Workshops

The Jamboree banjo workshops are held on the Saturday and Sunday mornings of the Jamboree in various venues. Attendees must be Jamboree wristband holders.

The leaders are all respected banjo players in their genres, and we thank them all for their hard work in preparing and presenting an hour’s worth of workshop material. They generally cater for all levels of playing, though a basic knowledge of the banjo is usually helpful. They are worth attending, for your information, education and enjoyment, even if you are not a banjo player.

SATURDAY 21st SEPTEMBER

BANJO WORKSHOPS: 

9.45am to 10.45 am

Public Hall :   Peter Somerville (Banjo Harmony)
What’s better than one banjo? Two of course! I will explain how to work out a harmony part on the banjo, using a couple of fiddle tunes as examples, also how this knowledge can assist in working out vocal harmonies.

Music Hall:  Steve Poynton (Banjo Ukulele)
I will be focusing on Banjo techniques as they suit the ukulele, in particular Claw Hammer techniques. I will be bringing 1 banjo uke and a few other ukuleles with me. If anyone can bring spare banjo ukes for others to play that would be great. My youtube channel has some videos demonstrating the claw hammer – www.youtube.com/channel/UCEptPVmWSy_Tw69w0X8dErw 

Cricket Pavilion:  Mark Wardle (Elementary Bluegrass banjo for beginners)
This is a workshop for the more fledgling players. Mark is a highly

11.00am to Noon

Public Hall:  Jim Golding (5-string banjo in a variety of styles)
Covering a variety of styles including bluegrass, jazz and Celtic. Jim is well known as an irreverent bearded, laconic, lightning-fast banjo picker playing with various bands – this weekend with a return gig from The Undertones.

Music Hall:  Chris Ryan (The Banjo Curiosity Shop Continues)
Three, four, five, six, and even eight-stringed banjos? How can this be?! Come along and find out. Chris will also be explaining some interesting picking and frailing techniques. Listen, view, try or bring your own.

Cricket Pavilion:  Tony O’Rourke (Irish tenor 4-string banjo)
My Irish Banjo Workshop will look at a number of different types of tune, a reel, a jig, a slip jig, and one of my own compositions ‘’Mount Piper Reel’’. I will be demonstrating the techniques I use to play these tunes including picking methods. Each attendee will receive a booklet and CD of the music being presented. I will also be available to answer questions.
Incidentally I have just finished my latest book/CD “My Ireland Volume 3’’ and will have copies for sale at the Jamboree. The cost is $22.

SUNDAY 22nd SEPTEMBER

MORNING BANJO WORKSHOPS:  

10.00am – 11.00am:

Music Hall:   Gus MacMillan (Alternative banjo tunings)
This year Gus’s workshop will be looking at the many and varied ways to tune the banjo, and some of the styles, techniques, and benefits of each alternative tuning. Bring your banjo and a tuner! Sheet Music will be provided for each style.
Gus teaches at School of Banjo in Brunswick – website www.schoolofbanjo.com.au – and plays with  the Devil Goat Family String Band.

Cricket Pavilion:  Ian Alexander (Clawhammer 5-string banjo)
Ian Alexander will draw upon his knowledge of many regional clawhammer banjo styles, to teach essential left and right hand techniques.  Tune variations will also be shown.  This will be illustrated in banjo tunes where these techniques are added to the basic tune. 

11.15am to 12.15pm:

Public Hall:  Stan Gottschalk with John Boothroyd (Old-time banjo – contexts)
In this session, Stan and John will look at the old-time banjo and how it fit into the musical fabric of mountain music. Played in a variety of 2 and 3-finger styles, it worked both as a solo instrument and as an accompanying instrument to a solo singer; its picked (rather than chord-based) playing styles were ideally suited to accompany existing modal balladry and song. It became a perfect match to the mountaineers’ repertoires of modal and gapped-scale fiddle dance tunes – and its combination of melodic and percussive sounds turned the fiddle and banjo duo into the forerunner of the mountain string band. It was comfortable playing with the newly-arrived guitar either as a duo or in fiddle-banjo-guitar combinations. And as the music developed it eventually found its place in the full Bluegrass Band combination of fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, bass and dobro.
Stan and John will demonstrate some of those combinations and have you listen to historical recordings of some others – and hopefully get you to ponder how the instrument might best be used in your own music to get the sound you are looking for.

Music Hall:   Brent Davey (Blues and rhythm playing)
Playing chords and the blues on Banjo: this workshop will explore playing chords on Banjo (Plectrum, Tenor, Uke, 5-string, clawhammer), using the blues and rhythm playing as a framework. Suitable for players from beginner onwards wanting to explore rhythm playing. Brent is well known for his music with the Gut Bucket Jug Band, and this year heads up the Moonlighting Jug Band. He has been playing 4-string ‘standard’ (CGBD) rhythm banjo for longer than he can remember, in jug bands, jazz bands and as a folk musician.  

Cricket Pavilion:   Craig Woodward (Old-time banjo styles and techniques)
Craig is a player and teacher of many years’ experience and will take players through a variety of tips, techniques and tunes for the 5-string banjo. He is also performing on Sunday afternoon with his band The Flying Engine String Band.