The Joys of Guitar, Harmonica,
and Song Writing for Music Lovers
Session One - June 12-18, 2016
Course DescriptionParticipants in this class will focus on the fundamentals of songwriting while having fun playing Acoustic Guitar and Harmonica. We will explore the basics of Merle Travis’s and Chet Atkins’ style of "Thumbpicking" and other finger style guitar patterns and chord progressions that can be used for creating your own songs. Acoustic guitar techniques we will cover include strumming patterns, rhythm patterns and open tunings, bluegrass rhythm style, and using a capo. We will also devote an hour each day to exploring the basics of harmonica playing including playing the blues, bending notes, tongue blocking, and learning simple folk melodies and rhythm styles. By tapping into our own creativity and personal stories, and through collaborating with others in the class, all participants will be encouraged to write their own songs by the end of the week, utilizing the techniques learned in class. We will also focus on how to have fun improvising and "jamming" together as a class, focusing on some techniques involved in doing so.
Guitarist and harmonica player Pat Bergeson has written, toured, and recorded with many of his musical heroes. Beginning at the University of Illinois in his home state, he moved on to New York City and picked up a Jazz Studies degree at William Paterson University. After playing in New York for ten years, he moved on to Nashville at the request of Chet Atkins, who heard Pat on a demo tape. Chet invited Pat to play on his album “Sneakin’ Around” with Jerry Reed, and later featured Pat’s guitar and compositions on his 1994 releases “Read My Licks” and “Simpatico” with Chet and Suzy Boggus. Pat continued to tour and record with Chet for several years, and was named one of his top 12 favorite guitarists in the October 2001 issue of Vintage Guitar magazine.
A versatile guitarist and harmonica player, Pat’s style incorporates jazz, blues, rock, and finger style, and he is known for his session work with a variety of artists. Pat has been a teacher and producer, played on many Grammy Award-winning records, and appeared on many movie soundtracks.
I have been playing music since the 3rd grade and have been a full time professional musician since 1985. I love playing music as much as I did in the 3rd grade, and I consider myself a student of music. Like other artistic mediums, I love that there are infinite possibilities presented to me every time I pick up the guitar or harmonica. The more I learn, the more I want to learn. That is the essence of what makes playing an instrument so much fun. Whether you are professional or amateur, learning music at whatever level or pace can make for a lifetime of enjoyment.Artist's Website: www.patbergeson.com
- Acoustic Guitar, capo, tuner, thumb pick, and flat pick
- Harmonica - key of C. [I play the Seydel 1847 Silver Harmonica, but the Hohner Special 20 or Golden Melody or Lee Oscar will be less expensive and are good for beginners, because they have a plastic mouthpiece and are easier on the lips.]