Hello! I’ve been rather quiet on here of late, which just won’t do, so I thought I’d better some news since I haven’t actually been idle!
Brittany Guitar Workshops 2019
So, as usual for the Bank Holiday week/weekend in August, I held my annual acoustic guitar workshop in La Fontenelle, Brittany which was attended by some of the die-hard regulars and a couple of very welcome newbies. We worked on a few pieces in CGDGCD tuning, including some traditional tunes and a couple of contemporary arrangements.
Evening are usually a chance to go to a restaurant or jam or some such shenanigans: On the second evening this time around we were treated to a whisky tasting experience which was an unusual but excellent way to round off a day playing the guitar!
Our last evening was the usual soiree with some invited locals listening to the guys’ hard work in the student concert – very enjoyable, and thanks to our wonderful host, Brenda for the translation!
We’re working on dates for next year, so what this space.
Here we are at our favourite restaurant in Cancale, awaiting beaucoup de shellfish…
And here are some the guys concentrating…
The North American Guitar Session
On Saturday, Sept 14, I was at The North American Guitar in Islington, London, demoing some amazing guitars for sale on their website. They’re a super-high-end dealership who import and sell unique and beautiful guitars from across the pond, and let’s just say it’s pretty nerve-racking yet a great privilege to be entrusted to make them sound nice on camera for their website! I’ll post links soon, when they’ve uploaded the videos we shot.
Halsway Manor Guitar Week
From Sept 30 – Oct 4, Halsway Manor in Somerset will be hosting the annual Guitar Week, with Charlotte Carrivick, Kevin Dempsey and me. Here’s some blurb from their website about the event:
“Following an extremely well-received inaugural course last year, we’re delighted to welcome back Kevin Dempsey, Tristan Seume, and Charlotte Carrivick for our second Guitar Workshop Week. The week is an intensive but enjoyable guitar-school week for steel-string acoustic guitarists, led by three fantastic tutors!
The week will help you to develop your skills and confidence, with options to explore finger style, flat-picking, alternative and open tunings, arranging tunes and song accompaniment, chord vocabulary, and useful theory too. Whole group, smaller group and one-to-one teaching, to leave you enthused and inspired! There will be down-time too, for you to practise, jam, socialise and spend quality time with your instrument. For those who want to, there’s also the opportunity to join the tutors in concert on the Thursday evening.
The tutor team bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience embracing a variety of styles. The programme for the week will be tailored to the experience and needs of the group. An outline of what each tutor plans to offer is below:
Kevin will be covering the basic fingerstyle patterns, plus variations. Introducing percussive elements. Chord construction, introducing extensions and increasing chord vocabulary. Learning a couple of complete pieces for solo guitar. Looking at chord/scale relationships.
Tristanspecialises in fingerstyle guitar, arranging traditional tunes and accompanying songs predominantly using CGDGCD tuning. This beautiful and versatile modal tuning remains curiously overlooked in favour of more commonly explored DADGAD, open D and open G tunings. Tristan will explore the tuning’s potential from the ground up whilst referencing and relating to other, more familiar tunings. We will work through the fundamentals, beginning with useful, go-to chord shapes and patterns and progress through developing left- and right-hand techniques, incorporating open strings, drones and harmony within the context of traditional repertoire.
Charlottewill cover the basics of flatpicking for both lead and rhythm playing, working up towards creating more intricate solos and interesting backup. We will be learning how to make fiddle tunes sound great on the guitar and how to make them your own. As a style with a big focus on improvisation, we’ll be looking at ways to expand your knowledge of the fretboard and open up different pathways on the guitar. (For guitar in standard tuning, this course requires a plectrum).”