Song Writing

All Levels

This will be an extremely hands on session. In the course of the week, participants will find themselves writing a number of songs. We will be demystifying the creative process and hopefully opening the door where each student will write songs without being intimidated by the process.I have always felt that music is a great way to dialogue. The really good songs are songs that when you hear it…there’s just something about it that touches your heart, and you don’t know why. I will mentor each of my students on how to keep their heart and ears open always listening for the story that needs to be told.

*This class requires that all students have fundamental guitar skills and a guitar.

  • 10/26/18 - 10/29/18
  • Song Writing
  • FULL
  • This workshop is currently full. Please fill out an application to be added to the wait list. No Deposit required.

  • 01/28/19 - 02/01/19
  • Song Writing
  • FPR On The Road - Sanibel Island, FL
  • Apply Now!

The Entrance Ramp: BASIC FINGERSTYLE GUITAR with David Wolff and Tom Feldmann

Level 1/2: Beginner/Intermediate

This workshop will provide a solid introduction to fingerpicking guitar, including development of that reliable thumb so essential to mastering this style. This pianistic style of playing often characterizes the music of Master Instructor Jorma Kaukonen, and is typical also of the great country blues artists such as Rev. Gary Davis, Blind Blake, Mississippi John Hurt and other seminal musicians that have deeply influenced 20th century guitar styles.

We will emphasize the thumb’s job in holding down the alternating and often syncopated bass line, against a picked melody. We’ll venture out of first position, and work with chord shapes up the neck, as well as with related licks that add color and personality to songs. And it is, after all, about the songs!

This special workshop will have a triple threat of instructors, so that participants will receive individually tailored attention. Along with the Captain, singer/songwriter/guitarist Tom Feldman will provide expert instruction focused on fretboard navigation and songcrafting, and BreakDownWay maven David Wolff will guide students in the careful rendering of some country blues favorites exemplary of this genre.

It will be assumed that students have familiarity with first position “cowboy” chords, and may even have substantial experience as lead or rhythm guitarists, but are relatively new to the fingerstyle approach to picking.

  • 06/21/19 - 06/24/19
  • The Entrance Ramp
  • Apply Now!

Get A Double Dose of Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady with a Special Acoustic Duo Workshop!

Level 2/3

A special Fur Peace Ranch class for serious guitar and bass students. Jorma and Jack will combine their teaching efforts and give this rare guitar/bass class. Guitar and Bass classes will be held separately at times, other times the classes will join up for a unique duo workshop that brings together the music the classes have worked on.

If you want to learn the secrets of this dynamic duo's 50+ career....this is your chance.

Open to Guitar and Bass players. An equal number of each will be accepted. Limited to 8 students per class. Don't miss this opportunity!

  • 11/16/18 - 11/19/18
  • A Double Dose
  • FULL
  • 03/22/19 - 03/25/19
  • Acoustic Double Dose
  • FULL
  • This workshop is currently full. Please fill out an application to be added to the wait list. No Deposit required.

Water Songs

Level 3

This class will be focused on instrumentals. As powerful as words are to a song, sometimes being speechless serves the music in a more profound way. I’ve written over a dozen instrumentals and we will be drawing from that well. Tone, Technique, Timing & Taste will be your guide.

There Goes The Neighborhood

Level 3

Songs you may not find in a nice neighborhood.

  • 04/26/19 - 04/29/19
  • There Goes The Neighborhood
  • Apply Now!

I am the Light of this World

Level 2

Spirituals were the foundation of my guitar playing as a young player just starting out. I will be spending a good part of this class on the fundamentals needed to play some of these great songs without resorting to guitar pyrotechnics. The raw nature of a good spiritual in its simplest form can speak to an audience in a way that many songs cannot. Students should be prepared to work on some stage techniques as we reveal your own style of playing these wonderful songs.Tom Feldman joins Jorma for an outstanding workshop.

  • 05/03/19 - 05/06/19
  • I am the Light of this World
  • Apply Now!

The Way I See It

Level 3

As a young musician/performer, I wrote no songs of my own but learned many of them from the Masters I held dear. Each one of these songs was a portal that guided me to the level I was seeking. I will break down the techniques and styles from many of these tunes and you will see what very long legs this music has and how it directly inspires your own journey.

