Montclair NJ Guitar Workshop 9/10/2016

Yesterday, I attended (as a student), a Scott Ainslie acoustic blues workshop that I helped to organize. Here’s a few thoughts about that:

The guitar is a fiendishly simple and beautifully complex machine for making music, that magic blend of rhythm, melody, harmony, and emotion. If you’ve ever sat there looking at your guitar with frustration and adoration, and feeling like a particularly dumb sorcerer’s apprentice, here’s what you need to do: GO to the next Scott Ainslie blues guitar workshop within a hundred miles of your house! Yes, even if you don’t particularly want to learn the blues. Here’s what will happen:

• your head will get filled up with the keys that unlock that long tempting fingerboard;
• Your hands will get filled up with easier ways to make the chords you need, but more beautifully, more individually; and
• your heart will get filled up with the conviction and inspiration that Scott has for music.

(Some cool stuff happens to your picking-hand thumb, too.)

I’m not planning to get buried when I go (I’m a gardener; we need to get back to work in a garden, if you get my drift). But if there’s a stone with an epitaph on it someday, I’m holding out for “I Wasn’t Expecting THIS.” That pretty much summarizes my day yesterday. You should all be so lucky.

–Pam Peterson, Montclair NJ 9/10/16

Scott Ainslie

Born in Rochester NY in 1952, Scott Ainslie has been playing music on something since he was three years old. A guitarist since 1967 with powerful appreciation for and apprenticeships with elder black and white musicians in different musical traditions, Ainslie carries a portion of them forward in his own traditional blues performances and songwriting.

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