time banjo using chord shapes to find melody notes on the banjo making it easy to jump in and accompany fiddle tunes that you’ve never heard before. Intermediate level.

MANDOLIN - Caleb Klauder

Ride The Old Time Tidal Wave. As a mandolin player I'm sure you've found yourself thinking "this is awesome, I love the mandolin." Well, it is awesome and in this class we are going to dive deep into that awesomeness and get on that old time tidal wave. I will teach the instrumental tunes and I will also share some ideas for song back up playing, both melodic and rhythmic. We will learn by ear and by repetition. We will explore an overall mandolin playing technique. These are the tools that we need for playing fast, for picking up tunes quickly and for jumping into jams. 

SINGING - Anna and Elizabeth

Anna and Elizabeth will share a few favorite songs, gleaned from their research in Appalachia and New England. We will teach some harmonies too! All levels of experience welcome. 

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