Two Free Workshops This Weekend

Jan 27, 2021

Ms. Fretboard was pretty crushed by the defeat of her beloved Packers this past weekend. At times like these, not even the fact that she shares her life with a man equally adept with a pogo stick and a sheet of origami paper is enough to ease the sting of having one's Super Bowl dreams stolen by Tom Brady for the umpteenth time. The gridiron not being my own field of dreams, I can only speculate as to the appeal of these clashes of athletic fortitude, but my hunch is it has to do with marking the cycle of the year. Come December, few people sling about the wreaths and ornaments with greater alacrity than Ms. F.; come January few make them disappear more rapidly and thoroughly either. Time to move on, is the rallying cry heard about the home, and yet, at the close of another holiday season, despondency hangs in the air like the whiff of old fish at sunset in Haymarket Square.

So while there have been Sundays since Halloween or earlier marked by the prospect of large men in green outfits flinging their weight about in pursuit of pigskin triumph, the chance of the Wisconsin Eleven taking it all the way to the show this year was providing something worth waking up for in the morning in the early days of January. You've got to have things to look forward to, the thinking goes, and this one was shaping up to be a worthy winter event. Until it wasn't.

Readers of this newsletter who've been around for a while know that three or four times a year, I show up on the doorstep with news that my monthly membership, The Fingerstyle Five, is open for enrollment. I like to think that, like the playoffs, it marks the coming and going of the seasons. Or that maybe it resembles that moment when every girl on the block aged six to eleven starts showing up hustling magical green boxes full of Thin Mints. But even if it does, I realize that rather than greeting this moment with giddy delight, your mood might be more that of the guy my father ran into years ago whiles stumping for re-election to local office. "It's Sunday!" roared this particular citizen before slamming the door shut in Hamburger pere's civic-minded face. "On Sundays, I listen to the opera – and I don't talk to anyone!"

I'm hip. Hearing about the membership might not be your demitasse of Darjeeling. So this time around, I'm doing things a little differently. This coming Friday, I'll be giving the first of two free workshops – one on Improvisation, the other on Arranging. I'll answer any questions people have about the Fingerstyle Five membership, but mostly, I'll teach you how to start improvising on the eight-bar blues "Motherless Child." We'll look at building up a vocabulary of simple blues phrases and licks, and you'll learn how to mix and match them on the fly. In the second lesson, I'll show you how to turn an eight-bar tune into a complete two- to three-minute arrangement using specific tools like intros and vamps, chord substitutions and shout choruses, stop time and more.

If you want to attend, go to the link below to sign up. You'll get access to both lessons, advance copies of the tab and exercises, notifications about when the workshops are starting, and so on. Whether you want to know about the membership or just want to dive into a couple of free, in-depth fingerstyle blues lessons, this is your chance to sign up for all that information. But if you'd rather be left alone to listen to your operas this weekend, I get it. Just don't sign up below, and you won't hear any more about the membership this time around. Pretty simple.

So, to sum up: two cool free lessons, live-streamed and archived for replay, with downloadable notation and tab, are yours for the asking at the link below. To give it all a miss, and enjoy a peaceful weekend with Rigoletto and Don Giovanni, don't do anything, and we'll catch each other on the flip side next Thursday. I'm cool either way, and I hope you are you.

You Had Me At "Free Workshops." Sign Me Up And Send Me Some Tab!