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2022 BOTMC workshops 

all times are pacific DAYLIGHT time.

Registration for BOTMC workshops has begun! 

Links to registration are below, with workshop descriptions.

Workshops take place at the Freight & Salvage, 2020 Addison, Berkeley.

All participants need proof of vaccination;  masks are required.  This is true of ALL workshops including free workshops.


Workshop size is limited, sign up early to be assured of getting a slot! 

All material will be taught by ear.  Audio and video recordings are encouraged with the caveat that such recordings are made for personal use only, and do not appear on anywhere on the internet, including social media such as FaceBook or YouTube.

Instructional workshops are 75 minutes in length.

The two free workshops do not have a size limit, but you still need to register (even though the workshops are free). Registration links are below.


$25 per workshop (plus fees).  


all 4 fiddle workshops for $75


all 3 banjo workshops for $60

free workshops:
You still need to register for these -- advance Registration Strongly recommended. If you don't register in advance, plan on showing up 30 minutes early to deal with registration and showing proof of vaccination. these will take place in the freight's showroom, so plenty of room to accommodate everyone!  BUT Please register in advance...
Sunday from 11:00 am to noon  - A Visit with Alice Gerrard REGISTER NOW
Sunday from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm - Earl White's "Black Americans in Old Time Music: Then and Now" REGISTER NOW
These two free workshops will be recorded for later viewing - probably not for at least a week after they take place, so that we can edit in the Audio-visual components. Sign up on the BOTMC email list to get the URL.  

Thurs. Sept. 22  4:30-5:45 
FIDDLE     Old Time Fiddle, with Earl White

This workshop will focus on building repertoire of tunes not commonly played in most jams. We will explore a variety of tunings and approaches to bowing.  Our overall focus will be having fun


BANJO     Exploring Open D Tuning, with Clinton Davis

Open D (f#DF#AD) is a beautiful tuning that's rarely seen "in the wild" these days. Let’s see what it can do! In this workshop, I will start off by demonstrating a few examples of great traditional banjo pieces that use open D. Together, we’ll explore the unique features and possibilities of this tuning. Then, we will explore its use for fiddle tunes, giving you a whole new way to explore your D tune repertoire



Fri. Sept. 23: 4:30-5:45
FIDDLE   Fiddle Rags, and how to do fun variations and accompaniment with Lindsay McCaw


Fiddle Rags--the fiddle tunes with syncopated rhythms and funny chords--are tunes that can be total hits or jam busters.  Some people really love to play fiddle "rags"-me for instance.  Some people find them daunting.  Don't let "rags" be "wet blankets!." 

in this workshop we will learn a fiddle rag and talk about and learn some ways to spruce it up with variations.  We will talk about accompaniment. I will also share some "rags" from my repertoire.  


BANJO   Getting Started on Finger Style Banjo,
with Aaron Jonah Lewis


In this workshop we will discuss some different ways we can use our fingers to activate our banjo strings and learn some basic patterns that can easily be used for backup or solo playing. This may include some things that sound familiar (or not.) I will probably talk about the history and development of fingerstyle banjo playing as well. Steel or nylon strings, with or without fingerpicks, all experience levels are welcome.



Sunday Sept. 25:  There are 2 slots:  11-12:15 and 12:30-1:45
FIDDLE   Adding melodic and rhythmic variations to repertoire, with Tatiana Hargreaves

How do you get from playing simple tunes, to incorporating more bowings and variations into your playing? This workshop will explore practice techniques and approaches to creating variations and building up vocabulary on your instrument. 


A VISIT with Alice Gerrard - 11 am to noon
Free workshop!   
registration required. Okay to register on day of workshop.
Available online (see below) 

In this informal workshop, Alice will talk about her experiences and adventures in old time music (which began in the 1950s) and about some of the legendary musicians she’s encountered, she may show some of her photos (which are being turned into a book), may do some singing or playing, and answer your questions (within reason).

ONLINE VIEWING: This workshop will be recorded for later viewing - probably not for at least a week after it takes place, so that we can edit in the audio-visual components. Sign up on the BOTMC email list, and we'll send you the URL when they go online. 


GUITAR    Piedmont Style Country Blues with Valerie Turner

Blues music originated in the Delta and Piedmont regions of the American south during the early 1900s, and has spread across the globe in the matter of a single century. This is not surprising since songs from this tradition tell stories in ways that have not been duplicated since. This workshop will explore an easy arrangement of a song from the repertoire of Etta Baker, a great Country Blues musician from North Carolina. In the context of this arrangement, students will focus on strengthening thumb/finger independence in the Piedmont style of fingerpicking. If time allows, an additional song will be taught, perhaps from the repertoire of Mississippi John Hurt. This workshop will move at a moderate pace and will be taught by ear. Students should be able to maintain an alternating bass with their thumb while changing between first position chords at a slow tempo. Audio and video  recordings of this workshop are encouraged with the caveat that such recordings are made for personal use and do not appear on social media such as YouTube.



FIDDLE    How to Play with Another Fiddler, Seconding and Harmonizing with Aaron Jonah Lewis


Aaron will cover a few of the most basic chords on the fiddle for the most common keys as well as basic rhythms and bowing techniques for playing backup with another fiddler. We will also discuss how to create parallel and contrasting harmonies to complement the melody. We will work with tunes most people already know, e.g. Soldier's Joy, June Apple, Golden Slippers, etc. This workshop is for intermediate to advanced players although beginners will gain a lot from it as well.


BANJO   Stepping up with your Southern Appalachian Banjo Technique with Andrew Norcross

In this conversational workshop, we’ll jam a few tunes as we explore different techniques for navigating relationships, scenes and egos in the jam setting, while playing your best. What happens when your board stiff with the tunes being chosen by your fearless leader? What about the lady next to you banging on the Whyte Laydie so hard you can't hear yourself? How to feel self-respect when all the people around you keep obsessing about jamming with a few popular musicians (and you don't make the list)? How do you make your style of playing fit in to different jam situations? How to stay musically flexible in the face of musical inflexibility.  

This workshop will be banjo centric, but all old-time instruments and voices are welcome. 


12:30 – 1:30  FREE WORKSHOP
REGISTration required. Okay to register on day of workshop. 
Available online (see below) 
Earl White’s “Black Americans in Old Time Music: Then and Now”

An audio-visual presentation with discussion. Earl shares his perspective, highlighting the bridging of races through music.  His  presentation highlights Black musicians who influenced old time music as we know it, most of who played music with white musicians.  Many are musicians who personally shared their stories with Earl.  Some of the musicians include Leslie Riddle, Arnold Schultz, Deford Bailey, Howard Armstrong, Jim and Andrew Baxter (who are being honored by the BOTMC this year in our Attribution project), Joe and Odell Thompson, Dink Roberts and Owen Walker, all Black musicians who played with whites in their communities. 

ONLINE VIEWING:  This workshop will be recorded for later viewing - probably not for at least a week after it takes place, so that we can edit in the audio-visual components. Sign up on the BOTMC email list, and we'll send you the URL when they go online. 

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