Chris Collins

Thursday 2-9-2023

Class #1H 1:00 -2:15 HD Intermediate

Using Dynamics and Rhythm Variations as Embellishments

Embellishments are not limited to adding notes to the melody, a great deal can be done with dress up and add feeling and interest with dynamics. Never forget that the HD is a percussion instrument. Tension that catches the audience’s attention can be created by adding emphasis in an unexpected place (syncopation) or holding, (or shortening) a note longer than expected WITHOUT changing the length of the measure. Both of these techniques can be very effective in creating an interesting arrangement. 

Class #2G 2:30 – 3:45 HD Beginner

Avoiding Common Errors Beginners Tend to Make

We will use practice exercises, that will establish good habits and hopefully avoid having to unlearn bad habits.

Friday 2-10, 2023

Class #3C 9:00 – 10:15 MD Intermediate

Learn to Play Without Tab

Yes you can, really, and it’s not really that hard once you start listening instead of reading…. We will be using simple common melodies. We will cover how to figure out where a tune starts, what the meter is and where it will end. Learn to use ‘wrong notes as a guide to finding the right one. Learn how to develop your ear so you can play by ear, working out a tune on the fly.

Class #5H 1:00 – 2:15 HD Intermediate

Playing Jigs with the Correct Pulse and Timing.

Where the emphasis (pulse) is placed in Celtic music and especially when playing jigs can either make or crash a tune. The feel of the music cannot be indicated in the sheet music. This is why you almost never see paper used in an Irish session. A 6/8 jig is NOT a fast waltz, nothing like it. We will work on some exercises to develop that pulse.

Class #6G 2:30 – 3:45 HD Beginner

Introduction to Music, Scales, Keys, Chords, etc.

Are you brand new to music? This class is for you. Learn the terminology and basic layout of your instrument as it applies to the music you want to play.

Class #7G 4:00 – 5:15 HD Beginner

Learn a Simple Common Tune without the music

Advance your understanding of the architecture of your instrument and the structure of melodies. How to figure out where the starting notes to use in a particular place and how to pick which hand with which to hammer.

Saturday 2-11-2023

Class #9A 10:30 – 11:45 MD Beginner

Let’s Put the Focus on the Strum

There’s a lot more to the strum than most beginners realize, they tend to focus on the fretting hand and ignore the artistic right hand. There is a reason that one frets with the non-dominant hand. Learn to strum in both directions in a relaxed, comfortable, and rhythmic manner.

Class #12G 4:00 – 5:15 HD Beginner

How and Why You should Jam Early and Often

A very common mistake people make is not jamming until they think they can play without error (an impossibility). Jamming is one of the best ways to learn to hear and develop an ear for music. One can jam even if all you can do is hammer two notes. You don’t even have to keep up, as long as you can hit one note in 4 (or more) at the right time. Typically people who always play alone tend to develop very bad habits in timing and rhythm, that are very difficult to overcome.