I Belong to the Band

Level 3

Music moves us in ways we understand and in some we don’t fully. We will open the door to the amazing joy and optimism in the deep repertoire of The Rev Gary Davis. Tom Feldman will be assisting Jorma with this workshop

  • 10/19/18 - 10/22/18
  • I Belong to the Band
  • FULL

Movin On Down The Road: Fingerstyle Guitar

Level 3

For players with a well honed thumb, and fingerstyle experience, Jorma will employ his effective teaching technique of presenting his songs by breaking them down into comprehensible parts. He will demonstrate the variety of licks, runs and embellishments that provide style and nuance, and also represent a vocabulary of tools that may be used in various keys. This is an excellent repertoire- building workshop, and will encourage skills that can also be applied to original music, improvisation and arranging.

  • 09/21/18 - 09/24/18
  • Movin On Down The Road
  • FULL

“Infinite Possibilities” Jorma’s Master Guitar Class On The Road 2019 - Sanibel Island

Level 4: Master

The beauty of my master guitar class is that I present new insights into what it really means for you as a guitar player to keep good time, to perfect your technique and master your tone.

I will pick four or five songs. Using these as a departure point we will explore ways for each student to maximize the power of his or her own voice. We will be exploring both left and right techniques as well as melodic and chordal variations. I will also be presenting new improvisational and practice techniques and make you aware of the infinite possibilities on your guitar.

I am limiting the size of this class to ten students so the class will be intimate. My goal is to help and inspire each player to enhance their art and take their playing to the next level.

  • 02/04/19 - 02/08/19
  • “Infinite Possibilities”
    Jorma’s Master Guitar Class
  • Apply Now!

Carnegie Hall: Fingerstyle Guitar

Level 4: Master

This is a master class for the experienced fingerstyle player with a substantial repertoire, and performance experience. The class will focus on certain essential aspects of musicianship, and assume that technical skills, picking hand prowess and knowledge of the fretboard are already securely established. By working on a few exemplary songs, the class will dig deep in exploring how these may be turned into performance pieces with emphasis on dynamics, timing, tasteful improvisation and feeling. It is expected that participants will have taken previous level 3 “proficient player” classes with Jorma, or on occasion, demonstrate clearly equivalent experience based on a screening of submitted material. Tom Feldman will be assisting Jorma with this workshop.

  • 11/09/18 - 11/12/18
  • Carnegie Hall: Master Class
  • FULL

About Jorma Kaukonen: Master Guitar Player

In a career that has spanned nearly a half century, Jorma Kaukonen has been the leading practitioner and teacher of fingerstyle guitar, one of the most highly respected interpreters of American roots music, blues, and Americana, and at the forefront of popular rock-and-roll.

Jorma was a founding member of two legendary bands: The Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, The Jorma Kaukonen-Jack Casady duo created much of the Jefferson Airplane’s signature sound, and Jorma’s lead and fingerstyle guitar playing characterizes some of the band’s most memorable tracks.

Over the last three and a half decades Hot Tuna has performed thousands of concerts all over the world and released more than two dozen records. Jorma and Jack continue to tour as Hot Tuna, in recent years with mandolin virtuoso Barry Mitterhoff. The group has played with many of the legends of the music industry. Jorma was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 1996, along with the other members of The Jefferson Airplane.

Jorma has also had more than a dozen solo albums, beginning with 1974’s “Quah” and continuing through “Blue Country Heart” in 2002 and “Stars In My Crown” in 2007.

Jorma’s Grammy-nominated “Blue Country Heart.” pays tribute to the rich, deep aspects of American roots music with Jorma performing the works of his favorite blues and country legends, “Stars In My Crown” is more personal. It features an abundance of original songs, such as,“Late Breaking News,” “A Life Well Lived,” “Living In The Moment,” and the deeply moving “Heart Temporary,” It isn’t entirely original compositions, though, with songs of many styles, from Johnny Cash’s chilling “The Man Comes Around” to a reggae song, “By The Rivers Of Babylon,” to the celebratory title cut, “Will There Be Any Stars In My Crown.”

At Fur Peace Ranch he’s known as “The Captain,” but for music enthusiasts all over the world Jorma Kaukonen is known as the leader of fingerstyle guitar playing, particularly of American roots music.


  1. “Quah” (1974) with Tom Hobson
  2. “Jorma” (1979)
  3. “Barbecue King” (1980) with Vital Parts
  4. “Too Hot To Handle” (1985)
  5. “Magic” (1985)
  6. “Embryonic Journey” (1994) with Tim Constanten
  7. “Magic Two” (1995)
  8. “Land of Heroes” (1995)
  9. “Christmas With Jorma Kaukonen” (1996)
  10. “Too Many Years” (1998)
  11. “Live” (2001) Jorma Kaukonen Trio
  12. “Blue Country Heart” (2002)
  13. “Stars In My Crown” (2007)
  14. “River of Time” (2009)


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