Provided with the Purchase of this Workshop

-  A pre-workshop tune to learn (tab and video), to which we will apply the workshop concepts. 

-  A video of the workshop as it went down on June 20/2021

-  A 21-page written overview (including relevant tabs) of the workshop. 

-  Video examples of everything taught in the workshop.



The idea that “less is more” has been a reoccurring theme, if not at the foundation, of all of the previous eight workshops.   In this workshop, we’ll approach that on a very practical level and look at how we can adjust our basic right-hand clawhammer technique to allow us to add rests and space to our music. By doing this, we open up some melodic and rhythmic possibilities that aren’t possible otherwise, and potentially make our music more engaging.

With our three basic clawhammer techniques (basic strum, double-thumb, drop-thumb), we are quite limited rhythmically. You might say we have two rhythms – “boom-chuck-a” (1-rest-3-4) or “chat-ta-noo-ga” (1-2-3-4). We can put those two rhythms together in different orders and create some different combinations, but beyond that we don’t have any other options. It’s not until you start taking notes out of those basic patterns that you start having some freedom to go in some different rhythmic directions.

One of the challenges of doing this is that clawhammer technique relies heavily on having a certain amount of physical momentum in your right hand (and arm). If you break that momentum (to rest), it can be hard to get back into it without loosing some rhythm and groove.

The first thing we’ll look at in this workshop are the mechanics of how to rest (aka “skip beat”, “rest stroke”) without losing the groove. There’s a trick to it, and I’ll show you what it is. In demonstrating this, I’ll show you a simple rest pattern that you can incorporate into absolutely any tune that you play.

Once we know how to take notes (beats) out of our technique, I’ll show you how that opens up a world of alternate rhythms, syncopations, and melodic phrasing options. We’ll see how you can apply that to your backup playing as well as your tune playing.

- How rests can help you play at faster tempos
- How rests can be applied to the roll patterns we learned in the “rolls” workshop
- How they may be the missing link in clawhammer “waltz time”
- How adding space can take your song accompaniment to the next level

As usual, I won’t claim to be able to give you the whole story here, but I can show you what I know and how I apply it to my own playing.

Note – If you took the workshop “variations” there will be a small amount of overlap. I touched on some of this at the end of that workshop, but not in much detail. This will be a much more thorough look at the subject.

If you sign up, on Monday, June 7, I’ll send you some homework to look at before the workshop. This will just be a simple tune to learn, a couple of right hand rolls, and a few chords I want  you to be familiar with.

Level – I would say the beginning of this workshop will be accessible for any intermediate player (even beginner- intermediate). It will then move to some more advanced territory as we move along. Because these workshops are recorded and because I give a robust written overview (including tablature) of the subject, you will have what you need to back over everything  in your own time. In this way, I don’t think that level is as much of an issue one way or the other.