Floyd, VA November 30, 2019

Hands-on guitar workshops

10:30-12:00 The Music of Mississippi John Hurt
Always oversubscribed at the Swannanoa Gathering’s Guitar Week, Ainslie’s teaching of Hurt’s lovely syncopated fingerpicking accompaniments, and how to learn them has elicited rave reviews from students.

Even before John Hurt was re-discovered in 1963 at the age of 71, his 1927 and 1928 recordings had influenced a small coterie of guitar aficionados. Hurt’s re-introduction to a wide audience at the height of the folk music revival allowed him to play a pivotal role in establishing fundamental fingerpicking techniques that left their mark on the music of everyone from Doc Watson to Beck, Bob Dylan to Bruce Cockburn, Jerry Garcia, John Sebastian, and many others.

In this ninety-minute workshop we’ll explore Hurt’s repertoire while focusing on his right and left hand techniques with a special eye to establishing the right/picking hand muscle patterns necessary to maintain a steady alternating bass while developing syncopated independence on the high strings to play melodies.

When we’re done, you’ll understand what Hurt did, how to begin to train your hands to do it, and have a great appreciation for a player who influenced country blues and folk guitarists of all sorts.


1:30-3:00 Slide Guitar: Techniques in Standard and Open Tunings

If you have ever wanted to play slide guitar, this is the workshop for you.

With more than 30 years’ experience in slide instruction, Ainslie presents the key hand skills necessary to control the slide and the sound of the guitar.

Teaching what he calls ‘the keys to the kingdom of slide guitar,’ Ainslie explores the ins and outs of slide in standard tuning and open tunings while concentrating on the skills required to solve the problems that putting a slide on the strings of a guitar present.

We’ll begin in standard tuning, one string at a time. We’ll look at all the muting techniques necessary to make the music work without the harmonic support of open tunings. Then, having established the basics, we’ll move to open tunings.

When we’re done, you’ll understand what to do and why.


Slide Guitar – Three Mini-Lessons 

  1. Introduction to Core Techniques
  2. Using Fingers behind the slide/Minor Pentatonic Scale in E and hammers behind slide
  3. Choosing a slide/Guitar set-up


Sign up to reserve a space in the workshops:

The workshops are co-sponsored by the Floyd Country Store’s Handmade Music School. Tickets for the workshops are available individually for $30 each or both for $50.

Reservations and tickets for the workshops are available online through http://HandmadeMusicSchool.com/events.

Scott Ainslie in Concert

At 7:30, our host musician will present an evening concert of acoustic blues, history, stories, and select original songs on National and acoustic guitars, fretless gourd banjo, and a one-string cigar box guitar.

Concert tickets are $20 ($15 for workshop participants) and are available at https://CattailMusic.com/floyd.


You’re invited for the whole day:

Saturday, November 30: Beat the Black Friday Blues

We have found the perfect little town to try something new.

The little Virginia mountain town of Floyd is a real gem, with an eco-village, a small environmentally-friendly hotel downtown, a vibrant old-time music scene, local craft shops, restaurants, a wonderful country store, and the Handmade Music School.

It’s the perfect setting for a one-day guitar camp and concert with overnight accommodations Friday and/or Saturday.

We’d like to invite you to join veteran acoustic blues guitarist and songwriter Scott Ainslie on Saturday, November 30th, for a day of guitar workshops and an evening concert at Hotel Floyd in Floyd, VA (about 30 minutes off I-81, an hour south-southwest of Roanoke, VA). http://CattailMusic.com/where-is-floyd

The Hotel Floyd has offered a special rate for attendees of workshops and/or concert — call the Hotel directly to make your reservation and mention the event to get the discounted rate.  540-745-6080.

Questions?   email barb@cattailmusic.com

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