Hornby Island Blues Workshop

2016 Workshop Descriptions

Blues Workshop Blues in the school and Community Liaison:

Rick Fines

Each year during Blues Week we invite a musician to become more intimate with our community by having them go into the Hornby School and play some music, talk about Blues and Roots with the children, and generally have some fun. This Blues-In-the-School musician also becomes our island’s Blues-Week-Busker and Music-Jam Mentor who further livens up the charged atmosphere of Blues Week. This year we have invited Rick Fines who fits this role better than most. Rick, of course, is a long-time participant in the Blues-in-the-School programs - a pioneer one might say. He also happens to be one of Hornby Island’s favorite musicians. Watch for his busking shows at the Coop Porch midweek as well and remember be generous!

Rick also will have his own community show midweek at Seabreeze on May 12. Tickets available in advance at Seabreeze. Rick will also perform at our island Workshop concert stages where he will join our all-star instructors in both the Acoustic Concert and the Electric Dance show.

Finally, if you want a great one-on-one teaching experience take advantage of Rick’s private lessons that he will be offering to both community members and Workshop students. Contact information is available here: rick.fines@sympatico.ca, you can also just tug on his coat while he is here or ask any Blues Board member for more information.

We know our Hornby community and our school students will be in for a real treat with Rick in this role.
For latest info on Rick & his music rickfines.ca/

Denis Coulombe - Bass

Major: Groove Machine
The bass is often referred to as the glue that keeps everything together. So in this major we will put a big emphasis on the choice of groove and how busy it should be. As far as bass goes for me less is more, but it’s also fun to know when it’s time to put the pedal to the metal!! Of course we will look at left and right hand techniques in various styles like blues-funk, blues-rock, nice groovy shuffle and much more. Also, some stuff on patterns and how to change key easily, some chords to accompany soloist and probably some scales to go with those chords. We will learn about the music language between musicians on stage to be able to call the shots to others, and one of the very important things…how to listen.

Tuesday & Wednesday Minor: Let's Stay Together
Level: Beginners to Advanced

In the first 2 minors, the bass and drum classes will join together to learn how to work together to create a crazy tight groove. We will look at some structures and different turn arounds, as well as playing in front and behind the beat to create amazing energy. We will be exploring an array of feels, such as: the many types of "the shuffle", 12/8, funk, swing, latin, Bo Diddley and more.

Thursday Minor: Full Band
Level: Beginners to Advanced

In this very special minor, drum & bass classes will get together with the amazing Angel Forrest from the singing class and also the extraordinaire guitar player Ricky Paquette to form a full band class! In this class we will learn how to interact with other musicians, how to follow cues from the leader, follow dynamics in a full formation and of course how to listen to others.

Jack de Keyzer - Guitar

Major: Are you ready for Freddie?
Level: Beginner to Advanced

Learn Freddie King’s classic guitar instrumentals :Sen Sa Shun,  San Ho Zay,  Wash Out, Just Pickin', Out Front, Heads Up , Hideaway, etc. We will learn the heads to these songs, the lead and rhythm guitar patterns, learn some of Freddie’s solo parts so that we can all jam along together. This will be a fun class for all levels.

Tuesday Minor: Meat and Potatoes!:
Level: Beginner to Advanced Acoustic Guitar

Learn two classic T Bone Walker songs. Stormy Monday Blues and T Bone Shuffle. We will learn the heads and explore T Bone’s jazzy/bues runs and chords.

Wednesday Minor: The Source
Level: Beginner to Advanced Electric Guitar

Robert Johnson’s classic, essential blues compositions Sweet Home Chicago and also Come in My Kitchen, open G  tuning . Essential finger picking for acoustic or electric guitars   * Please bring a slide

Thursday Minor: House Rockin' Boogie Session

It’s a house rockin’ boogie session with Elmore James classic Dust My Broom and Shake Your Money Maker in open D. All acoustic or electric guitar players welcome.  * Please bring a slide

