SMG Short Courses :: 5-string Banjo, Bòdhran and Moothie

4 weeks: Wednesdays 27 Feb, 6, 13, 20 March, James Gillespie’s, 7-9pm

Cost: As these are short courses, they are priced differently from standard weekly classes –
SMG member £40 / £32 concession, Non-member £47 / £39 concession

5-string Banjo – clawhammer / frailing style 

Aimed at those who have little or no experience of the banjo but have roughly a year’s experience playing another fretted stringed instrument e.g. guitar, mandolin, ukulele, tenor banjo.

Please note, this short course will look specifically at clawhammer or frailing 5-string banjo, as opposed to tenor banjo (4 string) or bluegrass/Scruggs style/three finger playing.

We will spend the four weeks learning the basic rhythm hand technique, exploring the banjo and old time style playing and working on a few simple tunes. Ideally you should have a 5-string, open back banjo. You may also like to bring along some metal or plastic banjo finger picks to experiment with (different from guitar plectrums). Please get in touch with the tutor with any questions about the course or what instrument you should bring along.

Suggested suitable instruments to suit various budgets:

Epiphone MB-100 Banjo

Gold Tone AC-1 Composite Open Back Banjo

Deering Goodtime Goodtime USA Built 5-String Banjo

Times: Wednesday at 7-9pm James Gillespie’s High School
Michael Starkey

Bòdhran – Improving Beginners

For people already familiar with the basics of the bòdhran, a traditional Irish percussion instrument now very popular in Scottish and wider traditional music circles.

The course will cover core reel, jig & slip jig rhythms. You will also look at more advanced tipper techniques, using the left hand for pitch and timbre and different styles of accompaniment.

Recommended instrument: preference for a tuneable bòdhran with no stays/crossbar, or room enough to move hand underneath them.

(NB In Scotland, the Gaelic spelling is bòdhran; in Irish, bodhrán).

Times: Wednesday at 7-9pm James Gillespie’s High School
Room: 220
Tutor: Andy May

Beginners’ Moothie (harmonica) in D 

Beginners’ Traditional Harmonica playing. You will need a Tremolo Harmonica in the key of D (not C) e.g Hohner Big Valley D (costs around £15-£20).

D tuning will allow players to play tunes with other instruments in the key of D.

The course will cover: the major scale, 1st position; an introduction to 2nd and 3rd position playing, and tongue blocking technique. You will learn to play 2 simple traditional tunes with an introduction to other tunes.

Times: Wednesday at 7-9pm James Gillespie’s High School
 Ian Wormald

Venue Location

Short Courses take place at James Gillespie’s High School

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