Grateful Dead Ensemble with Ken Allday
Playing in an ensemble is one of the joys of music. It’s one thing to practice at home with a metronome or a backing track, but it’s another to sit in a circle and pick songs in a group.
This class will encourage students to build the skills necessary for playing music with others centered around the repertoire of the Grateful Dead. The song “Dark Hollow” is an excellent example of the traditional folk roots of the Grateful Dead. Over the years, they created inspiring versions of fun tunes that are great to pick and sing in an acoustic setting.
In the class, we will talk about fundamental ensemble skills like:
- Learning the song by ear from another musician
- Discussing simple arrangements of tunes in an ensemble setting
- The importance of listening to others and keeping good time
- Learning the skill of “Less is more” when playing with others
We will be taking songs like “Dark Hollow” and working on practical skills like:
- Adding instrumental lines between vocal breaks
- Singing lead vocals on a tune
- Adding vocal harmonies
- Taking solos over the form of a tune
Most importantly, this class will be about having a good time playing fun songs in a low-pressure environment. We will start with songs you may be familiar with, but the goal is to find a common repertoire as a group to break down together. If you have tunes you’ve always wanted to play or sing in an ensemble, we will collect those at the beginning of the class and work them out over the 8-week course.
This is an adult class open to students aged 13 and up.