Paul Deslauriers - Guitar

Major: The Brits and the Blues
When the blues reached the shores of England through the wonder of vinyl records, it sparked a musical revolution in the 60’s that gave rise to a new wave of young guitarist that changed the face of popular music completely. Players like Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Peter Green, Jeff Beck, Paul Kossoff, Mick Taylor, Gary Moore, and Rory Gallagher brought their rock-fused blues back to the shores of North America and shaped modern blues guitar as we know it today. In my major class, we’ll look at how to play in the styles of these greats by examining songs and re-amped blues covers, solo techniques, rhythm, how they got their signature sounds like Clapton’s famous “woman tone”, Peter Green’s “out-of-phase” sound and generally how to infuse that “fire” in your playing that makes these and many more players so exciting. Ahh…the sweet sound of a Les Paul or Strat through a Marshall on broil…

Tuesday Minor: Slide Guitar in Standard Tuning
In this class, we’ll look at how to play slide guitar without having to retune into open tunings. Many great players have mastered the art of using the pentatonic scale and basic chord shapes to create flowing slide lines worthy of Ry Cooder, Duane Allman or Derek Trucks. We’ll look at how to palm mute with the right hand and mute behind the slide with the left hand fingers to keep those lines sounding sweet, and how to convert the licks you already know into slide lines worthy of Elmore James!

Wednesday Minor: John Lee Hooker
Boom Boom and Boogie Chillun…What seems like a rudimentary style of guitar playing is actually a lot trickier than it seems. We’ll explore how “The Hook” played in standard tuning and in open A tuning and how he got that magic out of his right handed fingerpicking technique. A foot-stomping fun afternoon!

Thursday Minor: Me and the Devil Blues
We’re going back to the Delta with the King of the Delta Blues and exploring one of his more haunting tunes. For many, Robert Johnson is the pinnacle of this form of music and this song in particular contains most of the elements of his standard tuning playing. We’ll learn all of the chord shapes and right hand picking techniques in this tune and look at how many other songs are based on the same elements. Then we can “catch a Greyhound bus and ride…”

Sherman 'Tank' Doucette - Blues Harp

Major: The "Nitty-Gritty" of Blues Harmonica
Level: Beginner to Advanced

As a self-taught blues harp player, I am open to give students the basic short cuts to help you get to where you would like to go on harmonica to play and have fun. As that happens, we will take time to recognize the importance of "bending" notes, a technique that allows us to play flattened notes that are characteristic in blues music. We will start bending the blues with Muddy Waters, but will also study the styles of Little Walter, Junior Wells and James Cotton while exploring different techniques that good blues harp players should know:

• First position / 2nd Cross Harp / 3rd Position -essential “keys”
• Lip pursing single note / tongue blocking
• Breathing /chugging for superior tone
• Licks / runs / vibrato
• Basic blues chromatic models

Tuesday Minor:
The History of Harmonica with showcase of antique harmonicas demo - slide show from the Harptown Harmonica Museum with hundreds of antique harmonicas & memorabilia dating back to 1893.

Wednesday Minor:
We will explore the harmonica greats –the various styles of players like Junior Wells, Little Walter, Muddy Waters, James Cotton, and others especially those who have influenced me the most in my career, and what any harp player can take away from listening to the greats.

Thursday Minor:
I will answer questions about mikes/amps and amplification; recap the basics from the last couple of days, and discuss how to back others –essentially, the art of jamming - knowing when to hold back and what key to play in. We will also survey how to apply harmonica to other styles of music - rock / country / jazz and how to take it to the next level.

Students: Please bring at least a five pack of harmonicas in different keys (any brand ), one of which should be a 10 hole diatonic harmonica in the key of "C".

Brandon Isaak - Guitar

Major: From The Bottom Up - Acoustic Roots
Essential techniques, rhythms and solos. Students should have the fundamentals of guitar playing to get the most out of this major.

Day One: Simplicity Of A Groove
We'll look at some ways of keeping a groove interesting while keeping it simple. You will learn to play different kinds of bass lines with your thumb. You will also learn to Play songs with just one chord that won’t bore you or the listener. 

Day Two: Finger Picking Styles
We'll have a look at some different kinds of finger picking like: delta blues, country blues, piedmont, and even touch on some hill country. 

