27 May 2012

Old Timey Workshop - Music By the Fire

This old Timey Workshop was conducted by Bruce Williams who had researched and planned his presentation extremely thoroughly. It ran from 1 pm through to 5 pm with several breaks for tea, coffee and an informal chat about the music.

We had a total of 11 participants for the workshop – 9 of whom were NF&FC members and 2 non-members.

Amongst the participants we had a good cross section of ‘old timey’ instruments –              5 guitars, 2 banjos, 3 fiddles – and one dexterous player who jumped between fiddle and guitar (Simon Leverton).

Bruce himself had a range of instruments set up and also moved between fiddle, guitar, mandolin and banjo to demonstrate various aspects of the tunes that were played. He had also gone to the trouble of preparing 3 different tune booklets for banjo / guitar / and fiddle - mandolin players which was appreciated by all.

Bruce commenced with a brief overview of the history and development of ‘Old Timey’ music and was able to demonstrate the beginnings of the genre by playing several tracks recorded in the 1920’s and 1930’s through his laptop computer. As the workshop progressed he broke the players into groups and they moved away to practice a particular tune and then return to play en masse. Playing through each tune slowly to begin with, the majority of players seemed to pick them up quickly and increase the tempo up to a reasonable playing speed – most of the players appeared to me to be well

In summary this was a well planned and interesting workshop enjoyed by all who attended – thanks to Bruce for all the time and effort he put into it – and thanks also the Ted for stoking the fire and keeping us warm throughout the afternoon.

Rick Sidgwick – Workshop Facilitator

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