Date: Friday, Jun 3rd, 2022 - Sunday, Jun 5th, 2022
Time: 3:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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 Feldmann 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.
About Jorma Kaukonen
In a career that has spanned over 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 an innovator 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 in 1996, along with the other members of The Jefferson Airplane.
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.
Jorma Kaukonen Discography
- “Quah” (1974) with Tom Hobson
- “Jorma” (1979)
- “Barbecue King” (1980) with Vital Parts
- “Too Hot To Handle” (1985)
- “Magic” (1985)
- “Embryonic Journey” (1994) with Tim Constanten
- “Magic Two” (1995)
- “Land of Heroes” (1995)
- “Christmas With Jorma Kaukonen” (1996)
- “Too Many Years” (1998)
- “Live” (2001) Jorma Kaukonen Trio
- “Blue Country Heart” (2002)
- “Stars In My Crown” (2007)
- “River of Time” (2009)
- “Ain’t In No Hurry” (2015)
About Tom David Wolff
David began listening to Jorma’s music at the age of 15 and can clearly remember the very day he heard this wonderful music for the very first time, and fondly recalls closing his eyes in a futile attempt to imagine how one man could be responsible for all the sounds that were produced. That was the moment he began his own personal musical odyssey, knowing in his heart he just simply HAD to learn how to play like that.
David spent many years of his youth following Jorma around the country, pen and pad in hand taking “notes” attempting to emulate his moves. He became good friends with the musical juggernaut, and eventually an idea was born; online guitar lessons with Jorma on a site called BreakDownWay.com.
Jorma of course is a busy man, so David took it upon himself to begin “breaking down” some popular songs from Jorma’s set list to present to the students in a clear and understandable style. He then, somewhat by accident, created the “Time Bender” technology that allows BreakDownWay.com students to slow down original recordings without changing the actual pitch, a nifty little trick that helps students learn the songs slowly then build their speed. David then posted his lessons on the site in an effort to bring even more of Jorma’s music to the students.
About Tom Feldmann
Tom Feldmann is a gifted country bluesman, slippin’ and slidin’ on his resonator guitars with the soul of a Delta master. Beyond his powerful fingerpicking and deadly bottleneck work, Feldmann is also a fine singer, his gravelly voice reaching through the decades to evoke the hard-scrabble days of the Depression and life in the Deep South between World Wars I and II. In addition to creating numerous instructional videos for Stefan Grossman’s Guitar Workshop, Feldmann’s latest album, Lone Wolf Blues is a master-class of country blues and gospel guitar from the 1920s through ’40’s.
“Fingerstyle slide virtuosity that speaks to music from another era of guitar history.”
– Vintage Guitar Magazine, Pete Prown
“No one has nailed Blind Willie Johnson’s playing like Tom Feldmann. I could close my eyes and swear it was Blind Willie Johnson.”
– David Lindley
“Tom Feldmann has that rare talent of being able to accurately transcribe the amazing playing of such great legendary bluesmen as Charlie Patton, Son House, Robert Johnson, Fred McDowell, Blind Willie Johnson, Mississippi John Hurt and many others. The results have been a string of highly acclaimed lessons that have found an international audience. Tom can play this music but he can also sing it with intensity. I see a bright future ahead for this blues and gospel master.”
– Stefan Grossman