Day Three: Swingin, the Blues.
I think the name of the class says it all, we'll swing the blues. We'll look at some chord progressions, swing with info we learned in the first 2 classes, run over some lead ideas and switch partners.

Tuesday minor: Slide Guitar
Different tunings have different moods, left hand vibrato, bass lines and grooves.

Wednesday minor: Band of One
How to pull off a gig all by yourself. Different tips and tricks of the trade, getting a bigger sound, divvying up your money into one pile. 

Thursday minor: Putting Lyrics 2 Music
Were going to look at different ways to put your lyrics to music and vice versa, changing up your phrasing so lyrics fit a song, and some additional tips on songwriting for guitar. 

Angel Forrest

Major: Global Warming
Level: Beginners to Advanced

The Voice: Everything you need to know about taking care of your instrument…warming up, breathing etc. How to nurture and fertilize your strengths…while stomping out your weaknesses. Learn how to let it rip…and when to lay back.

Finding Your Own Groove is a Feat…a feat it is!!

This major will also focus on how to interpret your favorite songs. Being influenced by other singers is normal…we always tend to take from those who move us the most. In this class we will learn to interpret our favorites all the while utilizing our strengths to shine and making it our own. Being true to yourself is number one on my list.  

I will have the amazing Ricky Paquette accompanying me on guitar during these classes.

Tuesday minor: Adapting To Performance
The class as a group will begin work on arranging a song for the Thursday night performance. We will look at how to adapt the lyrics and music to our group’s strengths and how to deliver the song in a style that is powerful. Our focus will be to perform the song on Student night.

In this class we will learn how to sing the same song in different ways... different styles… blues, cajun, rock'n'roll  etc. Intention, phrasing and textures are all important tools and of course confidence…a little bit of attitude can go a long way!

Thursday minor: Jammin' With The Band
We will be joining the Bass and Drum classes (the rhythm section) together we will have a 'FULL BAND LIVE' experience! We'll put to practice things like… cueing the band, dynamics, trading off, mic technic etc. But mostly how to sing your heart out with the support of a full band!!

Bill Hicks - Drums

In this class, we will start out with setting up your drum set to fit your body, as well as assessing your posture and movement while drumming. This will allow you to be most comfortable while playing and help you relax and be as smooth as possible. We will then look at tuning drums as well as different types of drums, sizes and sounds available.

We will look at all the major blues feels you will come across at a gig from shuffles to 12/8 to Bo Diddley to funk and play them together, helping you find an approach that works best for you. Within each genre, we will listen to some of the masters play and break down how and why they feel so darn good.

Bring some examples of what you like and we will break them down together.

Another portion of the class will be about playing with bands, LISTENING, being supportive and musical, dynamics, hearing song endings, drum fills and trading 4's and 8's. I'll also touch on my experiences as a professional musician and different ways to find your place and be successful in this ever growing and changing music industry.

In our classes, I'd love to do a lot of playing and get to know your playing personality, your drumming hero's and what type of music you like. I really feel we all have great things to share and hope to create a fun, supportive and inspiring environment where we can all grow as musicians.

Tuesday & Wednesday Minors: Let's Stay Together
In these minors, the bass and drum classes will join together to learn how to work together to create a crazy tight groove. We will look at some structures and different turn arounds, as well as playing in front and behind the beat to create amazing energy. We will be exploring an array of feels, such as: the many types of  "the shuffle", 12/8, funk, swing, latin, Bo Diddley and more.

Thursday Minor: Full Band
In this very special minor, drum & bass classes will get together with the amazing Angel Forrest from the singing class and also the extraordinaire guitar player Ricky Paquette to form a full band class! In this class we will learn how to interact with other musicians, how to follow cues from the leader, follow dynamics in a full formation and of course how to listen to others.

Erin McCallum - Songwriting

Major: Songwriting 101
Level: Beginner to Advanced
Exploring techniques and the different ways to develop ideas and turn them into songs. This workshop is interactive, and students should feel free to bring ideas, pen and paper, and a personal recorder if they like.  Although not necessary, students would benefit from having a basic understanding of music theory and/or basic blues song structures (8 bar, 12 bar, 16 bar progressions).

