Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I spent all of last week at the California Bluegrass Association's yearly music camp and Father's Day Festival up in Grass Valley.

Volunteering at the camp was fun, as usual. I was an assistant to Kathy Barwick's level 3 guitar class, focusing on cross-picking and playing up the neck. Kathy is a very good teacher and the class was very informative. I've decided that I need to move away from focusing on technique to going back to focusing on ear training, so it will be a while before I can make use it, but once I come back to it, I think her approach will be very useful for me to get away from just playing in the first five frets.

The rest of the camp seemed to go very well - no major problems that I know of, and I think everyone had a great time.

The festival was also great. In fact, I think it was the best one for me personally. There were a lot of good, hard driving bluegrass acts on the main stage (Danny Paisley and Southern Grass, Junior Sisk and Rambler's Choice, The Bluegrass Brothers), as well as some great sets by California bands, including 49 Special, Blue and Lonesome and Mountain Laurel. One of the highlights for me were the two sets by the Tuttles, a family band put together by Bay Area bluegrass teacher Jack Tuttle.

I also did a fair amount of picking this year, mostly with people I already knew, but I was a lot happier this year with my playing.

I wrote about this last year here.

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