Tuesday Minor: Let's Write A Song!
Level: Beginner to Advanced

In this workshop, students will go through the process of writing a song from thought to finish, and walk away with the necessary tools to start writing songs for themselves.

Wednesday Minor: What Are You Writing For?
Level: Beginner to Advanced

This workshop will go over points to consider for songwriters who are looking to have their songs heard commercially - the dos and don'ts of successful songwriting for artists looking to get their songs noticed.  This workshop is best suited for those who know the basics of turning ideas into songs, however, it is a knowledge gathering course, so all levels of musical ability are welcome.

Thursday Minor: The Components of A Song
Level: Beginner to Advanced

In this workshop, we'll go though identifying different components of a song, where those components can be used effectively, and how different components achieve different goals in each song.  Knowing why a component is in a song is crucial to writing songs effectively, and this workshop will give students an understanding that can be applied in their songwriting for life!  Students who have an understanding of basic blues structures (8 bar, 12 bar, 16 bar progressions) are best suited for this workshop.

David Vest - Piano

Major: Blues Piano
Level: Intermediate to Advanced

The class will be geared toward intermediates but open to all. We will look at different basic forms of blues and boogie-woogie music, including 12 bar blues, 8 and 16 bar blues, "ice cream changes," "rhythm changes," etc. We'll also learn basic variations on 12-bar blues (quick change, long change, passing tones, different turnarounds, etc.), and how it all relates to the Circle of Fifths. Effective fills and "licks" will also be examined, with emphasis on cool ways to get from one chord to another. We will study some typical Ray Charles chord progressions. Plus a bunch of different left-hand patterns and right-hand fingering exercises. Beyond these topics, if there are special and/or particular things you are hoping to get from the class, please let me know as soon as possible and we will try to accommodate.

Tuesday Minor: The Main Stream
Level: Beginner to Intermediate

We will look at the playing of some of the major figures in the development of piano blues, such as Big Maceo, Memphis Slim, Lloyd Glenn, Van Walls, Katie Webster, Otis Spann, Ray Charles and Pinetop Perkins. Participants will receive an essential piano blues playlist.

Wednesday Minor: After Hours - One Song To Rule Them All
Level: Beginner to Advanced

A look at the history and development of the most famous of all piano blues songs, After Hours. We will listen to a bunch of different versions (Avery Parrish, Amos Milburn, Lloyd Glenn, Pinetop Perkins, Ray Bryant, etc.), discuss what each performer brings to the table, and consider different ways of presenting the song (with a band or solo).

Thursday Minor: Jazz Blues and Boogie-Woogie
Level: From Beginner to Advanced
Boogie-Woogie is often regarded as the link between blues and jazz. In addition to the great masters of boogie-woogie (Albert Ammons, Pete Johnson, Meade Lux Lewis), we will listen to Count Basie play both blues and boogie, consider Duke Ellington as a blues piano player, take a look at Allen Toussaint as a blues man, and end with Bill Doggett, the piano player (and organist) who spanned real jazz, deep blues and wild boogie with perhaps the most remarkable long-term success.

Tim Williams - Guitar

Major: Ragtime and East Coast Blues Fingerpicking.
Level: Intermediate to Advanced

This course is for people with knowledge of the first position chords and some knowledge of thumb and two-finger guitar playing.

Tuesday Minor: A minor on slide...how to build a solo.

Wednesday Minor: A minor on blues mandolin

In this class we will discuss and practise when to play and when to listen - the less is more philosophy in playing bass and what to look and listen for in order to be effective. We will also explore the role and responsibilities of the singer and the other musicians and how the bass player communicates and responds to them.

Thursday Minor: A minor on Hoodoo
(the Mississippi version of Voodoo, or Vodoun) and how it affects the songwriting of people from Son House to Dr. John.

Except for the last minor, people should know the chords on their instruments, and have some experience reading tablature. Students should have an open mind and a desire to have fun.

For more information:

Hornby Island Blues Society
3500 C Shingle Spit Rd
Hornby Island BC
Canada V0R 1Z0